Protestant Gothic

Delft, the Netherlands

June 10, 2019

Magnificent, towering, ancient. Such description could not apply to Protestant churches in my country. Grandiose church architecture was exclusively within the purview of Catholicism. As a Baptist, we traced our religious heritage to the American occupation a mere century ago. Our places of worship were modern and minimalist as Catholic cathedrals were massive and ornate. I was today years old when I saw the Gothic grandness of two Protestant churches dominating the skyline of Delft in South Holland.

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TTT and Sis @ Nieuwe Kerk (New Church), Delft

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Avec le Temps

Tangier, Morocco

June 21, 2019

Avec le temps tout s’évanouit.

“With time everything vanishes.” Even an entire civilization all but disappeared with scant remnants of its existence. To the unfamiliar, Moroccan history may seem to have begun with the Islamic conquest. That we would stumble on a pillaged Phoenician site in Tangier was the cherry on top – of Marshan Plateau which Ki and I unknowingly explored on foot.

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Punic-Roman Necropolis of Hafa @ Marshan Plateau, Tangier, Morocco

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Raining with Happiness

Taichung and Taipei, Taiwan

December 30, 2019

Soggy weather greeted us as we emerged from our windowless room in Taichung. We hopped awning to awning until we took shelter at Gao-Bei Milk King. The promise of their specialty papaya milk beckoned us in as much as its warm and dry interior. The cold December rain had no plans of letting up. Our yellow plastic raincoats were drenched and dripped all over Taichung Railway Station.

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Ki’s 50th Birthday @ Taichung

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The Empty Tomb

Jerusalem, Israel / Palestine

October 5, 2019

Carrying his own cross, He went out to the place of the Skull (which in Aramaic is called Golgotha).

John 19:17

Golgotha could not be found on Google Maps, only by guesswork. The Gospels provided not so much an address as clues. It was near, not in, the city. The name referred to a skull, not a place of skulls. Just north of Old Jerusalem, a rock face resembling a macabre cranium with pockmarks for eye sockets loomed over a road. Could this limestone cliff be the site of Jesus’ crucifixion? It was logically beside The Garden Tomb. And curiously behind a bus terminal. The site of the foundation of Christian faith shared space with parked buses? It was a stark reminder that the Holy Land was within a Jewish and Arab State.

Gordon’s Golgotha (Skull Hill) Behind a Bus Terminal @ Jerusalem

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Fish Be With Us

Migdal and Tiberias, Israel / Palestine

October 7, 2019

But so that we may not cause offense, go to the lake and throw out your line. Take the first fish you catch; open its mouth and you will find a four-drachma coin. Take it and give it to them for my tax and yours.

Matthew 17:27

That old chestnut about death and taxes applied even to Jesus. He died on the cross and paid his taxes from the bounty off the Sea of Galilee, not in that order. The money-bearing fish caught by Peter was traditionally thought to be tilapia; ergo, it was honored with the nickname St. Peter’s Fish. The species had thrived in the lake until recently when they had to be farmed.

St. Peter’s Fish aka Tilapia @ Tanureen Galilee Restaurant, Migdal

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A Time to Chill

Cagbalete Island, Mauban, Quezon Province, the Philippines

April 26 – 28, 2019

Only a warp in the space-time continuum could explain this phenomenon. Hours and minutes dragged on reluctantly in paradise islands. The day stretched longer and more so the night. Such were the destinations that appealed to my laissez-faire approach to traveling. What was a vacation if not to escape the daily rush of modern life? That was exactly what I found in Cagbalete Island.

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Mad Squad @ Cagbalete Island, Quezon Province

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