After some delays, I got my visa and headed over to Lagos last month. In steaming equatorial heat, I met members of the petro-state's micro-elite. I'm afraid words can't do justice to the Chief's birthday party, but I tried. Here's the story for the New York Times.
I wrote an essay about a trip up the Amazon in Peru, exploring my ambivalence about nature. Besides anaconda, spiders, giant ants and sloth, I encountered river people whose lifestyles are as close to organic as one can find in the modern world. Read the whole story here.
I went to the Amazon jungle, brought back jungle viagra, piranha teeth, caught and released a rainbow catfish, and snapped many sloth pictures. I almost slept in The Mick Jagger Room at Casa Fitzcarraldo.
Part Uno: Adventures in Iquitos.
Image by Curious Expeditions via Flickr
Visitors to Italy tend to seek its sunny, Dionysian side -- vino, pasta, opera, Renaissance art, George Clooney on a Vespa. But, like a chilly draft on a hot day, Italy's gothic angle offers intimations of darkness that make a moment on the piazza even more delicious. Consciously or not, anyone sipping prosecco at sunset in Rome or Naples savors an extra spoon of dolce in their vita thanks to the contrast between the beauty of the present and the proximity of catacombs, ruins and sites of ancient suffering.
Read the rest of the article in the New York Times.