Meg Noble Peterson

Author of Madam, Have You Ever Really Been Happy? An Intimate Journey through Africa and Asia

HAPPY NEW YEAR, EVERYBODY!

What a year this has been so far, with primary overkill, balmy weather, and roaring fires on the evenings that turn cold. I’ve taken a look at life’s ongoing frustrations and vowed to either conquer them or ignore them. Somehow they all center around new technology—computer malfunctions, DVR glitches, you name it and I’ll try to stick it in my ear to make it work. And even that doesn’t help, since my earpiece–to keep me from being stopped by the cops while driving and talking on my cell phone, or helping me avoid cancer of the left frontal lobe–keeps dropping off my ear in mid-sentence. So you can see how happy I was when I finally fixed something with only a piece of picture wire, pliers, and my Himalayan headlamp. Yes, I repaired the carbon-encrusted damper in my fireplace, giving me the feeling that I was somewhat in control of my destiny. I may have looked like a chimney sweep when I emerged from the dephs, but I was triumphant.

I started New Years at the theater. Surprise! I was disappointed, however, in David Mamet’s latest play, November, with Nathan Lane. I had seen him in Butley last year and really enjoyed his nuanced performance, but this play was just too ridiculous and frantic, held together by a liberal sprinkling of the “f” word. No build up, just high decibel shouting from the beginning. Maybe it will calm down after the previews. Perhaps I’m jaded and should lay off the dramas for awhile. The audience seemed to enjoy it, but I chalked that up to New Year’s Day. Could they still have been hung over?

Xanadu fared better–a delightful spoof of the old Olivia Newton John movie with good dancing and good singing. Lots of fun. A mindless, entertaining evening on the town.

I finally got to see Spring Awakening with my grandchildren, the coming-of-age musical set in a small town in 19th century Germany. It’s scary to think what can happen when you withhold sex education from young people. But it was a lot deeper than that and had excellent singing and dancing. The kids, however, felt the sober message. It had more depth than many of Broadway’s musicals.

The most fun I’ve had this year is playing my violin in my son-in-law Gary Shippy’s rock band, Walk The Dog, at The Dancing Goat Café in South Orange. I played in only five of about 45 songs, those with an Irish or a western theme. We had a terrific crowd and played until well after 11 PM.

Watch for more information about future travels. I’m looking into two treks in Ladakh, and have been encouraged by both Caroline Martin and Tamara Blesh, whom I mentioned in the last blog. I want to go there before the onslaught of tourists. It seems that the winter is really quiet (could I stand it?) and the snow and ice are spectacular (a word that no travel writer should ever use. Sorry). I’ve never trekked over a frozen river before and the thought intrigues me. I’ve wanted to get to this little country for 22 years.

 I’ve also received glowing reports from Beth Whitman, who is in India this month, and Yana and Lee, who are headed for Laos.  

I know I’m repeating myself (at this age I have a right), but here, once again, are the links to my facebook albums on Myanmar. I just put up the fourth one and hope to do one a week this year, completing last year’s Asian trip before starting this year’s. Wish me luck! Don’t forget to click on the first picture of each album and read the captions.

http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=5607&l=c0270&id=584094331

http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=9669&l=34922&id=584094331

http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=13360&l=3fc94&id=584094331

http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=15341&l=25215&id=584094331

I’m eager for news of your travels, and first hand observations from those now in Asia. When I’m in Ladakh, next to Pakistan, I’m sure there will be a lot of news from that area. Until then, I only know what I read, and that’s rather depressing.

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1 Comment

  1. ahhhhh Meg,

    Thanks for all the info and pictures. It was interesting seeing a piece of my mom’s review, of your book, in the Christian Science Monitor. I flipped when I saw her name when I Googled your blog. I’m really enjoying Caroline Martin’s blog – she’s very prolific and interesting. I notice we all grandstand a bit!

    Maybe you should come to Ladakh this summer with me and trek. I’m currently fundraising to purchase books in Delhi that are appropriate to distribute to the villages off the beaten path in Ladakh. I’m thinking 15 to 20 books to possibly 10 villages plus some instruction on how to handle and care for the books Ladakhi style. I have funding for a Ladakhi to design and create a poster & possibly a small book, in three languages, to assist the villagers in using books & promoting literacy among the young people. All these villages are unaccessible (inaccessible) by road so you have to trek in with pack animals – health, Inc. (http://www.health-inc.org) usually makes the rounds for a couple of weeks to these villages and I would like to follow along – you might as well. Catch ya,

    t

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