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  noun 1. The act of immersing oneself in other cultures without crossing national borders. 2. Local cultural diversification. 3. Traveling on a budget. 4. A website that will allow you to accomplish all the above from the very seat in which you sit.


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BH.net: words from India, Senegal, Maroc, India

Where to start? Senegal? Dubai? NEBRASKA?


We do not joke.

We'll start with Senegal, and split this writing update in half.

1. First, Eva Peskin takes us on a 6-part journey through her Senegalese adventures. But - before those 6 parts - she reflects on Dakar: dinner-and-a-movie, treacherous island coves, and old women partying 'til 4 a.m.:
Remember how I had fairly low expectations for the food I would be served? Boy was I mistaken. We were brought platters loaded with the most beautiful seafood and salad and french fries! on placemats the size of small bicycle tires. And delicious bruschetta to share! Honestly, this was the best meal I have had in years probably. I had ordered the brochette fruit de mer, and I successfully finished off three enormous skewers of delicious tender fish and onions, two skewers of calamari, an enormous crawfish, and most of the bruschetta. There was no rice or mysterious gooey sauce in my life that night and I was a very happy camper.
Read "Three Stories from Dakar" >>

2. She moves on to St. Louis, but takes a moment to remark on the ride over. Poignantly:
What if I die in this taxi?
Read "Going (Coming) Home" >>

3. We have to wonder which is worse, though: the taxi ride of death, or the bridge:
I am walking down the street and everyone is looking at me. I am sure. I am sure of it. Or is that hugely narcissistic? Why would everyone be looking at me? Am I ascribing some kind of culturally ingrained sense of importance or authority to myself? I am not so special, they don't care about me. They don't care, maybe, but they are looking. I can feel it. The bridge is coming and the bridge is the worst.
Read "Centre-ville" >>

4. Moving northbound, Garrett Haake takes us to his dreams:
I stepped ashore in Tangier in my dream
On a ship from Gibraltar I came.
A hold full of dates and Toledo steel
I risked Barbary pirates to trade.
Read "I Dreamt Last Night of Morocco" >>

5. After all that traveling, we're a bit hungry. But according to Elaine Tassy, Mamallapuram is not the best place to get a speedy plate:
His matter-of-fact tone of voice knocks me off my pedestal of impatience. I'm losing interest in keeping score on the service at this restaurant, and Dave's continued questions – What have you learned here? Why do you need for people to be on time? – bring me a moment of clarity. Since arriving in India, whenever I hurry to meet someone, that person is generally not around, and unconcerned I've been waiting. I can do nothing to control things to go as planned because I'm always at the mercy of people whose schedules and choices are out of my hands. We continue talking as if we are on a park bench and the acquisition of food is not on the agenda.
Read "The Seven-Fold Path to Waiting for Take-Out" >>

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