These words from my guest in this Episode, Debra Ehrhardt, solo performer and native of Jamaica:
"Your saying 'no' to me is just a way of my saying, ok, how can I get 'yes'?"
"In America, there is no class system; they see you as you are."
"When a man is involved in a child's life, it makes such a difference."
"People who travel are so much more interesting than those who stay in their tiny little city."
This episode finds Trules chugging up the Mighty Mekong River, on a flat-top, tin-roof, diesel-puffing dinosaur, from northern Thailand to southern Laos, metaphorically and musically searching for mad Mr. Kurtz, from Joseph Conrad's "Heart of Darkness", and of course, more recently adapted by Francis Ford Coppola into his film, "Apocalypse Now", where Kurtz is notoriously played by mad Marlon Brando.
Trules speaks with one of Los Angeles' true musical and theatrical treasures, Morlan Higgins. Be serenaded with Morlan's mandolin, learn about his acting with Pulitzer-Pfrize winning playwright, Athol Fugard, and hear about "the river of life"
Amsterdam, Christmas 2013
As ex-heavyweight champ, Sonny Liston, always said,
"Life... a funny thang".
It comes and goes -- in cycles. When we're in an "up" cycle... feeling good about ourselves and our lives, it seems nothing can go wrong. We're invincible. When we're in a "down" cycle... of loss, transition, fear, it seems that nothing can go right. We're unworthy.
Me? I'm more like Chicken Little, always expecting the sky to fall... than like Mary Poppins, always ready to fly away into her next optimistic adventure.
But on this trip, I talk about "perfect moments"... you know those evasive, ephemeral life experiences that you so seldom capture. Those things that my solo performance predecessor, Spalding Gray, always yearned for, but never found.
Anyway.... this episode is about Amsterdam and perfect moments.
Or... "perfect enough"...... if you are in the right place at the right time... with the right attitude.
Please listen to Episode 15, "Amsterdam, the 'Perfect City':
In this lively episode, Trules talks with Liz Femi, a fellow solo performer and storyteller, who was born in the United Kingdom and grew up in Nigeria, a country not many tourists - or travelers - know much about. Liz is a small, smart, beautiful, and feisty young woman who her Mom describes as: "a really bendy, bouncy branch... connected to a strong Nigerian oak tree".
Echo Park, the one time immigrant-socialist-artist neighborhood of Los Angeles, has undergone the sad and inevitable process of "gentrification". Trules, a long-time Echo park resident, goes to the annual Cubano musical festival and is confronted head on with "unneighborhly" gentrification. Complete with original Cuban music composed by Amanda Yamate and an original score with roosters, fireworks, & gunshots by Alysha Bermudez.
Trules speaks with long-time friend and Israeli diplomat, Raphael Morav, who he has visited in Rome, Jerusalem, Helsinki, and Paris. Hear them chat about politics, Israel, diplomacy, kibuttzes, travel, SERVAS, the United Nations, and more.
In December, 2001, just months after 9/11, Trules arrives in Kota Kinabalu on the island of Borneo in East Malaysia. Teaching at an all-Islamic university on a Fulbright grant, he is confronted with images of Osama Bin Laden - on the screensavers of his university colleagues - and on t-shirts in every shopping mall. Talk about culture shock, he learns that Bin Laden is the most admired man in Malaysia for being the only man to stand up to George W. Bush and Goliath America. Still, Trules tries to make peace with the natives.
Trules talks with long-time travel blogger and podcaster, Chris Christensen, "The Amateur Traveler"... whose cool rules of the road include: 1- "Never lose your sense of wonder and adventure when you're traveling." 2- "Never complain that you don't do things that way at home; that's part of the point of traveling." 3- "Never whne, because in the grand scheme of things, if you can afford to travel, what do you have to complain about?"
Enjoy the banter between Trules, who travels, and Christensen, who interviews about travel.
Trules arrives at the international airport in Denpasar on the magical island of Bali - to meet his Indonesian wife - but she is not there. She is, instead, in the local Kasi Ibue hospital with... dengue fever... one of the most feared, mosquito-born illnesses in the world. After waiting a week with Surya on intravenous drip, they go to the "Good Karma" bungalows on the still-pristine East Coast of the island, where Trules promptly has a head-on motorbike collision by driving on the wrong side of the road. A comic misadventure with original gamelon music composed by Amanda Yamate, the Trules survive, managing to lose 2 of their collective 18 cat lives amidst the Balisnese magic and the good karma.
My guest this week is Jonathan Munoz-Proulx, otherwise know as “JMP”, my former student and now independent theater artist, who first gave me the idea of doing a travel podcast. After seeing me do many readings and performance of my stories on stage, and then reading them on my travel blog, he said:
“Your stories are SO MUCH BETTER when we hear your voice! You should do a podcast.”
And the rest…. is history.
Full show notes: http://erictrules.com/episode8
Beijing, China, 2007 It's a year before the Beijing Olympics and there are crowds and pollution everywhere. I've been invited to teach the LDTX Bejing Modern Dance Company, the Joffrey Ballet of China. I'm 60 years old and I haven't danced in over 30 years. What am I going to do? "Figure it out," says that jackal trickster, Travel. "Improvise! Isn't that your specialty?" "Thanks, a lot, Travel. I will"! And so I do... as along the way, I ask myself... and my listeners, "Why travel?" Why leave the comfort and familiarity of home? For a change of scenery and pace? For rest and relaxation? To stretch your boundaries? For some new food? Or for something else?
