Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by alilou, Apr 20, 2010.
WHAAAAT?? Don't you dare coming to Italy again. Ever.
Ice-cream is the best though
I won't forgive you
Please pretty please
OK I got it wrong about dargah meaning mosque. Masjid means mosque. A dargah is a shrine/mausoleum for a holy person - just to set the record straight
I love that you "spontaneously" were able to see/attend the wedding procession!
The wedding procession was loud(!) and amazing - people dancing as it went along the road and we were invited in to dance with them, and fed when we got to the reception area. All the time the groom is at the back of the procession sitting on a big throne on an elaborate silver carriage pulled by 2 horses. The procession had a band and loud speakers blaring music and took about 3 hours to go the distance it took us to walk home in about 10 minutes! Poor groom had to sit there in all his finery and couldn't join in all the fun. More about it, and pics in a blog post eventually.
A new blog post is ready. This time for a real change of pace, it's about a national wildlife park where we went on both a morning and evening safari. It was great to be out of the city and away from the smog.
Sambar Deer crocodiles all kinds of birds Spotted Deer mongoose, and more.
We will be on the road during the GPF - going from Varanasi to Delhi to Bangkok to Koh Samui to spend 2 weeks on the beach
It's a hard life but someone's got to do it
Granted, it wasn't India, but we did see tigers, among other big cats such as panthers, at the San Diego Zoo.
The zoo was our reason for making the trip, and it did not disappoint.
Enjoy while we in Vancouver stay wet and cold. Koh Samui is supposed to be wonderful.
You probably can get ISU coverage, too, while we Canadians get to wonder how few GFP free skates CBC can manage to show for each discipline on Sports Saturday coverage. I figure 3, in between the curling and the skiing.
Those photos are gorgeous!!!
Beach and Thai food! What more can we ask for! Looking forward to the pictures and experience.
I've never been to San Diego zoo but I've heard it's amazing - one of the best in the world.
Also been hearing how awful the weather is in Van - stay warm
I think I could buy ISU coverage, but it's not worth it. Internet speed in India is generally too slow for videos or streaming - too much buffering. So I'll just be reading php threads and may get to see some of it later.
Thanks Buzz. A lot of fun taking them
Oh my...the green parrots.
At last, somewhere I've been that you haven't!
You heard correctly. I hope you make it there sometime during your travels.
I'd be interested in your impressions of the Zoo; and Animal Park.
Did you mean the green parrots, or the green pigeons? Either way both are amazing, but I was really astounded by the pigeons.
One day we may get to the San Diego Zoo. We have a vague plan to travel down through the US on our way to Mexico next March, so maybe we'll stop off in San Diego.
In the mean time can I just say that staying on a beach on an island off the coast of Thailand is a little slice of heaven. May I never never never forget how blessed I am.
There's a new blog post ready. This time I'm in the city of Jaipur, in the desert state of Rajasthan - home of wealthy and fearsome maharajas, elephants, and many many camels. This post - our spectacular hotel surprise, elephants, and the ancient Fort/Palace of one of those ancient Maharajas. Camels come later.
You are blessed indeed by the very fact you know you are blessed, alilou.
Was reading this part of your blog and I can understand how you felt when you thought 'you may die'. I had a similar experience many many years ago - in was in a car not plane. It is amazing how the mind works and how within a few seconds, so much thoughts can cross one's mind when one think one is about to die, and the sense of calmness when the inevitable is accepted. It is an experience of a lifetime which can teach us the value of life and loved ones, and what we wish to leave behind.
Thanks again for sharing Alilou! Gorgeous writing and gorgeous pictures!
The biggest thing I'm grateful for in my life is that somehow or other a grace came that led to me being grateful, to being aware of, and appreciative of the bounty of life. It was certainly not always so.
And yes, when facing death, even a little bit, and you even more than me by the sound of it, it certainly makes you appreciate and value life more. I just faced it again watching bodies being cremated on the banks of the Ganges in Varanasi. Nothing about life and death is hidden in India. It was absolutely fascinating. There'll be a blog post about it eventually.
Hey you're welcome Buzz as always. And thank you!
As long as you keep writing/sharing your experiences and impressions; it will be my privilege to read them, alliou.
Great to read about happy, well-cared-for elephants living in a proper environments.
In some place in Asia they use elephants for logging. I saw a documentary on it, think it was in Burma. It showed how they beat the elephants into submission but hitting them non-stop with poles for hours and hours. Heartbreaking
Thank you. It encourages me. I love to do it, it's become such a passion, the whole thing - the writing, the photography, and the creation of each blog post - but it's so much sweeter to know people are reading and enjoying. So thank you!
