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In the summer of 2009, Nicolas Rapp decided to take a break from his Art Director job at The Associated Press to attempt a one-year overland travel around the world in a 1996 Toyota Land Cruiser. He was back in New York in February 2011 after traveling 15 months and 37,000 miles.

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  • Arabian Sea’s troubled port delays expedition.

    Posted on September 19th, 2010 Nicolas No comments
    Annual festival honouring Ganesh in Mumbai.

    Annual festival honouring Ganesh in Mumbai.

    This week update will be a short one, due to the lack of news to report. I have been waiting for the vessel transporting my truck to arrive in Mumbai’s neighboring port of Nhava Sheva. Unfortunately, the large Indian port went through a series of accidents delaying significantly the incoming traffic.

    An accident at the harbor's entrance created a huge backlog. Have I arrived few weeks earlier, it could have been my boat. - Photo Danish Siddiqui via Maritime Bulletin.

    An accident at the harbor's entrance created a huge backlog. Have I arrived few weeks earlier, it could have been my boat. - Photo Danish Siddiqui via Maritime Bulletin.

    A month ago, two container ships collided just outside the port, and one of the vessels dumped a large number of containers in the shallow waters, creating an obstacle for other carriers.
    They had to clean up the mess, but another unlucky event – or should we begin to suspect some unprofessionalism – increased the backlog of boats waiting for their turn to enter the harbor. While unloading a vessel, a crane operator dumped a container on the ship’s top and ruptured its fuel oil tank. The boat was then stranded for more than a week, making impossible the unloading of my truck.

    The imposing gothic Victoria train station.

    The imposing gothic Victoria train station.

    Eventually, at the end of this week, the Express Annapurna carrying my container was authorized into the port. Unloading should have take place this weekend, and at the beginning of next week, I hope to be driving my truck.
    Traveling the world really makes you appreciate the level of organization we reached in Europe or the United States. In the places I traveled in recent months, you don’t get much answers or information when you try to get things done. It has little importance for me as a traveler, but if you add the lack of information to the sickening amount of paperwork and corruption, you can’t help but think that it will take decades for countries to be able to challenge the western world. Even if these countries feature cheaper price for the inefficient service they deliver.

    The prince of Wales Museum. The miniature painting gallery is worth a visit.

    The prince of Wales Museum. The miniature painting gallery is worth a visit.

    Anyhow, little by little I will keep moving east, and every mile will bring me closer to New York City.
    In the meantime, when I am not trying to get some papers from tumbling office buildings in downtown Mumbai, I visit museums, or work on my upcoming route through south-east Asia. You can find a draft of it here.

    The Taj Mahal hotel.

    The Taj Mahal hotel.

    Every day, I also go for a two hours walk in diverse parts of the city. It is the festival period in India, and one of the most widespread celebrations is Ganesha Chaturthi. Ganesha, the elephant-head famous god is worshipped as the Remover of Obstacles. Idols representing him are transported and immersed in the sea all over Mumbai. The population density, noise and crazed vehicle traffic doesn’t make it very enjoyable, but it is interesting to explore one of the most populous city in the world.

    Gandhi statue in a city park.

    Gandhi statue in a city park.

    There is an estimated 14 million peoples living here, far above New York City’s 8 millions inhabitants. No wonder why I get lost each time I go out. The city population density is exploding and features widespread poverty and unemployment as well as poor hygiene standards. I am looking forward to be out on southern India’s roads where there will be more space to breath.
    Upcoming posts should be more entertaining as we should be on the move, so stay tuned!

    Architecture detail.

    Architecture detail.

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53 Responses to “Arabian Sea’s troubled port delays expedition.”

