All posts filed under: travel

Cultural Relativism in the Garhwal Himalaya

My jetlagged eyeballs struggled to take it all in, fragmenting my memory of the trip; starving dog, rickshaw full of chickens, man peeing… doze… gorgeous silk sari rippling in the breeze, mango stand, bedazzled donkey… doze… burning pile of garbage, vibrant billboard in approximate english, funeral procession…

Bornholm Island, Denmark

The old fishing town of Vang, on the Danish island of Bornholm, is essentially a bend in the road- and the road ends shortly after the houses do. We’d been dropped off in the middle of a field outside of town by a well-meaning bus driver, only to find that the address we’d scribbled down for climbing beta was in fact for a random and deserted farmhouse. One can get a good sense of their relationship while co-carrying a duffle through 3km of nettles; we thought it was mostly funny. After pitching our tent and spending one night in the storm of the century, we discovered 1) a fishing hytte, perfect for brewing tea under a roof in the morning, and 2) an active quarry south of town with a lot of rock and a few bolted routes. We met a guy there named Dan who somehow already knew we were camping on the edge of town and cooking in the hytte– apparently word travels fast in Vang. He told us the whole place is …

Todah Israel

It was getting dark in Jerusalem, but Michelle and I were not going to admit we were lost. We’d gotten distracted by a little shop full of ancient books, and now we were in a part of town with no English subtitles.  We weren’t worried; we were wearing sturdy shoes. Back at the shop I’d made my purchase and chatted a little with the dredlocked owner, who had mentioned that there was coffee and wifi upstairs. Picturing, irrationally, a sort of mystical Borders-esque interwebs utopia, we’d hurried up the narrow staircase, only to find a coffee pot on a rickety table and some pillows on the floor. It was a cool spot- there were local paintings on the walls and some college-aged orthodox jews playing chess in the corner, but the wifi signal was nonexistent. Ah, well. Michelle and I were now marching through a dark, eerily undeveloped plot of land, and I started talking loudly about my judo moves, just in case. “Yeah,” Michelle added, “last week some guy said something I didn’t like, …