Archive for April, 2007

Balinese New Year

Wednesday, April 4th, 2007 by Jennifer

While I was at Club Med, the Balinese were celebrating the New Year according to their lunar calendar. Unlike the rest of Indonesia, over 90% of which are Muslim, the island of Bali is Hindu and Nyepi, the culimination of the week long festivities, is a Hindu holiday. A few days before Nyepi, [...]

Incredible India

Wednesday, April 4th, 2007 by Brian

Incredible India is an advertising slogan promoted by the government here and abroad. What a train wreck. This place is incredible in many ways but most of the adjectives that would follow would not be endearing.
Delhi’s version of Bangkok’s “no I don’t need a tuk-tuk…” t-shirt would require a magnifying glass and a [...]

A Cold and Wet Paris

Thursday, April 5th, 2007 by Jennifer

After a week in Bali I headed to Paris, France to take in the sites. I have been to Paris twice before, but both were weekend trips. However, I fell in love with the city. I really think it’s the most beautiful city in the world (at the least the part of [...]

Indian Food

Thursday, April 5th, 2007 by Brian

Even though I have come to enjoy Indian cuisine in the past couple of years, India wasn’t originally on my radar as a destination to visit. In college I went to this giant Indian buffet near El Camino and Lawrence Expressway and I only remember being overwhelmed and uninformed. The other thing I [...]


Tuesday, April 10th, 2007 by Brian

Getting to Jaipur by train was a no go with three separate bastards trying to “help” redirect me to an inflated bus ticket or a taxi for “only” 10x the cost. Eventually I took the Rajastan government bus which was nice and A/C and $4.50. I sat next to an Indian kid from [...]

Taj Time

Tuesday, April 10th, 2007 by Brian

I landed in Agra at about 5:30am after barely sleeping a wink. Six hours of swerving to overtake slower traffic or avoid potholes was not very conducive to resting. Regardless, I was here to see the Taj and I wanted to see it at sunrise.
Half-awake, I was ushered by a tout into a [...]

“Amazing means unbelievable”

Thursday, April 12th, 2007 by Brian

This is what my tout-guide told me as we sat looking at the shrine of the Shaikh Salim Chishti inside Fatephur Sikri. As if he was going to teach me something new about English but it did make me think about what constitutes “amazing”.
Having recently visited mind-blowing Angkor, I am unfairly conditioned for viewing [...]

Inconvenience Caused Regrettably

Thursday, April 12th, 2007 by Brian

I found myself back at the post-rave wasteland of New Friends Colony yesterday afternoon but this time the shops were open, people were bustling and the rats were suspiciously absent.
Sankar, head of business developent for an Indian offshore development company had just dropped me off after a nice meeting at their office (on a Saturday [...]

I must have crossed the border

Thursday, April 12th, 2007 by Brian

That’s what I’m thinking right now as I take a break from reading the fascinating “The World is Flat” to look out the window of my top floor, wood-lined room with fireplace and sitting area out onto the small garden where someone is sweeping up leaves from the grass.
I have come and gone from this [...]

There’s plenty of time to sleep when you’re dead

Saturday, April 14th, 2007 by Brian

From Delhi to Darjeeling to Dooars, the ambient noise level hasn’t changed much but just 1km off the road at the Jaldapara tourist lodge in Madarihat the sounds are completely different. Chirping birds, mooing cows and some kind of howling animal (a peacock I think). Despite the pack of stray dogs that kept [...]

Goodbye India!

Saturday, April 14th, 2007 by Brian

I feel like a pro as I dodge the bus station touts, pre-emptively wave off the beggard child and pit three taxi-wallahs against each other to save myself 40% off my taxi to the airport, finally ignoring his attempt to bait and switch me for an extra 50 rupees. India is my oyster; a [...]


Tuesday, April 17th, 2007 by Jennifer

We met Martin and Kasja on Frasier Island in Australia and quickly became friends. I mentioned I was going to be in Paris and they invited me for a visit to Sweden. So on the day before I was supposed to leave for Florence, I exchanged my train ticket for a plane ticket [...]

International Pit Stop: Italy

Tuesday, April 17th, 2007 by Brian

When we originally inserted a two week stop in Italy as part of our backpacker trip around the world, it was to celebrate surviving a month in India and to reward ourselves with some hard-earned rest and relaxation la dolce vita style.
In our revised schedule (and budget) with me spending two and a half weeks [...]

Scusi! Scusi!

Thursday, April 19th, 2007 by Brian

This is what my ears registered as my kidneys felt a one-two elbow from an Italian senior citizen pushing her way onto the already crowded bus. I was standing; make that, hovering, over the bus driver, cuddling the ticket validation machine, as the Campania region bus hurtled along the coast from Sorrento to Amalfi. [...]

We’re on the Inca Trail!

Friday, April 20th, 2007 by Brian

You might ask, how do we post a blog from the Inca trail in the Peruvian highlands? We don’t. We schedule it in advance. Most of you are unaware but we typically post the blog about 2 weeks after it happens. It takes us awhile to get the pictures online and [...]

La Calle Peligrosa

Sunday, April 29th, 2007 by Jennifer

Our trip to Peru started off pretty rocky. Our flight to Lima was Rome to Paris to Bogota to Lima. But due to the restrictions on our tickets (we had to always travel west), I couldn’t fly out of Rome since I’d already flown into Paris. As a result I had to book [...]