Tōdai-ji Temple Complex in Nara, Japan

It strikes me as quite peculiar that the largest wooden building in the world* – Great Buddha Hall, at the centre of the Tōdai-ji Complex in Nara, Japan – has burnt down twice. Twice. Maybe you think that would be expected, given that on a list of flammable things, wood ranks just below a factory that…

Mishaps and Mischief on the Phnom Penh Waterfront

While sitting on a bench by a statue along the riverfront in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, a man approached me. He was about my age, maybe a little younger, almost a head shorter than me, and he was grinning so much that I thought he must have a medical condition that meant he had to keep…

Night at an Amateur Dramatics Group in Los Angeles

I spent two nights in Los Angeles, California, and didn’t even see the Hollywood sign. I did, however, enjoy an evening with an amateur dramatic group in a public library. Yes, friends, that cliché is true. Everyone in LA is an aspiring actor or actress. If anyone tells you different it’s because they want you to…