54 Minutes in Nepal and Bhutan
00:00 Maoists in Thamel, Kathmandu
00:30 Prem Ki Naiyya (from the movie Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani)
02:37 Nirnaya Ft Mandapi Tripati – Hami Sangai
06:01 Maoist May Day parade, Kathmandu
06:36 Rai Ko Ris – 9 to 5 You Got It
08:29 Archery, Paro
09:06 Closing credits, program on Bhutan Broadcasting Service TV
10:53 Chanting, Punakha Dzong, Punakha
14:23 And the drums and the horns, Punakha Dzong, Punakha
19:08 104.1 FM, Thimphu
21:29 Gangte Goemba
22:10 99.9 FM, Thimphu
28:23 104.1 FM, Bhutan
31:07 Prayer Wheel on the walk to Taktsang Dzong (Tiger’s Nest)
31:13 Tea at the cafeteria halfway up to Taktsang Dzong (Tiger’s Nest)
32:13 Movie on Z Channel
36:10 Zilukha Nunnery, Thimphu
36:34 All Izz Well (from the movie 3 Idiots)
40:35 Knocking wheat, Changu
40:45 97.9 FM, Bodnath
45:42 Music On Demand
49:31 Taumadhi Tole, Bhaktapur
Tucson, Arizona. Las Cruces, New Mexico. Odessa, Texas. New Orleans, Louisiana. Vicksburg, Mississippi.
Fort Smith, Arkansas. Tulsa, Oklahoma. Coffeyville, Kansas. Kansas City, Missouri. Ames, Iowa.
Minneapolis, Minnesota. Madison, Wisconsin. Chicago, Illinois. Michigan City, Indiana. Chelsea, Michigan.
Cleveland, Ohio. Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania. Ledgewood, New Jersey. Brooklyn, New York.
What I brought with me as I arrived home (not including what I was wearing at the time): Drylite Microtowel, radio, headphones, microphone, flashlight, scarf, travel umbrella, winter hat, batteries, 35 liter backpack, drybag, plastic soda bottle filled with tap water, bag lock, two plastic forks, laptop computer, long johns (sorry, “base layers”), razors, hotel shampoo, toothpaste, toothbrush, toothbrush cover, tweezers, soap in a soap dish, small toiletries bag, jacket, spare pair of glasses, bathing suit, three tee shirts, shorts, dress shoes, pants, USB drive, two power converters, dress, sweater, skirt, metal food container with lid and handle, underthings, and four pairs of socks.
Mister Chen’s list:
Shanghai laundry soap
Dental floss from Beijing
Toothpaste – Japan
Blue razor – US
Orange razor – Budapest ?
Hand sanitizer – from dorothy’s mom
Colgate shaving cream – US
6 bandaids – US
Canker sore medicine – triamcinolone
2 advils – US
Hair scissors – Beijing
Ear plugs – US
Hotel soap – Moscow
Nail clip scissors – US
Shampoo – from US
Gray blazer – Japan
Winter hat – Beijing Walmart
Thermos – Beijing
Paper bag of Jasmine tea – Beijing Walmart
Video Camera – US
Cunard Leather Pocket Folio
Cowboy Shirt – US
Brown Pants – US
Unrefrigerated Cheese from France
Black Swimming Trunks – US
Metal Bowl w/ detachable handle – Beijing vendor
Anna Karenina – Beijing book store
Old Time Advertising Book – used book store, Tokyo
Granola Bar – Winn Dixie Supermarket Fort Lauderdale
Powdered cat nip – Tokyo
Blue Collared Polo Shirt – US
3 Pairs of sox
1 Ralph Lauren undies
1 Hanes undies
1 Fukanglai Undies – Beijing Walmart
Cat Shirt – US
Long thermal pants – US
Long thermal top – US
Macbook White 13″ – US
Waicom Drawing Tablet – US
Waicom Drawing Tablet Pen – US
Around the World on Trains T-Shirt – Taipei Taiwan
3-Piece 4 Button Suit – Custom tailored Beijing
1 Pink Dress Shirt – Custom Tailored Beijing
1 White Striped Dress Shirt – Custom Tailored Beijing
Toilet Paper – Ulan Bator
6 packets of tea – 4 from Queen Mary 2 and 2 from somewhere else maybe Ukraine
2 packets of instant Cappuccino from Split Croatia
