not very often am i invited to a wedding but when it happens i feel very honoured. so, i'd like to thank, dillan and his lovely bride, ika. may you be blessed with a thousand camels (or other forms of prosperity/happiness) in your long life together... check out more photos by clicking on the pic or secretasianman.
Thursday, January 20, 2005
while most of us were hunkered down in our igloos over ex-mas 2004, my friend, jonathan "wasta" smith, unbeknownst to me, was gallivanting around the majestic himalaya of nepal. a couple of days ago he emailed me some brilliant pics of kathmandu and his high trek to the annapurna base camp (abc), an offshoot of the famed annapurna circuit to the west of kathmandu. truly inspirational, these pictures bring back great memories of nepal.
if you can't get enough of his photos of nepal, check out his collection here.
keep on truckin' girls...
po' kids on the trail...
you call that a load, buddy???
mo' po' kids or maoist rebels?!?!?!?!?!
the "fishtail"...sacred mount of Machepure.
the annapurna sanctuary... pretty nice, eh?
thamel district or "tourist central" in "the dog". tired of eating dahl bhaat on the trek? stop by thamel for italian food or yak steak. feeling lonely? email home from one of the hundreds of internet cafes... i miss the nightly dog fights in the streets, eh...
i haven't been "shirted" in quite awhile...
you've heard of bike club. you've heard of fight club. well, the "holy lodge" of thamel is trek club. very nice rooms with tv's, patios, etc., but you can't beat the hot showers!!! endless hot showers!!! i'd stay no where else when in the dog...
Monday, January 03, 2005
koh lanta beach...
koh lanta friends
for the last two trips, i saved southeast asia till last on the itinerary. i can honestly say that se asia is a traveler's paradise. beautiful landscapes and beautiful, friendly people who wouldn't hesitate to invite you into their homes. it's sort of a vacation from the harshness of travel in places like india, nepal, or central asia. a place where i could let down my hair (ha!) and relax. an escape from insatiable touts and rotten con men.
i found myself in thailand in the winter of 2000 desparately in search of some rest and relaxation after a trek in nepal fraught with illness and exhaustion. i've always tried to keep away from the hordes of tourists that seemed to flock to places like phuket and koh phi phi.
i found an idyllic little island (recommended by a bunch of americans at the bangkok airport bus stop) on thailand's adaman coast called koh lanta. the beach was lined with palm trees and the bamboo huts of numerous "resorts" but there were hardly any tourists around. for $2 a night you could sleep in a hut of your own. to this day i joke about the "expensive" food at the "resort's" restaurant. i was being "ripped-off" at $8 bucks a day for some of the tastiest thai food i've ever eaten.
i spent 10 days in koh lanta walking the beaches. for an hour a day i taught the staff at the "resort" some english to use on the next tourists. they were such nice, happy people...
that was then. the tsunami over xmas has probably irreversibly changed the lives of the people i met on that tiny stretch of paradise. hopefully, they escaped to higher ground.
since christmas day, i've watched hours and hours of news coverage (including the "killer wave" coverage of fox cable news). it was very depressing.
i kept thinking that these tsunami survivors have nothing. absolutely nothing. i've got so much (in a relative sense).
i've derived so much pleasure from traveling in some of the affected areas. so, it was time to give back. i logged on to the canadian red cross website and forked over some cash. it was a piddly amount for a contribution, but i hope it will go a long way. i'm thinking of giving some money to unicef or doctors without borders. i've got till january 11th. that's the deadline for matching grants from the federal government.
to be totally honest, i don't normally donate to disaster funds. i totally hold dean responsible for this donation. i coughed up money for his cambodian orphan project. his reports of overjoyed kids had a profound effect on me.
now only if we could find enough money to help out the people in darfar and the congo...