DUFL Doggerel

[As always, apologies in advance]

Aught for naught is dearly bought, 

What’s lost is sought but can’t be caught, 

With coins or barter, sweat or tears, 

enjoined, you can’t pay past arrears. 

No free lunch, accounts come due, 

You conscience will always haunt you.  


Dispatch from Taiwan: A Western night in an Eastern city

AAH

Of all the food joints in all of the districts in all of Taipei, Dave wants to meet at a thoroughly American establishment.
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Dispatch from Taiwan: Atop the Ci-en Pagoda

2013-03-26 17.29.26
The inscription in the ground says that it’s 570 meters to the pagoda. The brick tiles of the path are smooth; the soles of my shoes slip on them, the tips catch in their gaps. I tread carefully but decide I’m in a hurry. It’s late afternoon, nearly dusk, and though the mountain air is brisk, my t-shirt clings to my chest.
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Dispatch from Taiwan: Sun Moon Lake does the Harlem shake


Wednesday morning, my dad and I are driving along a mountain road overlooking Sun Moon Lake when my uncle’s sedan undertakes a maneuver I heretofore have assumed only possible by Usher’s ankles. For about a second, it feels as if the left rear tire is veering toward the left while the rest of the car is moving toward the right. Confused, we look behind us, expecting to see a ditch, the corpse of whatever we ran over, or the left rear tire popped off its axle and rolling idly away. I see a slight bump in the road and assume that was it and wonder whether years of aggressive Taiwanese driving have finally taken its toll on the vehicle’s suspension system.
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Dispatch from Taiwan: channeling Tom Hanks from The Terminal, or how bad I am at international traveling

tayoan
Greetings from the future.

It’s spring break, and I’m on the other side of the planet in Taipei, Taiwan. I wasn’t quite sure that I’d make it; I woke up with a sore throat Friday morning that turned into a raging migraine and a case of the shakes that kept me from getting much rest Friday night. (Trying to sleep through the impromptu karaoke party in my living room didn’t help, but that’s a story for another time.)
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Cathedral


According to Wikipedia, the Cathedral of St. John the Divine disputes with the Liverpool Anglican Cathedral the title of the largest cathedral in the world. I’ve lived in New York City for nearly eight years now, and while I’ve heard praise lavished on the cathedral and wanted to see it for myself, I’d never made specific plans to do so; upper Manhattan is such a trek from Brooklyn that it may as well be New Jersey.
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Sayings of the Buddha and the Gospels

So I recently started reading some of the sayings of the Buddha because, really, what else do I have to do?

I was struck by how similar his sayings are to the sayings of Jesus in the Gospels.  Take, for example, one of the most troubling parts of the New Testament for many people, Jesus’s warning that we have to hate our family (In Luke 14:25 et seq, for example).  There are all kinds of readings of this, one of the most common is that it’s a test of our faith.
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