2018 Tour Closing and a Letter from the Editor

Hi, all!

Thank you all so much for joining us on this amazing, crazy, inspiring, exhausting, gigantic, phenomenal, and life-changing whirlwind tour around the world. Over the past ten and a half weeks, we had the opportunity to visit over three continents, over 13 countries, and over 18 cities. We ate Peking Duck in Beijing, drank Crémant in Strasbourg, hiked through woods in Mount Vernon, performed on a cruise ship in South Korea, ate Durian in Singapore, showered in Sulfuric water in Iceland, went pubbing in Dublin, shopped 'till we dropped in Hong Kong, bathed in Onsens in Japan, and scoured the globe, seeing, eating, doing, and learning more than we could have possibly hoped.

It is such a supreme privilege to be able to have had an opportunity like this one, and it could not have been possible without the help and love and hard work from our our phenomenal hosts and guides all around the world and, of course, our family and friends. The memories that we made these past two months will not only annoy friends and satisfy family members for months to come but will also be an unforgettable set of experiences that we will always have to look back on.

The end of a tour is always a cacophony of emotion, having spent so long with so many amazing people - family, really - and it is not easy to have to say goodbye. But in addition, the end of tour also marks the end of the journey in the Dins and at Harvard for our graduating seniors, and we will miss them so dearly.

After all, how can you put into words all of the things you did...[the] experiences that only you and eleven others will ever have?

Returning to family and to friends, I personally struggle with the question: "How was tour?"

After all, how can you put into words all of the things that you did, all of the emotion that you felt, the highs and the lows, all of the people that you met and conversations that you had, all of the shared experience you had with people that you care about - experiences that only you and eleven others will ever have?

It is a really beautiful thing, when you think about it, and I know that these past two months will always be one of the most amazing experiences that I will ever have - that we will ever have.

So, again, a thank you.

To the people who made this possible, and who continue to make this possible for years and years and for Dins to come. To the hosts with whom we shared complex and fascinating conversations and who opened their homes and families to us. To the audience members who fill the seats and make tour possible, whose enthusiasm allows us to keep performing even when life gets in the way. To the family members and friends who stay up really late to talk to us across the world, who send their care and support unconditionally. 

We appreciate it so much. And we cannot wait to see you in two years.


Signing off,

Eli Troen #250 + the Harvard Din & Tonics of 2017-2018


2018 Tour Stop #11: Bangkok, Thailand

Bangkok was phenomenal. I’ll start there. 

The Dins arrived at night on Wednesday the 18th, and we headed straight to our hotel, the Sukosol, a gorgeous hotel a few miles outside the city center. We were all pretty tired after a long day of travel, so after getting some nourishment at a nearby 7/11, we all conked out.

The next morning, groups of Dins met up to go and explore Bangkok. Thursday was a completely free day for us, and we all wanted to get an early start on taking the town. I, along with Kevin, Ethan, and Sam, hopped in a cab to head to the Thai Royal Palace. The four of us walked around the palace grounds and took some photos, taking in the architecture, a style vastly different than what we had seen so far on tour. Reds, greens, yellows, and gold abounded, with flame-like designs and a lot of pointy adornments called Stupas.

A casual photo of the Reclining Buddha at  Wat Phra .  Photo by Brian Rolincik #240

A casual photo of the Reclining Buddha at Wat Phra.

Photo by Brian Rolincik #240

We, then, headed toward Wat Phra– wat being the Thai word for temple – the home of the famous Reclining Buddha. The Buddha lived up to the hype – or lived down to it? It was massive, and words don’t do its size justice.

After Wat Phra, I split off from the group in order to explore the city with a bit more speed. In the next four hours, I managed to walk across the whole city, take a three Bhat ferry across the river, see an additional four Wat and a Dragon shrine, partake of some on-point street food, have a conversation about Thai politics with a Thai political science professor, and eat the most phenomenal vegetarian Pad Thai I have ever had (a large plate + large glass bottle of water was 100 Bhat = $3 USD)! It was great to have a bit of personal time to explore, and it was one of the best and most tiring days of tour for me!

Photos by Eli Troen #250

That night, the Dins all met up to head to Pinky Tailor, a long-standing tradition for the Dins. Pinkys is a tailor shop the Dins visit every tour to buy cheap but wonderfully-made custom suits. Picking out fabrics from the copious selection and getting measured for hours is a bonding experience like none other, and we were all so thrilled to be getting some dapper looking formal wear. Wait 'till Singapore to see photos!

After that, all of the Dins rushed on over to a nearby movie theater to catch a screening of The Incredibles 2. We laughed and we [read: I] cried, and we all left the theater, mouths agape because it was so spectacular.

The next day, we had an early wake up – and we walked down the street from the Sukosol, to perform at a local school. We had such a fun time at the performance, and the audience seemed to love it! We were each presented with a really nice boutonniere, which we wore during the performance. After, a few of us took advantage of our short break to hit up the pool and the gym (probably working out for the first time in over a month!). That night, we had two back-to-back performances at the Sukosol, the first for a group of ambassadors and diplomats and the second for an intimate crowd of hotel guests.

The Dins along with our wonderful hosts and guides after our performances at the Sukosol Hotel.

The Dins along with our wonderful hosts and guides after our performances at the Sukosol Hotel.

After our performances, many of the Dins met up at the hotel bar for some  cocktails, and later, Michael, Sam, and Sydney took me out to a Drag Club as a belated birthday celebration! At one point during the night, I was taken up onto the stage and improvised a provocative dance to “All That Jazz” from the musical Chicago. I hope there are no videos. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ 

A photo of Sang-o at the Siam Hotel, before our final performance in Thailand.

A photo of Sang-o at the Siam Hotel, before our final performance in Thailand.

The next day, Kevin, Sang-o, Michael, Austin, and I went out to the Chatuchak Market for some shopping – and we were not disappointed. There were knock-offs and unique clothing pieces and lots of food. I could have spent so much more time there than I did – but I, at least, got a few cool items.

Ending our time in Thailand, that night we headed over to the Siam Hotel, one of the Sukosol’s sister hotels, and we performed a really snappy set in a really cool space. Nylon Thailand, a fashion magazine, also stopped in to take photos and to write a little bit about us!

All in all, Thailand was one of my favorite stops of tour. The culture and the food and the architecture (and the people!) that we experienced were all so amazing and so unique, and I know that I will jump at the next chance I have to go back and explore more! 


Eli Troen #250 


Hey, all! A quick message!

In between our European and Asian legs of tour, the Dins take the time to decompress, relax, and explore, with a five day break to travel anywhere we set our sights on! It always comes at a much needed time, when we've all begun to get a bit tired from the non-stop traveling and performing.

This year, Dins travelled to a ton of different places throughout Europe and Asia!

A large group including Sydney, Sam, Michael, Kevin, and Peter went to Italy. While Michael's and Kevin's families came out to Europe for a family break, Sam travelled off to Florence and Peter headed out to Milan.

Also in Europe, Eli, Austin, and Patrick took the time to visit Vienna and Budapest, eating tons of Schnitzel (with vegetarian versions, too!), Sachertorte, and Viennese Wine!

In Asia, Sang-o took the time to completely relax with family in South Korea, also stopping over to make preparations for our eventual stop there, in Seoul!

Brian, Andrew, and Ethan headed out to Japan early to see Okinawa - right in the middle of a massive storm!

Here are some photos below from everyone's breaks! See you soon in Osaka, where we Dins will return to our regularly scheduled programming.

Eli Troen #250

Blog Manager