A long time ago, in front of a palace

 

Taj Mahal

Buck and I visit the Taj Mahal

 

Apropos of nothing (well, okay, the dailypost.wordperss.com suggestion), I dug back in the iPhoto archives and found this sitting somewhere buried in time (2005, in fact). Buck and I were visiting India, and I think tourists are not allowed to leave the country without visiting Agra and the Taj Mahal.

Earlier, we had seen New Delhi and traveled north on the Jammu Mail (a bit like a real life version of The Darjeeling Express) to Dharamsala and the Dalai Lama’s home.

I was overwhelmed by the vastness of India: here we are in this picture, nearly beaten to the ground from the intense heat that is common in Agra in the summer. A few days earlier, I was cold and gasping for breath in Dharamsala and the Himalayan foothills. In that town, your altitude can change about a thousand meters either way without you having to go outside of the city limits. One also shares the road with numerous people and barnyard animals, bicycles, motor scooters, and a series of potholes so thorough and complete that you wonder that motor traffic is allowed in the area at all. I also discovered that it is quite possible in Dharamsala to have a traffic jam involving one car.

I have some good pictures of the Himalayan foothills, but those can go in another post.

I journey to London. I send back pictures.

Even though I can’t use it for its main purpose, my iPhone has gotten much use here in London for its picture-taking capabilities. [Aside -- it can also be used to play Angry Birds with on the Underground, but that wasn't me -- that was the guy sitting next to me. Honest!]

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She’s not there

As you may have noticed — or not, seeing as you’re not here, I think — I have fled the joyous confines of Cincinnati and am now nestled in a nice, fluffy hotel room in London. It even seems to be reasonably close to the British Museum. Closer than Cincinnati at least.

And I arrived just in time for the classic British autumn weather as well. Which means there was not much walking around the town done by me this afternoon due to persistent rain. Clouds etc. littering up the sky. Tragically hip youth littering up the hotel lobby.

There’s actually not that much scorn in my voice as I write about these tragically hip youth because I find them so fascinating to watch. It’s like living in the zoo. I don’t think I can sneak up on them with the camera in my iPhone, though. I think they know how those things work.

Somewhere in Kansas

So here we are in the middle of Kansas, in June when it’s a green place, and not an endless expanse of brown, cold fields. It makes a change in the traveling attitudes: no existential scream begging to be torn from my chest makes me a much happier passenger.

One thing I’m noticing: there are trees in Kansas! I think that when we drove from Colorado to Ohio a couple of Decembers ago, we were too cold and bored to notice that fact. Also, the leaves on the trees makes them a tad more noticeable. In winter, all of the brown stuff merges together in the landscape.

Silly travel pictures will be taken eventually, and probably posted.

On the road, soon

Today we head to Columbus to visit friends. I am looking forward to getting out of the house. The animals are to be taken care of by my son.

Incidentally, a bragging point: my son’s girlfriend was honored yesterday by the Chemistry Department at the University of Cincinnati for being the top student in organic chemistry. I never thought I would ever get to know anyone with a chemistry award! I am so excited and proud! Yay Betsy!

Now it is time for the weather to clear up. I can’t be happy about a trip to Columbus, not entirely, if it’s gray and rainy outside.