September 2013

On arrival at Irkutsk airport at 5am on the morning of Sunday August 25 the guide we had hired was missing and refused to reply to phone or text, though she had the previous day confirmed that she would meet our plane. After a perplexing wait of an hour or so Anna, on whom Claudia,

July and August 2013

Near the end of July I attended a reunion of graduates of the Governor’s Program for Gifted Children , the enrichment program that over four summers during the Sixties transformed my life. It was a pleasure to meet again with my fellow students from that era, as well as a few of the current crop

June 2013

Interesting facts gleaned while in Rome: 1)The Colisseum (proper name: The Flavian Ampitheater) was financed by booty from the destroyed Jewish Temple in Jerusalem: 2)The word “rostrum” (plural “rostra”) comes from the “rostra” (literally, “snouts”) displayed of old in the Foro Romano, those “rostra” being the “snouts”(battering rams) of ships, rams collected after the

May 2013

Rendezvous in Istanbul: I came from Qatar, Miss Roshni Panday from Bombay, my sister from Houston & our friends Molly & Bob from Durango. We stayed just two blocks from the main attractions, which we all took in, including of course the Topkapi Palace and Hagia Sophyia, with its splendid dome dating back to the

April 2013

Books of the month: The Hare with Amber Eyes: A Hidden Inheritance, Edmund de Waal The Piano Tuner, Daniel Mason In Spite of the Gods, Edward Luce Movies of the month: Guide Kon-Tiki The Perks of Being a Wallflower Süskind Temple Grandin The Thin Red Line Unusual fruit of the month (that I had never

March 2013

Much of March involved travel for me, from Allahabad to Delhi (via Chitrakut & Khajuraho) to Uttarakhand to Bombay to Australia. When you find yourself wanting to move about within Asia, or between Asia & Australia, take a look at Air Asia has been named the world’s best low-cost airline for four years in

February 2013

After yet more Ayurvedic hot oil treatments, an excursion to Athirappilly_Falls where the swimming is good both above & below the cascades; then on to Cochin, where friends were staying at the Flora Airport Hotel where the food is delicious, the service excellent, the infinity pool (seemingly) boundless, and the walk from the

January 2013

Welcome to 2013, and to the two men who are the focus of this month’s comments. The first, a Bombay-born Parsi whom I shall call Hormazd, whom I met in 1975 when he was still a teenager, has for many years been the captain of an LNG tanker, a $350 million ship which carries a

December 2012

A good month for movies, including Lincoln, Life of Pi, and Rise of the Guardians. I watched Les Miserables on Christmas Day, then Searching for Sugarman on Boxing Day night, on on a trans-Atlantic flight: This last tells the story of Rodriguez, a Detroit native who recorded two excellent albums in 1970 & 1971.

November 2012

We (= Erick, Satya, Lee & I) spent the first week of November in Rio Branco, capital of Acre state, oasis of urbanity within the world’s mightiest forest: Very near to Acre is Xapuri, home of Chico Mendes: While in Rio Branco we spent a night out enjoying the samba party that on