Hong Kong
Up Bangkok Thailand
Postcards from:  

Big Bear Lake
Hong Kong China
Bangkok Thailand
Calcutta India
Guwahati India
Shillong India
Kaziranga India
Agartala India
Dhaka Bangladesh
Bodhgaya India
Varanasi India
Agra India
New Delhi India
Kathmandu Nepal
Bangkok Thailand
Xi'an China
Tianshui China
Lanzhou China 1

China 1
Turpan China
Korla China
Kuqa China
Aksu China
Kashgar China
Urumqi China 2
Bishkek Kyrgyzstan 1
 Cholponata Kyrgyzstan
 Balykchy Kyrgyzstan
 Bishkek Kyrgyzstan 2
Almaty Kazakhstan 1
 Zharkent Kazakhstan 1
 Almaty Kazakhstan 2
Zharkent Kazakhstan 2
Korghas China
Yining China
Urumqi China 3
Dunhuang China
Jiayuguan China
Zhang Ye China
Wu Wei China
Lanzhou China 2
Zhongwei China
Yinchuan China
Shanghai China
California USA


No travel photos this time.



1 December 2003 

Hello from Hong Kong,

"Where on earth are you?" reads the first line of a dozen messages I've received since my return from Southeast Asia eight months ago... After numerous thoughtful messages from those following my wanderings, I realized silence is the wrong message. So I guess it is time to spill the beans. The short version is that I suffered a mysterious bout of debilitating lethargy shortly after arriving back home on the last day of March.


Kind respondents offered possible excuses: "Well! After all you have been through these past couple years, I'd say you have every right to collapse for a few months." or "Feels good to laze around after so much walking, doesn't it?" The truth is more bizarre. Something “compelled” me to avoid any creative or productive work… even preparing for a session with my tax consultant in time to meet the 15 October extension deadline.


A rational outside observer would be justified in describing such behavior as stubbornness or laziness. However, I am convinced the same invisible force, which has silently nudged me out of harms way during my more foolhardy wanderings, has been in control. Whatever it is, the depression I feel when thinking about my government’s rush to force everyone else in the world to bow to selfish American interests only exacerbates my confusion and distress. What has happened to American compassion and generosity? Who will now occupy the moral high ground? 


As in all previous trips I will pause now and then to record my personal observations, insights, and discoveries... and to snap pictures of anything that seems a bit odd, beautiful, or insightful. While I do occasionally find joining flocks of boisterous tourists on their way to some internationally famous attraction amusing, my principle joys are found in the back waters, the frontiers, the places where ordinary people work and play. For over a decade I have been on a pilgrimage to study those places where radically divergent ideas, religions, politics and cultures meet one another, often with angry conflict. Borders offer the ideal possibilities for such warped prying pleasures.


I do not have a fixed itinerary. I may be gone for as long as a year. After a few weeks in Bangkok for some excellent cut rate medical attention, I'll fly over to Calcutta to begin several months of wandering northeast India. Following that, I hope to move into the far southwestern and northwestern parts of China. I expect logistics problems and may be limited in where the Chinese government will let me go. So, I'll go where I can and make new plans whenever the path comes to a dead-end. Serendipity will be my guide.


Expect the next missive to originate in Thailand, on my way to Calcutta.


Fred L Bellomy







Reference photo: author
 August 2002

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