I have not updated this in so long! As usual, I’m behind, and running late for a meeting. So here’s a quick couple minute sketch of what I’ve been up to and what I’ve got up my sleeve, confirmed or otherwise.
July 2013: The trip I mentioned in a previous post to Serbia et al to study trubaci music (Serbian trumpet/brass music) certainly came to fruition. Highlights: awesome movie selection on Air Canada (they were running a film festival “in the air”), baths in Budapest, train ride through the length of Serbia, showing up to Demiran’s house as everyone was leaving for the hospital for the birth of novi Demiran (1st grandson), and the partying that followed, weddings every night with insane groups in the Vranje mahala (Roma district- saw Marko i Jelena Markovic with Energy Bend, couple times Ekrem Mamutovic, I forget the other group), hanging with Usain and Demir Kanturovski in Berovo Macedonia, Nebi of Kocani Orkestar inviting his whole band to play for/jam with us on 30 minutes’ notice (also in Berovo), chillin’ with Vinco (Kocani’s accordionist) in Kocani, random side trip to Bulgaria, complete with gov’t protests, Rila Monastery in Bulgaria, Belgrade in one day, taking the wrong overnight train to Budapest and daytime train the next day w/no AC and 40+ degrees outside, one last walk through Budapest and opera visit.
August 2013: Quickie day trip to Philly where I hung with old friends in old haunts; Amtrak train to Montreal along the Hudson river for $60 (sooooo awesome), overnight in Montreal at boutique hotel (across from awesome DJ set in a park) that earned me couple 1,000 miles, Klez Kanada kraziness, hang in Montreal post-Klez Kanada, biodome and walking tour, volunteering/hearing the Montreal Jewish music fest, almost moving to Toronto, but then not, hang with my sister/family in NJ, post-travel depression upon return to LA
September 2013: What was supposed to be a “mileage/mattress run” (earning a lot of miles and hotel points for a low fee) ended up putting me in the middle of a natural disaster in Acapulco for over a week. Did earn those miles and hotel points (enough to put me up in a hotel for almost 20 nights if I use points well). Reflections on how Mexicans handled the crisis (well!) compared to what happens or could happen in the US.
October 2013: Couple days in SF to explore a possible place to move when I finish school. Birthday weekend in either Joshua Tree or Catalina Island (TBA). Study study study
November 2013: 6 days in Oman, 2 days in Dubai, 1 day in Bahrain. A test in solo travel in the Mid East (albeit a very gentle/tourist friendly one
December-Jan 2013-4: A week in South Africa and couple weeks in Southeast Asia. Day in Beijing and Tokyo. Planning to study Thai massage/yoga at Wat Po school in Bangkok and Chiang Mai, and get a feel for culture in Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia.