As our roads ran out in Armenia, we ended up flying most of the way back to Seattle. This included flights from Abu Dhabi across Pakistan to India, touring India and China, and our longest flight from Seoul to Seattle. We have always tried to travel during the day in order to see more. Some days the skies were amazingly clear that I just had to try to capture with a camera. I experimented both with my iPad and with a Fuji digital camera. For editors I used Picasa some, but mainly the default iPad editor. Here are the best ones. The airplane window plastic provides some interesting hues and distortions. WordPress loves to re-arrange my pictures as I edit them, so the order is haphazard.
The author Tim O’Brien grew up in Worthington, MN thirty miles from my home town. Three years older than I, our paths never crossed. I read his original short story, “The Things They Carried,” in the summer fiction issue of Esquire Magazine. It provides a personal glimpse of soldiers’ lives in Vietnam. I reread the book of short stories by the same name several times. One time for an anthropology class on artifacts and another time when it was assigned reading in one of Daughter’s classes.
Our life and travel seems to have transitioned during our two day stopover in Abu Dhabi. After almost six months in Europe and european Asia, we now find ourselves in the humble jumble of Indian life. To mark this change, I reviewed everything I packed back in July. I found seven items that were never used, not even once.
As expected, there’s technical stuff for computers: USB hub, memory card adapter, Chinese nintendo cartridge. We didn’t have to open any cans nor measure anything. The folding scissors turns out to be redundant as we have a sewing kit and a multitool. The bombiila (metal straw with filter end for drinking loose leaf tea) represents the few things that were just too hard to give away. When we downsized, it was easy to give up books that could be replaced electronically if I really desired to read them again. The treasures that were unique and found in uncommon lands held the strongest grip on me.
These artifacts help me put in perspective what really is necessary for living. Some things that accompany us were just too new to discard. Now, they are used and have served a purpose. I’m glad I had them but happy to move on. The adventure continues.