Showing posts from March, 2011

Andalusia, Spain: Poetry in Motion

"September is supposed to be the best time to visit Spain", a friend from Madrid said in an email, "The heat of summer should have passed, but the air still warm." After checking the car rentals and RENFE (train/rail system in Spain) schedule, I found the tour bus to be the most cost-effective and the best way to go. Soon enough we were on a flight from Paris to Madrid to catch the bus to Southern Spain. The following day, we left our very comfortable hotel early in the morning to find the tour operator office closed. So we decided to have breakfast at the restaurant next door. One hour past the scheduled departure date, the office still has not opened. I was afraid the trip got canceled. Encouraged to see a piece of luggage by the door, I went out to check if there were other travelers around. We found the owners of the luggage, a young American couple, waiting at the other side of the doorway. As the door opened, RC and I followed the young couple inside.

The Ends of the Earth: Not an Ordinary Travel Book Review

 By Alice Odena                         His face is turned towards the past. Where we perceive a chain of events, He sees one single catastrophe which keeps piling wreckage upon wreckage and hurls it in front of his feet.  The angel would like to stay, awaken the dead, and make whole what has been smashed.    But a storm is blowing from Paradise; it has got caught in his wings with such violence that the angel can no longer close them. This storm irresistibly propels him into the future to which his back is turned, while the pile of debris before him grows skyward. This storm is what we call progress [1] . A fter watching a television footage of smoke billowing from a nuclear plant after the natural disaster in Japan, I thought back to the book I read in graduate school – “The Ends of the Earth”, a travel book written by Robert Kaplan. This book is not your ordinary travel book. As the author admits, this book is subjective. But by reporting on what he sees a