  1. thanks for the update; i was beginning to wonder about the status of your truck. it’s amazing to me how others’ incompetence and corruption are so easily accepted. i guess change is a really hard thing to do when the status-quo is so ingrained. you know what they say: patience is a virtue. i think you’ve almost got that down pat. 🙂

    glad your truck wasn’t on the damaged boat. seeing your vehicle will be like seeing an old friend. hope things go well.

    as always, keep your spirits up and your compass pointed in the right direction.

    suzanne

  2. I hope you are still “enjoying” your adventure. It seems that before India your adventure was sounding too much like “work”. Your being sick and your truck not arriving in a timely manner may have been a blessing in deguise. Though being in a city of 14 million people can hardly be relaxing but I hope you are taking advantage of the “time off”. The train station is amazing!! My husband is watching the Bengals as I am typing. Are you a sports fan? Do you miss watching the games? I wish you continued good health and safe journey.

  3. Nick, just saw your Southeast Asia trip draft. Are you planning to skip Indonesia? Hope you’re not since Indonesia is very beautiful and the people are so friendly. I think you could cross the Malacca strait from Malaysia to Belawan Port in Sumatra and drive throughout Sumatra to Bakaheuni in the southern tip and get a ferry to cross the Sunda strait to Java. From there you could drive to Banyuwangi in East Java before using ferry again to get to Bali, Indonesia’s goddess island. They’ve got good roads almost everywhere and don’t forget to stop buy the Borobudur Temple (built 9th century AD) in Central Java. Good luck and drive safely!

  4. wow the ship crash loked wild! Ive seen some in seattle a few years ago due to balis levels in ship. Hope the truck wasnt on that one for sure- by the sounds of it it was not. Huge city on top of that

  5. Dear Nicolas,

    I may sound “non tolerant” and judgmental, but as you travel and notice the fact that Europe and the US have more “order”
    may you be able to see it from a spiritual point of view also. All over the world where Jesus name has been lifted up, there
    has been prosperity, peace, order. South Korea used to be one of the poorest. Now they have one of the largest churches
    in the world by Yongi Cho (over a million people attend) and their country has completely turned around economically and in every way.
    People actually buy Hyundai’s and like them now! 🙂

    You said, Ganesha, the elephant-head famous god is worshipped as the Remover of Obstacles. Idols representing him are transported and immersed in the sea all over Mumbai.
    But as those idols were immersed in the sea interesting to note how many accidents happened recently.

    God will not be mocked. He is loving and forgiving, but He alone is to be worshipped–not 700 gods in India that have brought chaos, poverty, death, hardship.

    Jesus said, “I am the WAY, the TRUTH, and the LIFE and No man comes to the Father but through me.” Was he lying? Was Jesus being too narrow and not tolerant enough?
    Jesus Christ died for our sins to bring us back to God through the blood he shed on the cross. He was the ultimate sacrifice and no longer is it necessary to kill goats, kill ourselves (islam)
    and try to be “religious” to get back to God. He paid the price out of His love for us.

    Bless ya Nicolas. May the Lord continue to speak to you as you journey–not just on this trip, but throughout your life. He loves you so.

    Beth

  6. Beth,
    India is one of the most diverse nations when it comes to religion. Hindus represent around 80% of the population, the Indian Muslims form the third largest Muslim worshipers in the world, and the country has large Sikh, Christian and Zoroastrian population. The country, with its tolerance, has served as a refuge for groups that have encountered persecution elsewhere. Jews, for example, were given lands when they arrived 2,500 years ago.
    I think we can all use the country as a good example for tolerance, freedom of religion and belief.

  7. Hi Nick,

    Just some facts:

    1. India never aspires to challenge the western world. Its a 5000 years old civilization when the so called “orderly” countries believed that earth is flat.
    India has contributed to science and Mathematics since centuries and has always believed in peace.
    2. The corruption or paperwork hassle that you now see in Indian bureaucracy is a legacy gifted by British Government ( European country )
    which had unlawfully occupied and then looted this country , having enormous wealth, for 200 years by all corrupt means.
    3. India has never “invaded” or “looted” any country like an Imperialist nation historicaly , otherwise it would have also become rich and orderly.Whatever be the pace of growth but its always ethical.
    4. “Even if these countries feature cheaper price for the inefficient service they deliver.” is a very demeaning line, and this lines should be shot at after doing a thorough research
    and not because one faced problem . There is a saying that “If you are not a part of the solution , then you are a part of the problem itself”.
    Anyways I was very dissapointed by your blog and personal thoughts. Being a World Traveller , I was looking upto you as a knowledgable person and was a true admirer,
    but it seems you are just a journalist looking to get quick fame at the expense of demeaning a country just because you had some bad experiences.
    You lost one fan like me but maybe you will get many now because you chose to make fun of people and nations to which you do not belong.

