Welcome to Turning East

Are you contemplating a move to Asia? Do you already live here? Are you an armchair traveler looking to discover this fascinating part of the world? Are your friends, family or coworkers from Asian cultures? Are you interested in the phenomenon of intercultural communication and experience?

Posts on this website will bring you into the reality of living, working or traveling here–particularly China, Korea, Japan and the Philippines–as the storytellers delve into the details of their personal experience: on-the-job triumphs or embarrassments, health care problems, human rights demonstrations, lifestyles and everyday life, relationships, spirituality, music, books, travel. Please come right in, experience and enjoy!

List of Opposites, East and West

  When I arrived in Asia in 1984, everything was so new that my mind simply would not take in what it saw.  I wandered around bug-eyed, marveling at everything but feeling content.  I thought, “Isn’t it wonderful that I’m not experiencing any culture shock.”  Two things I was ignoring were the fact that the actual shock was not due until later—when it did come—and the fact that my nightly retreats into British murder mysteries certainly qualified as trying to escape from my environment. Few seasoned travelers to the East would consider referring to it as “mystic”; the realities are …

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Portrait of a Filipino Jazz Musician

  I first heard Ryan play the keyboard at Tago Jazz Café in Metro Manila, where he performed with his trio and with other groups, then later at the Ayala Museum. His work made me an instant fan, I think in part because of our love of Keith Jarrett, who speaks of improvising one note at a time. Ryan and I share a common view of inspiration, or, as my favorite music critic, Alan Rich, wrote decades ago in New York magazine, “I am neither a church-goer nor an atheist, and the reason I am not the latter can be …

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