Sunday, June 22, 2008

Holding Pattern in Rhodes

Today finds me on the Island of Rhodes with my lovely wife tempestuous Lucia and old ants-in-the-pants 8-year-old Eldar. They're engaged in a heated chess match at the moment. But Rhodes is a nice place. Sunwashed, quiet. Lots of older folks about. Not exactly packed with people. Water still a bit on the cold side.

Early yesterday morning at the airport in Budapest, Eldar and I were comparing passport photos. I saw that mine was a rather old photo of me, albeit a good one. The age of the photo prompted me to look at the expiration date. To my horror, it expires on 10 July of this year, in the middle of our "working holiday" in Turkey. Fortunately there is a Turkish consulate here on Rhodes. So tomorrow we will plead our case with them to let me get an entry visa and perhaps a note that will let me exit the country with an expired passport. That's the best case scenario. They might issue me a short-term visa and tell me to go to Ankara to get a new passport once I'm in Turkey. A still less favorable scenario has me flying to Athens to go to the Irish Embassy there to get a new passport. That would seriously eat in to the Holiday budget. But it wouldn't kill us. I just sure as heck hope to avoid it.

Riding in by taxi to the hotel from the airport I noticed a number of disused windmills, from the centuries old to the decades old. Interesting that wind was tapped as a power source in the past but it appears to have been abandoned.

Let's assume that things will be fine with my passport and I'll get to Butterfly Valley with Lucia and Eldar in a few days. Once in the valley I'll meditate every morning as I've done for the most part every morning for the past four years. I'll also go for a swim after each meditation before breakfast. Each evening will begin with a Yoga class taught by Lucia. At some time during each day I'll teach seminars on various topics, including comparative religion. Maybe this could happen each evening at 19:30 when it's cooler.

I brought a number of books with me including Paul Johnson's excellent A History of the Jews, a copy of The Teaching of Buddha and a book on Islam by Alfred GUILLAUME, among others including the unannotated Penguin Bhagavad Gita. That's four major religions covered. I'm curious to witness the sort of discussions that come from this.

More soon . . .