What India Taught Me, Part 1: A Taxi Nightmare and Where Lost Baggage Goes to Die

To say that you’ve seen the world before seeing India is like saying you know yourself before taking a good long look at your naked body in the mirror.Author's Note: As we begin to write about our last visit to India in greater depth, I’m reminded of my first trip there -- also my first trip abroad that I took solo in 1997. Those were the days of traveler’s … [Read more...]

Top 8 in 2008

As 2008 came to an end, we reflected on our experiences from the passing year. Best experience? It's impossible to choose just one, so we share a few of the memories that are likely to remain with us through 2009 and beyond.Some we’ve written about already. The complete story of others are yet to come.Where 2009 will take us, no one knows (including us). … [Read more...]

A Five Star Dinner at the Taj Dera Chandigarh

Chapati Master

Shortly after our morning encounter, our breakfast pal Vikram checked out our website and gave us a call. He hoped to facilitate our India experience by adding a bit of refinement to it.A few phone calls and a couple of hours later, we were scheduled to meet with Rajan Sharma, the head chef at the Taj Hotel Chandigarh’s Dera Restaurant. … [Read more...]

Lunch with Friends in Chandigarh: Methi Muttar Malai and Aloo Gobi

Aloo Gobi and Mutter Methi Malai

Not long after breakfast, we were sitting with Sharan and his business partner Rajiv, our previously virtual friends. They were the reason we had come to Chandigarh. Sharan had completed a small software project for me (to help put the finishing touches on our photo gallery) the year before. After the project, Sharan and I continued to stay in touch.When he … [Read more...]

Breakfast in Chandigarh: Samosas at Sai Sweets

Chandigarh Breakfast

"Chandigarh??" Travelers often squawk in confusion when we share our India itinerary with them. While places like Rajasthan, Kerala, and Varanasi register as usual suspects for visits to India, Chandigarh – a planned and rather atypical city in the northern Indian state of Punjab - rarely finds itself on travelers’ must-see checklists. … [Read more...]

Oh, What a Night

Mumbai: Easy to Locate

It was our India moment. You know, the kind of travel moment when you’re on a trip and you think to yourself, “Now this is why I came here.”No, we weren’t sipping masala tea and eating chicken tikka while admiring the image of the Taj Mahal in its reflecting pool. Rather, we were tucked into the sticky folds and the dingy creases of an uncontrived real-life Indian … [Read more...]

The Search for Grandfather’s House, Part Two

Scott Compound in Tsingtao

The new house, commanding magnificent views of open sea and bathing beaches, and mountains and forest gardens, and houses. North of the Iltis Huk church, at foot of the big hill, on south slope. Wish you could enjoy it soon with us. Big love, Daddy -- a note on the back of a photo of the house in Qingdao, China, written by my great-grandfather to one of his children … [Read more...]