Friday, November 30, 2007

Playing with fire

Mona and I returned from our trip to Jordan and Dubai, picked up kids from Bombay and got back to Bangalore in time to celebrate Diwali. This is probably the biggest holiday of the year in India and a major Hindu festival. And to add to the fun, we had Seema and Mick visiting us from Los Angeles at the same time.

The children (and the adults who are still children at heart) had a blast. Fireworks in India now match the sophistication of fireworks anywhere in the world. Families will spend tens of thousands of Rupees to buy an assortment of fire crackers which include some of the most unique in the world. Gender differentiation is quite obvious during this festival as you see the girls huddled in one corner playing with sparklers and colorful fireworks while the boys are busy in another corner bursting LOUD bombs!

It goes without saying that there is lots of food around. The building association also organized a show which included a fashion show, play, mime and other items that showcased the fine talents of the young children in the building.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Welcome to Jordan

Jordanians are either extremely warm and friendly folks or they (young and old) have been trained effectively in growing tourism within the country. "Welcome to Jordan" is the phrase you will hear from everyone including little children on the street to a police official.

Mona and I were fortunate to visit Jordan for several days earlier this month (the reason for my conspicuous absence from this blog). Jordan is a wonderful country where history rules, there is stress-free chaos and people are warm and welcoming. Petra (one of the wonders of the world) was the main highlight of our visit and well worth it. But we managed to pack quite a bit in a few short days. We had a chance to float in the Dead Sea, view the incredible mosaics in the city of Madaba and live the history in the ancient city of Jerash. Amman was an interesting city where finding your way around (if you are driving) is an interesting experience.

This was our first visit to a country in the Middle East and we will back for more.