Words to kick off a trip to India

From Moby Dick:

“Round the world! There is much in that sound to inspire proud feelings; but whereto does all that circumnavigation conduct? Only through numberless perils to the very point whence we started, where those that we left behind secure, were all the time before us.

“Were this world an endless plain, and by sailing eastward we could for ever reach new distances, and discover sights more sweet and strange than any Cyclades or Islands of King Solomon, then there were promise in the voyage. But in pursuit of those far mysteries we dream of, or in tormented chase of that demon phantom that, some time or other, swims before all human hearts; while chasing such over this round globe, they either lead us on in barren mazes or midway leave us whelmed.”

Barren mazes indeed. Think about the dread in a person’s heart in 1840 when slipping lines in Nantucket for a six-month sail to the Antipodes, versus a middle-aged guy sitting in an airport in Providence, about to embark on something which would have seemed as fantastic  to Ishmael and Captain Ahab as a Star Trek teleporter would to me.

Bangalore week

The car picks me up at noon, kicking off six days of long travel from Cotuit to Bangalore and back again on Friday. I haven’t thought about packing yet, but intend to get by with a single duffel bag and a backpack jammed full of ThinkPad, headphones, iPod (into Stoner Metal this month, so lots of Fu Manchu and Queens of the Stone Age) books (No Country for Old Men, Cormac McCarthy and maybe the new Pynchon), passport, sleeping pills, etc. etc. etc.

Cell phone will work, but please do the math before dialing. I get whaled on at 3 am in Beijing by well-meaning people who think it is 3 pm. And yes, I leave the phone on.

I’m planning on Raleigh the week after this.