San Francisco Glacier in Chile

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

January 1993 & January 1994

These are photos from my travels that had framed many years ago, and I recently gave them away. On the right are from a trip to Russia and Central Asia in 1993.  The top one is a landmark in Samarkand, and the bottom two are, of course, Moscow landmarks.  A year later - exactly, in fact - I was in Delhi, India, and took the photos on the left.  If you are interested in more photos and stories from those trips, please search categories in the sidebar.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Uzbek Art

This will be a work in progress.  

The one on the right is actually one of Turkish rug market.  I bought it in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, and I'm sure the artist must have been a local.  The vivid colors caught my eye.  My friend Jalal helped me buy it at a good price, and he told me it was a Turkish scene.  It's all about negotiating when you're literally buying it on the street.

The one on the left I gave to my mother.  She had it in a prime spot in her living room for years.

My friend Timour gave me this.  Believe it or not, I carried it on the flight back to the USA, just as it is.  Nothing broke!  And there was layover at two airports, I believe - Moscow and Frankfurt.  It was a carry-on, but still not an easy task!

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

An Obsession

I paid a premium for these coffee table pictorials in the mid-late '90s.  By then I had traveled once to Moscow, another time quickly through it, spent almost a year south of there, in Uzbekistan, and taken a train through the Baltic countries along the western Russian border.  I had become obsessed with both the Transsiberian Railway (actually purchased the Transsiberian Railway Handbook at this same time) and paying a proper visit to Russia's capital, Moscow, and its most beautiful city, St. Petersburg. I ordered these books through the mail, and I subscribed to an English language Russia magazine, which arrived monthly. In 2000, after I had met Mirjam, a German girl traveling in Thailand, I told her I likely would end my travels with the Trans-Mongolian Railway from Beijing, all the way to Moscow, and then work my way over to Berlin to spend time with her.  Fate dealt me a different hand.  Never got on that train.  However, over the next seven years Russia remained prominently on my radar.  Finally, in 2007, Kade and I spent a month there - 20 days in Moscow, 10 in St. Petersburg. You can find my photos and journal writings from that trip by searching categories in the sidebar. The pictorials above, especially the St. Petersburg one, came to life on that journey, and it was a trip of a lifetime. The Transsberian is still a dream, but not unrealistic, in any sense of the word.  One day I will accomplish it!

Click here for other books on Russia I have enjoyed reading.

Uzbekistan Books

These are two of my Uzbekistan books.  The first one is an fabulous pictorial that was given to me by one of my students when my time teaching in Tashkent had come to an end (Spring '94).  The book was published during the years when Uzbekistan was one the republics of the USSR.  The second book is likely one I got my first visit to Central Asia in 1993.  My uncle and I traveled to Bukhara with my Uzbek friend and his father.  My guess is that I bought this book then.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Worth Keeping

Kade and I bought these items in Bangkok at the night market in the city center.  This was back in 2005. It turns out, the artist is very well known, so we're going to hold on to them.  The funny things is, we tried selling them at Asheville's big flea market, Smiley's, and had no luck,  I guess that's a good thing!

Niloc Pagen was born in the Netherlands in 1960. He is inspired by different cultures and pop art, and he makes colorful objects of paper-mache and resin. Each item is hand-painted and signed.  - source

Saturday, January 21, 2017

My Thailand Books

I bought all of these in Thailand, except for the two on bottom right.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Artificial Thai Fruits

Kade and I bought two sets - one for my mother, and one for us.  Here's a collection of the different artificial fruits we bought.  Some represent the exact size (e.g. mangoes, rambutan, custard apple), but some had to be scaled down (e.g. durian, papaya, coconut, guava).  The only I see that's really missing (of all the ones I love) is a pineapple.  Our next trip to Thailand it's one I will purchase.  The three-tier basket we just bought at Pier One Imports in Asheville, NC.

Click here for ten fruits you should try in Bangkok.  
For some reason they left out my personal favorite, durian.  Be sure to Google it!

Saturday, January 14, 2017



When in Thailand, you are guaranteed to find some unique souvenirs, and possibly some items banned in Western countries.  Besides this key chain and paperweight, we also bought an insect display, butterfly display and a tarantula (dead!) encased in a box.  I will add them to this post a bit later.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Thai Sweets

The detail is pretty amazing.  I happen to love traditional Thai desserts. 

Here's an iced dessert stand we bought - the front side and back.

Click here to check out images and videos of the real thing.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Wall Art


We purchased this in Bangkok a few years ago (around the corner from Khao San Road), and just recently gifted it to a friend who's having some major health problems.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Tuk Tuk Handicraft

If you have been Thailand, you have at least seen a tuk tuk, and more than likely ridden in one.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Monk Piggy Banks

We purchased these monk piggy banks in Bangkok on our last trip



If you have been to Thailand, you ought to recognize the other objects.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Floating Market

Kade and I purchased this art in Bangkok, just near Khao San Road.  
Click here for some of Thailand's best floating markets.