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Postcard from Germany

    We arrived in Frankfurt April 30, after spending almost the whole month in Asia, and the contrast could hardly have been greater. Rather surprisingly, Germany almost felt like home, even though we hadn’t been there in over 40 years. 
    Part of it was no doubt that contrast–Germany seemed much more familiar than any place we visited in Asia.  The weather, the dress, the faces, the food, the traffic–all similar to home; all startlingly different from Asia.  We opted to break-up the long journey home from Dubai by laying over in Germany where perhaps we could begin to re-adjust to home. Plus, it would give us a chance to do a little ancestor tracking. We’re glad we did, even if only for five days.
    Our approach to Germany was almost the opposite of our mode in Asia, where most things, from meals to accommodations to tours, were pre-arranged. In Germany our only reservation was for our Ford Focus, to be picked-up when we arrived at Frankfurt International. That’s it. No hotels, just an idea that we wanted to visit some places we knew some ancestors had left or once lived.


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Postcards from Asia #5, Arabia

    Farther down our bucket list than most other ports on this trip, the Arabian Peninsula nevertheless offered the appeal of the historic and exotic.  Or so we imagined.  We put in to Muscat in Oman and three ports (four emirates) in the U.A.E. and found modern cities with international style architecture and stores offering global brands. We saw mostly new and late-model cars with status marques. Of course we found prosperity fueled by oil revenues fulfilling familiar aspirations.


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Postcards from Asia: #4, India

Intense is a fair word to describe our time in India. From the street hustlers who approach incessantly trying to wheedle a dollar or euro out of tourists, to the traffic where the horn is used constantly, to the sheer masses of humanity on foot, bicycle, motorbike, in 3-wheeled tri-shaw, bus, truck or taxi, India seems like a human kaleidoscope. Still, we loved it.

In Cochin, in India’s southern state of Kerala, our introduction to the country came with our bus ride through the city and out to Allepey (now officially, Alappuzha) for a cruise on the allegedly tranquil backwaters of Kerala. The journey there was anything but tranquil with traffic often four or five abreast on a two-lane road and head-on collisions frequently avoided by the narrowest of margins.

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