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February 2009

28 Feb 2009 Written by GingerBlossom In
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February 28, 2009 Chiang Mai, Thailand

The Galare Guest House (their slogan, Your Home Away from Home -how true) is situated in an interesting neighborhood. It's at the dead end of a quiet soi, or side street, that stops at the banks of the river. From my second story balcony, I see palm, mango, and banana trees, and the rusty tin roofs of traditional teak wood houses. If you follow the soi out, it crosses over a busy street and then becomes Little Islam, with a mosque and a handful of Halal restaurants. Halal is food prepared according to the tenants of Islam.

25 Feb 2009 Written by GingerBlossom In
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February 25, 2009 Chiang Mai Thailand

Moments of complete and utter contentment are usually few and fleeting, but for me seem to be the norm while in Thailand. I'm sitting at the riverside pavillion at my guesthouse, it's still morning cool and quiet, I'm now on my second cup of real coffee, and looking over the day's agenda. Thailand is easy travel and easy business if you're patient, and it also helps tremendously that I've got terrific shippers.

21 Feb 2009 Written by GingerBlossom In
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February 21, 2009 Kathmandu, Nepal

Gack - I'm sitting at the airport, enduring eggy burps and a jumpy stomach, which portends only one thing - a bout of ghiardia. I thought that I'd escaped the scourge, but no such luck. At least I've got two silver bullets in my purse, packages of Norfloxacin and Tinidazole. Dr. Blossom did the diagnostics and prescription; just about anything is an OTC drug in Nepal.

18 Feb 2009 Written by GingerBlossom In
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February 18, 2009 Kathmandu Nepal

It's always like this, it seems like I have gobs of time, and then suddenly I need to rush to get it all done. It's slower for everyone to finish invoices, take orders, etc., because of power outages, so the need for haste is not totally mea culpa.

16 Feb 2009 Written by GingerBlossom In
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February 16, 2009 Kathmandu, Nepal

It's 3:30 p.m., and I'm just settling in for a late lunch. We took the motorcycle out to Kalankistan and it feels like I've been to a different country. Kalanki is up on a hill, and is mostly newer buildings, so it feels really open and you can see the sky and the mountains. Laxmi's younger brother gave me a return ride and we took all the back streets. Too bad that I'll never find the same route again, there was a huge old tree that had been made into a temple that I would've liked to see up close.

13 Feb 2009 Written by GingerBlossom In
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February 13, 2009 - Kathmandu, Nepal

We had a jam packed sardine flight from Delhi. Jet Airlines had cancelled it's 6 a.m. flight to Kathmandu, so all the PAX from that flight were crammed onto the noon flight, which took off at 2. That's o.k.. we all made it, and I wasn't one of those poor unfortunates who arrived at the airport at 3 a.m. to only have to wait another 11 hours. Also, the air coming into Kathmandu was relatively clear, so we got a beautiful view of the Himalayas.

11 Feb 2009 Written by GingerBlossom In
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February 11, 2009 Delhi, India

Jean had emailed me and asked if Slumdog Millionaire was an accurate portrayal of India. I don't know, I haven't seen the movie, but it is certainly the buzz in Delhi, it gets at least one article a day in the newspaper. Some local comments include: poverty isn't pretty, that's why they used actors amd not real people, and that it falsely raises the hopes of the poor. This morning's paper had a really interesting movie review by a group of slum kids.

09 Feb 2009 Written by GingerBlossom In
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February 9, 2009 Delhi, India

Back to Delhi and big city life, back to the Blue Triangle Hostel and minor renovations. Since I was there last, they've started refurbishing both rooms and hallways. The halls outside of my room are getting sanded, plastered, and then painted over with some kind of material that makes my skin burn and my eyes water. The poor guys working with this stuff have no respirators, no gloves, no goggles. I threw open my window and that helped immensely. The renovations also make me glad that Wednesday I change hotels for two nights.

05 Feb 2009 Written by GingerBlossom In
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February 5, 2009 - Udaipur, India

This is maybe the 6th or 7th year in a row that I've come to Udaipur and I've never seen it so bereft of tourists. Someplace I'd heard that tourism in India is down 65% from the same time last January. Part of it may be the economy, most of the people who mention it blame it on the terrorist attack in Mumbai.

04 Feb 2009 Written by GingerBlossom In
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February 4, 2009 - Udaipur, India

Yesterday I had a good chat with two tour guides, one was Indian, the other was a French girl. I had done a stint as a tour guide as well, and we all agreed that the key to success and longevity at it was patience. Good words to remember for today. When I arrived at the Jaipur airport, I found out that my Udaipur flight had been canceled. Not delayed or shuffled to another airline, it was just gone - didn't exist.