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Taro's Travels

Fears, Uncertainties, and Doubts

MEXICO | Monday, 13 Apr 2015 | Views [200]

There´s insectoid staples in the Mexican diet.  I´ve not yet tried the ant eggs or a plate of whole maguey worms, but there were ground worms mixed with salt and chilli powder -- inoffensive -- at a mezcal tasting we did the other day, ... Read more >


Confessions of a Lousy Traveller

ETHIOPIA | Wednesday, 23 Feb 2011 | Views [630] | Comments [2]

"Do you think you're a good traveller?", the Taswegian asked. I thought for a moment. "No." And I'm not. I don't carry a camera to enable experiences to be shared in nice brief worth-a-thousand-word screens; I skip places I really ... Read more >


Incidents from the Revolution

EGYPT | Saturday, 5 Feb 2011 | Views [1016] | Comments [1]

Wednesday, January 26, 2011 I returned to southwest Cairo after two nights in Bahariya Oasis, and as my taxi crawled up the road along the west bank of the Nile I noted the presence of a number of blue vans, with riot police inside or milling about.... Read more >


Returned Expatriates

EGYPT | Sunday, 30 Jan 2011 | Views [485]

[NOTE: The paragraphs below were written in mid January, well before the current crisis, but I had a lot of trouble with the shape of the posting; the solution was to excise about 3/4 of what was written, including the fifth expatriate ... Read more >


Travel Patterns

EGYPT | Tuesday, 11 Jan 2011 | Views [378]

Deja Vu I keep seeing the same backpackers. Now admittedly I sometimes appear to be mildly prosopagnosic. For some reason it took me six months or so to learn to distinguish Sophie Marceau from Catherine Zeta Jones, and the words ... Read more >


A Burg Called Dahab, Egypt

EGYPT | Wednesday, 29 Dec 2010 | Views [532] | Comments [2]

Arrival First Class on the ferry to Nuweiba is at the prow, spacious and uncrowded with a cafeteria and the opportunity to buy freshly-cooked box meals.  Almost half of its passengers were backpackers, and the remainder well-heeled ... Read more >


Building Stories

JORDAN | Friday, 24 Dec 2010 | Views [558]

story (noun), from Latin historia:    1.    A narrative concerning real or fictional events;    2.    A level of a building (mainly US; see storey);    3.    A lie. In the Beginning Once upon a time a question was ... Read more >


Long-Grazed Journey Into Night

JORDAN | Wednesday, 15 Dec 2010 | Views [641]

(In which Taro begins as he hopes not to continue)     - Gentlemen, we do not stop until nightfall.    - What about breakfast?    - You’ve already had it .    - We’ve had one, yes.  What about second breakfast?    - I don’t think ... Read more >


Ebbs and Flows

UNITED KINGDOM | Friday, 12 Sep 2008 | Views [662]

Beneath London's streets the water pipes leak; they were installed the century before last, and are showing their age. All across London the roadworks continue; the water pipes are being dug up and replaced. By 2010, proclaim the signs, another Victorian ... Read more >


Authenticity

UNITED KINGDOM | Monday, 8 Sep 2008 | Views [639]

My ability to happily suspend disbelief appears to have withered. There's a shop stuffed with Beatles memorabilia at 231 Baker Street, and a shop dedicated to Elvis memorabilia next to that.  A couple of doors further up, nestled between numbers ... Read more >


In Highgate Cemetery

UNITED KINGDOM | Tuesday, 2 Sep 2008 | Views [378]

The granite blocks have been squared and polished.  The low wrought iron fence, now gently rusting, has been set to ensure that visitors approach from the pebbled main circuit via the short flagstoned walk and not over the lawn.  The graven inscription ... Read more >


Linear Minutiae [finally completed]

UNITED KINGDOM | Friday, 29 Aug 2008 | Views [613] | Comments [1]

Behold, a reasonably unadorned chronology that will be updated from time to time for the benefit of those who for some reason enjoy this kind of thing. Sat 29 Aug: Bus from Canberra to Sydney; Flight from Sydney to Abu Dhabi. Bored yet? Sun 30 ... Read more >


When I'm 64

INDIA | Sunday, 4 Feb 2007 | Views [711]

