Category Archives: 90s

SEA LEGS by Peter Nolan Smith

Spice dominated the trade between Asia and Europe for centuries and the oriental lore of processing roots, seeds, and bark into food enhancers inspired western travelers to seek various detours around the Arab middlemen profiting from the lucrative East-West trade route. Adventurous voyagers stood to reap fortunes from their success. Failures were many. In 1493 […]

BETTING THE OTHER WAY by Peter Nolan Smith

The underdog New York Jets’ surprise victory over the formidable Baltimore Colts in 1967 transformed The Super Bowl into an American institution. Ever since that upset gambling has been an important element of that tradition and for the week before the NFL’s final game the diamond dealers and jewelers on 47th Street wagered on the […]

THE BEAUTY OF BALI by Peter Nolan Smith

Back in the 90s I developed an annual routine of working seven days a week at the diamond exchange during the Christmas season. The weekly income and commission from the sales provided enough money for a 5-6 month hiatus in Asia and my yearly bonus paid for the around-the-world flight. Once Richie Boy and his […]

BERENTI MISTAH by Peter Nolan Smith

In 1991 I bought a round-the-world ticket for $1399 from Pan Express. The owner set up a magical itinerary. “New York – LA – Hawaii – Biak – Bali – overland to Jakarta.” John was reciting the trip from memory. He sold hundreds of these tickets every year. “What do you mean ‘overland to Jakarta’?” […]

NOTHING BETTER THAN PIZZA by Peter Nolan Smith

Back in 1995 I left the USA after the death of my younger brother. My plan was to visit the holiest places in Asia to expiate Michael’s sins. I was a non-believer, but felt this pilgrimage would help his soul on the other side. By late August I was residing in old Yunnan city of […]