We travel the world for you! Ethnic and traditional crafts, rugs, furniture, sweaters, and antiques.

February 2008

29 Feb 2008 Written by GingerBlossom In
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February 29, 2008 - Varanasi, India

Betsy, how I wish you were here -I've found Bead Nirvana. Shanu had mentioned yesterday that he knew of a place that did handmade glass beads. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that they'd have what they had - bins and bins of beads, all sizes, shapes, and colors, opaques, semi-opaques, transparents, metal, stone, ceramic, kashmiri, furnace, wire wrapped, silver foil, gold foil, chevron, fancies, etc.

28 Feb 2008 Written by GingerBlossom In
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February 28, 2008 - Varanasi, India

Aarrggh, the jinx of writing about food yesterday. After a decent breakfast, we went out to Mizzapur to look at dhurries, and had tea and cashews for lunch, dinner was popcorn, peanuts and instant Nescafe, the hotel's restaurant was closed by the time I got back, and there's nothing else in the Cantonment area.

27 Feb 2008 Written by GingerBlossom In
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February 27, 2008 - Varanasi, India

My Grandmother Perry (AKA G'ma P, pronounced Gee-ma pea) wrote letters almost exclusively about what she'd had to eat. When she'd send me money for my birthday, my thank you note back would have a detailed description of the restaurant meal that I'd bought with birthday money - I thought that she'd enjoy it vicariously.

26 Feb 2008 Written by GingerBlossom In
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February 26, 2008 - Varanasi, India

Usually when I arrive to Varanasi, it's straight from the U.S., at least straight via Istanbul and Delhi. What I mean to say is that usually I just jump into the thick of rug buying while half-delirious with jet lag. Coming from Kathmandu has been a pleasure, there's only a 15 minute difference in time zones. Yes, India is 30 minutes off of GMT (plus however many time zones) and Nepal, not to be outdone, is 15 minutes off.

24 Feb 2008 Written by GingerBlossom In
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February 24, 2008 - Kathamndu, Nepal

Back to the Motor Brigade, with fuel so difficult to buy, taxis are too expensive. The bicycle rickshaws are doing a booming business. I had to go to Kalankistan (home of the Hasty Tasty Cafe) to look at sweaters, so Dendar gave me a ride on his bike. It's a contact sport here, literally rubbing elbows and knees with other riders.

21 Feb 2008 Written by GingerBlossom In
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February 21, 2008 - Kathmandu, Nepal

Yesterday's notes are pretty depressing, it was a shocker to see the straits that Nepal is in, but the Nepal-ness is still here. Morning's alarm clock is crowing roosters, followed by the ravens calling, then the brief but intense Halleleujah Neighborhood Dog Chorus, and finally the sun breaking over the hills of the Kathmandu Valley.

20 Feb 2008 Written by GingerBlossom In
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February 20, 2008 - Kathmandu, Nepal

Every year when I went back to Nepal, I used to have the fervent hope that things would be better - now I just hope that things don't get worse. This is a very complicated situation, complex background, changing problems, but the most immediate one is the strike in the Lowlands, or the Terai.

18 Feb 2008 Written by GingerBlossom In
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February 18, 2008 - Bangkok, Thailand

FL.P. describes the Christian Guesthouse, where I'm staying, as "Puritanical austerity". I describe it as an oasis of calm in the midst of chaos. Between visits, I remember all of the things that I like about Bangkok, and forget the things that I don't like. I'm definitely feeling the effects now of the things that I don't like - the heat and humidity, and the smog. At the end of the day in a city, almost any city, if it's good sized, I end up with a raging headache from breathing the fumes at street level.

16 Feb 2008 Written by GingerBlossom In
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February 16, 2008 - Kuta, Bali

Finished up business this morning, and will organize my papers and put them away this afternoon, and I might even have time tomorrow morning to go to the beach, or use the hotel swimming pool. Looking at the next several legs of the trip, I don't see any where that a swim suit figures into the scheme of things, so I want to at least justify bringing it, by actually using it more than once.

12 Feb 2008 Written by GingerBlossom In
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February 12, 2008 - Ubud, Bali

Ooff, back to reality this afternoon, I have to go back to Kuta to finish business - this has been Fantasy Island for me, these last 5 days in Ubud. I thought about some of the places that I've had meals, and they've included overlooking beautiful green rice paddies, a lotus bed in bloom, swimming pools, and lush green gardens, and yesterday's lunch setting was the best.