How to go to a Russian banya

Stripped naked + stuck in a hot room + drowned in ice water + beat with leaves = a Russian banya. Banyas are the Russian version of saunas, except they make you want to die while you’re in them. They’re real great when it’s all finished, though. There are three general areas of the banya: […]

Dear Future Russian Missionary

I remember when I got my call to serve as a Mormon missionary in Russia. My literal thought was, “Seriously? I’ll go, but I’m gonna die.” When I submitted my mission papers, of course there were places I would have liked to serve — England, Australia, SPAIN (ugh, little brothers) — but I was okay […]

Sporty Gordy

“Have you ever played baseball?” “No.” “But you are American!” NOW Taiwan Dad was asking the hard questions. It hadn’t been so hard for him to recruit me onto his softball team. He’d called earlier in the week and asked, “Gordy, can you come to my softball game this Saturday?” I replied, “Will there be food? — […]

You can never run from sharks.

As I’ve mentioned before, my biggest fear is sharks. I hate them. They will eat you. They will eat you. Even so, I really like swimming. I’m from freaking California, it’s in my body. So when I was visiting Hong Kong, I went to Stanley Beach. It’s a nice beach because it’s clean and secluded.  Plus, my […]

King Hong Kong

Follow my blog with Bloglovin This weekend I visited Hong Kong, which was named after King Kong, the sister city to Hong Zilla, named after Godzilla. Hong Kong is a peninsula and several islands off the coast of China. The peninsula is called Kowloon and the mountainous area above that is called the New Territories. Actual Hong Kong is an […]

Faithful Muslims

“They’re gonna kill us!” I was shouting like a crazy person. I didn’t really believe they’d kill us, but I knew if they caught us, they’d hurt us. It was the 4th of July and I was less than a month from finishing my mission in Russia. I’d managed to survive this long without getting […]

Taipei Museum of Drinking Water

Drinkable water is the only type of water that people should drink. However, most of us take for granted that the water we drink didn’t start that way. That’s why the museum of drinking water. People have been drinking water for forever. Why not a museum? This building is Naboo-worthy. And wedding-worthy. And cosplay-worthy (or is this another […]

Do you want to see a castle?

Neuschwanstein (pronounced noy-shvon-stein) is a real-life fairy tale castle. It was built in the late 1800’s on the side of a mountain in Germany. The idea behind the architecture was to mix old and new, making it look both authentic and like something out of a storybook. Because of its fairy tale-esque look, Walt Disney […]

Looks like crap

POOP IS FUNNY. POOP-THEMED RESTAURANTS ARE VERY VERY FUNNY. Note: To fully enjoy this post, you need to know that squatter toilets are common in Asia and what they look like. Voila. (But never ever this clean.) Just like any good joke, poop jokes have to be surprising, out-of-place, and so wrong they seem right. And that’s why […]

How boring is your life?

I am a BOMB teacher and all my students love/adore/want to be me. Even so, what I really live for is the weekend. The thing is, living in the city is a drain: it’s loud, smelly, crowded, and full of concrete. I have to get out into ~nature~ once a week to rejuvenate. Taiwan still has a lot […]