    Thanks,

    Just Facts

  8. Just Facts,
    You should not get upset like that. My comment was not directed only to India, but to many other countries.
    Anyhow, if you are – as I suspect – from India, I am sure you have felt upset at the rampant corruption. I am certainly not making fun of any of the corruption in any of the countries I crossed, as I have been suffering from it all the time, and tried to not pay bribes as I knew it will only make it more difficult for travelers coming after me.
    According to Transparency International, India is not the only country where corruption is a problem, and can be compared to China, Mexico, Morocco and Peru which are at the same level in terms of integrity.
    When it comes down to the line ““Even if these countries feature cheaper price for the inefficient service they deliver.”, it is the result of my surprise when after reading Thomas Friedman’s book “The world is flat”, I imagined arriving in a country that was on the verge of taking over the modern world, which in my view is not gonna happen tomorrow.
    Don’t be upset Just Facts, and let us know what you think. It is OK to have mixed feelings about your country. In the United States, there’s way too much paperwork and bureaucracy as well, and France is far from being a dream country…

  9. Nick,

    I actually thougth this was one of the best entries I have read. Including the comments. I must say that although I’m not extrememly religious, I agree with Beth’s comments.

    As for Just Facts, I saw first hand the struggles you went through even in this small under developed country with a major African port. It’s hard to respect a group of people when they always have their hand out to you and don’t even want to do hard honest work.

    The accident in the port was and is continually a sign that they are still well behind the US in India. If this happend in the US it would be all over the world news and people would have been outraged. I actually think I remember reading about that ship on Y! News but it was mainly only because it was an amazing sight that it probably even made the news.

    Oh and by the way, I’m sure most of us that follow you don’t believe that you are only trying to gain “quick fame” because you have put yourself through a lot of hard work and this trip will have taken much more than just one year of driving. It will be more like 16 months and a whole lot of headaches.

    Take care, Nick! And good luck with getting your truck back this week. I look forward to the next post!

    Dave

  10. Hi Nick,

    Thanks for your response.
    Regarding Mixed Feelings , Indians have been the fiercest critics of our own system and have numerous movies and debates highlighting socio economic issues.
    Bureaucratic corruption hurts us all, and through all ways of awareness, and now people are putting efforts to change this as well.
    There is an act called RTI ( Right To Information) which is being used by NGO’s and activists to highlight corruption and bring in more accountability to the system.
    I have not read Thomas Friedmans book and hence did not knew that it was your reference point.
    As a fact the pace of growth would be slow for sure since there are lot of things that needs to be fixed or corrected, but the fact I chose the line “Even if these countries…”
    is because though India has been active in Global economic scenario for long , but it has become a cliche to just point the finger to service industry citing cost as the factor.
    I personaly believe that any trade is possible only if the cost is low and quality is acceptable to sustain the business. If the quality would have been bad or inefficient, businesses would have shut down, but the economic studies have provided data
    that low cost services have revived multinational companies fortunes and made them more competetive in the global market.
    That was the line (“Even if ….) which I felt was so not “Nick” I was following all these days and had dissapointed me to a great extent.
    I have always believed that each country and each of its people are different and you get to see the worst and the best at the most un-expected places, no matter how the country or its people are globally percieved.
    I was delighted when you had a heart warming experience in Iran contrary to popular perception.
    That being my reference point , I wanted to convey that its not necessary that any country should need to be at some numerical order in any surveys, but all that matters is the willing of its own people to be better each day.
    While travelling in India you would encounter a lot of diversity like culture, language, food, lifestyle and cost. You have already seen the difference in Delhi and mumbai.
    I myself till date have not explored a lot of places as well, but I have been fascinated by Michael Wood’s documentary “The Story of India” which got aired in PBS.
    Hope you get your truck soon and start your expedition and it progresses on a good note.
    Keep moving !

