January 12, 2004, I started this thing, just a little bit ahead of the full-on blog frenzy. Now I’m still doing it, well after blogs have gotten old and doddering and faintly uncool.

In a perfect world, I would trawl through all the old posts and remind you of the highlights. But where is the time? I am busy eating street food in Bangkok as we speak. VERY busy.

This blog has sometimes emphasized the Roving, sometimes the Gastronome. Sometimes neither. (That post used to have a photo. No thanks to Yahoo, which fortunately no longer hosts this blog, it has vanished. Perhaps for the best.)

Either way, this blog has helped me become a better writer (proof: two posts have been the foundation of two successful book proposals), and I appreciate everyone who has followed along for the ride.

Much love to all, and thanks for reading!


  1. Maria Cuerda says:

    I am very happy you are still writing! You are witty, informative, irreverent and goofy in all the right places. I also used your Cancun book when I was in the Yucatan and it was fantastic! All the food and lodging recommendations were really good and since I am not the resort type I really appreciated the info. This particular reader very much appreciates your work!
    Happy New Year!

  2. cynthia kling says:

    I was thinking about meeting you in Egypt, the wacky time, the Canadian guy who thought that you were a Really Big Deal and could not believe that the guidebook writer was actually staying at our hotel (as did I, of course), and am so glad I met you! Glad to hear how much this blog has done for you. I think that Phil would say the same thing about Mondoweiss, even though he was two years behind you!
    I have a new assignment for you. You have to find the ur word in each country that you go to – that particularly flexible word that can be used in almost any situation. In England, the word is “quite,” which means anything from this is dreadful to this is fabulous, thank you! So, what is it in Thailand?


  3. Zora O'Neill says:

    Cynthia, I’m so glad I met you too! Truly a highlight of that Cairo trip. And I love your ur-word idea. For Thai, I have to do more research. Is it a cop out to say tonal languages are harder to suss? Because a single word can’t be manipulated by tone, the way “quite” can. At the moment, I’m just glad to know that the little additive, ka (for women; khao for men), can make other words sound more polite: Mai-ka is “no,” but nicely; check-ka is “check” without sounding too abrupt or officious.

    Aaaaand that’s almost the sum total of my Thai knowledge! Will get back to you on Kinyarwanda and Amharic! (Other languages encountered on this trip…)

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