Serial Bus

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Into the Sepapu They Went

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Cliff Palace

Cliff Palace

The stones are stacked upon each other in a very ordinary fashion. Per se, nothing impresses except for the round sunken pithouses (called kiva) which have an ingenious ventilation system and a mysterious small hole on the floor (called sepapu). In a poor rural area of a developing country, the above-ground structures would easily pass off as present-day dwellings. However, we are in the richest country of the world where people no longer live like this. That partly explains the awe and admiration with which visitors around us react when they see these places. The otherness of these structures is pronounced by their provenance (700 years old), place of construction (under a rock overhang in a remote mesa) and our ignorance about the dwellers (the Anasazi left suddenly and left no records). Read the rest of this entry »

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Written by serialbus

December 13, 2009 at 12:49 pm

Sooner than Later in Oklahoma

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This Thursday, our plane landed in the Sooner State, Oklahoma. The Dallas-bound plane had to divert from the flight plan when a storm reached DFW sooner than the plane did. The plane remained in a holding pattern for some time but with little fuel remaining, it slid back to land at the Oklahoma City. With that unexpected landing, Oklahoma became the 24th American state I had set foot in.

Until this Thursday, I never thought I would go there – kind of like Nebraska, Kansas, South Dakota, North Dakota, Indiana, Iowa, Mississippi, Missouri and Alabama. I wonder if anyone except for their residents travel to these places. Some of these states are huge but I reckon very little scope for tourism or business-related travel.

But then, it is perhaps foolhardy to create lists for travel like ‘touch all continents’, ‘all states of India’, ‘all states of the USA’. Yet, list-making is what many of us do to make sense of disorganized information. Lists are easy to consume and easy to action.

So, here is a list of the US states that I have touched so far:

New York, Connecticut, New Jersey, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Maine, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Atlanta, Florida, Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio, Illinois, California, Texas, Utah, Colorado…and now, Oklahoma.

Of course, District of Columbia too.

Written by serialbus

June 14, 2009 at 3:52 pm

Posted in Miscellaneous, Travel, USA

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Have I Been Spoilt by the US?

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Last week, I completed 2 years of stay in the US. Before moving to the US, I had always lived an itinerant life – never staying in one place more than a couple of years (although always somewhere in India). Sometime in 2008, Nidhi and I decided that we will not apply for a Greencard and that we will eventually move to India. We resolved that we will never become too comfortable to move elsewhere. I lived with this faith until our return from a recent trip to Morocco. That you start thinking of a place as home is  proven when you look forward to being back there. Undoubtedly, the trip to Morocco was spectacular in general but we faced a few incidents that shuddered us and perhaps increased the sense of belonging to the US. My apologies as I might be digging the dirty belly of Morocco in this post but there is no point in pretending some things never happened.

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Written by serialbus

April 5, 2009 at 3:36 pm

Posted in Anecdote, Living, Travel, USA

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A Life-Defining Hurrah of An Adventure

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I come across countless stories of adventure all the time however none moved me as much as something that was recently accomplished by my friend, Astrid. She (along with Alex, her brother) recently walked along the Himalayas on a ten-month trek (check out their wonderful blog here). They started their trek at Dharamshala (Himachal Pradesh) and then continued through the arc of Himalayas, passing through Uttarakhand (my home province) and Nepal (the full length from west to east), finally concluding their journey in Sikkim. They did not know the local languages, there is very limited travel infrastructure in this region and good reliable literature is scarce. I really admire the duo’s zest for adventure and their love of the mountains. I also felt a sense of loss as I felt left out of adventure – not theirs but in general.

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Written by serialbus

March 29, 2009 at 4:32 pm

Our Time In Maghreb

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(I thank my co-traveler Nidhi for agreeing to guest-write this post for my blog.)

Sometimes I wonder how, in just 7 hours of flying, you can reach a place which is so different. For instance, my recent vacation to Morocco – or Maroc as French would say – or Maghreb as the Arabs once said. As he wrote in the previous post, Mohit had kept the destination a secret and he wanted me to find out when I reached the airport. I cooperated by not snooping around. Finally on 13th Feb, when I reached JFK, I was told that we were flying to Morocco and I was (to Mohit’s relief) pleasantly surprised. My first reaction was, “I don’t know a lot about it” and then, I was given a Rough guide to learn more about the country I would be spending the next 9 days in.

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Written by serialbus

March 8, 2009 at 11:14 am

Posted in Travel

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A Passage To Maroc

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Today is 13th Feb; when this post is published on Saturday the 21st, Nidhi & I will be one day short of flying back from Morocco after a vacation of 9 days. I am not sure if I will be able to blog while in Morocco so I am utilizing WordPress’s cool future-dating to publish this post. We leave aboard Royal Air Maroc this evening at 701pm from JFK. It’s a direct flight that will get us into Casablanca tomorrow early morning. At this time, Nidhi does not know where we are going – I have planned this as a surprise for her. So, she was kept out of the loop on all the planning and I have taken pains to avoid mentioning anything that may help her guess. She has been occasionally restless but has cooperated and has not done any snooping around my email account etc. Maroc (as they say in French, Morocco’s lingua franca) is definitely offbeat, but not known well enough to make it to anyone’s list of dream destinations. By keeping it under wraps, I may have escalated Nidhi’s expectations but I still hope she is pleasantly surprised when she arrives at JFK this evening. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by serialbus

February 21, 2009 at 7:00 am

Posted in Travel

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