Posted in Books

Hiking in Egypt

The city is vibrant – more than I had ever imagined. The city is diverse – more than I had even seen in movies and television shows. It is cold at nights to the point of slight discomfort. May be, winter in this part of the country sets in late. Yet, to be in a place which is forty degrees warmer than Detroit, is handsomely welcome. I had spent a few months working in New York city. About six years later, I have a few weeks to experience some west coast culture as I get to work in LA – where everything is about glitz and glamour. I have traveled to the west coast at least once a year – mostly for pleasure, but never had been to LA. I can see the most familiar “Hollywood” sign through my window at work. It looks reclusive – could be the distance. Most of the days that I had been here, there is smog everywhere – the visibility level is probably 2 miles. Not that it matters for someone who does not have to worry about driving.

The terminal where I am to board my flight is old – rickety – poorly designed – but serves the purpose, nevertheless. As I sit here and “people watch” in the gate area, I just can’t help but to wonder how is it that so many people travel between LA and Detroit every week – All the flights that I have taken both ways have been extremely packed. I feel like, my regular upgrade privilege in NWA has been robbed, as I normally end up getting a coach class seat – a downright harassment on a 5 hour flight, where one is left to squirm in a space that is ‘unsquirmable‘!

Recent reads –

“A walk in the Clouds” by Bill Bryson – The man with witty temper has his way with words & he made sure that the 870 mile stretch he hiked felt like 8700 miles to his readers. But a very real travel adventure story, very well told by this Iowa author – if you ever thought you would hike the AT one day, this book is sure to encourage you to do that. Here is a funny quote from this book..

Black bears rarely attack. But here’s the thing. Sometimes they do. All bears are agile, cunning and immensely strong, and they are always hungry. If they want to kill you and eat you, they can, and pretty much whenever they want. That doesn’t happen often, but – and here is the absolutely salient point – once would be enough.

“The Egyptologist” by Arthur Phillips
– I was not really sure what I had in hand, when I bought the book truly based on the summary on the cover. The setting quite intriguing, the fictional story quite realistic and the author’s knack to narrate a story set in a land about 100 years ago, with so much history clouding over the natives of the soil is worth commending, specially since he did it in an epistolary form (through a series of letters). The book is okay just for the concept – to me, it dragged at some point. But overall Phillips stuck to his imaginative “characterization” very well — throughout, constantly weaving them through some bitterly funny thread with sympathetic stitches sewn all over. If you are looking for some innovative writing on some complex themes, here you have another author to check out.


Besides fantasizing about being a Peter Gibbons at least for a couple of days at my work, I think I have a long way to go to realize some of the other fantasies. But like any ambitious man out there, I will get there! Note: All views expressed in this blog are mine alone and have got nothing to do with my company Cogent IBS, Inc., its employees or any of its affiliates.

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