Travel

Category archives for Travel

Cooped Up in Hotel Room

Dear Reader, it’s raining in Hangzhou and I am not well. I have had the shits since Wednesday evening, some headache, and last night I seem to have had a fever. Both of the latter problems are kept at bay by wonderful ibuprophene. I was fully active and enjoyed myself Thursday and Friday. But I’m…

Tombs and Opium in Qingtian

My mother-in-law grew up in the mountains near Fushan in the prefecture of Qingtian (pronounced CHING-tien), inland Zhejiang province. Though the prefecture’s name means “Green Field”, it’s pretty poor and has been a major emigration area for decades. The owners and staff of many or most Chinese restaurants in Sweden are from Qingtian. Yesterday we…

Airborne Chinese Marketplace

On the flight from Amsterdam to Hangzhou Saturday, I observed some interesting behaviour on the part of my Chinese co-travellers. After the main meal, the stewardesses went around hawking tax-free goods. At this time, a bunch of people stood up and formed a large prattling group in the aisles toward the rear of the plane…

Talking and Listening in Minneapolis

So Friday morning, we swam in the hotel pool after breakfast. Then we went into town and had lunch with Heather Flowers at the Acadia café, whereupon I gave a well-attended lunch talk about my Bronze Age project to staff and students at the U Minn Anthropology Department. Good to reconnect with Prof. Peter Wells,…

Two Museums in Minneapolis

Touching down at Minneapolis airport shortly before 19:00 last night, my wife and I were met by the charming Heather Flowers and Erin Emmerich from the Anthro Dept. They got us installed at our hotel and joined us for dinner at the food court of the monstrous Mall of America. (There’s a theme park inside…

Three years ago I visited the US. Security at Newark was a little slow, but I just showed them my Swedish passport and sailed in. You see, there was a visa waiver agreement back then. And I thought there still was until 1½ hours before I was scheduled to take off to the US again…

Going to Minnesota

Less than a month now! Dear Aard readers Heather Flowers and Erin Emmerich of the University of Minnesota have invited me to speak there in April. My wife will accompany me and interpret whenever we run into someone who speaks only Mandarin. Now, Dear Reader: can you offer me further Minnesota speaking gigs to help…

Skiing Holiday, Broken Bone

Sweden is shaped like a ski, and people live mainly in the southern quarter, but in the other three-quarters there are many skiing resorts. I’ve been going there every few years since I was three. I’m not a competitive or particularly elegant down-hill skier, but I enjoy it and I can get down all kinds…

Snow Screwed Up My Travel Plans

I was at a Viking Period workshop in Birmingham until Wednesday noon. A sudden, major and sustained snow dump on the area south of London meant that I couldn’t go home the way I had planned: train to London, train to Gatwick airport, plane to Skavsta, bus to Stockholm, be home in the early hours…

I Was a Cash Cow in Gambia

In the preceding entry I gave a list of good stuff about a Gambian vacation. Here’s the flip side. My first trip to Africa, a week in Agadir, Morocco in the mid-1990s, was marred (but not ruined) by the locals’ constant begging and aggressive attempts to sell me stuff. I recently relived this experience in…