hi folks.

I have finished an 11 day trek to the pindari glacier and am now back in Ranikhet for a 5 day course in wilderness advanced first aid. in four days, i am going on a 14 day rafting expedition in the garwhal region of uttarakhand. then i'll be spending two weeks living with a family in munsiari (during elections!), then over a month trekking in the milam valley. COOL.

here's what I'm thinking about my time so far:

I turned 21 on a plane, which flew right through my birthday (12 hour time change, 14 hour flight). the flight attendants gave me a complimentary first class bottle of wine, which i shared with some new friends about 30,000 feet above greenland. speaking of which, i've met a lot of great people who i'll be spending quite a bit of time with.

during my hike in the pindari glacier, i spent a lot of time talking with one of my instructors named Reena. She is from darjeeling, has two sets of twins (aged 2 and 4), and her husband is currently climbing everest for the third time. we had a lot of great conversations about religion and natural history, and she's helped me with my hindi quite a bit.

the story of the himalayas is a sad one. in summary, the brits planted a lot of foreign pine trees which grew quickly and straightly, expediting the building of India's profitable railway. the pine needles are too acidic for the region, making the growth of any other plants nearly impossible, resulting in no undergrowth, erosion, landslides, floods, etc. the mixed forests that once comprised all of the indian himalaya now exists only in 4% of india. That 4% is the portion that I hike in. bo-gus.

during the trek i performed a 21st birthday rap for a new friend of mine atop Khati khal, got cloistered with another friend who sprained her ankle for three days with very little food, have mastered the indian left-hand-poop-wipe (which is superior to toilet paper), and met a dog friend named Kalu who slept in the vestibule of my tents, and followed our hiking groups for over a week.

the outdoors have been very good for my temperament. however, i am now faced with 4 more days of 8 hour class inside. That's going to be rough.

I hope yins are well! Let me know of releavant news in your lives either publically (comments) or privately at corner@nyu.edu. I'll be able to check this in a few days once more.




And now, I am off to the mountains. Do not expect to hear from me until late May. Also, Harry and Izzy: I've selected a school schedule for the fall, and it looks like I'll be able to keep my afternoons free, which means my return is secure. Huzzah!

If someone wants to post or e-mail major news developments that I miss (like who wins the Indian elections while I'm in their mountains) so I don't have to sift through months of newspaper articles when I get back, that'd be really nice too.

Yins take care of yourselves.


Ort Land, PourAgain

Portland, as I said, is a fine city.

Mt. Hood is pretty ominous, at 11,249 feet. I will be climbing mountains several thousand feet taller quite soon, which is really quite terrifying.

Within Portland are some wonderful things like Japanese Gardens:

Which inspires people to make their own Japanese gardens in front of their homes:

Portland also offered me a fantastic hootenanny potluck, smallest national park in the country (built for snail races. The plaque was larger than the park), Ben Malbin, and a pinball parlor at an arcade called Ground Kontrol which is unsurpassed in my pinball experience.

I am in Seattle now, with Leo the Kitten. Last night he welcomed me by expelling some urine on my bed, but really it was just his sneaky way of allowing me to wash my underwear and socks. Thanks, Leo. I'm going to go explore Seattle by bicycle now.

Until next time.


train travel

Four days of training, and I have arrived in portland, oregon. A fine city. I've passed through New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, North Dakota, Montana, Idaho, Washington, and Oregon.

A conversation I had in Union Station, Chicago:
Old Southern Man: Where you from?
David: I'm from Rhode Island.
Old Southern Man: Shoot, why the hell you talk so normal?

Milwaukee is one of the more depressing cities I've ever traveled through.

Dinner involves sitting with three strangers at a table in the dining car. Me and a middle-aged pharmaceutical sales man were chatting amiably when two women were shown to the table (mother in her 80s and daughter in her 40s). The older woman looked at me with disgust, horrified at the prospect of being seated with me.
"We're sitting here? I don't want to sit with them. I bite."

The salesman laughed nervously, like a salesman would: "Ha! Let's get some drinks in these ladies."

The mother replied, stonefaced, "I'm not joking. I'm really crabby."

Arlene (the biter) and I eventually hit it off. She was concerned about my dad becoming a Deacon: "I'm looking out for you, really. What if your inheritance goes straight to the church when he kicks the bucket?" We chatted about the middle east and anthropology and art. She wanted me to make sure that I understood that "the brain breathes mind as our lungs breathe air." She taught and showed me what a coulee is. And finally, because of her foul mood, we got a free cup of coffee.


North Dakota:


Columbia River, Oregon

trains > planes