  11. 3:am here, so I am not quite alert. Yet, alert enough to enjoy this stimulating conversation. Isn’t religious intolerance at the heart of most world problems? Glad you mentioned India’s welcoming of Jews some 2500 years ago. I am a new student of Jewish history and this is new information. Hence, another reason to love India despite its apparent problems. A new insight indeed. Nick, I suppose conversations like these (Just Facts and Beth) are good for you at this point and opens your mind to new ideas, thoughts and positions. Love the photos. Looking forward to seeing photos from outside the big cities. Take care and remember, we are along for the ride, and now to read what surfaces next from that brilliant mind of yours. Okay, back to bed.:)
    -joyMaria

  12. suffice it to say that we, who have traveled with you, are becoming fast friends. a wonderful exchange of ideas, points of views, and passions. that’s what makes this whole experience about, nick. you’re bringing out the best in everyone – including yourself.

    cool! happy trails!
    suzanne

  13. I think sometimes we seek our own truth in the stories we are told. For Beth, and possibly Just Facts as well, sometimes our own lenses distort what is actually written. Beth, as a believer you pick the parts of Nick’s story that reiterate your belief. It could be pointed out that Mexico, an extremely Catholic area, is also on the list of countries facing difficulty in the areas of peace, prosperity and order. It is important to realize that “your way ” is not the only way and understand how your perspective can be skewed. As for, Just Facts, perhaps you expected a european journalist to skew the facts and so you allowed Nick’s words to manifest itself into an attack on India. I did not read it the same. We must all understand that throughout his travels Nick has been happy and sad, scared and safe, disgusted and delighted it is a fact of his current travels and own perspective. Anyone can find fault at any moment but what good does that do? I have enjoyed Nick’s posts every week since November and I am delighted each time I have the chance to understand the world a little better through his eyes. It also enjoyable to not only learn of things through Nick but also through each individual reply left by all of you. Happy travels Nick you have truly inspired me.

  14. My students read about you in their News 2 You reading magazine. Right now we are tring to track where you were on Sept. 1st. We hope you have a very nice time the remainder of your trip.

  15. Nick,
    I have been following since you left a year ago, with great respect. Not a small feat, and not many could do this with the humor and practicality in which you share. Thank you. Look forward to having you back in NYC.

  16. Jaime, you have summarized it well in the above preceding discussions. Those issues, frustration, paperwork, waiting time, money spent on seemingly things that don’t seem to justify the value it’s paid for occurs in many places I’ve traveled to, even in established countries although perhaps more pronounced in less developed or poorer countries. Every country has it’s own set of peculiar rules and regulations that we have to abide by – even the bribe and corruption if we can so endure, so would enhance our travel experience and understand how societies function. Unfortunately, at times and perhaps the individual ‘enforcer’ of these rules may tend to bend them to their own personal benefit but what’s a traveler to do if by chance have to deal with one of them in order to be safely on the other side.

    In following Nick since the start of his trip, I believe he has done extremely well in getting to where he is now and I salute him in being able to get through the various hoops and pitfalls that have beset him so far. However, sometimes there’s a limit to what a person can endure (especially if this is a constant routine for the last so many months) and I can very much understand where Nick was just ‘matter of fact’ when in describing his circumstance he is currently facing. I too, don’t see this as putting any country or certain society below par. Conversely, it’s been great to see how people in other countries live and operate through Nick’s eyes and ears so that perhaps we too can be more tolerant of the differences that we all bring from our own individual upbringing and perspective.

