Category Archives: travel

Last days in Dobrzyn

Well, as I sit here in my Warsaw hotel room, having eaten the two sandwiches and package of sausages that Malgorzata made for me, as well as the very last piece of cherry pie she wrapped up, I’m sad to be leaving Poland again. Here are some photos from my last two days there: quiet, […]

My visit to Gdańsk

Gdańsk (“Danzig”; population 1.4 million) lies in the extreme north of Poland, on the Baltic sea: The city has a long and tortuous history. Founded about a thousand years ago, it passed between various factions of Poles, Teutonic Knights, Prussians, Lithuanians, Russians, and Germans again until the end of World War I. It then became […]

Saturday: Around Dobrzyn

Yesterday we had a welcome respite from the chill and drizzle, and, as it was warm and sunny, we went for an excursion to see Leon the Dark Tabby, his staff, and the site of their future house (not far from Dobrzyn). But first we had to retrieve Hili, who had spent the night outside […]

Dobrzyn: Thursday

It’s still miserable weather here: cold, drizzly, and overcast. But today it was time to go to the bank and do the grocery shopping (done every day); and I also had to buy some sausages for Cyrus, as it wouldn’t be fair to stint him while giving Hili the cans of Fancy Feast I brought […]

Dobrzyn: Tuesday and Wednesday

The weather in Dobrzyn continues to be chilly, drizzly, and overcast, so the order of the day is eating, working, and cuddling with Hili. Malgorzata, however, abided by her promise to keep the cherry pies replenished, and so we had a new one, this time baked with a delicious almond crust: Dinner last night was […]

On illness, dreams and encatment

About a third of the time I make long-distance trips, it seems, I come down with a cold or sore throat at the far end. This time I’ve got both, and I blame it on airplane contamination. As one expert at io9 notes, it’s not the “recycled air” that’s to blame for such illnesses (cabin air […]

Dobrzyn: Sunday and Monday (featuring Hili)

Life is peaceful and slow in Dobrzyn, which is the way I like it. Here’s last night’s dinner: salad and a Swedish dish, nötfilé på potatisbädd, tender medallions of beef cooked with thinly sliced potatoes, black pepper, and a lot of garlic. All washed down with a favorite Polish beer, Zubr (“bison”). Hili looking out […]

I have landed!

It was a long trip from Chicago to Dobrzyn, beginning the grope of my nether parts (fore and aft) by the TSA, and then a 9-hour flight on LOT from Chicago to Warsaw. I chose two movies to watch out of a small and largely dire selection: “Interstellar” with Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, and Jessica Chastain, with […]

A visit to Japan’s Kinka Squirrel Village

I’m worn out from politics and want to take a break today with ducks, squirrels, and other persiflage. Rachel and Jun are a couple in Japan (she’s American, he’s Japanese), known to me from Jun’s videos showing him shopping with his cat and then cooking in front of his cat, letting the cat sniff each […]

Cats in Japan: Shisa

by Greg Mayer “Guardian lions” are widespread in East Asia, where each country has its own particular folklore and practice associated with the common tradition. They are especially common on Okinawa, which has its own version, called shisa.  While on mainland Japan guardian lions are associated usually with shrines, on Okinawa they are everywhere, with […]