Moving to Minca

Moving to Minca

It’s my last day in Cartagena, a city I’ve come to love. The people are friendly, the food is good, and just walking around the streets is entertaining. The only problem is the damn tourists. Wait, perhaps I’m one of them. Well then, it’s most of the other damn...
The Bizarre Bazurto

The Bizarre Bazurto

I’m excited about today’s plan of a more local experience as I’ve found Cartagena’s concentration on tourists overwhelming. Each time I ask a local what I should do and where I should go in Colombia, everyone lists the same activities and offers to book them for me....
Viva La Revolucion

Viva La Revolucion

Immediately after landing at José Martí Airport, the main international airport in Cuba, and after waiting in the VIP lounge while are bags are loaded onto carts by porters – it sounds fancier than it is as the VIP lounge only really offers a place for the group...
A Big Drink

A Big Drink

After much fussing about, searching for CD’s (never to be found), I teach Janette about placing your iPod in a cup-holder for instant speakers the MacGyver way. We decide which one of us will be Thelma (Janette) and which is Louise (me, as I’m the...
Farmer Jane and Kongy

Farmer Jane and Kongy

It’s always strange seeing someone you’ve known in one set of surroundings, in a completely different scenario. As I mentioned I know Kira from my time onboard Disney Cruise Line, when we both wore white adjustable pants and gold stripes on our shoulders. This week...
Māori and the Man

Māori and the Man

We awake this morning in a warm and toasty Camper van Beethoven as “Peter, the Heater” has worked much better than the one in the hotel. It was a bit of a challenge turning the dining table into a bed, but quite cozy in the end. After a coffee for me and a tea for him...
Communism and the Common People

Communism and the Common People

After returning to Hanoi from my overnight in Halong Bay, I grab my suitcase and move to the Tu Linh Legend Hotel, which was recommended to me by a couple I met on the airport shuttle in Hoi An. I’ve found the personal recommendations much more reliable than the...
Happy Birthday in Halong Bay

Happy Birthday in Halong Bay

Today I fly from Da Nang to Hanoi. It’s about the same distance as the train I took from Saigon to Da Nang and, although the sleeping accommodations on the train weren’t bad, I just can’t look another Vietnamese train restroom in the eye. And while...
Motorbikes and Mountains

Motorbikes and Mountains

Today I’m taking my life into my hands and renting a motorbike. It’s easy to do through my home stay as Blue Clouds rents them for $5.00 per day and there’s no muss or fuss. In fact, it’s not until half-way through the day that I realize I haven’t...
Turn Around

Turn Around

Today I leave Da Nang and, while I’ve enjoyed it more than Saigon, the challenges with dishonesty remain stumbling-blocks in the way of me actually liking Vietnam. What helps are my young friend Yen and her family. (I met them yesterday. Read about it in...
Vietnam is Like a Box of Chocolates

Vietnam is Like a Box of Chocolates

I’m up early this morning as I’ve got a few big days planned. I’ve booked a one-night, two-day tour of the Mekong Delta. For just over $50 this includes two days on a boat, the round-trip bus transfer, a night in a hotel, one lunch and one breakfast....
Welcome Home

Welcome Home

I was a child of the 1970’s. During my young childhood, in Oak Park, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit, while race-riots were erupting around, and protests about a war far, far away were turning violent, my parents, and most of those of my friends, kept us protected...
Uneasy Rider

Uneasy Rider

I’d planned to have an easy day today; sleeping in, working, maybe some shopping. But Mare, who I met yesterday while viewing dead bodies (you know, just a normal way to meet people), and I made contact via Facebook and she invited me with her to see some temples....
I See Dead People

I See Dead People

It’s another beautiful Bali morning and I’m up early with big plans. Dewa, my guide from the other day, has agreed to do a private tour for me on the back of his motorbike. We walk out to the bike, he hands me a helmet (both the law and a good idea here),...
Rice Paddies and Coffee Poo

Rice Paddies and Coffee Poo

We’re up early today as we’ve a big day planned. After a great, somewhat traditional American breakfast, substituting watermelon juice for orange juice (a new yummy favorite), Gina, Barbara (a new friend Gina made here in Bali while working), myself, our guide,...
Jungle Spice

Jungle Spice

The plan for today is to tour Old Goa with Elvis (the friend of the friend) and his brother Elston. I believe I’ve mentioned that I used to work on board cruise ships, and Elvis and Elston both currently do (as do many Goans). They’re from Goa and both...
These Streets Were Made For Walking

These Streets Were Made For Walking

After two great days in Jaipur, I awake cautiously optimistic. The plan for today is to grab a tuk-tuk, go back to the area of the Amber Fort to visit the Anokhi Museum of Hand Printing, wander around Jaipur for thirty or forty minutes, and wait at the Ajmeri Gate...
Bollywood in Jaipur

Bollywood in Jaipur

I wake today, renewed. I’ve had one day without fear, frustration and disappointment. Can I possible make it two in a row? After another filling breakfast at Jaipur Friendly Villa, truly the nicest guest house or hotel I’ve so far stayed in while in India, I head out....
The Long Road to Rathambore

The Long Road to Rathambore

I’m up at 8:00 this morning. I saw sunset at the Taj Mahal so I see no reason to get up to see sunrise. I have a quick breakfast, and I mean quick as, when they asked the table of five what type of eggs we wanted and I ordered an omelet (they’re very basic...

Training Wheels

It’s an early morning, with a car picking me up at 6:00am for a 7:00am train to Agra where I’m going for one night to see the Taj Mahal. I was going to stay two nights but everybody has told me that Agra is, well, the term “pit” was used a couple of times. There’s no...
Rickshaws and Sikhs

Rickshaws and Sikhs

I’m up early this morning, grab a 7:15 breakfast and head out at to meet Ritu, the owner of When In India, whom I met last night, as she’s invited me to take her tour today. I take the metro and head over to the Red Fort as the tour departs across the street. It’s a...
Temples for Tourists

Temples for Tourists

I wake up this morning completely unrefreshed from my five hours sleep (darn that jet lag). Good to know that 4:30am looks the same in America, Hungary and India. I love finding commonalities in countries. Getting ready is no easy task. I showered last night as you...
A Love Letter

A Love Letter

It’s done. Visa on arrival letter received, plane ticket to fly to Delhi, India this Friday and some hotel reservations, more than usual actually. You see, to actually receive the visa when I arrive, I must show my visa application, with attached photo – aah...
A Serious Day and a Cabaret

A Serious Day and a Cabaret

Today I head over to the House of Terror Museum, which, if this were October, would sound like one of those Halloween haunted houses, but this is a museum which has one has been in operation year-round since 2002. It explores the two terror regimes which controlled...
The Jewish Quarter

The Jewish Quarter

Today I head out to explore my neighborhood. The apartment I’m renting is about two blocks from the Dohány Street Synagogue, the largest synagogue in Europe, and the second largest in the world (Temple Emmanuel in New York is the largest). While I stopped by the...
Lost in a Tacky Tunnel

Lost in a Tacky Tunnel

I’m up today with a few changes. First, I’m happy to be alive. Okay, that’s not a huge change as I’ve been fairly satisfied with life lately (though a bit scared). But after the terrible flu I came down with the other night, happy to be...