Dubai

United Arab Emirates

April 3, 2016

Dear Friends,

“Tall!” 

In a word, that is how I would describe Dubai: “Tall, very tall!”

Apartment blocks, apartment clusters, office buildings, hotels, even the minarets of the mosques are all very tall.

Dubai boasts the tallest building in the world - the Burj Khalifa.  Piercing the skyline, the spike of a structure stands at 829.8m or 2722 ft. 

Set on a man-made island and shaped like the sail of a dhow, the traditional ship of Arabia, the iconic Burj Al Arab hotel stands at 321m or 1053 ft.  Burj Al Arab is only (!) the third tallest hotel in the world.   The other two?  JW Marriott Marquis and Rose Rayhaan?  Why also in Dubai, of course.

Bangkok

Thailand

Sunday

Clear and Cool

 

OMG!  OMB!  Oy vey!

Plinio’s legs are “sore.”  Howard “blew out” his ankle.  Jan has a painful left hip and aching thighs.  Even with his walking stick, Jan can barely limp out of his apartment today to buy breakfast.

Here’s the story:

Last August, I met Plinio on my trip to Svalbard.  Plinio, from Trieste, Italy is also a “traveler.”  Plinio is visiting Thailand this month before heading up to Harbin, China. (-25C)

Last Friday, I met Howard here in Bangkok.  Howard hails from Montreal, Canada.  We “connected” immediately.  After Bangkok, Howard will travel to Cambodia, Vietnam and Bali, Indonesia.

I organized the group and we decided to hire a car and driver and head out west to Kanchanaburi Province for three days.

ב"ה

Shliach is the Singular of Shluchim

 


Brooklyn
New York
November 8, 2015

 

I met Harley Greenberg in Chengdu, by chance....

……….

Harley Greenberg and I first met in Chengdu, Sichuan Province, China in the fall of June, 2010.  We have been friends ever since.

Harley was a Peace Corps Volunteer in China.  He smiles, a warm and caring smile.   

Harley and his wife Helen live in Chengdu (population 9.6 million).  They have a darling infant daughter who they named Jeanne.  From the recent photos he has sent, Harley appears to be one of the most affectionate men I have ever known.   He overflows with gratitude and joy and love as he embraces his wife and child.

Harley and Helen operate the Windhorse Tour travel agency in Chengdu – the gateway city to Tibet.  In 2010 they helped me with my local plans and also booked me on the Yangtze River Three Gorges Cruise.

In the spring of the 2011, I called Harley from Bangkok.  During the course of our conversation I happened to ask him if he was planning to attend a Passover Seder in Chengdu.  Not only did Harley have no idea if there were any other Jews in Chengdu, he was quite unaware that Passover was soon to arrive.  

As we spoke, I did a search and found a small group of Jews in Chengdu who were gathering to conduct a Seder.  I gave Harley the information and encouraged him to make contact.

Two weeks later I called Harley again. 

East Greenland

September 1, 2015

Hello my friends,

The ice sheet on Greenland is second only to the ice sheet at the Antarctic.

Here in late summer, wildflowers abound.  Yet, I have seen little or no agriculture.  The mountains are black or covered with ice and snow.  The fjords are filled with icebergs that have broken free of the ancient glaciers.

My next adventure is in Iceland.  There I anticipate sheep and horses grazing in lush pastures.

So here's the question: "Why is the continental-country of ice called Greenland?

Why is the more temperate locale called Iceland?

 I wish you safe and colorful travels, 

Jan

 

 

 

 

The Iceberg Story

A Poetic Story:

“The Migration of Icebergs” by Daniel Anet*

“It’s a naïve iceberg, pure ethereal sculpture, a floating mountain that rolled over one day and plunged into the sea.  But it’s also the wide open sea, an infinite constellation if icebergs, like a migration of swans; or perhaps it might be the reflection of the Milky Way slipping across the dark blue sea, through the drifting fog.

The fjords thrust into granite lands for hundreds of kilometers, like inland seas; and their waves will eventually lap against short beaches of grey and black pebbles, onto which slump the pleated fronts of age-old glaciers polished by waterfalls. 

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