March 2012

As always, the North Coast of New South Wales was good to me (if a bit rainy) during this month’s second half: excellent surf for boogie boarding; delicious food; plenty of free time for movies (The Hunger Games and The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel in the theater, The Lovely Bones on DVD), writing, and reading,

February 2012

The second month of the Year of Mayan Doom (for some) continued for me in North India, where events played themselves out more/less as expected, and where (in trains, planes and taxis) I continued to read. In December I had completed Men Against the Sea, the story of how, after being kicked off the Bounty

January 2012

Early January again found me in India, confronting the usual challenges. One portion of the month I spent out in the forest near wild elephants, witnessing the ever-closer march of humanity clearing land and erecting structures. In this regard I must confess some sympathy for the she-elephant who was recently found to have actually consumed

November and December 2011

f you’ve ever heard of microlending, and wished you could do some of your own, wish no more. Instead, proceed to: Kiva makes loans to carefully selected and vetted individuals in a variety of countries worldwide. You choose whom you would like to support, and pony up a fraction of the total amount that

October 2011

Early in the month I paid my first visit to Morocco in 38 years. Spanish friends & I took the ferry from Algeciras to Tangier, then drove south to spend the night in the charming blue hill town of Chefchaouen, founded in 1471 by Muslim refugees from Spain. It became a haven for Moriscos and

September 2011

Unusual Toronto sighting: a baby mink rushing along the beach into Lake Ontario, late morning. Heard in Toronto: “true that” (a modernization of the more conventional, “That’s true.”) Heard in New Hampshire, the use of “daft” to mean “impressive” (e.g. “that was a daft 360”) Seen in NH, these websites: and BTW –

August 2011

A road trip during the month’s first third, the participants being yours truly, his sister, Miss Roshni Panday, and Arish & Kurush Dubash, Roshni’s two semi-nephews. Having rendezvoused at Oakland airport, and lunched enjoyably the Golden Lotus (vegetarian Vietnamese) Restaurant we sped over to the coast, for a night at Gualala. Driving northerly the

July 2011

Sighted in CR: down by the river, a tayra (not quite an otter, bigger than a marten); in a tree near a spring, a brown speckled juvenile heron; in several wet spots, green & white poison dart frogs. And crawling slowly along the lawn one mid-day, a GIGANTIC insect: a Mydas fly, which with its

June 2011

A calm and quiet month in Costa Rica, enjoying delicious food in many locations, including Delicia, which not only offered sumptuous portions of toothsome Chinese vegan dishes, but also high mountain Taiwanese tea, properly prepared & served by proprietress Isabel Lin. You may be able to reach her (in Spanish) on the restaurant’s landline (2228-8807),

May 2011

In early May, a road trip: Sebastopol to Ashland, OR, with a stop en route at The Olive Pit (; the next night in Portland; then a pleasant (= partly sunny) week in Seattle, where in addition to enjoying the company of various old friends I cheered as the Mariners beat the Rangers (thanks to