  17. Jaime, very well said, and, ’nuff said.

    Nick,

    Would it be possible for you to put an interactive map on your site where people could place say a “pin” where they are located here in the United States? This way perhaps you could plan your route with the idea of staying at certain places based on those who have offered you their home. There is the possibility that you would rather travel “alone” and not stay with people across the country. I can respect that. But if you don’t mind staying with followers, I’m sure there are more than enough to cover your trek across “America del Norte”. Not to mention more than one of us would love to share a beer with you and pick your brains. I for one, hitch-hiked across Europe back in ’06 and did it with only $100.00. Took me six weeks but what a six weeks! There would be a lot to talk about. So do let us know of your interest.

    Manolo

  18. Hey Nick,

    Boy this latest post has certainly created a lot of discussion. That is good. I am originally from India and I think you have always been fair and respectful in your descriptions. What you say is true there is still a lot of work that has to be done in the developing countries.

    You need to get your truck and get out of Mumbai. Mubai is not India just like mid-town Manhattan is not the US.

    The respect that I have for you does not extend to Beth. Evangelicals have always disliked India. It was occupied for centuries by the British but the majority of Hindus never converted. The basic tenet of Hinduism is “There are many paths to Truth”. Respect and tolerate all religions. Jaime said it best “your way is not the only way”.

    Look forward to your next post Nick. Hopefully it will be of the countryside on the way to Goa.

    Safe travels!

  19. I’m just saying there is a spiritual realm also and when idols were put in the sea to “remove obstacles” it’s interesting to see all the accidents hey? 🙂

    I love every culture. I have a passion for other cultures, languages and people!! It brings me intense joy seriously!! 🙂

    As far as “Just the Facts”—you are relaying the experiences as they happen to you and that is what the trip is about—your journey–your experiences as they occur. I think that’s exactly what you should do. I can look at your journey and see the spiritual aspects, but that is not to say I wouldn’t see a multitude of other things as well. But it’s not my journey–it’s yours and I have loved following it!!

    Keep pressing on Nick!! Drink in every site and sound and enjoy the moments and memories you’re making! Stay safe, healthy and be blessed!

    Beth 🙂

  20. I forgot your one comment Nick about “India being an example of tolerance for religious freedom.” Well, okay I’m not wanting to debate, but I would like to say that there have been several christian pastors killed in India in the last six months alone. Christian churches are persecuted heavily and face struggles for freedom of worship every day. They don’t report those stories on the news however.

    All that said, I love India, Indian food and the people of India.

    Enjoy the journey. Be blessed.

  21. Hi Nick
    I am a special education teacher in Wisconsin, USA. My class is reading about your adventure this week in an edition of NEWS-2-YOU. I think it is amazing what you are doing. It is also a great way of teaching my students that you can accomplish anything you put your mind to….even drive around the world! I have enjoyed reading your blog post and look forward to reading past posts as well. I will spread the word of your adventure on FB. I plan to also follow your Tweets. I only wish I would have followed you from the beginning. Thank you so much for giving me an opportunity to teach my students something so incredible. Good luck in India!

  22. The container must be found asap! I’m getting TWE withdrawls. 🙂

  23. Ms. Marti~Nashville, TN

    Nick, Geez!! I’m sure not going to get involved in the past comments! For once I shall keep my mouth shut! LOL So sorry about your luck again. But at least you avoided losing your truck in a boat accident. Thanks for the pics of the local children and the building are georgous. Too bad your gps doesn’t help you when your venturing out each day.

