In which your host ruminates on the vicissitudes of life, the steep social taxes imposed by (even relatively minor) mental illness, and the seemingly arbitrary temporal distribution of karmic fortune and misfortune when it comes to casual fornication. He also muses on the significance of the Morton Salt Company® logo and its equally mystifying slogan — "When it rains, it pours.™" — and how this relates to certain dry spells with regard to the endorphins and serotonin and dopamine produced by his own brain, the quality of his work life and sex life and life life, and the sudden profligacy of women who seem to be interested in him, for no reason known to him or, perhaps, even to the ladies in question. This episode is brought to you by the Morton Salt Company®, whose logo makes no fucking sense whatsoever, and whose sodium-rich story began in the (already probably very salty) streets of Chicago in 1848. When it rains, it pours.™
A late-night Wire-themed voicemail for Senator Ben Sasse (R-NE) in light of recent leaked tapes that more or less reveal top-down governmental corruption on the part of the party of morals and ethics and what not.
In which your host holds forth on sperm competition for an uncomfortable length of time, then turns things over to the gallery, who are primarily curious about the wo'ful state of the 2018 New York Yankees, Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE), and either the little-known insult "toilet cat" or the toilet training of cats (as patented by jazz great Charles Mingus). Also included (per request): a midnight voicemail to Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE).
*Also, the all-too-readily deployed term "shitty girls" refers to a specific number of bad dates, now past and forgotten about, and is not a disinvitation to those lasses who would like to sip tea of a Sunday and indeed discuss Virginia Woolf or whatever the fuck else comes to mind.
XPCV Kimberly Shannon reveals why her Caribbean version of Posh Corps wasn't quite so posh after all, and why Hong Kong is more of an island paradise than Saint Lucia. Your Host, after fatally destroying his long-term microphone, explains -- through a lavalier microphone clipped to his left tit -- his otherwise unexplained absence. Meanwhile, the wheels are greased for the springtime of our loving, this Second Season we are to know. [cue Mellotron]
"At this point I think my body is like an old car. Another dent ain't going to make a whole lot of difference. At best it's a reminder that you're still alive and lucky as hell. Another tattoo, another thing you did, another place you've been.
A final long gaze at the river. Take in probably for the last time in my life the slow rhythms of the village."
If the late Mr. Bourdain influenced you as a traveler or as a human being, or if you'd like to pop on the show to talk about the man, feel free (without feeling unhealthily compelled) to leave a message at The Official Expatriate Act Hotline at (402)-979-6685.
Chung Eang Lip grew up in a Cambodian village. His father abandoned him in the second grade and committed suicide shortly thereafter. His mother died of hepatitis when he was thirteen. Chung lived as an orphan in Phnom Penh and studied English, determined to set his life on a different course. He worked as a tour guide for several years before a family from Minnesota decided first to help him, then to adopt him. A recent graduate of Augsburg University, Mr. Lip is currently en route to Columbia University, where he will be earning his Master's in Public Health in Population and Family Health with a concentration in Infectious Disease Epidemiology. If that weren't enough, Mr. Lip is crowdsourcing a project that will bring water systems, wells, and proper western-style toilets to his native Cambodia.
Contribute to Mr. Lip's Cambodian campaign here: www.gofundme.com/ngn9z-volunteer-trip-to-cambodia
In an alternate universe, Beckett H. is just another kid chewed up and spit out by the gears of the system. In this one, he has gone on to become a special education teacher, a world traveler, and an all-around stand-up dude. Diagnosed with ADD and Oppositional Defiant Disorder as a child, Beckett spent much of his adolescence in and out of juvenile hall and rehab before an unexpected encounter with a World War II veteran inspired him to set his sights on the world outside the borders of America.
Also included in this episode: a voluntary bike ride to Guantanamo Bay, a vacation in Somaliland, and an exploration of the etymology and meaning (if any) of the word "bungalow."
Elise Dyck and her husband elected to put raising a family on hold so that they could make the most of their fleeting twenties in some of the most magical and mystifying places on Earth. From her days as a TEFL referee in the English language bootcamps of South Korea, to the scalding heat and withering stares that greeted her arrival in Abu Dhabi, to the ineffable majesty of as-yet-untapped Myanmar and her newfound grown-up life (with child) in Hong Kong, Elise sits down with your host to reflect on the variety of people she has encountered in her travels and the complex, often problematic ways in which organized religion has molded their lives.
Your host sits down with Nathan Wade to discuss his political debut: running for a London council seat on the Green Party ticket. Mr. Wade fleshes out the modern state of British politics and explains why, in spite of his non-stodgy, non-geriatric, non-blue-blazered exterior, he is much more than a novelty candidate, and is in prime position to reshape the way local government works.
Hot off the heels of the infamous Penis Gourd Episode, your host settles down for a much more mature interview with Kathleen Severson regarding her time as a volunteer in rural Tanzania. Host and guest bond over their experiences of village life in the developing world and the weirdness of venturing abroad and suddenly ascending to A-list celebrity status. Kathleen discusses the lingering effects of colonialism on Tanzanian society, draws some striking parallels between her adoptive Tanzanian village and small-town Wyoming, and tells all re: her adversarial relationship with chickens (gallus gallus domesticus).
"... or is it?" your host asks his audience, looking on in horror as his mic cable devours itself.
Visit My Peace Corps Story to listen to your host play the guest with his host, the impeccable Tyler Lloyd:
Intro/Outro Music: Bolero - Maurice Ravel
At the tender age of twenty, Joe Yu left the backyard Seattle carport he called home for greener pastures, and spent the next year of his life smoking kine bud with Papua New Guinean bushmen. This is his story.
In which Your Host and the delightful Kelly Branyik (RPCV China: 2014-2016) bond over cats, disaffected students, and the most challenging Posh Corps assignments of their lives.
Check out and/or buy her book here:
Explore her sprawling, Chongqing-esque blog empire here:
The Show returns to its bread-and-butter — Kyrgyzstan and the People's Republic of China — as Your Host sits down with Big Brothers Big Sisters of America program director, two-time RCPV (Kyrgyzstan/China), and Actual Dad Pete Tarantola. The two gentlemen examine various states of post-Soviet and contemporary Chinese squalor, refer euphemistically several times to "The Administration," and conclude the interview with a flourish: an epic Peace Corps shit story in which neither Your Host nor Mr. Tarantola are in any way implicated.