Wow. That's sounds horrific.
There's no doubt that at the place we went to the elephant's welfare came first. That is the passion of the person who started the place. He used to take people on rides on elephants up to the Amber Fort. He found many people asked about how the elephants were treated, so he opened the farm to tourists to show that not all elephants are treated badly. It was a lovely place to be.
A new post
More brilliant writing and stunning photographs from Jaipur !!!
The Pink City, Diwali, and the Monkey Temple.
There's also a new post on my response to the Very Inspiring Blogger Award.
I have a request - if you really really like a post please click on the "like" button. Thanks
Also, a reminder, if you have the time and inclination the photos look much better if you click on them to enlarge them.
A grateful thank you for reading
Just in case anyone tried, and got nowhere, or somewhere that didn't make sense - I've edited out the bit about clicking on the "press this" button. It's not what I thought it was Oops!
Well actually you're more likely to be wondering what on earth I'm talking about since "press this" only shows up on my access to the blog.
If you ever get a chance, "When Elephants Weep: The Emotional Lives of Animals" is a wonderful book.
Thank you for the opportunity for armchair travel. And for the effort into the blog. Your pictures are wonderful and getting better - this from one who is decidedly ungenerous about complimenting people on artistic endeavors.
Thank you. I'm glad you're enjoying my adventures
I do think my photography has improved, largely due to my sister's help with all aspects - camera settings, seeing, choosing subjects, and of course the wonderful photoshop. Photoshop is like learning a new language - always useful to keep the brain active. People think it falsifies a photo, and it can indeed be used for that, but I use it to try to make the photo look more like what I actually saw, or to try to tell the story better, but still in an authentic way. It's always about the story. As I work on a photo I'm always thinking what is it I'm trying to show, to emphasize, to convey, so the viewer can have a little of my direct experience? So if photoshop can help with that I'm pleased. I think it's a wonderful tool and am glad to be learning how to use it.
I'll check out the elephant book - sounds interesting.
The world didn't end. Hooray!
Merry Christmas, happy new year, happy holidays. Enjoy! May you all be blessed in 2013.
The latest blog post is ready - about our visit to the city of Jodhpur. The only pair of jodhpurs I saw were on a handsome anglo shop dummy in a store for rich tourists. But we saw and experienced lots of other far more interesting things that jodhpurs
Well I hope everyone had a fabulous Christmas, if you do Christmas, or a wonderful holiday if you don't. Apart from skyping family we didn't do Christmas. Thailand isn't a very Christmassy country though there's a few big corporations would like to make it so, so they can sell more stuff. But as far as I could tell, the Thais aren't buying it. Literally.
A new blog post is published - part 2 of our stay in Jodhpur - some desert villages, and a great park with cenotaphs, a wall of heroes, a Jain temple and a bunch of wonderful people.
New Year in 3 days
I have a new post ready - the first of three about the Pushkar Camel Fair, which is really one of the most extraordinary events I've ever been to. About 300,000 people and about 30,000 camels and other livestock. A complete zoo!
Also there's a couple of smaller posts about "the Nomadic Life" (just look at the list of recent posts on the right side of the blog and you'll find them).
We're currently in Cambodia, and headed off soon on a side trip to Ho Chi Minh City. So many countries, so little time. Sigh.
That tent restaurant looks cool!
Thanks for continuing to introduce me to - and allowing me to experience - people. places and things I never would have known. without you!
Part of the joy of your journal/photos is the "food for thought" they provide
Hey Buzz! Yeah the ntent restaurant was cool. In fact it was it was all pretty cool - mind blowing really.
You're welcome. It's my greatest pleasure
For all of you who are still reading there's a new post - the second installment of the madness of the Pushkar Camel Fair. Daily life in the town of Pushkar, the exotic clothing and religious rituals, the crowds and the monkeys. You can reach it by the link in my sig line.
I've also published a couple of other things
The Nomadic Life - getting what we want. Or not.
I've also written a few other short posts on The Nomadic Life (and more to come). You can find them by just putting The Nomadic Life in the search box at the top and they'll all come up.
Huge appreciation for all of you who read my blog (especially during skating season!). Thank you!
Bug dope! Thanks again for the gorgeous photos and excellent writing. I'm looking forward to reading more about Vietnam.
Thanks again Buzz.
