Author Archives: Andy Deemer

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The AsiaObscura Book – in stores now!

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That's right! From the producer of Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead, the director of Poultry in Motion: Truth is Stranger than Chicken, and the writer of The Stormglass Protocol for the iPad comes the blog compilation of the decade! Featuring unseen photos, original stories, deranged dishes, new adventures and all your favorite AsiaObscura moments, ...

by Andy Deemer / 1 Comment
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Sifting Through Arthur C. Clarke’s DVD Collection in Colombo

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Yes, when this story gets to where it's going, I end up in Arthur C. Clarke's armchair. I promise. I started this morning with a strong cup of coffee, an egg hopper doused in fish curry, and the sci-fi classic Childhood's End. And then a thought occurred to me: Didn't Arthur C. Clarke live here ...

by Andy Deemer / 22 Comments
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Toilet Cum Bath

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All my morning rituals, in one handy place.

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Stepping on Human Skulls in Bangalore’s Black Magic Graveyard

As I stepped over the leg bone, I laughed. I'm no bone doctor, but it looked human to me. Orthopaedist, is that what it's called? I'm no orthopaedist. Must be from a cow, or maybe a dog. Do dogs get that big? Not a human. Definitely not a human. ...

by Andy Deemer / 3 Comments
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India’s Charlie Chaplin-branded Potato Chips

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Okay, they're not really potato chips. They're about as far from that as you get -- offerings like papad chivda, soya chips, sev puri, and mari banana wafers. They're tasty. And the bags are all stamped with Charlie Chaplin's Little Tramp. I loved them so much I bought every kind the supermarket sold. I think this ...

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Cooking With Poo

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Michelle picked this wonderful cookbook up off a shelf at Siam Paragon's Kinokuniya. I'm sure Poo is just her nickname. But what a great nickname it is. Oooh, it's on Amazon...

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Terribly Cute Beijing Marriage License Photos

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I know this is mildly goofy, but many of Beijing's photo labs will still produce classic Marriage License photos. And they're just about the cutest thing I've ever seen. The Polaroid framing, the flowery carved edges, it's all too cool. And the pose was rigorously enforced -- we were molded into those positions over ...

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Anus Dairy

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The dairy that keeps on giving. ("Party orders," too!)

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The Ten Great Buildings of China, and Their Gruesome Pasts

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In 1959, Mao was one hell of a proud man. As the new Emperor of China, he'd led an unbelievable boom in food production, completely eliminated the need for medicine and science, and "enticed the snakes out of their caves" with a hundred flowers -- all in just ten years! So he decided ...

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Photographing India, Then and Now

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In London, I found the old box of slides. It was hidden in the back of my parents' closet. I had to move fifteen other boxes to get to it. It hadn't been touched in decades. I bought a slide scanner immediately, and went to work. Going through the treasures ...

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Little Girl on a Unicycle on a Tightrope, Jaipur 1986

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I've been scanning our forgotten pictures from our 1980s holidays, and found this incredible picture from our visit to Jaipur in 1986: a girl on a unicycle on a tightrope. So does this still happen here in India?

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A Museum of Nightmares in the Shadow of the Eiffel Tower

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I don't think about hair. I mean, sure I'm losing mine. And sure, the musical is one of the greatest things of all time. But really... is hirsituity that big a deal? Big enough for the Musée de Quai Branly to brazenly devote an entire exhibit to it? Lord no! ...

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The Ossuaries of Paris…

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This was like the trip to Disneyworld I've never taken. My golden ticket to Willy Wonka's factory. Our trip to North Korea. I know you've already been. Many times. But walking these two kilometers, I realized why this was one of my mom's favorite places in Paris. Two kilometers of stacked-up ...

by Andy Deemer / 3 Comments
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M. Deyrolle’s Lovely Collection of Taxidermy

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At 200 euros for a simple mounted mouse, Paris' 1831 taxidermy haven is overpriced. It's also bloated with "no photos allowed" signs, and entirely short of anthropomorphic artistry, But it was also glorious. Oh yes, it was in fact Michelle's dream to go... Now if only I could have showed you a photo ...

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My Gout, and Jules Baretta’s Wax Museum of Incredible Diseases

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The Bangalore doctor frowned at the printouts of my blood tests. "Do you eat innards? You know, like brains, liver, kidneys?" Well, dear reader, if you know me, you know the answer is yes. "And red meat?" I nodded. "And herring and mackerel?" Oh yes! "Well, you must stop. Your urea levels ...

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Goodbye Telegram / Hello Telegram

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If you'd asked me, I'd have confidently told you the telegram service was long gone, relegated to dusty 1930s spy thrillers, retro New York hipster bars, and awesome games I'm building. I would have been so completely wrong. It turns out India actually still uses telegrams. Barely. The service is closing in days! When I read this, I ...

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Deranged Clown Cream Biscuits

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These Milk Bikis Milk Cream Biscuits might just be the creepiest teatime snack I've ever seen. Like the John Wayne Gacy of high tea.

by Andy Deemer / 2 Comments
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Dr Shankar’s Wonderful Collection of Brains and Other Medical Obscura

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It came up over a bowl of brain stew at Karim's, Old Delhi's famously-dingy 1913 eatery. "Tasty," I said, wiping my mouth. "By the way, did I tell you about the brain museum in Bangalore? The architect told me we should go." Michelle tore off a piece of naan, and sopped up a wet chunk of brain. ...

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Another Diana Pose at the Taj Mahal

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From Beijing's miniature Taj Mahal, of course... Oh, what an unforgettable day that was...

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The Taj Mahal… Murder, Incest, and Fratricide

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Well, we made it to the Taj Mahal last weekend. Huge. Overwhelming. Magnificent. I wiped away a tear or two. Shah Jahan built it in memory of his beloved third wife, Mumtaz Mahal. That's like the awesomest romantic gesture, ever. But I was also reading William Dalrymple's City of Djinns: A Year in Delhi at ...

by Andy Deemer / 5 Comments