Cultural differences?
Mar19

Cultural differences?

Sitting here in my usual early evening lakeside position. Slightly early for a beer. Chatting to a totally charming and disarming old lady who sells beads. She is a 1959 Tibetan refugee, and as is the way with all Tibetans she is sweetness and happiness personified. Therefore she does a roaring trade, disarming any tourist that comes in her path. As she says if you have to do business, do happy business. Having dinner on a balcony...

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Hippy Dippy Pokhara
Mar16

Hippy Dippy Pokhara

Feel like I'm on a Thai beach. Himalaya in background and Sun going down fast over the lake. Today was Sunaday, a day off and 'Holi', day a religious but mostly fun day marking Spring's beginning. Consisted of everybody buying bags of coloured dye and throwing or smearing at anyone they passed. Naturally the Nepalese youths and oddly all ages of Westerners were most enthusiastic. It's a colorful place today. My...

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Buddhist chanting in a German stupa
Mar14

Buddhist chanting in a German stupa

Lumbini, birthplace of the Buddha. But I'll leave the most of that place to Paul to describe, apart from the German built stupa- a temple if you like, that we wandered into as part of our cycle trip around what I can only describe as a spiritual Disneyland. We heard what I thought was a tape being played but as we stepped into the stupa seated on the floors were several hundred maroon clad monks. Sounds of drums, clashing symbols,...

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Varanasi
Mar13

Varanasi

It's me Paul this time. I think it's better to write a few days after being somewhere, distance lends a certain completeness. ( Judy I know you like the relationship stuff ) We are getting on fine together as good travelling companions, but with a few what is the meaning of life conversations as well! I'm writing this next to a beautiful lake, in the Himalaya with tantalising white glimpses of the highest peaks in the...

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The return of Lumbini
Mar11

The return of Lumbini

Yes Lumbini part two, as Ellen signposted I'd like to say something too. Not much to look at in Buddha Nagar the small commercial hub. Even Clint Eastwood would have wafted through and not paid much attention while drifting the high planes. Maybe a gnarled old gunslinger chatting to a colleague too young to be dead yet. We chose our room cheap and got what we paid for. Chose the Lotus cafe for beer and food. Does anybody do bad...

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Agra, Shit and the Mahal
Mar09

Agra, Shit and the Mahal

  I'm in awe of the people of Agra. This ancient city is famous for the Mughal palace of Fatehphur Sikri , theTaj Mahal , chemical factories, heavy pollution and is also dripping in raw sewage sandwiched in layers of plastic. The taxi nosed down the road in the business quarter of Agra dodging black pools of liquid, refuse, street shacks , all the usual , then glittering in the weak light and heat steps out a vision in pale...

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