[written ages ago but only just released from draft] Tired of lying in the sunshine -- ("Time" / Pink Floyd) I've had my April 1st entry sketched out for half a year. It was to be called "Adventures in Fiction"... Read more >

Tags: general


Second Looks Part 1 [Posts #1-#20]

INDIA | Thursday, 1 Feb 2007 | Views [1429]

You miss things on a first look. Sometimes you miss a lot. In Pokhara, for instance, I arrived in the mid-afternoon, headed over to North Lakeside to find a room, and then took a wander. It was pretty enough, with sun on the lake, and clouds ... Read more >

Tags: General


Fun and Games

INDIA | Friday, 26 Jan 2007 | Views [1579] | Comments [1]

Carom Carom is a cross between pool and air hockey played with a square wooden board and some discs.  The object is to flick the game disc at a disc of your own colour and knock it into a corner hole.  The board is coated with a layer of chalk, ... Read more >

Tags: General


Roads and Traffic

INDIA | Monday, 22 Jan 2007 | Views [1668]

I first saw Nepali trucks (which share their style with Indian trucks) at the border town of Zhang Mu. Chinese trucks were drab and staid. A typical Nepali truck is bright and decorated to the point of garishness. Its body is painted a brownish ... Read more >

Tags: General


And the Meek shall inherit Room 101

INDIA | Saturday, 20 Jan 2007 | Views [1640]

It was the nearest hotel to Pokhara's Camping Chowk and the price was too low, but I took the room anyway. If I was to return to Kathmandu the next day, having just returned from trekking, it seemed silly to lug luggage all the way to Lakeside North, ... Read more >

Tags: General


The Perils of Power

INDIA | Saturday, 30 Dec 2006 | Views [864]

That he was on holiday did not stop the UK electrical engineer from burbling enthusiatically on the dangers of electricity; the Australian sparky he was conversing at was less effusive. Their group and mine were sharing a bus back from the Mekong ... Read more >

Tags: General


Nation/Statements

INDIA | Monday, 25 Dec 2006 | Views [1749] | Comments [2]

When the British colonised Australia, their culture and agriculture were imposed on a country that was in many cases unsuited for it. Seasons were six months out of phase, and the soil, climate, and weather patterns were so different, that by the ... Read more >

Tags: General


Taro of the Jungle

NEPAL | Tuesday, 5 Dec 2006 | Views [1629] | Comments [5]

Sauraha, gateway to the Royal Chitwan National Park lies about eighty kilometres south-west-west of Kathmandu as the kag flies. By road it's a six hour journey. If you add a couple of hours rafting on the Trisuli River, it's a full day's ... Read more >

Tags: General


Avatars

NEPAL | Thursday, 30 Nov 2006 | Views [883]

Shakyamuni Buddha, he who was Prince Gautama, and Gyanendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev, current King of Nepal, have more in common than just royal blood and birth within Nepali borders: both are seen by Hindus as being incarnations of Vishnu. Avatar or ... Read more >

Tags: General


When Snacks Attack

NEPAL | Saturday, 18 Nov 2006 | Views [981]

I seem to be on the "Eat Whatever the Hell You Feel Like Diet" and it's not appearing to be doing me major harm. An essential part of this diet is the ingestion of a balanced quantity of junk food. Two classes of this might, perhaps, ... Read more >

Tags: General


Language and Culture

NEPAL | Wednesday, 15 Nov 2006 | Views [2151] | Comments [1]

One advantage of trekking with my guide Shyam was that I could pick up a little - and I do mean a little - Nepali while on trail, thus putting my 8 year Linguistics degree to some minor use (well, we also had a brief Tibetan lesson in Lhasa, but ... Read more >

Tags: General


Those Two Certainties

NEPAL | Tuesday, 14 Nov 2006 | Views [929]

It was time to get my pre-trip shots, and my doctor had spent quite a lot of time in Nepal [she has credits for the Health section in a few Lonely Planets, but not, ironically, the Nepal 6th edition, which is what I have]. October or November? ... Read more >

Tags: General


Annapurna Sanctuary

NEPAL | Monday, 13 Nov 2006 | Views [1771]

Zero "I'm not going to pay someone ten dollars per day to walk in front of me", said my neighbour Sandrine. She lives in a mountainous region in France, and is to the fact au fait with trekking and orienteering. I don't know how ... Read more >

Tags: General


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