You can't be in Vietnam without becoming fascinated with the motorcycles (and bicycles).
"It was like a chess game, and we were the pawns."
Why Vietnam? No matter what your views of the Vietnam war may be, it was a touchstone for our generation.
As our week drew on, Rebecca and I got more comfortable venturing out on train, subway and bus. We met Big when he was free to see places wth us, and explored on our own when he had to go to a meeting or just wanted to meet with his buddies somewhere and have a … Continue reading Bangkok Part 3
In many ways, we had waited for fifteen years for this. Big arrived in the United States when he was just fifteen years old, on the biggest adventure of his life. He seemed confused, bewildered by our habits and eating customs, and he was thrown into a high school senior schedule with little English. His … Continue reading Bangkok Part 2
Our Stay in Bangkok Part 1 I did not start writing about our stay in Bangkok until we were ready to leave. Looking back now, as we prepare to go to the airport, a flood of thoughts rush in as we parepare to get on the plane to Vietnam. These thoughts were somewhat of an … Continue reading Bangkok
This is our last post from Romania. For all the consternation I went through renting a car from a friend of Cornel’s, we had grown to like the little diesel Volkswagen Golf. Along the way, we had anthropomorphized the compact as "Alf" (those were the letters on the license plate). He had carried us up … Continue reading A New Circle Begins, Part Two
Some stories seem to unfold in a neat, chronological path. Others do not lend themselves to that form easily. And this is one of them. While the circle of our trip arced through Marginea passing by father's birthplace, and locating, finally, Gheorghe, Leonica, Mariaora, and Gavrila, and closed, we still had one day to return … Continue reading A New Circle Begins, Part One
Our circle was coming to a close. Our rental car was overdue, we had made the grand tour of Romania, and we were back for a final visit to see family before taking the train to Bulgaria. But there was one thing bearing down hard on my conscience: I had not been able to visit … Continue reading The End of the Circle
Cluj, City of Contrasts We drove north to Cluj to visit the newlyweds, Adrian and Carmen. Cluj is an ancient Roman settlement. The word Cluj is derived from a word meaning basin, ravine or river valley. The official name is Cluj Napoca, the latter part added during the Soviet era, suggesting the name of the … Continue reading Circle of Friends–Part 8: Cluj, City of Contrasts
We left Bran, Fundata Valley and Braşov knowing that nothing could ever match the magic of that experience, but... When we entered the Citadel of Siguişoara (pronounced Sigi-show-rra) it seemed like they had given us a special E Ticket to Disneyland. Not just the Matterhorn, but to the to The Magic Kingdom itself. Maria had … Continue reading Circle of Friends-Part 7: Sighisoara and the Citadel
On to Braşov, but not for long... Packed, had a quiet breakfast, and said goodbye to Aron and headed north. It is always sad to think that you will never see someone with whom you've made friends. Even with road construction, we got to Braşov in just under an hour. We found our way through … Continue reading Circle of Friends–Part 6: The Demons at the Carpathian Gate
Bran and Fundata Valley This was supposed to be a whimsical stop-off at the supposed setting of Dracula's castle, (based on the real more-gruesome-than-fiction warrior, Vlad "The Impaler" Tepeş) which just happened to be on Halloween. We were headed up from the flatlands of Bucharest, through the gates of the Carpathians, into Transylvania. Then we … Continue reading Circle of Friends–Part 5: Halloween at Bran’s Castle
On the road, we headed west and south from Toulcea. After a bit of GPS only guidance, I tried to find our place on the map book and eventually found it. The countryside had gently rolling hills and flat farmlands that stretched to the horizon. Farms were bigger here with fewer houses--there were times you … Continue reading Circle of Friends–Part 4: The Capital
We arrived near dusk, partly due to the fact that Romania had just changed to daylight saving time here, but I doubt that's what they call it. As the sky was turning grey and the winds picked up, Rebecca and I found a small restaurant on the second floor of a row of businesses near … Continue reading Circle of Friends–Part 3: Tulchea and the Danube Delta
(Click on photos to see captions) In this post, we stayed at an inn and at a hotel, not writing ahead, not asking our hosts to engage or talk to us or tell us their story. It was a bit of a break from interviewing people, a bit of a diversion from our theme of … Continue reading Circle of Friends–Part 2: The North East
Elena Opris welcomed with kisses and open arms.
The will of the people was inevitable, most people told us. It was building to a flashpoint, waiting for a spark. We retraced the steps of people 29 years ago to find out what were the elements that ignited the Revolution. (Some photos from this post are from the Museum of the Revolution Decmber 16-25 … Continue reading Romania’s Painful Birth of Freedom: Long Read
A hodge-podge of stuff not related to other stories
This was a day like no other. The wedding was filled with activity for us from the moment we got up, to late in the night. We have been in Europe for almost a month now, but the impact if this event hit us like nothing else! I took a lot of pictures and Rebecca wrote … Continue reading Adrian and Carmen’s Wedding
As I write, now, here in Greece, we have let some substantial time laps between the actual experience and the publication of our blogs. My plan this rainy morning on Crete was to wrap up our Romanian six week adventure with one final blog about a "New Circle Begins" referring to the liniage of my … Continue reading The End of the Circle, Postscript