24 March 2017

Dukas, Shostakovich, and Stravinsky

Last month, we found ourselves in the Philharmonie again, as we had tickets for a concert. This time, the Rundfunk Sinfonieorchester Berlin was performing Paul Dukas' The Sorcerer's Apprentice, Dmitri Shostakovich's Piano Concerto No. 2 in F Major, and Igor Stravinsky's Firebird Suite. The young Israeli genius conductor Lahav Shani was conducting, as well as performing the concerto as a soloist. As I wasn't familiar with any of the pieces, and I haven't seen a conductor be a soloist at the same time, I thought it was an interesting concert worth getting tickets for.

22 March 2017

Impressions and Images of Iran: The Citadel of Rayen

When I went to southeastern Iran, I didn't visit just one adobe citadel, I visited two. I visited the Bam Citadel, as shown in my previous post, and I also visited the Citadel of Rayen (Arg-e Rāyen). This one was apparently relatively unknown until recently, after the 2003 Bam Earthquake destroyed Bam Citadel, and then suddenly people started paying attention to its neighbor.

20 March 2017

When I Bought a Suit

A few weeks ago, I needed to buy a suit, as I needed to attend an event where a suit was required. I used to have a couple of suits, but they were at least a decade old, and was definitely not nice to look at and wear anymore. So I enlisted the help of one of my friends, and together we went to go shopping. It took a whole day, and I realized that when it comes to clothes, I have been buying the wrong things my whole life.

18 March 2017

Impressions and Images of Iran: The Citadel of Bam

The Citadel of Bam (Arg-e Bam) is the easternmost point I have been to in Iran. Beyond Bam, there is the city of Zahedan, and beyond Zahedan, there is the border with Pakistan. In order to safely go to the border, one must have a police escort, I was told. So of course that was not part of my plans. Anyway, I was in a car, and from Kerman, we drove all the way to Bam, a two-hour drive.

16 March 2017

Reddit Travel Rants, No. 4: The Checklist Traveler

I've always found it bizarre that people use the number of countries visited to be a measure of how well-traveled one is. Granted, it is a convenient measure: even I use it. However, it also is an inaccurate measure, and somehow I cannot come up with a better measure when it comes to knowing how well-traveled one is. See, the thing is, because counting how many countries one has been to is a trigger perhaps why some travelers just plan these checklist style travel itineraries, only to say that they have been to many countries. And somehow this makes me scratch my head, wondering whether these people actually enjoy seeing places, or whether they simply enjoy the feeling of getting a stamp in one's passport.