Saturday, July 28, 2012

Found while walking: Darjeeling, India

I am breaking my "no internet" rule in Darjeeling, a hilltop town in northern India, very close to Nepal and Bhutan.  It's raining outside, so chilly that I am wearing a jacket (wow, it has been too long).  The few days we have spent in this town have been languid and easy- and just perfect.  We wake up, take a hot shower and dress, and then walk over to a small eatery for breakfast (usually for a masala dosa or momos paired with a steaming cup of milk coffee or tea).  Then, we walk and walk, up and down the winding streets and often steep flights of stairs, through market stalls selling teas, Tibetan trinkets, cashmere shawls, and woolen sweaters.  The town sits above the clouds in some parts, and in others, right smack in the middle.  Mist hangs over the valley below, obscuring the tea plantations that flank this town. 

On the crazy jeep ride up from Siliguri, three hours of switchbacks and speed, the climate grew increasingly cooler and the air smelled of mint.  The valley shrank below us.  

Wednesday, July 25, 2012


My summer so far: no internet (for the most part), more reading, more walking, more food sampling. 

Indonesia flew by.  The island of Java, with its early morning muezzin calls, was interesting, though travel was cramped due to the high season. And, Bali, despite being a well-oiled tourist machine, charmed me again and again.  We could have easily spent the summer in Indonesia.  There's more, but I will leave that to another post, when more reliable internet is at hand.

After a short detour in Singapore, we find ourselves in Kolkata (Calcutta).  Oh my.
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