13
Apr 2014
POSTED BY Sheena
POSTED IN

Europe

DISCUSSION 14 Comments

Take Me Back to Constantinople

From the moment we set foot in Istanbul it felt like we had fallen into a love affair of sorts. It didn’t matter that we had unknowingly stationed ourselves for the next month in Balat, or Little Tehran as it’s known, Istanbul’s most traditional Muslim neighborhood. It took us a while to come to this realization but Balat was quite literally like no other neighborhood in the city. Our apartment was directly on its fringes; one block downhill put us in a rather typical Istanbul setting while one block uphill was a scene plucked right out of the Middle East. Women flowed down the cobblestoned streets in shapeless black burkas, their eyes and noses peeking out of small triangular openings in the fabric while their fathers, brothers and partners wore sported thick beards and dressed in long gray trench coats and finely embroidered flat-topped hats.
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09
Apr 2014
POSTED BY Brad
POSTED IN

Asia, Blog, Middle East

DISCUSSION 13 Comments

Go Go Goa!

About a year and a half ago we got an email from someone in Pakistan inviting us to Islamabad when we passed through the Middle East. He was with the VW club of Pakistan, and had been following our trip through the Americas. When we got to Islamabad, he said, there would be a big community of friends waiting. We would have families to stay with in any major city in Pakistan, they would organize a club outing to the mountains when we arrived, they’d show us the best food and adventure drives in the area, and they even offered to give Nacho a new paint job. Sign me up! Ever since then we’ve anxiously looked forward to Pakistan.
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07
Apr 2014
POSTED BY Brad
POSTED IN

Asia, Blog

DISCUSSION 15 Comments

Cowboys and Indians

At last we arrived in Mumbai, the planned termination of our Indian adventure. Lo and behold, as we wound our way into town, we were pulled over by a cop. Indian cops are nothing more than common criminals, and this one fit the stereotype to a T. After pulling us over in thick Mumbai traffic he got off of his motorcycle and waddled over to my window, his mustache like a smudge of barbecue sauce on his bulbous face. He quickly got to the point that we had committed a heinous crime.
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05
Apr 2014
POSTED BY Brad
POSTED IN

Asia, Blog, Middle East

DISCUSSION 13 Comments

Trouble on the Pakistani Border

After the Indian wedding we skipped town and headed for the deserts of Rajasthan. We made a pit stop at the Taj Mahal near Agra, a building said to be the most impressive ever built. It was impressive, I will say, and the attention to detail and scale were remarkable, but to say it is the most impressive building in the world is a bit of a stretch. The inside of the building is plain and small, and the overall size pales in comparison to many. For those who have been to Saint Peter’s in the Vatican City, or the Duomo in Milan, the Taj Mahal will seem somewhat humble. Still, once past the relentless touts and camel drivers that surround the complex, the Taj Mahal was a real treat. Perhaps equally interesting was the Red Fort, only a few kilometers away in Agra.
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03
Apr 2014
POSTED BY Brad
POSTED IN

Asia, Blog

DISCUSSION 9 Comments

The Big Fat Indian Wedding

As seems to happen to us from time to time, we have fallen grossly behind on our blog. As the days and weeks pass, the interesting things keep piling up and eventually we become as we are now, struggling to catch up to the present. So much happened in Nepal that we couldn’t get ourselves to stop dwelling on and writing about them, meaningful things that changed the way that we will think and live. Much of this came from weeks spent living with our surrogate family in the Kathmandu suburb of Dobighat.
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21
Mar 2014
POSTED BY Sheena
POSTED IN

Asia, Blog

DISCUSSION 4 Comments

Welcome to the Jungle

We stood at the water’s edge in our shorts and flip flops along with a horde of other Western and Asian tourists. Six massive elephants rested on their sides in the cool river water of the Rapti. Every day the elephant’s masters, or mahouts, brought them out to the water to be washed, and we were invited to help.
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15
Mar 2014
POSTED BY Brad
POSTED IN

Asia, Blog

DISCUSSION 17 Comments

Langtang Phooey

A while ago in the Andes mountains of Argentina we passed through a place called Uspallata, and thereafter began our ill-fated international food smuggling debacle, which saw us retreating to Uspallata. Uspallata, as it turned out, was the home base for the filming of the movie Seven Years in Tibet, turning the surrounding Andes into the surrogate Himalayas. As we drove from Uspallata to the Chilean border, passing the iconic Aconcagua and other imposing Andean peaks along the way, we just kept thinking, wow, these mountains are just like the Himalayas. Imagine. Just like Tibet.
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