    Take care and hopefully forging on soon~
    Ms. Marti

  24. Its interesting how the two incidents at Mumbai Port has been turned into the Indians don’t know what they are doing. While you have had a unfortunate set of mishaps recently Mumbai is considered one of the safest ports on that side of the world. Accidents that do happen mostly stem from ships leaving in unsafe weather conditions (monsoon) and ships not being aware of or ignoring the hazards to navigation that do exist at the outer anchorages. As far as the Indians needing to change for there economy to challenge the west again you are misinformed. The Indian economy has been growing much faster than the west and will surpass the west in as little as 30years. Impressive considering where they started from less that two decades ago. And to Beth as far as the Jesus name lifting up countries none of the top growing economies are from Christian populations. In fact you have to go down to Uganda before you reach a christian population. most above are Muslim populations with the notable exceptions of China (worlds 3rd largest economy) atheist and India (currently 11th) mostly Hindu. By the way to reach number 2 in thirty years the Indian economy is growing 43,400BILLION dollars a year. Also in terms of church attendance and people who say they believe in God the United States is the most religious country on the planet. Yet it ranks 92nd in distribution of wealth, When quality of life issues are taken as a whole the US does not do so poorly 10th out of 30 UN ranked nations. But on health-care the US ranks 37th just above Slovenia. BTW France a traditionally much more secular country (modern France the short guy notwithstanding) is first. When longevity is considered Japan (Buddhist, Shinto) and Hong Kong (Buddhist, taoism) are one and two. You also mentioned Korea over half of Korea is atheist and less than 30% christian compared to 82% in the United States. You also mentioned South Korea was poor and then indicated that the got Christianity and flourished. South Korea flourished after the removal of the US installed puppet president and the Coup installing General Park Chung-hee’s (a Buddhist). He began economic reforms that make South Korea the fastest growing economy from the 60’s to the 90’s. Ok I’m done and Nick sorry about the Sarkozy crack, the British in me would not let me complement France without rectifying the situation later:). In the time it took me to type this the Indian economy gained 5billion dollars GDP.

  25. Hello,
    Here are some answers. I see that some people are getting excited about the discussion regarding religion or economy. Glad it can turn in a forum to exchange ideas.

    To Samian:
    I was not speaking only about India when I mentioned that some countries still had some homework to do. I know the statistics as you do, I just wish the quality of life in these countries would reflect these big numbers. It is great that a massive amount of cash is earned and spent, but I wish it could benefit the masses. And when it comes down to me and this blog, of course I get frustrated when I see that the only way to get things done is to give money to corrupted officials. Or even more frustrated when I spoke to the port yesterday and they told me they had no idea where my container was. On the ground, I get to speak to a lot of people who share my frustrations. Those are Indians living in India. Some are aware of the GDP numbers, some are not.
    Again, I can only speak about my experience down here, in the street, trying to get things done. In the meantime, I only have one month left on my Indian visa, and the government will not extend or renew it. I will have to go fast through the country and miss many great places.

    To Manolo:
    I did begin to think about the coming back trip in the U.S., and there’s a map here.
    Don’t know if you are familiar with Google maps, but you can collaborate and add a pin on the map.
    But you know how it is, the route can change at any time due to circumstances out of my control. So remember this is just a tentative map!

    To Rob, from previous blog entry:
    See the map link above. At this point I should go through St. Louis, so yes, we could meet I believe.

  26. an edit to my post the top growing economies are NOT form christian countries.

  27. Hello Non-tolerant Beth,

    Please read the below.

    http://www.stephen-knapp.com/christian_persecution_in_india.htm

    And I wanted to point out, you conveniently forgot to mention in your reply to Jamie about why Mexico (or other African / South american countries ) is not prosperous eventhough they are very much christians. Also why these arab countries are so rich, So Jesus is not the only answer, for your informaiton.

    Thanks

    Dave

  28. Howdy Nic. Very tentative map indeed! Especially since from St Louis to Harrisburg the route indicated is 83 mi longer than through my new adopted home town.
    I know you may not be a football fan , but I’m sure you are going to want to honor the new National Champs by spending a night in Columbus,Oh .
    Safe travels. Got the truck yet? (or should I ask, have the officials found it yet?)

  29. Hey Nick,

    I’m not going to comment on the bloggers who have hijacked your site for their religous and political agendas but I am wondering, WHERE IS YOUR TRUCK?? In Iran, Mumbai, bottom of the ocean? Seriously, I hope you find it soon and are able to be on your way again. Good luck and travel safe!

