My year away, 2005-2006: too much traveling, not enough editing

… in which I say absolutely nothing about the famous sights I’ve seen, and only sometimes manage to prove that I am not quite as stupid as I look.

During the fall semester, I

  • was targeted by a gang of transvestites;
  • boarded a moving train with heavy luggage;
  • marched with the People’s Liberation Army, though not on purpose.

During the spring semester, I visited Canada.

Click on the links above for more details.


This is not a travel diary. Just because I see something interesting doesn’t necessarily mean that I’ll write about it here. For example, I’ve said nothing about Berlin. Since that city has seen over one hundred billion dollars of reconstruction in recent years, you know that there’s something there worth writing about. But I’m leaving that to the more perceptive folks.

In case you’re wondering what other places I haven’t written about, here’s my itinerary for the year (leaving off occasional trips to Akron, New York City, Washington, etc.): Paris, London, Ann Arbor, Berlin, Frankfurt, Delhi, Agra, Allahabad, Bombay, Bangkok, Hong Kong, Manila, Beijing, Ann Arbor (again), Chicago, Toronto.

Since I completed this write-up, a few people have written in with additional information. This is contained in endnotes, which are linked to the relevant text.


Update: 2010 August 4. I am back in Mumbai. Venketasubramanian, a student who is visiting here from Hyderabad, has read this page, and thinks that my impressions of India are believable. But he points out that in south India, where I have never been, things are more orderly, and people have more respect for rules. I sense that Mumbai is also moving in that direction, though slowly. Or maybe I’m just getting used to the local ways. I appended a few other observations to the end of my Fall account.