You do get that bug dope is mosquito repellant? I have no idea where that expression came from. I think I got it from Don, but I don't know where he got it from.
It's 11pm. Must sleep. Getting up at 4.30 to go watch sunrise over Angkor Wat in Cambodia.
Vietnam posts not coming for weeks! Have to finish India first, and then a bit on Thailand, and Phnom Penh. But eventually I'll get to Vietnam
There's another new post on The Nomadic Life - Living without the daily news.
I've published a new post. It's the final post about the Pushkar Camel Fair and all about the events at the stadium. Camel decorating competition, camel dancing, camel racing, traditional dancing (people not camels), the longest moustache competition, and the closing parade
If you look among the list of recent posts on the right hand side you'll also find a new post on The Nomadic Life - Hotel rooms.
Thanks for reading
This is the first time I'm really missing FS - Canadians is on, and I've been looking a bit in the PBP threads, and I can't watch any of it because the internet in Cambodia is too slow for youtube
But . . . . . . I will be back in Vancouver for exactly the week of worlds
There's a new post ready, about our time in (or near) the city of Agra. It's about an amazing bird park, an Indian wedding, an ancient abandoned city, snoring in the dining room, and of course, the Taj Mahal! India continues to surprise, delight, puzzle, amuse and amaze us.
Also another post in The Nomadic Life series on staying grounded - click on the title on the right-hand side.
Still can't watch any of Euros or US Nats - internet in Laos too slow for youtube. Le sigh. A huuuuge thank you to all who contributed to the PBP threads
What an "adventure" you continue to have!
Your photos; and the narrative describing them, are wonderful, as always.
Hmm. I'm really pondering your thoughts about presence - interestingly, I saw the French film 'Amour' this evening, about love and death and aging (wonderful beautiful but very sad film), which IMO emphasized presence at every moment.
It seems to me that traveling/adventuring/being out-of-routine encourages presence/being in the moment, but other life stages/experiences take one away from it. The thought that's come to me is that both are an extreme. In the former state, presence is too some degree an illusion framed by the constant change and newness of experience, within which the past and future recede. But they inevitably come back, as the human experience is temporally rooted in the past and moving towards the future. OHOT, the routine norm of living in the future and past is likewise an illusion that blurs the centrality of the present moment.
Perhaps the greatest authenticity of living lies somewhere in between?
Thanks skatesindreams. Glad to hear you're still enjoying my ramblings.
Perhaps you're right, somewhere in the middle. I can only go by my own experience which is that every time I start to get a bit anxious about anything, in coming back to presence I see that right here, right now everything is fine, and right here right now is all I have, so this practice serves me well in terms of living with equanimity.
I get the whole thing about presence in the moment and value it, being with animals helps me get there. But sometimes, everything right now is not fine, even though it is all one has. . ..And sometimes when I get anxious about something in the future, dealing with it actually makes the future situation so better, and one to easily be present in . . .
Your ramblings are inspiring ramblings of my own, so it's a good thing. IMO, anyway.
Travel/adventure tends to bring about such ponderings, whereas living in a routine way doesn't, not so much. So I'm taking your ideas and exploring them within the context of other lives. In so doing, I apologize if I am derailing your thread and will stop if I am.
Presence is something we grapple with generally as a species, so I'm enjoying your comments because they lead me to explore my own thoughts on the subject.
I don't mind the thread derailing
I agree we all grapple with presence, with staying present, and the irony is, of course, is that it is all we have. And it is all we have in which to take care of things pertaining to the future. I so agree that when you're anxious about something to be faced in the "future", that dealing with it now, in any ways that are possible, is the best way to be able to relax about it and stay present. We do that all the time. We live in this state of mostly not knowing where we're going next, or when, but each time we make some decisions, and make some hotel and transportation bookings that settle the next few days or weeks, there's a palpable relaxing, and a greater ability to enjoy the moment.
And yes I do agree that travel, especially long-term travel, kind of pushes this stuff in your face because there aren't the usual anchors of home to help keep things stable.
Glad to hear I'm inspiring a few ramblings
Be back in March (11 - 21). Hope there's going to be a not-at-worlds get together so I can see everyone.
I have a new post ready, about the truly astonishing Holy City of Benares. It was the most amazing place we went to in India.
Click on the link in my sig line.
Also for those who are interested, there's another new post in The Nomadic Life series. Direct link http://alisonanddon.wordpress.com/2013/01/30/the-nomadic-life-whats-for-dinner/
Hope you enjoy it
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