  30. i would get tirnd diving on the road how you dive now from tashia.

  31. from st. louis straight east on I-70 to Columbus, OH!

    terrific!
    suzanne

  32. Please keep us posted on the fate of your container. I am so sorry that your visa can’t be extended… If your US map changes to a more northern route – we’d love to meet up in South Dakota! Maybe a side trip to the badlands???

  33. Mary,

    I agree with you. South Dakota is not a place to miss. The Badlands of South Dakota are incredible, Majestic peak, Vampire peak, and of course, Mount Rushmore! The drive through your state is also precious. Especially that road from Rapid City towards Mount Rushmore that has all those boots on the fence post. But I’m sure Nick can’t see all of our great country in one trip.

  34. I was shocked to read Beth’s words! I was thinking, and even discussing with my family, now warm and hospitably you were treated in Islamic countries. Handing you over to the care of person to person, inviting you to family meals, meals with ship captains, offering you sleeping accomodations, or in one case money for food after discounting the hotel room 75%. Even when you had visa issues, or unable to access money through ATMs, the people came to the aid of a “stranger.” I believe that Americans (including me) are less trusting, and far less generous to strangers and travelers. I enjoy keeping up on your travels, and sharing the photos with my teenagers. I use the opportunity to talk a little about the countries you visit for educational purposes; poor home schooled kids never get away! I think it is a shame someone uses it as an opportunity to proselytize.
    I hope you plan on publishing a book about your adventures, including all the fantastic photos! They are truely amazing.

  35. Hi, Nick,

    Are you required to be there at the port the exact day the truck comes in, or can you leave for a couple of days and come back to pick it up? It is a shame you are going to miss some of India, and I was thinking it would be great if you could hop an overnight train for Varanasi — one of the most fascinating cities I have ever seen. You wouldn’t need much more than a day to see the ghats along the Ganges, and it would be worth the trip.

    I spent a full month in India devouring and loving it all, but when I got to Mumbai, my final stop, it just wore me out. I holed up in a hotel for three days trying to escape the mayhem. As much as I loved India, I certainly admire your tenacity for surviving Mumbai as long as you have!

    Hope you get “sprung” soon!

    Suzanne A.

  36. I agree India success has not been shared equally among the population. At a glance the social landscape resembles the times of Standard Oil and pre trust law America. They have taken steps in the right direction. Universal health-care for example which they manage to provide to a population of over 1.8 billion, and well enough to start a medical tourism industry. Does India have major problems? Yes. Do they need to continue to improve? Yes. I was just trying to present a side of India that is rarely commented on especially in travel blogs. I meant no offense. I was just putting on my fake journalism hat (made of tin foil) and adding some balancing info. And as far as India’s problems are concerned you get any indication that who every your dealing with is looking for a bribe to “find” your container? I hope not but it did cross my mind. It also might be general distraction of the Mumbai Port Authority (which is a private trust). It seems that the government has launched an investigation into the two incidents to see if there was any wrong doing on their part as well as ordering them to ban incoming HazMat shipments until the investigation is complete.

  37. BTW I really admire the fact that u have not tried to shutdown the discussion. Thank You.

  38. Nick:

    I suppose the “discussion” and intellectualizing is helpful as you frustrate, wait and wait for good news about your truck. It is frustrating for us as well. A few questions: Is there anything we can do, and of course I refer to some of the good folk on this blog who may know the region and how to get to the bottom of things? Is there a trusted someone working with you on a daily basis about this matter—a support network of sorts? Bottom line: Where is the truck and how can we help?

    Take care, and I pray that the next message about your truck is positive —-metaphorically speaking, at this point on the journey your truck is beginning to transition from inanimate to animate form 🙂
    -joyMaria

  39. I could respond to several of the responses, but…..

    Can I just say how much I LOVE other countries, cultures and people? I do, and it is my christian faith that gives me a much greater love than I had before. I have traveled all over the world and I have taken language classes in arabic, russian, japanese and I speak spanish because I have a passion for other people and languages and cultures. I have a hair dresser from Iran who I adore, I have friends from countries all over the world.

