TJ on May 14th, 2019

My brother, George, suggested the above title based on some WhatsApp postings that I shared with family while in Japan as I commented on the variety of cuisine we experimented with and, for the most part, enjoyed. A couple of the images shown below are stock photos mainly because we started eating what was served […]

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TJ on May 14th, 2019

With the benefit of hindsight we should have spent about 4 days in Kyoto, made a day trip to Hiroshima and perhaps included a two day visit to Osaka which which  was missing from our itinerary. As it worked out the itinerary we made in the US resulted in us spending only two days in […]

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TJ on May 14th, 2019

Hiroshima is worth visiting though it can be done in a day trip – we stayed here overnight but we could have spent the extra day in Kyoto instead. There are two things worth seeing in Hiroshima, as a tourist – the Peace Museum which brings out vividly the trauma and tragedy of the first […]

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TJ on May 14th, 2019

Today was a rainy day but after being cooped up in the apartment through much of the morning, we decided to venture out even though there were occasional rain spells. We used the Tokyo Metro to go with Lekshmi and Brito to see the famous Shibuya Crossing – a remarkable experience by any definition. This […]

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TJ on May 14th, 2019

We then proceeded to the Imperal Palace where the Emperor and his family live. Again, our timing was not optimal because much of the Palace grounds were closed since on the day following our tour – April 30th 2019 – the Emperor was going to abdicate and for three days thereafter there were events involving […]

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TJ on May 3rd, 2019

We spent much of Monday – the 29th – on a city tour seeing some of the major tourist spots. Among the places we saw was a Shinto shrine: Shintoism is the major religion of Japan. It is a  faith that has no religious scripture or founder. It is a difficult religion to describe – […]

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TJ on May 2nd, 2019

We went from the sake festival to a karaoke bar – karaoke is a big thing in Japan and there are facilities offering karaoke all over the city. We went to one not far from where Lekshmi lives with Karina – Lekshmi’s friend who bought the Christian Louboutin shoes. What happens is that one ends […]

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TJ on May 1st, 2019

This was one of our major activities on Sunday – experiencing a wide variety of sake that was being served in the arena of a major shopping center nearby. It resembled a huge food fair but the emphasis was on different types of sake though there were some “upscale” food trucks serving different types of […]

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TJ on May 1st, 2019

We have now been  in  Japan for three full days and I have to say that I am impressed with just about everything about the country – at least what I have seen and experienced. The people are non –interfering and somewhat reserved – in part because of limitations with English – but they are […]

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TJ on May 1st, 2019

Inspired by my brother Peter’s detailed narrative of his trip to the Holy Land, I decided to emulate his example and record our visit to Japan – our first time to this part of the world. As opposed to the daily account that Peter followed, I am going to record key highlights of our visit […]

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Eapen Joseph Panicker on April 20th, 2019

Final Day in Cairo, return to Kochi & sundry thoughts on the trip We were afforded the rare luxury of waking up at 8am, having a leisurely breakfast and then getting on the bus by 10am. By the time our luggage had been identified and loaded it was a bit after 10:30 in the morning […]

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Eapen Joseph Panicker on April 20th, 2019

Cairo After a good breakfast which was a choice of continental and Middle Eastern food we got on the bus with Mehmood our guide explaining that our first stop is what any person who has heard of the Great Pyramids of Giza would look forward to visit with much anticipation, which summed up the feelings […]

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Eapen Joseph Panicker on April 20th, 2019

Travel to Cairo/St Katherine Monastery/Suez Canal/Cairo We were told that the bus journey from South Sinai to Cairo was going to be a long one, and to be on the bus by 8am. So we started on October 25th, the route was along the coastline of the Red Sea and the last part would be […]

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Eapen Joseph Panicker on April 20th, 2019

Transit to Egypt/Red Sea/Tabha Of the 10 days we were on the Holy Land trip, this day was one of the less productive ones as far as sightseeing was concerned. We were supposed to have been taken to the House of Bethany, home of the two women who took Christ in to their house and […]

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Eapen Joseph Panicker on April 20th, 2019