1 disposable Chopsticks from Japan
4 Popeners from Roma
1 London Library Card
1 Cunard Pen
1 Brown Pen from Krakow
1 Bag Lock from Taipei Taiwan
4 mini DV cassettes
Hotel Receipt from Moscow Hotel
1 Wrapper for Griskisticks – Split Croatia
1 Packet of Tissue Paper from Train in Ukraine to Krakow
Sea Shells from Asaki in Tokunoshima
Dental floss – empty – from US
Queen Mary 2 ID Card
1 Eraser from Taipei Taiwan
Ticket Receipt for Train from Rome to Paris
1 Scrap Paper with Du-Du’s email address – Taipei Taiwan
1 Scrap Paper with Eryn and Tony’s email addresses -Taipei Taiwan
1 Receipt/commemorative card to historic bell tower in Split Croatia
1 Receipt/commemorative card to church attached to the bell tower
1 bottle of unused prescription antibiotics – for the runs –
1 Empty bottle of water – Italy
Peanut Butter from Winn Dixie Fort Lauderdale
The bus arrives and we sit in plastic seats near the back. The bus lumbers slowly and stops frequently. We pull into a large parking lot by I-95. In the middle of the parking lot is the Fort Lauderdale Amtrak terminal.
The Silver Meteor leaves an hour earlier than the Silver Star, and we arrive in time to witness its arrival and departure. It will get to New York eight hours before we do. It costs sixty dollars more than the Silver Star. We are taking the Silver Star.
As the Silver Star starts to follow I-95 north up the east coast we leave our upholstered seats and adjourn to the club car where we sit across a plastic table from each other. The club car sells a slim, overpriced assortment of snacks, sandwiches and beer. Out the window we watch green fly by.
A woman from Key West wearing a black tee shirt that asks “Got ink?” is talking. The woman is talking to a man from Jamaica who says he is in America visiting family but never says where in America that family is. The woman is loud. Key West is awesome because people get totally naked. Her boyfriend is Mexican, and he’s a really big guy so people are afraid of him, bt the big guys are always the sweeties, you know? The man from Jamaica is a good listener because he is busy drinking.
The train stops. The train rolls backwards for a while. The steward must remind the woman from Key West and the man from Jamaica that as this is a family space loud cursing is not allowed. The train begins to go forward again, slowly. The train stops. The conductor’s voice says we will be moving shortly. Two policemen enter the club car. They take away the man from Jamaica. The car starts rolling slowly forward.
We put peanut butter on crackers and eat them at our seats. When it gets dark we are still in Florida. By the next morning we are in North Carolina.
We climb from Penn Station’s dank stomach to the street in worn sneakers and under giant backpacks. And then we are in New York.
We left as residents and return as tourists.
We are walking to Times Square to meet my sister. The signs are too familiar. Bag Man, Jack’s, the Manhattan Mall. In five minutes we have never left.
BROWARD COUNTY PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION
ONE WAY FARE $1.25USD
AMTRAK’S SILVER STAR
ONE WAY TICKET COACH CLASS $201.40USD
DEPARTS FORT LAUDERDALE, FL DAILY 10:30AM
ARRIVES NEW YORK, NY NEXT DAY 7:30 PM
CUNARD’S QUEEN MARY 2
ONE WAY TICKET $2508.96USD
TRANSATLANTIC CROSSING DEPARTS SOUTHAMPTON EVERY TWO WEEKS, APRIL-OCTOBER
ARRIVES NEW YORK SIX DAYS LATER
OR, IN OUR SINGULAR CASE AND DESPITE OUR BEST WISHES, ARRIVES FORT LAUDERDALE SEVEN DAYS LATER