Suitcase and World: June 2010

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Mouth on fire!! Hot, hot, hot!!

I found this photo of ema-datshi, Bhutan's national dish, on Flickr.  Looks yummy
but looks can be deceiving.  Read on!
ne of my favorite things about travelling is tasting all the different foods. Secretly, I like many people I know, would love to have Anthony Bourdains' job - globetrotting and stuffing my face as I go along.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


f you like to travel as much as I do, one of the best things about working at the IMF is that you're surrounded by people who travel the globe as part of their job duties. One of my longtime friends, Roger, works in our African Department and he travels to Africa several times a year.  In fact, had just returned from a recent trip that had him crisscrossing the continent!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Art of the cloth.

ogolanfini (“Bo-ho-lahn-FEE-nee”) or bogolan is the traditional cloth of Mali and is considered an expression of Malian national identity. In the western world, it's more commonly referred to as "mud cloth".  Mud cloth is a long established tradition among the Bamana, an indigenous people who inhabit a large area to the east and north of Bamako in Mali.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Salt of the earth.

In both ancient and modern times, salt has been an important trade commodity for Mali.  In ancient times, salt and and other commodities were involved in the trans-Sahara trade. The city of Timbuktu was situated at the crossroads of the trade routes. Great camel caravans brought salt, iron, copper, cloth, books, and pearls from the north and northeast into Timbuktu where they were exchanged for gold, kola nuts, ivory, leather, rubber, and slaves from the south.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Meditate on high. Taktsang Goemba.

Known commonly in the Western world as the "Tiger's Nest Monastery", Taktshang Goemba is the iconic symbol of Bhutan and a must see for anyone who visits the country.

I can't remember when it was that I first saw images of Tiger's Nest but I do remember marveling at the sight of a monastery clinging precipitously to the ledge of a cliff.  The monastery is located 10 km north of the town of Paro and sits about 900 meters above the Paro valley.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Going tribal. The Dogon.

hen my friends tell me I ought to go to Africa, the first suggestion is that I go on a safari.  They they tell me I can stay in a lodge where wild animals roam freely on the grounds or perhaps, since I'm so adventurous and a foodie to boot, there are luxury camps that I can go to where they serve 5 star meals and I can see animals up close.  I think this is what many people think of when they talk of going to Africa.....seeing animals in the wild.