Mount of Olives/Church of the Ascension/River Jordan/Dead Sea At the crack of dawn we were up at the hotel that we were put up, not due to any time constraints as it was in the previous days but because we wanted to explore a bit of the Palestinian side, and with Shyni’s friend and coworker […]

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Eapen Joseph Panicker on April 20th, 2019

Church of the Holy Sepulchre/Tomb of David/Last Supper/Western Wall As each day passed it became routine for us to start out early, as  our two guides Bindu & Shehadi urged us to do so, after an early breakfast, usually by 6 or 6:30 in the morning. On this day in particular, we had a full […]

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Eapen Joseph Panicker on April 20th, 2019

Cana/Bethlehem/Church of the Nativity We started our day after breakfast early as usual, on the bus the morning prayers and devotional songs were sung and chanted. Our trip for the day according to the schedule sent out to us was going to be first to Shepherd’s Field – as the name suggests it is where […]

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Eapen Joseph Panicker on April 20th, 2019

Amman to Israel Again, an early start to our day after breakfast. Once settled in the bus, morning prayers songs were sung – our bus took us from Jordan to Israel and we started going through what would become routine on our travel security checkpoints, this one was at the Jordanian border into Israel. A […]

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Eapen Joseph Panicker on April 20th, 2019

Amman, Jordan Our day started out early, we had been forewarned by Bindu that this will be the trend for most of the days, the idea being to keep to the itinerary with some of the places that we need to visit being far apart. After breakfast, which was opened by 6 or 6:30 am […]

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Eapen Joseph Panicker on April 20th, 2019

Introduction by Rana: In 2013, we went on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land and I included several posts on our trip. Since then I have told quite a few people – mostly Indian Christians – that it was one of the more fulfilling trips that we have undertaken. My brother, Peter (Eapen Joseph Panicker) […]

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TJ on December 14th, 2017

The image which appears below was contributed by Roxanne Loget and is a tribute to her best friend, Marianne Ambrey, who was a trainee flight attendant with Pan Am and was killed in the crash of Pan Am Flight 217. The main write up regarding that crash and those who lost their lives appears on […]

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From Nazareth we traveled to Cana where Jesus performed his first miracle and turned water into wine at a wedding where the hosts had run short on wine. According to John 2:1-11: “On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Jesus and his disciples […]

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From the Sea of Galilee we proceeded to Tabgha to the Church of St Peter’s primacy. In John 21, Jesus appears to his disciples for the third time after his resurrection on the shores of the Sea of Galilee. The night before, Peter and several other disciples had sailed out on the lake to fish, […]

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One thing to keep in mind when visiting the Holy Land is that some of the sites most important to Christians are based on tradition as to their location in the context of the life of Jesus Christ. Occasionally, there are differing opinions as to the correct location of a particular site. One such example […]

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We stayed one night at the Amman Airport Hotel and left the next morning by bus for Israel driving through downtown Amman just in order that we get a glimpse of the capital since the previous day we were on the outskirts of Amman while visiting Madaba and Mount Nebo. We had wanted to visit […]

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TJ on December 12th, 2013

We flew from Cochin to Amman, Jordan. There was nothing remarkable or striking about Amman. It is essentially desert – probably akin to areas like Los Angeles and Las Vegas many decades ago before development occurred and sources of water were either found or redirected to those cities. Jordan is primarily Muslim but Christians live […]

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It has been months since I updated this blog so our visit to the Holy Land seems a good reason to restart the blog. We returned earlier this morning from our tour and I will try and capture the salient parts both in terms of our visit to the religious sites as well as other […]

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It has been forty years since Idi Amin expelled all the Asians living in Uganda. Some of those who were expelled were born and brought up in Uganda – they were Ugandan citizens – and did not know have a sense of belonging to any other country. The trauma and upheaval experienced by these Asians […]

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TJ on January 30th, 2013

I grew up at a time when men were not supposed to cry …… and certainly not to do so in a public setting. It really was somewhat absurd because the expectation was that it was not “manly” to show such emotions and the thing to do was to repress them. Perhaps it was British […]

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TJ on January 28th, 2013

Tony Blair in an address to British ambassadors who had congregated in London said: “A simple way to take measure of a country is to look at how many want in.. And how many want out.” Blair was not the first person to make such a remark about the attraction that the US holds for […]

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