[ [FREE] Scratching the Surface Impressions of Planet Earth from Hollywood to Shiraz ] BY Jeff Greenwald – dedelicate.com
FREE Scratching the Surface Impressions of Planet Earth from Hollywood to Shiraz BY Jeff Greenwald – dedelicate.com
The open seaGreenwald spends some time in a refugee camp in Thailand for Khmers fleeing Pol Pot In trying circumstances he finds the Khmers still with hope tremendous dignity vast euanimity and an acceptance of the present moment which he feels is completely unparalleled in western behavior On Kathmandu he writes perceptively you go through your ife here dodging cows smiling at the monks with their new uartz watches stopping at the stores to buy the atest Elvis Costello cassette and you forget how thinly the veneer of western influence is pasted over what basically is a very superstitious and pagan society He describes the ancient Hindu Buddhist Jain Ellora caves in western India poetically as it was an ancient harbinger of Michaelangelo s contention that the sculptures are already in the uarries awaiting release from the stone The narratives are not in the same class as that of Paul Theroux or Naipaul They are not that absorbing to read in one or two sittings Still anyone interested in travel would find the exotic nature of his experiences uite fascinatin. Us view of our rapidly evolving world The thirty one tales in Scratching the Surface span the globe from the jungles of Nepal to a solar eclipse in the skies above Iran; from an electric bath in Tokyo to moonwalker Buzz Aldrin's Beverly Hills flat Nearly all of these stories have previously appeared in print but most will be unfamiliar to even his most oyal fa.
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His meeting with Buzz Aldrin on the 30th anniversary of the Moon Dead Boy landing was a mesmerizing experience for him and he says he was drawn into his orbit I wish he didn t use such a cliched expression About theaid back Laotians he uotes the French phrase the Vietnamese plant rice the Cambodians watch it grow and the Laotians Mud and Stars listen to it grow Among the stories from Nepal Iiked the one about young Jitu a self taught young naturalist and animal tracker Jitu takes him on an exciting outing into the Chitwan National Park to watch a tiger at its kill at very close range The essay on the traditional Hindu cremation of the dead in Bali being turned into a tourist event was shocking and bizarre to read The one real adventure story in the collection was a boat trip he takes from Dubai to Karachi with no radio no flares no signals and fuel only for 100 hours The journey takes than 100 hours and they were running out of fresh water as well It was hilarious to read that the Pakistani boatman was asking half naked seamen on fishing stiff for directions to Karachi out in. Face Impressions of Planet Earth from Hollywood to Shiraz is finally available as a imited edition paperback Here is the best of Greenwald's 20 year travel writing career hand picked from two decades of open eyed dispatches Spanning oceans continents and the uantum eap from the Smith Corona to the Cybercafé these stories provide an illuminating often hilario.
I had not known about Jeff Greenwald prior to getting hold of this book by accident This book is a selection of his short travel writing essays over two decades Most of the essays are about his journeys in Asia from Thailand Cambodia India Nepal Iran etc and a few from Mexico and his home San Francisco They were visits done in the 1980s and 1990s prior to 911The essays which appealed to me were some of the followingThe essay Union of the Sun and the Moon where Greenwald goes to the historic Iranian cities of Esfahan and Shiraz to observe the rare total solar eclipse in 1999 He finds Iran as one of the most hospitable countries on earth and the people welcoming Americans on the Eclipse expedition warmly He predicts in 1999 there that in five years time Iran will be part of the mainstream in the world community One doesn t know if it would have happened had 911 not occurredIn Bhutan he finds one asian nation where conservation and cultural integrity remaining important than profit Still Bhutan allows high end organized controlled tourism for people with money. Jeff Greenwald's four previous books including his best selling Shopping for Buddhas and The Size of the World have taken thousands of readers on journeys from the ruins of Angkor to the California Lottery's Big Spin voyages at once sublime and provocative spiritual and absurd After delays than the Mumbai Chennai Express Jeffs atest offering Scratching the Sur.
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