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Welcome to India Part IV: The Serene

Friday, January 11th, 2008

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]

Enter the Big Boss

Saturday, December 29th, 2007

A long day of transport via motorcycle from Murud to Alibaug, a short hike to the bus station, bus to the jetty, catamaran to the Gateway of India, taxi to Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, local train to Chembur and finally an auto-rickshaw to Ratnadeep’s home is only continued a few hours later with a car–ride to Madh Island and the beach cottage where we would celebrate the changing of the year. The day is mostly uneventful, yet unfortunately uncomfortable due to the return of my old arch-rival, the stomach bug which has plagued me since Nepal. It is on this fateful day that I come face to face with the Big Boss, king of all toilets! [read on]

Welcome to India: Part III: A different kind of good

Thursday, December 27th, 2007

On a lead for a well paying stock photo shoot, I quickly packed my bags and set off on a short trip south of Mumbai.  The Misson: a beach panorama for a 3m tall mural in a London children’s hospital.   While I was already supposed to be in Goa for the New Year’s celebrations, which would have made the assignment easier, I couldn’t refuse another invitation from Ratnadeep to ring in 2008 with all of my Mumbai friends.  So now I am set for a unique excursion to the beaches along the north Konkan Coast and waters rarely frequented by foreign tourists.    [read on]

Character Development

Monday, August 13th, 2007

Five months deep into this adventure has taught me more than I could have learned in five years stagnating at home. I do know I am still far from an experienced traveler, but it is safe to say that I’m at least no longer wet behind the ears. It has been almost a month since I left the comforts of Gangneung, and I’ve found less and less time at a computers to update this blog.

So what has been keeping me so busy? Life… the way I want to live it. The weeks I’ve spent in Seoul kept me preoccupied with friends, playing music, taking photos and visiting the must see sights. I also took a twenty-five hour ferry into China and have been exploring Beijing for the last few days. Now I’m sitting in a quiet pavilion hidden in a secluded corner of Temple of Heaven Park and have pulled out my journal for the first time in weeks. [read on]

Busan, South Korea

Tuesday, July 17th, 2007

I boarded the Camellia Line ferry at Fukuoka and waved goodbye to Japan. The IYTC card I picked off more than paid for itself by saving me about $20 off the ticket. During the trip I met a Texan who has been living in Korea for the last three years. He juggled, showed me a few card tricks and gave me some advice about what to expect when I arrived. I also did some exploring of the ship looking for photo ops before passing out in the communal cabin. [read on]