    I would go to the ends of the earth to help a muslim person or hindu or buddhist.

    Blessings!
    Beth 🙂

  40. Hi Nick how is your adventure? I am at school i am having fun today. I hope you go to japan some day. I was reading news two you. I heard you wear stuck in a mudslides. I hope you got out save and i hope you are OK. How many day are you coming home? Nick I am 13 i live in Ohio and i had surgery over the summer but now i am doing better may be you can come to Ohio.

  41. Hey Nick,

    I noticed that you will be going through Las Vegas, certainly a place not to miss also. Close by in Lake Havasu Arizona you will find the London Bridge. That’s right. It was dismantled in London and then assembled in Lake Havasu. I bet that you probably got to cross it over in England when it was there and what an opportunity to be able to say you crossed it again in the States. Just a thought.

    Manolo

  42. I work for a port in the U.S. and I can imagine what a mess acciedents like that would cause. If you want to be blown away by a functioning port all the Port in Japan and China are unbelieveable… we have a long way to go. But, I guess we are better off than some.

    Happy Travels!

  43. I doubt Nick got to cross the London Bridge while it was in England – it was dismantled and rededicated in Lake Havasu City in 1971. Still a cool bridge! Hope you’ve found your truck, Nick! It’s too bad you won’t be able to get to the southern part of India – I think the farther south you go the more laid back it is. I spent 3 weeks in Chennai, and even though there are ~4 million people there it was still relatively easy to navigate and get around (by Indian standards). Be careful when you finally do get on the road – I’m sure you’ve seen that even though there are lines on the road, it’s pretty much wasted paint!

  44. Ms. Marti~Nashville, TN

    Yeah! Forge on Nick!!! We look forward to the next entry!!!

  45. Sounds like you’re on your way again. Glad you have your truck back!

  46. Yippee!! Nick tweeted that he found the truck – good news!

  47. do you ever get to got to bed or do you get a hotel to sleep in or what do you do?

  48. Hello Nick,
    I just saw u r US route n I hope it’s not written in stone.
    Don’t miss to pass through Chi- town (Chicago), The best city in midwest n 2nd after NY.
    Good luck with u r truck and btw I just saw some clips in Youtube n it seems that u will have a hard time on the road in India cause as Dexter said the lines in the road are pretty much wasted paint.

  49. To Beth in Kirkland,

    Did you read this article today?

    http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2010/09/24/sex-abuse-victim-learns-of-pope%E2%80%99s-role/?hpt=C2

    Abusing young kids in the name of religion is right up there at the top of all the evil in the world and it is YOUR religion that does this. Please don’t have a holier than thou attitude.You have hijacked TWE which until now was all about the wonders of travel. Unfortunately Nicolas you contributed to this by being condescending in your latest post.

  50. Glad you finally got the truck. I’m dying to know the story behind that ordeal! Good luck the rest of the journey to Bangladesh!

  51. Hello Nick,
    We were happy to see that you will be arriving to the U.S in L.A. I work as a Activity Director at an Old Folks home, just north of L.A., in Ventura County. We have been avid followers on your blog which has generated much disscussion. Two of our ladies are over 100 years old and they have not missed a discussion. I promised them that if you were going to arrive in the L.A. port, I would invite you to stop by our facility so they could meet you in person. If you are flexible, and willing we would love to have you as a guest speaker on your travels. We enjoy everything about your trip.

    from the old folks in Cali

  52. To all the religious nuts out there why are you hijacking Nicks’s journey to proselytize. Don’t you have other dummies to talk to-besides watching Fox. Nick keep driving.

  53. Wow, I need to check back to the comment sections of these different pages more often.
    I have missed a lot lately. Nick, thanks for letting the conversations flow.