Category Archives: Asia

What language barrier?

“Hello, can I help me?” asked the smiling, well-intended, albeit language-challenged young woman at the Vietnam Airlines office in Chengdu, China. “Why, yes, you can,” was my answer, and away we went to change our flights from Beijing to Hanoi without a hitch. All the fuss about the language barrier in China turns out to have been highly overrated. Yeah, […]

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Malaria madness…fevers, chills and the cookie doctor

In my altered state of malaria-induced fogginess, New Delhi’s Indira Gandhi Airport presented itself as an oblong-shaped mass of concrete and steel, a visually skewed version of the modern airport we had walked through only days earlier. Stepping from the car to the curb, the world spiraled and collapsed around me. I felt nausea wash over me like a monsoon […]

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Ambushed by India…all of it

I was not prepared for you, India. I had expected to tolerate you, coexist, to survive you. Armed with countless stories of poverty, heat, struggles, illness and attitudes that run counter to western ideals, I had braced myself for the storms of your cities, villages and people. I was prepared to battle you as a visitor, to wrestle with your […]

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The madness, magic and mystery of India

Crimson sarees trimmed with sparkling gold thread. Chartreuse turbans perched on men with time-lined faces and enormous bushy moustaches. Peacock blue skies and fiery sunsets over caramel coloured sand dunes. Craggy peaks of snow-covered Himalayan mountains. Forts that look like golden sandcastles perched on sandy hills.

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The gifts of the desert

Our bed was a simple platform with a mattress on it raised slightly above the cooling sand. Our nightlight was a billion stars above against a coal blue/grey sky that from time to time was illuminated by shooting stars racing toward the horizon. Our room was the Thar Desert in western Rajasthan at the Damodra Desert Camp, just miles from […]

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