A year and a half ago I got the very generous permission by our administrators to take a leave of absence from my teaching obligations at Washtenaw Community College in Ann Arbor to teach in Pakistan this coming winter semester of 2010.  The situation in Pakistan, however, has deteriorated so much, that nobody in Lahore wants to take responsibility for my visit.

So I decided to travel in the Middle East instead.  Based on my travels in Pakistan I was hoping to find one or more travel companions to share costs, rent a car and a driver, and to have a friend with whom to experience and to share the day’s events.  All started well.  I found three wonderful ladies to travel with me.  One for each of my main travel destinations:  Lebanon-Syria-Iran.   But one by one, they bailed…

Onwards to plan B:  I will travel by myself.  No itinerary.  Just a flight out and a flight back.  Everything in between will fall into place from there.  No hotel booked, no guide, no car.  A “Tao-Tour” – go with the flow.  Opportunities will offer themselves,  people will cross my path.  I will know what to do when I get there.

To keep me company, to stay connected, and to help me remember what I did, my son suggested a blog.  I don’t text, I don’t twitter, I don’t face book either – this is a big step into new territory.  It seems weirder than the trip itself.  But I will try.  So, if you feel up to it – join me and look in once in a while.   ET

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