THE ARDENT ENTHUSIAST

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This is the first Dale Enzenbacher Dragon Belt Buckle. I met Dale at the World Science Fiction Convention in Toronto, 1973. I was coming from Kashmir, India where I had just spent the summer. When I was there I bought the carved carnelian along with several other antiques. It is very old, and says in Sanskrit: “Unto the feet of Lord Krishna Kali Ram dedicates himself”   READ MORE…

This was originally published on BootsnAll Travel Journal #2 THE TRIPLEGEM AFGHAN EXPEDITION-SUMMER 2005 8/Aug/ 2005 – Peshawar, Pakistan I was at the Afghan Consulate when it opened at 9:30, but they only take visa applications on Tuesdays and Thursdays. To get it you need 1 photo; a photocopy of the main information pages of your passport; and $30 US cash. I had everything ready for the next day. I stopped at a cyber-cafe but… Read More

This was originally published on Bootsnall Travel Journal #1 THE TRIPLEGEM AFGHAN EXPEDITION-SUMMER 2005 5-7/Aug/2005 – Peshawar, Pakistan I flew into Lahore from Bangkok late on the night of the 5th, it was raining – hot muggy rain. I stayed at the notorious Regal Internet Hotel. It reminded me of the Paragon Hotel in Calcutta; freaks on the roof – Japanese, Scotch, German, – and dorm-style accommodations. I slept on a mattress on the floor in… Read More

Balkh, Northern Afghanistan – 2002 The Northern Alliance, backed by American firepower, quickly drove the Taliban from Afghanistan in 2001, and  2002 was probably the best year for tomb raiding. I met Sher Mohammad, the local Mujihaddin commander, in an antique shop in Mazar-i-Sharif. He lived in a small village next to some bronze-aged graveyards just outside the walls of Balkh. We hit it off after I recited some Sufi poetry in… Read More

Winter Vacation – 2013-2014 – Thailand   Bangkok is an excellent place to buy gems and jewelry tools and a trip to Silom road is a great excuse to stop by the Afghan and Pakistani antique shops near the river. In addition my son had just finished the Diamond Appraising section of the GIA Graduate Gemologist course and he asked me to pick up some diamond tweezers if I could. I took… Read More