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Last year, I went on date to see the movie Kedi at The Music Box here in Chicago. Kedi, in Turkish, simply means "cat," and the film documents the cats in Istanbul who rule the streets and seem, all at once, to belong to everyone and no one. (You can watch the movie here.) The documentary hit a sweet spot for me because, well, CATS, but also because I had spent a month of my travels in Istanbul and around Turkey and remembered fondly all of the cats I saw everywhere while there. There were cats in the streets, cats in...

Quite frankly, two weeks of nothing but (delicious but) similar vegetables served up with nothing but the same slices of bread makes you tiresome fast. The food we ate at our homestay in Setrawa was "tasty," but when we left we needed a bit of a break from Indian food. And then we got sick. Legitimately Indian-style Delhi Belly sick. And during that escapade we had no desire to eat Indian food. No. Desire....

Darjeeling ended up being a nice little vacation from India. It was surprising how different it seemed from everywhere else we'd been so far. Up in the mountains, it was colder. The people were friendlier. There were no cows or rickshaws. No one stared at me. No one bothered us. It was calm, peaceful. It was a nice change. After two nights in our too cold room, Jaime and I found a new place to stay. Somewhere without holes in the wall and with a much cleaner bathroom. We were both still sick for much of our time there, spent...

On our way out of Varanasi we were mobbed by rickshaw drivers, each shouting numbers without really even listening to where we were going. We chose one who gave us a reasonable price when we said which train station we were heading to and ignored the guys shouting over him ridiculously low numbers. We thought it only fair that once we agreed to something not to back out. You would think that that's fair....