Tuesday, November 05, 2013

"Leaving on a jet plane ... "

Tonight I am flying off on a two week trip to Bhutan. In the broad expanse of Central Asia, this tiny country is a narrow sliver of a place, sandwiched between India and China on the south side of the Himalayas. It's population is smaller than San Francisco's -- about 750,000. Its present size, shape, and governance (its monarchy was founded by local and regional consensus in 1907) reflects its history on the edge of first the British empire and then independent India. In recent years, its kings have promoted a democratic turn. It is predominately rural, Buddhist in a form we call "Tibetan", and zealous about preserving its cultural patrimony. According to that useful internet resource, the CIA Factbook, Bhutan is engaging in a
cautious expansion of the tourist sector, encourag[ing] visits by upscale, environmentally conscientious tourists.
That, I suspect, fits the bunch I've signed on with.

So why am I going to Bhutan? There are mountains, and people, and sights I've probably never imagined. Essentially I am going because I can, economically and physically. Neither condition will last forever. Meanwhile, I go and I will try to see and to take pictures. A short trip is not long enough to learn anything very significant about a somewhere new, especially a place with a truly different history and language than my own.

But even a short trip may change me. We'll see.

I may or may not have WiFi some places. If so, I may post at least some pictures. I have lined up some posts here (not every day but often) for the period of the trip … and will be back to regular posting by late November.
Click to embiggen.
Post title by John Denver, if anyone wondered.


Rain Trueax said...

Hope you have a good trip

janinsanfran said...

Rain -- like me, you are always up early!

Rain Trueax said...

Yep. and even more so with DST ending. I really really hate that we are still doing that. From what I read it doesn't gain anything anymore.

Michael Strickland said...

I envy you the trip. There was a marvelous Bhutan exhibit at the Asian Art Museum four years ago that was accompanied by a pair of monks who'd hang out on their little decorated altar area on the museum floor, for months. They were adopted by the city, and stayed longer than anticipated because they were having such a good time.

I have a girlfriend who visited who had a life-changing time. All the best temples with the coolest layouts are at the top of nanny-goat climbs up narrow mountain paths. You should be in heaven, but be careful.

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