Sunday, January 1, 2012

River of Smoke

River of SmokeRiver of Smoke by Amitav Ghosh
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is the second book of the Ibis Trilogy, which follows the development of the Opium Trade in the mid 1800s.

The first book left off with the characters sailing from Calcutta to Mauritius, following the movement of opium from the production site to shipment. This book centers on the trade in Canton which eventually precipitates into the Opium Wars between Britain and China.

As with the first book, this book appears extensively researched. It is refreshing to read about this chapter in history from the point of view of an Indian Parsi, rather than the usual British/American or Chinese. I enjoyed reading it because of the wealth of information it provided, though the writing was not as compelling in parts.

I'm looking forward to the last installment of the trilogy.

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Thursday, October 13, 2011

Hercules at Rest

Here's a picture of Hercules at Rest, an ancient sculpture found at the Archeological Museum here in Naples. It is an impressive piece.

Location:Museo Archeologico Nazionale Napoli


I'm sure you know about Pompeii. The ruins are world famous, and the millions of tourists who see it each year are vocal in their admiration. It's my third time here, but it's the first time I went around with an archeologist, Lello Coppola, and this made a world of difference. It was fantastic.



Naples is gritty cool. I had some misgivings about traveling to this part of the world (especially with my parents) as traveller's reviews are often mixed. The talk of it being dirty, scary and somewhat creepy is true, but the gravitas of it's history and grandeur earns it a spot on must-see travel lists.

Chiesa del Gesu

Galleria Umberto Emmanuel

Dogs in front of the Opera House

Mt. Vesuvius in the distance

Castles everywhere

And, oh yeah, the food is enough for you to come to Naples. It is after all, the king of Italian seafood dishes and the birthplace of pizza.


Scenes from the Amalfi Coast

It's reputedly one of the best drives in the world. The hairpin bends were dizzying, breathtaking, exhilarating. Here are some pictures from yesterday's drive. Thank you to our driver Pepe.




Peperoccino (apparently an aphrodisiac)

View from Ravello

Location:The Amalfi Coast

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Buon giorno from Napoli

Hello world.

My apologies for my blog tardiness. Perhaps getting a mobile device might cure me. But only if there's a free wi-fi service around.

Been touring Naples and the environs. Today is Amalfi Coast day.

Talk to you all later.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Via Vincenzo Bellini,Naples,Italy

Sunday, April 3, 2011


With cousin J and L at Kinderdijk, early in February 2011.