When you are in Pokhara, Nepal, in a two-chair wood frame barber shop getting a straight razor shave, and after the barber has lathered your whiskers and dabbed your moustache and stropped the razor and proved it once, twice, through a square of paper and scraped clean your throat and cheeks and he takes you by the nostrils and pulls your head back and presses the blade firm against the hollow of tightened skin above your lip and in the mirror you see your friend pull his nose and snort, the most important thing to remember is not to laugh.
Mark is a traveller and writer and a marathon runner. He loves wine with a good mouth-feel, films that make him laugh, and a good rack of BBQ ribs (which begs the question; is there such a thing as a bad rack of BBQ ribs?). His first book, the travel memoir Crescent Moon Over Laos, was published in 2014. His other writing includes smaller travel pieces and of the commonalities and influences that shape and inform our individual and collective lives. A college instructor by training, Mark has lived and taught in both Nagoya and Kyoto, Japan, the Emirate of Sharjah in the UAE, and both Toronto and Vancouver in Canada. At 59, he finally took the plunge and married his long-term partner. He lives, with increasing contentedness, in Richmond, British Columbia, with his new wife and their two cats, and when he isn't running or writing or drinking wine, tends the grape vines in their garden and marvels at what sun and water and time can create.