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Alison Teal

During Alison Teal's travels with her husband Sam Brown (each, relics
of the sixties), she has frequent political, sociological,
gastronomical and physical Hot Flashes. She graduated from Smith
College and has been a writer/photographer for
thirty-some years interrupted by service in Democratic
administrations. She is a big fan of dangling participles,
liposuction and election recounts. She is wanted in three states --
by two daughters and a son.

To see additional Hot Flashes, go to

Entries by Alison Teal

The Ying and Yang of Bali

(1) Comments | Posted May 27, 2014 | 2:29 PM

"Will you be coming back mate?" The Australian immigration officer at the airport asked us as we were leaving Bali for Melbourne. "I've been in Ubud 18 years and it's not the exotic place it used to be. Going home to Tassie (what the Australians call Tasmania) in a couple...

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Tied to an Elephant

(0) Comments | Posted April 29, 2014 | 2:28 PM

Watching elephants bathe is kind of magic. You can see their eyes roll back with pleasure when their trainers scrub their two-inch-thick skin with heavy brushes.
Then they take matters into their own hands.

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Pristine Singapore (PHOTOS)

(0) Comments | Posted April 25, 2014 | 11:44 AM

When you arrive in Singapore, there's no question you're in Singapore.

It's like seeing a future vision of New York, London and Los Angeles all in one city -- but with a lot more English spoken.

What is overwhelming -- particularly after Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand -- is that it...

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More Southeast Asian Food -- for Better and Worse (PHOTOS)

(0) Comments | Posted April 24, 2014 | 3:06 AM

Durian fruit is a delicacy for some and intimidating for others. It not only has a thorny husk, but also a disgusting smell. Below is the fruit and a warning sign concerning it in the Singapore airport:


Embryo eggs netted in the market...

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A Southeast Asian Food Competition

(0) Comments | Posted April 12, 2014 | 3:47 AM

We are a family of omnivores and when we travel, we pride ourselves in trying everything local.
Our son Nicholas ate deep fried spiders when he was in Cambodia. Here is his report:

I rarely have a vegetarian's qualms when it comes to seeing a live version of something...

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John Steinbeck and the Coconut Monk

(0) Comments | Posted April 9, 2014 | 11:55 AM

John Steinbeck IV was first in Saigon in 1965. He served as a war correspondent for the US military after being drafted. It was not really his choice. His father, a great supporter of the war who had recently been in Vietnam on a fact-finding trip at the request of...

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Good Morning, Vietnam

(0) Comments | Posted April 2, 2014 | 4:26 PM

Sam's last and only other trip to Vietnam was in 1970. He came with a delegation from the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, the Fellowship of Reconciliation, church leaders and one student, his friend, Charlie Palmer. The purpose of the trip was to meet with the so-called Third Way -- Buddhist...

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Cambodia Is Heartbreaking

(0) Comments | Posted March 27, 2014 | 7:04 PM

The history is so riddled with invasion, genocide, killing and corruption that it's difficult to catch your breath. What can you say after visiting the prisons where thousands were brutally tortured or the Killing Fields where millions ended up? But just about the time you absorb the horror of the...

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The Pummeling Joy of Southeast Asian Massage

(0) Comments | Posted March 27, 2014 | 3:32 PM

"What doesn't kill you will make you stronger," said our friend David Hawk when encouraging us to take advantage of Thai massages.


Our first massage in Thailand was in a room packed with beds pushed side by side. You lay right next to...

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The Golden Triangle and The Opium Museum

(1) Comments | Posted March 20, 2014 | 3:38 PM

Thailand has had a long and complicated drug history with Burma and Laos, centered in the area where the countries meet at the Golden Triangle. The involvement of this area traces at least to the early 19th century although it was a mere bystander to the Opium Wars between Britain...

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Protests and Politics in Thailand From the Point of View of a Woman of a Certain Age

(0) Comments | Posted February 18, 2014 | 11:55 AM

We're having a little trouble figuring out the politics here. Our natural instinct is to side with the protesters who want to throw out a corrupt government. But when the protesters are financed by some of the richest individuals and corporations in the country and their demands are not for...

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Hide/Seek and Don't Ask Don't Tell

(4) Comments | Posted December 1, 2010 | 11:18 AM

Clearly Andy Warhol is not the least bit camouflaged in his series of "Camouflage Self-Portraits." The fatigue-like camouflage over his pale, opalescent face obscures nothing. Warhol is hiding in plain sight. Staring at the silkscreen, all I could think was: "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."

I was at...

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Red Hot Patriot: The Kick-Ass Wit of Molly Ivins

(38) Comments | Posted March 31, 2010 | 2:01 PM

Red Hot Patriot: The Kick-Ass Wit of Molly Ivins by Margaret and Allison Engel just opened in Philadelphia. I had the privilege of having Ivins' as one of my best friends at Smith College in the sixties and I can tell you that the authors and Kathleen Turner, who plays...

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Change: The Supreme Court and Massachusetts

(4) Comments | Posted January 21, 2010 | 3:19 PM

The people of Massachusetts wanted change. So the third most educated state in the union (after Vermont and Connecticut, surprising, isn't it?) elected a good-looking white male (Cosmopolitan magazine centerfold) who supports water-boarding and troop increases in Afghanistan and opposes the health care bill and the proposed multi-billion dollar tax...

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The Past Is Never Dead

(0) Comments | Posted September 29, 2009 | 4:05 PM

Denver author Harry MacLean's new book, The Past Is Never Dead, is marketed as true crime and it is that, but it's much more. His story about the 2007 trial of klansman James Ford Seale for the hideous murder of two young black men in 1964 is also a story...

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Let's Begin Again

(1) Comments | Posted September 9, 2009 | 2:43 PM

I don't speak Parseltongue. I've had a hard time understanding the slithering talk-show hosts, the snake-oil salesmen of the wing-nut right and the Death Eaters at various town meetings. Sadly, we've already given up on universal health care and now it appears we may also lose the public option. So...

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Hot Flashes From the End of the Trail

(0) Comments | Posted November 6, 2008 | 6:03 PM

On November 3, 2004, my friend, Elliot Quick, then a student at Brown, posted a sign on his door: "Go to your room America and think about what you did."

Apparently we did.

On the day after the election this year,...

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Rock The Vote: Hot Flashes from the Campaign Trail

(0) Comments | Posted October 30, 2008 | 11:11 AM

Hot Flashes From The Campaign Trail: But really, it's my son Nicholas Brown

Two point five million. Now let's put it upside down with exclamation marks around it because nobody does emphasis like the Spanish: ¡TWO MILLION FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND VOTES! That's the mark Rock the Vote broke this last...

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Bright Spots

(0) Comments | Posted October 29, 2008 | 7:14 PM

Two bright spots:

The following was reported on NPR yesterday:
A factory training supervisor in rural Missouri said, "Rosa Sat so Martin could Walk; Martin Walked so Barack could Run; Barack is running so children can FLY".

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Andrew Rice

(0) Comments | Posted October 28, 2008 | 1:00 PM

It's got to end soon. My behavior is disintegrating. I cry at the mention of wolves and polar bears. I burst into tears at the crowds of unemployed men in front of Home Depot hoping to pick up work. I'm drinking too much. I grab food from other people's plates,...

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