Friends and vagabonders,

First off, I want to send special thanks out to all my old friends who sent sarcastic “Rolf = David Hasselhoff” e-mails after last month’s Update featured a picture of me running up a beach in a swimsuit. This month, I regret that the Update photo is not nearly so worthy of syndicated television, as I’ve been spending most of my time in my Ranong, Thailand apartment working on various writing projects.

Some of those projects have involved new radio essays for NPR — and if you weren’t listening to The Savvy Traveler over Super Bowl weekend, you can still catch an online RealPlayer version of my “Super Bowl Exile” broadcast here. As the name implies, this radio feature is about my determined attempt to watch the Big Game here in Thailand (where there isn’t much of an interest in the NFL). Also on NPR recently was a radio version of my “Anthem Soul” essay, which originally ran as a print essay in World Hum last year.

In the RolfPotts.com Travel Writers section this month, I interview travel author and Atlantic Monthly contributor Jeffrey Tayler. This is perhaps my favorite of the many interviews I’ve done for this site over the past year and a half, as Mr. Tayler was full of insights like this one …

My writing derived from the conviction I conceived during my college years: one should lead one’s life as if one were the protagonist of an epic novel, with the outcome predetermined and chapter after chapter of edifying, traumatic, and exhilarating events to be suffered through. Since the end is known in advance, one must try to experience as much as possible in the brief time allotted. Writing is a way of ensuring that you pay enough attention along the way to understand what you see.”

Good stuff. And in April, be sure to check back for my chat with madcap food and travel author Richard Sterling (also known as the “Indiana Jones of Gastronomy”), whose “World Food: Greece” will be released by Lonely Planet this month.

A final note this month comes from my mailbag. Since I live overseas and lead a somewhat wacky life, I’ve begun to do some consulting for various documentaries and TV shows. Recently, I sent some story ideas to the producers of “Ripley’s Believe it or Not”, including an idea to feature a Lithuanian historical theme-park called “Stalin World”. The nonsequitur of a reply from the production assistant cracked me up: “Good idea, maybe a little too intelligent for our viewer. I have not had a chance to pitch Stalin World but will as soon as I get a chance. If you have a chance, we are looking for someone who might be interested in eating a human placenta for us. If you are able to find someone who is able to do this, I am sure that it will work.”

So there you are. If you find yourself with a hankerin’ for human placenta (and you don’t mind eating it for a nationwide audience), don’t hesitate to email me at the address below.

Till the next update, cheers — and happy vagabonding!

Rolf

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