The morning was bright and sunny as we drove past rolling farmlands and quiet towns on the excellent national highway. We were in India on the way to a meeting at Katmandu in Nepal and had made a stopover at New Delhi. Our connecting flight was a few days away so our Indian director and friend suggested we do a quick visit to the Taj Mahal in the city of Agra, Uttar Pradesh. Continue reading The World’s Most Famous Mausoleum
We stepped out of Pochentong Airport and walked the hot and dusty distance to our waiting host and his car. Soon we were driving through a city that would be our home for the next two months. As we sat, silently gazing out of the car windows, we realized we were in a different world. Phnom Penh’s surroundings stood in stark contrast to a modern and progressive Bangkok where we had stopped briefly on our way here. Continue reading Two Months in Phnom Penh
The first time I flew into this city it was like entering a place straight out of the Middle Ages. On my flight from Karachi to Peshawar I rode a Russian-made and crewed airliner along with many Pashtuns in their native shalwar kameez, some of them carrying bundles of clothes on sticks in lieu of a suitcase. Upon landing, I took a brief tour of the city past narrow streets, centuries-old bazaars, walled forts and old architectural designs on wood and brick houses – all of which evoked memories of a distant past.
We drove for what seemed like an eternity along a winding road past mud brick houses on a bleak landscape, British Indian Army regimental insignias on roadside cliffs, hillside forts and dusty Pakistani Army outposts. At many a hairpin turn, Khyber levies with their ominous Kalashnikovs stood watch. Positioned there to provide security for travelers on the pass, they evoked a completely opposite feeling among our group of mixed nationalities. Finally we were there – at the highest point of the Khyber Pass on the edge of Pakistan’s Northwest Frontier Province overlooking the descent to Afghanistan and the first villages past the border of that country.