This is a story about how when you hear penguins at 20,000 feet, there’s a good chance you’re in deep sh*t.
“Ladies and gentlemen…the weather situation in Srinagar is very bad…flights are being diverted to Delhi…four flights just before us…we will try and see.” I’d absorbed only fragments of the pilot’s announcement as my head was buried in a book. We’d come from Mumbai and rivers of monsoon to escape to Kashmir in northern India, apparently only to find more storms.
Then we began our descent. Continue Reading »
As we prepare for our departure to Guatemala and secure the various latches on our gear, I’m reminded of being robbed by airport security employees in Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport last year. Fortunately, miraculously – and somewhat shadily – I was reimbursed. Continue Reading »
Lhasa. The name has a particularly mysterious and forbidden ring to it these days. Maybe it’s images of Tibetan cowboys on the high plateau or flashes of defiant monks protesting in the face of Chinese police last March.
Recently, the Chinese government reported that the situation in Tibet was “back to normal” in preparation for the arrival of the Olympic flame there. Even with the Olympic torch safely relayed through Lhasa this past weekend with an escort squadron of blue track-suited torch guards, Tibet still remains closed to foreigners.
We travelers always hope for a bite of the forbidden travel fruit. So imagine our excitement when we checked in for our flight at an empty Kathmandu, Nepal airport a few weeks ago and learned that our flight to Chengdu, China was laying over in Lhasa. Continue Reading »
Perhaps you’d like to know what happened after I was robbed at Bangkok Airport security last month. Well, the saga continued with more “investigations” and a mysterious wire transfer. Transparency is not the first word that comes to mind. Continue Reading »
I was robbed.
It didn’t happen at a grungy guest house, in a crowded local market, or down a dark alleyway at night. It happened in Bangkok’s shiny new Suvarnabhumi Airport at a gate security checkpoint. Worse yet, the thief was a security employee. Continue Reading »
As the end of our Tajik visas rapidly approached (overstaying one’s visa in Tajikistan comes highly unrecommended), circumstances forced us to take a puddle-jumping lunch box with wings from Khorog, the main town in Tajikistan’s Pamir Mountains, to the country’s capital Dushanbe.
The following is a two minute video from the flight. The first 30 seconds are from the taxi and takeoff of the previous day’s flight. The next 90 seconds are mid-air. Keep in mind that the camera was not on zoom. Continue Reading »