Hiking in the Cinque Terre

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


A video using pictures I took.

in parliament square

I just thought this shot was too hard to pass up. I guess I am easy to spot?!?

My guide Shakeel on the left. He and his friend (or brother) used the van to give me a nice tour of the sprawling metropolis.

During my stint in Uzbekistan in 1994, I was lucky enough to take a side trip to India during the Christmas and New Year holiday. My roommate Andy flew to Europe to meet his parents, and a number of other ex-pats visited exotic spots like Turkey, Malaysia and Thailand. I chose India - in part, because I had read a book about Gandhi (Was Gandhi a Christian?), in part, because I knew English was widely spoken there, and, in part, because it was a very economical flight from Uzbekistan. If I had to sum up India - really, just the capital New Delhi - I'd say it has all the greatness and all of the misery of the world, pushed right up into your face. There was no escaping this. In the end, my week in Delhi did wonders for my confidence as a traveler. It was my first real solo journey. I probably was a bit too cautious, thus ended up not doing nearly as much as I would try today. However, the exotic allure of India stays with me. India is one country where a return visit would be a dream. While I was there, I managed to do a few cool things: First, I bought two Kashmir silk rugs (actually Mom bought one) and air-mailed them back to the US. Second, I toured the home of the former Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi (no relation to Mahatma) and saw the spot where she was assassinated by her Sikh bodyguards. Third, I bought some custom-made hound's-tooth slacks.  Last, I ate scrumptious food the old-fashioned way, cross-legged on the floor with only my hands (thoroughly cleaned, of course) moving the food from plate to mouth.

One of these pieces of silk fabric came from India; the other from Uzbekistan.

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