Well, this is it. Far from the end, but currently the end of Asia for me… at least this time around. I’m sitting in the Taipei, Taiwan airport right now awaiting my transfer flight back to America. By the end of the day I will be in Los Angeles, and doing my best to deal with the culture shock of returning home.16 months have past since I sold my house and set off on my grand world adventure. It has been quite a ride, with more twists, turns and unexpected excitement and revelation than I could have ever expected. There are no regrets to be found, and if anything my dread of the end is the most prevelant. Alas, now my goal is to settle back into a quasi-American lifestyle and find enough income to get back on the road again. It is hard to begin processing all the stimuli I have encountered, but I’m sure I will gain more clarity and words of explanation as time goes on. I’m also sure that the massive game of catch up, copying about 100 pages of hand-written journal and uploading the last 5 months of photos will give me quite a refresher. So, luckily for all of you readers who have been unfortunately neglected, there will be some new content flowing onto this site in the next few months.
Archive for the '- Reflection' Category
The road has been long and difficult. For nearly 4 months here in India, I have been fighting to keep both my flickr photos and this blog alive. Alas, I am now over a month behind. I leave India for Thailand and the rest of SE Asia in 2 days, and I hear the internet connectivity is even worse over there. I have a few months left to enjoy the beaches and islands. It is obvious that sitting in an internet cafe, waiting for photos to upload at a snails pace is not the best use of my time. So, I am making this post to inform of the postponement of any real substance on this blog. I will keep a few things updated (like the current location in the title) or anything of remote urgency. Sometime later this year, when I have my own computer and the luxury of time, I will get back to work and share the amazing experiences of the last month and final leg of my journey through Asia.Check back in a few months and I will make it all worth while. Thank you for your patience!
The city of Jodhpur; a sprawling Indian urban center parked in the center of desert packed Rajastan. A towering 15th century fort perched atop an extraordinarily steep rock hill looms over an array of twisting medieval city streets. Hailing from an era of Brahmin priest caste settlement, most of the buildings are painted varied shades of blue. A few sparse pastel red and lemon hues thrown into the assortment of block-like structures help bring the whole scene together similar to a bizarre geometric painting.
So my fate brought me back to Mumbai, just a little early than anticipated. I made my way through the uncharacteristic cold dawn air and mist on a local train towards Chembur. A short time later I climbed the flight of steps to Ratnadeep’s door and rang the doorbell. Surprise; I’m early! He unexcpectedly but warmly welcomed me in, and for the next week I was at home again. [read on]
It all started on the trip to Gokarna. Somewhere along the way, my watch disappeared. Scared by reminiscence of time disappearing as it did upon my arrival in India and the traumatic loss of my iPod, I finally agree to submit to India’s supernatural persuasions. I guess time is not supposed to exist here. Since the first day I set foot on this beach, two weeks of time have slipped by and left me in a sedated state. Careless days pass over me like the waves of the sea crashing against me feet. Weeks disappear while a variety of fine meals to satisfy my stomach (notably Spanish Place on Kudle Beach), a simple life to soothes my soul, and great conversations stimulate my consciousness. [read on]
What can be said about relaxing on India’s beaches? Many things could be, but at the same time none should be, at least none that can do it true justice. First of all, the weather is ideal: warm all day, moderately cool at night and a nice breeze keeps the sea air fresh in my lungs. While I can easily go cool down in the lukewarm ocean, the sun is far from oppressive. The sand is smooth under foot and free of litter. The beach is sparsely populated enough to allow privacy and peace, yet there are still enough people to meet for encounters of invigorating conversation. The occasional bovine wanders out from the fields to remind that this is still India, and that it’s merely another of it’s many faces. [read on]
Light jazz eases its way out of the speakers. Not that Kenny G smooth-jazz BS, but rather the sophisticated classic styles of Dave Brubek, Billie Holiday and Chet Baker. The large cruising boat, stylized like a traditional Kettuvallam rice barge on the outside and an elegant colonial resort on the interior, gently floats through the sublime backwaters. Other than the light purr of the motor lightly vibrating the vessel, the only sounds from the surroundings are the ripples of water in our wake and the intermittent relentless demand for “One Pen” by children we pass on the riverbanks. The soothing audio effectively compounds with the relaxed pace of Kerala to fulfill all of the grand predictions of the house-boat experience. This is the truly a perfect setting to lose troubles and thoughts of the outside world. [read on]
I have already been in Mumbai for fifteen days. Half a month of time has passed in a flash. The only famed tourist spots I’ve seen are the Gateway to India and Chhathatrapati Shivaji Terminus, the busiest train station in Asia; but these were only because of their necessity as transportation hubs. That isn’t to say I’ve been lying idle and wasting my time here. In fact, it’s been quite the opposite. Many moments of philosophical discussion amongst drunken banter have helped to shatter previous thoughts of exoticism and misconceptions that my opinions of this country where based on. [read on]
My iPod is fixed. It costs a full day and the equivalent price of a new piece of hardware; all spent in hopes of recovering seven-thousand songs, countless photos and other data stored on it. Alas, it is all lost anyway… they manage to upgrade the hard drive another 20gb and also replace the ill-fated collection with about two-thousand Bollywood and Hindi hits. This unexpected alteration to my music, the only thing I really found familiar during my travels, will now provide me with a more appropriate soundtrack to the true culture shock I’m due to find here. [read on]
Enter Mumbai; time warp to a very different space in this word. The population is still bursting at the seams and the traffic is simply horrific. Long gone are the astroturf vests. Here is the realm of skin-tight bellbottoms and pastel pink shirts. The 70’s disco fashion is still in vogue here, but Saris, Sikh turbans, Muslim Kufi hats and face shrouding Burkas are also common sights. [read on]