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Category Archive for 'North America'

John Steinbeck and Us

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Palacio Barolo

“Once a bum, always a bum”

Our Book Club from a former life is reading John Steinbeck’s “Travels with Charley”. We picked up a copy since we will be returning to normal life soon and hope to pick up the threads from where we left off. I do not know whether they chose this book on purpose or whether it is just a conincidence, but no book could be more appropriate to read at this time, to follow the beginning of a journey as we approach the end of ours. Our experinces are fresh in our minds, and it is interesting to compare them with another’s. All the quotes in this article are from this book, John Steinbeck’s “Travles with Charley”.

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The importance of living in the moment

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Structure
One

Living in the moment. The jungle claims Calakmul. The past is forgotten. (Map this!)

For several days, I have been thinking on and off, about the comment Jan made about living in the moment. I was first introduced to this theme when I was studying Sartre several years ago, about our relationship to the past and to the future. What are these places, the past and the future? The future is a fictitious place that can never be reached because it always lies just beyond our realm, our event horizon. The past is an even stranger place, crudely drawn from our very imperfect ability to remember it. It may not even exist at all, as a perfectly consistent world view can follow from the proposition that the world is only five minutes old, brilliantly constructed to appear as if it is billions of years old. Or, for some, 6,000 years old.

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Swimming in Cenotes

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How
Relaxing!

Curious geological formations. The betrayal of the Cocom’s. Learning swimming.

In the Yucatan one finds the curious geological formations known as Cenotes which are formed by a collapse in the limestone to reveal the water table contained within. The most interesting and scientifically romantic cause of Cenotes is the Chixhulub meteor which exterminated the dinosaurs and as a small side effect caused a collapse in the limestone to create cenotes.

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Feliz cumpleaños, Shreesh!

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Cool guy

April 3rd, 1965 – April 3rd, 2008 – Shreesh completes 43 years.

The Mexican way of saying “Happy Birthday” is to sing “La Mañanita“. In Oaxaca, staying as we were in an affluent neighborhood, we would hear mariachis at dawn singing exactly this song, filling the first waking moments of the birthday boy or girl with it. Well I couldn’t really hire mariachis for Shreesh, but he did get his Mañanita sung for him by a really nice Mexican couple at Tulum, in one of the few precious shady spots at the site.

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The fortunate man of Merida

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Hot but happy

The role of fortune in our daily lives. A meeting with a nuclear engineer and a WW II vet.

“You are so fortunate to be able to take the time off for this trip” is one of the most frequent comments we get. We are fortunate, yes, for being born in relatively well-to-do families, for having trained in an area that is in high demand, for getting the lucky breaks that enabled us to hold well paying jobs and most importantly, for being so well matched that we enjoy taking long vacations together without stress or compromise.

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