The Sophomore Slump

This post is part of Special Reports.


CLOCKS I joined an old man sitting on a bench to admire a beautiful view of Yakushi-Ike Pond Park. He talked to me like a local even though he spoke a language I don’t understand. Even with the use of translator on a cellphone, it was hard to carry on a conversation.  Still, we talked as if we fully understand each other.

Being me, who is always on-the-go, I stood up to continue my stroll through the park; while he remained on the seat.


After about half an hour, I sat close to him again on the same spot. He then gladly showed me a beautiful capture of a peculiar bird on his camera.

MEND On a local train ride from Naples to Amalfi Coast last year, I chatted with two elderly couples. They’re a married couple of more than 40…

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