Page 3 of Me in the Monsoons Travel Blog Posts

North America » Mexico » Distrito Federal » Mexico City February 3rd 2008

When you drive through the crazy streets and avenidas and motoways of Mexico City, through the heavy smog and pollution, through the ant-piles of vehicles and people, you see mostly a city on the brink of moving to the next level; new metrobus lines, the latest-release cars amongst their older siblings, construction towers and development placards, malls full of imported clothing and an array of fine cuisine and worldclass hospitality. Families at the markets on the weekends buying colourful sweets for their already-sugar-overdosed children. The City and its inhabitants seem comfortable in their boots, at least that's how it feels when you are looking out of the hirecar window on one of the streets on the paths into town. Then, in the middle of the City's city, at 9.30 in the morning, before I have even ... read more

Central America Caribbean » Cuba January 22nd 2008

We have left Cuba now and are in a very different, yet geographically close, part of the world: Mexico (more on that later). Although we have departed and although I sat at the La Habana airport with little anxiety about leaving or desire to stay, now that we have departed, my mind is still filled with the ideas and realities about Cuba. I realised that to travel a country like Cuba, you nearly have to remove yourself from the experiences so that you do not get fed up and bitter with the situations and the often ridiculousness of what you have to go through to get from A to B. If you can distance yourself and see the whole experience more as a social study or a learning trip, then you can think and digest things ... read more

Central America Caribbean » Cuba » Oeste » Viñales January 19th 2008

On the Western side of the island, a few hours car trip from the capital, La Habana, we found a sleepy little town of two streets and mountain scenery. As you drive through it, you cannot help but wonder why the Lonely Planet trumpets it up so much; there's really not much there. Horse-and-carts, pigs, young and old Cubans sitting on verandahs watching the world pass or busying themselves with one project or another. As usual, we have to drive slowly through the township as there are people and animals and obstacles all over the road; no one is in any hurry to move out of the way. The main street is lined with little ageing houses, crooked fences and cracked sidewalks. Most residences in the town of Vinales are casas particulares, and they advertise their ... read more

Central America Caribbean » Cuba » Oeste » La Habana January 19th 2008

Cuba... Everyday I feel differently about her. She is a land of such extremities and contrast, of that I am sure, but at the same time I do not feel I can say with any conviction or authority that she is one way or the other, or even say simply from my heart what my feelings are towards her, as they come and go like ebb and flow. Unfortunately, the travelblog website is blocked in Cuba and I have been dependent on getting an email off to Australia for someone to post my blogs there. I have wanted to document my thoughts more, but it has been difficult to note down what I have felt and seen in the short time slots I have had when I did finally find a tediously slow internet connection in ... read more

Central America Caribbean » Cuba January 8th 2008

no title It's been four days and four nights now, and i'm not sure that four days and four nights have ever seemed to take this long. This morning I decided to get out of the hotel for the first time, as my temperature has dropped somewhat and I'm feeling a little better. The porter opened the door, and as soon as the warm air hit me, I thought I was going to faint. There's such a feeling of frustration - its hard to describe. I've been listening to Habana for four days out of my window now and I thought i'd be better by now. Yet here I am, back in the lobby, confined by my own body to the sterility of this hotel. The few moments I got outside were great. I wanted to ... read more

Central America Caribbean » Cuba January 7th 2008

Out of my window I always wondered what it would be like to sit quietly and watch the world go by from the same spot, for as long as it takes. There are these crazy people who do this - just sit in a park, for example, and watch the people and insects and the sun and moon. I, too, can say I have done this as well. In Cuba. From my hotel window. The last two days have been eventful in Habana, I'm sure of it. I can sense it and feel in from the comotion and chatter flowing in through my hotel window. There is a cock that crows every morning, and then there are the collectivo taxis that pull up just below to pick up the locals and take them where ever they ... read more

Central America Caribbean » Cuba January 5th 2008

La Habana... Three ladies in Cuba, well let me tell you, there is no stortage of attention being paid us here. As we walk through the miserably cold yet colourful streets, there are muchachos on every corner checking us out in no uncertain terms. Kisses, beautiful, blah, blah. At first, very flattering, but after a while it is something like spending the night at any given Irish Pub in Melbourne - seedy. Further, one has to wonder why on earth these men pay us any attention when their own women (who are usually standing right next to them as they whistle after us) are very good looking and extremely sexily dressed. Nevertheless, it is the Aussies they want, and really, who could blame them? : ) If one can look past the young men on every ... read more

Asia » India » National Capital Territory » New Delhi July 26th 2007

My last day in India, yet also my first; for on my last day in India, I remembered what I should have never forgotten... Perhaps I wasn't prepared for him like I had been at other times. Perhaps he caught me off guard. Perhaps he blew the tyre of my racing mind. Perhaps it was the heat. Perhaps it was my emotions running wild hours before I was to board the plane back home. Perhaps I didn't expect to see him in this rich shopping enclave of Delhi... Perhaps it doesn't matter. Fact is, he threw me further than any baseball. He dropped me flat in my own pie. He left me feeling so ridiculous and shamed that I was bursting at the seams - I felt like I was about to explode in every emotion ... read more

Asia » India » Uttar Pradesh » Varanasi July 18th 2007

(This one is for my mum, who taught me compassion.) “Next month will be cobra festival in Varanasi”, the stick-thin, small indian man, in who's silk shop we sit, says in his broken English. My eyes light up: “Cobra festival? Wow! What a pity we will be gone by then.” His 14 year old nephew, the bright and well-mannered Raj, who has been our unofficial tour guide for the day, sees my excitement, and offers, “You can see a cobra charmer, if you want?” I look from him to Gordon to his uncle, and begin to nod furiously. “Really? Are you sure? Right now?” His uncle smiles a little, “Yes, no problem.” He gets up off the hard mattress on which we sit and snakes out of the dingy little sweltering shop. Raj beckons us, “Come ... read more

Asia » India » Uttar Pradesh » Varanasi July 17th 2007

From the outset, I must confess I had a love affair with Varanasi. Somehow she has touched me deeper than I was prepared for, and perhaps deeper than I am at this stage able to realise. Something has changed, though I know not what. I cannot say whether I am happier or more sad, though I long for her in my thoughts. It was not just her colours and human concotions - she has made me think deeper than I thought I would think about her, for in my world, she did not exist. Now, as I try to pen my memoirs, I realise there are so many questions pending. Not just about Varanasi, but about life itself... The guidebook spoke of people bathing in the River Ganges; the pictures looked colourful and interesting. Let's check ... read more

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