Eating Thailand

We were eating Thailand.  We ate from Bangkok to Ayutthaya, from Sukhothai to Chiang Rai, from Chiang Mai back to Bangkok. February 2015 As one guy remarked when I was in Thailand, “Coming here has to be the most expensive way ever to get good Thai food.” But here we were, eating Thailand. Restaurant food, upscale restaurant food, street food, hotel buffet food, food in the tiniest village, open-air food, food cooked in someone’s home, roadside food, food stall food, food from a food truck, food from the…

Thai Dancers with unexpected grace

Two of my worlds collide in Bangkok, saved by Thai dancers, unexpected grace, and continuing a centuries-old tradition of royal Thai dance. February 2015 First, I love dance. Any dance. I’m a little too creaky to get down on the floor, but those hip hop moves amaze me. I even watch “Singing in the Rain” over and over. Sometimes I combine my love of dance and my romance with travel. The greatest two minutes of dance I ever saw was an assassination scene danced by the Cuban National…

Siberian Express Dreams

Russia, Siberia, Mongolia and China, late December, 2014. Part 7: I’ve had Siberian Express dreams for years, taking a train across the vast stretch of Siberia, leaving Moscow headed constantly on, day and night, to distant places in Asia. December 2014 was our opportunity to make dreams real. Like much of travel everywhere, people were the best part. People were the best part. Although each party had their own cabin and while plenty of time was spent sprawled out reading or listening to music, most people seemed to…

Siberian Express Dreams

Russia, Siberia, Mongolia and China, late December, 2014. Part 6: I’ve had Siberian Express dreams for years, taking a train across the vast stretch of Siberia, leaving Moscow headed constantly on, day and night, to distant places in Asia. December 2014 was our opportunity to make dreams real. With eight nights and seven days on board, we had to eat. Eating aboard the trains wasn’t our first concern. Dining cars are generally available (more on this later) but many of the passengers, especially the Russians and younger Europeans…

Siberian Express Dreams

Late December, 2014. Thoughts while rolling eastward through the vast boreal forest of Russia and Siberia, an epilogue. Something there is with trees when they grow old. They want to lie down. If they’ve escaped disease, fire, the woodsman’s saw or the bad luck to take root in a future construction site, they age in place and finally die. And lie down. Here at home in Nevada’s Spring Mountain Range drought and bark beetles take down the stately Ponderosa pines of 80 foot height and 200 years or…

Siberian Express Dreams

Siberia, Russia and beyond, late December, 2014. Part 5: I’ve had Siberian Express dreams for years, taking a train across the vast stretch of Siberia, leaving Moscow headed constantly on, day and night, to distant places in Asia. December 2014 was our opportunity to make dreams real. We were on board for many things, but principally we were there for the ride. We were there for the ride. Our travel across Russia and Mongolia to Beijing, China took 10 days, departing on the night of December 20th and…

Siberian Express Dreams

Siberia, Russia, late December, 2014. Part 4: I’ve had Siberian Express dreams for years, taking a train across the vast stretch of Siberia, leaving Moscow headed constantly on, day and night, to distant places in Asia. December 2014 was our opportunity to make dreams real. I didn’t know how much we would depend on our provinistas. Before we could board the train in Moscow, we stood in line as the “provinista”, usually a woman on the Russian and Mongolian trains, men on the Chinese one, collected and verified…

Siberian Dreams

Out of Moscow, Russia, December 21, 2014. Part 2: I’ve had Siberian Express dreams for years, taking a train across the vast stretch of Siberia, leaving Moscow headed constantly on, day and night, to distant places in Asia. December 2014 was our opportunity to make dreams real. But there is no Siberian Express or there are several–none of which are the antique train show above which I saw parked next to a depot. There really isn’t a Siberian Express, or there are several, depending on how you look…

Siberian Dreams.

Moscow, Russia, December 20, 2014. Part 1: I’ve had Siberian Express dreams for years, taking a train across the vast stretch of Siberia, leaving Moscow headed constantly on, day and night, to distant places in Asia. December 2014 was our opportunity to make dreams real. It started near midnight in Moscow. Our taxi arrived at Moscow’s Yaroslavsky Station at 11:10 on the night of December 20th. Plenty of time to make the 11:45 departure for our first stop–Irkutsk, Siberia 4 nights, 3 days, and 3300 miles away. We…

Beijing, not Peking, duck

A cold wind and a day of walking can take you to unexpected places and Beijing, not Peking, duck. Walking down a street in Beijing at the end of December, the icy wind shrieked at our backs, blasting every fluttering leaf past us faster than we could walk. We were hungry and in search of local fare on a smaller, narrow street instead of the dishes found in the big hotels and busy shopping areas a few blocks over. Two restaurants had the English words “home cooking.” Just…