The Bohemian Experiment

Posts Tagged ‘Travel Essay’

The Kimchi Chronicles (Volume IV: The End of The Beginning)

Posted by beckert10 on February 3, 2010

(New Readers: Start at Volume I)

By about 10:30 the bar begins to fill up.  As patrons file in and gather with their friends I’m reminded of how cliquey the expatriate community is in Korea.  Upon my arrival here I expected all foreigners would share instant rapport because of our common experience.  Rather, I found many of them went out of their way to avoid looking at me when we passed on the street.  Even on a Friday night with the liquor flowing freely, not many stray from their small group of friends.  There are two reasons for this.   Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Essays | Tagged: , , , , | 8 Comments »

The Kimchi Chronicles (Volume II: A Speech Contest Day Miracle)

Posted by beckert10 on January 20, 2010


As the first period bell rings Dave sets down his bible and gathers his textbooks. Joe does a quick hair-check in a small mirror he keeps on his desk. Betty Anne slips the rest of a piece of bread in her mouth and glances around guiltily, as if she doesn’t want anybody to see her eating. Seth picks his head up, looking as if he’s just received bad news. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Essays | Tagged: , , , , | 13 Comments »

The Kimchi Chronicles (Volume I: A Stranger Arrives in a Strange Land)

Posted by beckert10 on January 13, 2010

“Welcome to Seoul.” announces the flight attendant. As she says these words I momentarily panic. This is the furthest I’ve ever been from home. The unknown is always met with equal parts fear and excitement. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Essays | Tagged: , , , , , | 11 Comments »

The Lighter Side of Desolation

Posted by beckert10 on October 2, 2009

Namaqualand 6

Pofadder is a well-known town in arid, sparsely populated NW South Africa. However, its particular distinction is not one that draws many visitors.   To South Africans, Pofadder is the local equivalent of Timbuktu or Kalamazoo.  That is, it represents a place that is remote and out of touch with the civilized world.  The place is in fact so desolate that I drive through without realizing it.
The only signs of a town are a reduction in speed for about 1000 meters, a few shacks and a petrol station. In this part of the world, though, a petrol station is as good as a town.
As the speed limit return to 120 I’m so puzzled by the almost complete lack of anything that I decide to go back to make sure it was actually Pofadder. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Stories | Tagged: , , , | 6 Comments »

Kaptein Span die Seile

Posted by beckert10 on July 10, 2009

South Africa-Part 2 417.jpgx2

They say the captain always goes down with the ship.  But what about the crew…are all those on board bound to this same fate?
From Friday to Sunday a group of us had been holding an extended birthday celebration for a friend in Clarens, a small mountain town in the Free State, South Africa.  Sunday morning found me and Pieter sitting at a picnic table outside of the hostel drinking coffee and writing poetry. He worked for Radio Pretoria, a bastion of Apartheid politics.  Read: completely racist.  Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Essays | Tagged: , | 3 Comments »