Archive for January, 2008

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

Talking Shop

Imagine going into your favorite store and finding that everything fits you perfectly, comes in your favorite color and fabric and is 75% off.  That pretty much sums up our time in Hoi An, Vietnam.  The town was a major port until its river began to dry up; it now finds its commercial edge in […]

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Friday, January 25th, 2008

Goin’ Down Backroads…

We’ve covered a lot of ground the last few days, most of it via motorcycle.  From Don Khon, we drove (and, by “drove,” I mean Derek drove and I lazed on the back of the bike) north to the Kingfisher Eco Lodge in Kiet Ngong.  We haven’t been to Africa yet, but I’m pretty sure […]

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Saturday, January 19th, 2008

Who Needs the Ocean to Enjoy the Islands?

After flying out of India and enjoying a couple of rejuvenating days in the cosmopolitan city of Bangkok, Thailand, we boarded a plane to the largest city in Southern Laos – the bustling metropolis of Pakse (population 66,000).  Laos (pronounced like “cow”, but replacing the “c” with an “l”) is a country that has been […]

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Tuesday, January 15th, 2008

Delhi: The Good, The Bad and The Wildly Confusing

I’ve heard travelers say that, when it comes to foreign experiences, there’s India, and then there’s the rest of the world.  No place is this more true than in Delhi. 1  Our family has an apartment in Delhi, and the promise of both their company and free lodging kept us there for more than two weeks.  […]

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Saturday, January 12th, 2008

Varanasi, the City of Life (and Death)

Warning: Because this entry discusses cremation in fairly vivid detail, it may not be for everyone. Varanasi is to Hindus as Mecca is to Muslims or the Vatican is to Catholics: many of the religion’s most devout spend a lifetime planning and saving for the visit they hope to someday pay to the holy city.  […]

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Thursday, January 10th, 2008

Small Money, Big Change

Two years ago, the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to Muhammad Yunus, the founder of Grameen Bank in Bangladesh – one of the poorest countries in the world.  As a result of the award, the microfinance activities of Grameen Bank and other similar institutions around the globe were brought to worldwide attention.  I was particularly intrigued […]

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Monday, January 7th, 2008

A Golden City

Tourists come to Amritsar primarily for two reasons – to visit the Golden Temple sacred to the Sikh religion and to watch the closing ceremony at the border crossing between India and Pakistan.  After a 7-hour train ride from Delhi, we checked into our hotel with the goal of checking these two activities off our […]

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Friday, January 4th, 2008

A “Monument”al Love

1415 In structuring our itinerary for this trip, we have tried to stick to places that are new to both of us.  We are making several exceptions for places that one of us has visited before and truly loved.  When we knew we were meeting Shanna’s parents in Delhi, India to attend a wedding there, […]

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Wednesday, January 2nd, 2008

Clap Your Hands, Say Om

To be honest, I was fairly skeptical about the commitment I’d made to my yoga-instructor mother to spend a few days at an Indian ashram with her when she and my father met us in India this month.  Looking at the ashram’s website, which featured an orange-clad guru surrounded by orbs of twinkling lights and […]

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