Full show notes: http://erictrules.com/episode7
My guest this episode is Hayden Lee, the self-professed son of a hippie and a biker, and the host of the popular, Travel Stories Podcast. Born in rural Shropshire, England, Hayden is a musician and an intrepid world traveler who can't help but navigate every conversation into a story. In fact, Hayden, like me, believes that memorable stories are what travel, life, and podcasts... are all about.
The Travel Stories Podcast is a weekly show that brings you original stories of freedom and adventure from seasoned travelers. And whether you are one or not, a seasoned traveler, you probably already know that certain road stories capture not only a moment in time, but also all the emotion, serendipity, and wonder that come with travel. It was a little surprising... how many times Hayden said to me in our interview, "I think we might be the same person... only separated by a few years and geographical time zones."
Hayden interviews fellow travelers, podcasters, digital nomads, and other guests about their lifestyle, their entrepreneurship, and about their amazing stories from the road... all with original music.... by Cody Crabb. On his next solo travel adventure, he will be heading out to ride a motorcycle through every country in mainland Europe.
Full show notes: http://erictrules/episode6
Alausi, Ecuador. 2003. I married for the first time at age 55. Also in 2003. I married an Indonesian girl from Sumatra who I met in Bali, who was 31 years younger than I was and who spoke almost no English. Go figure, huh? But in the summer of 2003, a few months after we tied the knot in LA, we took our first extended trip together, to Machu Picchu in Peru, and up the Avenidas de los Volcanos, along the mountainous spine of Peru and Ecuador. For 2 months, we traveled by all-night buses with "los indiginos", the local natives, dressed in colorful sarapes and gray bowler hats. I loved it. My wife hated it. And this trip was... as much about our new marriage as it was about South American culture and adventure. Enjoy and Happy Trails...
Full show notes: http://erictrules.com/episode5
My guests this time are my 2 trusty and talented production colleagues, Alysha Bermudez, our imaginative and immersive sound designer, and Amanda Yamate, our composer who creates music tapestries from all over the world. Both are college students well on their way to professional careers. Alysha is in the Sound Design program at USC and Amanda is in the Film Scoring Program at Cal State Northridge.
We work in the studio of USC's Sound Design Program on Jefferson and McClintock in South Central LA, usually early on Saturday mornings, and although we work quite hard and meticulously, we also usually also, have a lot of fun. Hear about the technique of scoring a podcast, who and what inspires them, how they "hear" the world. And listen to another "Trules Travel Quiz". Enjoy and Happy Trails...
Full show notes: http://erictrules.com/episode4
June, 2006. Trules has arrived in Mumbai on the day that 5 bombs have exploded in 5 different train stations in the financial hub, but still beggared, megalopolis of the sub-continent. He heads southeast, up into the mountainous tea plantations of Munnar, high in the Western Ghats of the province of green, green Kerala. There he takes a terrifying bus ride down a serendipitous mountainside where his whole life flashes before his eyes.
Full show notes: http://erictrules.com/episode3
Welcome to the first "Behind the Scenes" episode of "e-travels with e. trules", a twice a month feature of the podcast, where I will be speaking to friends, colleagues, fellow podcasters and travelers around the world.... in between my monthly scripted shows. The first guest is my producer, Harry Duran, host of "Podcast Junkies".
Harry has been my podcast guru and guide through this new art form for me, and after meeting him by "accident and incident" at the LA Podcast Festival this Fall, he has helped me condense, consolidate, and re-design my web presence, upload, download, and launch my podcast, and generally welcome me to the international podcast community of podcasting, which is quite a friendly and supportive one, even for an old curmudgeon like me.
Enjoy and Happy Trails.
Full show notes at http://erictrules.com/episode2
Israel, 1999. Trules ventures south from Jerusalem, crossing the Israeli-Egyptian border at Eilot. He makes camp at "Ras Es Satan", Head of the Devil, sleeping in a primitive "chousha", just feet from the Red Sea. He swims with the neon-lit fishes and organizes a 2 day camel safari, overnight into the Sinai Desert, home of Moses, Joshua, and the first tribes of Israel.
His guide is swarthy Bedouin, Adnan, and after learning how to make a camel both run and sit, Trules presses on into the harsh and beautiful desert. Is that a mirage he sees? Or an oasis? He ruminates over the price we have paid for civilization's comforts, wondering if we have lost our respect for nature, and our connection with our own humanity. The episode ends with Trules' own remedy for peace in the Middle East.
For full show notes for this episode visit: http://erictrules.com/episode1
Like to travel? Like to listen to travel tales from well off the beaten path? Well then, you've come to the right podcast. "e-travels with e.trules" is a personal and literary podcast created by Eric Trules, a longtime Huffington Post blogger and theater Professor at USC in Los Angeles, Trules has traveled our beautiful and problematic planet for decades, staying in Bedouin huts on the Red Sea, riding the rails to "Nose of the Devil" in Southern Ecuador, and meeting his future Indonesian wife on the magical island of Bali. If you like to travel vicariously, or to be provocatively reminded of your own travel adventures, and misadventures, listen to these entertaining podcasts with original music by Amanda Yamate and sound design by Alysha Bermudez. New episodes will be released once a month on Apple Podcasts, with "Behind the Scenes" episodes two weeks later. Please subscribe and review the podcast (if you have something nice to say), and... Happy Trails.