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March 20, 2017


Once in front of the Hotel Canada on Cinco de Mayo, Luz y Fuerza had the manhole completely open and they were working three stories down in a long hole that looked like a well without water. There were no markers or warning on the sidewalk.

I'm sorry to hear your trip ended in such a "spectacular" way! Ouch (or "ayoye", as we say in Québec)! Glad it's nothing too serious but still... I admire your adventurous ways. I'm too scared to use bikes in urban settings, including Montreal.

Looking forward to seeing both of you. I'm sure the snow must be quite a shock...

We got back from Paris just in time for the Stella-blizzard; you were wise to keep away, though less wise to land on your nose! Sympathy. Loved staying in an apartment rather than a hotel--makes it so much easier to get to know a neighborhood when not museum-wandering, etc.

I wondered where you were Beth! Welcome back and glad that you and J are recovering from those really painful mishaps. I wholly concur with your open-minded and what some would call 'risky'mode of travelling. I too have stayed in places that most of my family wouldn't have gone anywhere near but I must admit that now, while still avoiding organised or luxury travel (can't afford it anyway) I tend to avoid crowds, cross-country journeys in back-breaking coaches, and so on and on.

The colours and composition of that top photo are terrific - it's like a stage-set, about to burst into action. It's admirable that you and J loyally return to Mexico City, affirming the warmth and friendship it inspires, despite that city's many not-so-good characteristics. For me place-rapport is similar to people-rapport: I either connect or don't and it's impossible to define why. Some environments, urban or rural, modern or ancient, beautiful or not, turn me off so completely I just have to get away fast. And vice-versa. It's more psychic than rational.

There are plenty of risks in one's own backyard, too- but when travelling, unfamiliarity with where to get help, dealing with insurance, etc. make things much more complicated. I am always grateful to return home safely. I like Natalie's term "place-rapport" and it's important to me, too.

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Who was Cassandra?

  • In the Iliad, she is described as the loveliest of the daughters of Priam (King of Troy), and gifted with prophecy. The god Apollo loved her, but she spurned him. As a punishment, he decreed that no one would ever believe her. So when she told her fellow Trojans that the Greeks were hiding inside the wooden horse...well, you know what happened.