RIP Van Cliburn

Van Cliburn was a huge inspiration to me when I was a young teenager. His recordings inspired me beyond belief. I couldn’t imagine being able to play the piano the way he did. As a result I would practice and practice, listen to the same recording over and over again (We only had the one: the Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No.… Continue reading

Russian Drivers

When I was in Moscow, I was terrified! I even blogged about it at the time. The Russians drive like flaming bats out of hell!! In Moscow they were driving on the sidewalks, on the shoulders of the roads (no matter the potholes the size of trucks), any where they could fit and as fast as they could drive. The… Continue reading

Vietnam: Day One

Well, today I flew from Bangkok to Hanoi, Vietnam, for a couple of days. Thank goodness a driver and English-speaking guide picked me up at the airport. Some poor English-speaking chap at baggage claim asked how to get to the city, which is an hour’s drive from the airport. I had no idea. I feel sorry for him! Before we… Continue reading

Day 1: Moscow

Even in the cold pouring rain, for which, despite all of my planning, I was ill equipped (think hobbling around with a cold, wet sock on my foot with a broken toe in an exposed surgical shoe), Moscow is a beautiful city. I didn’t realize this city, like many of the other great cities of the world, has a river… Continue reading