récits et tableaux de voyage
(…) One night at a waterfront bar in Tahiti I saw an Italian seaman stabbed to death with a broken beer bottle. A year later I was drinking hot rakshi for breakfast with Tibetan Buddhist monks who lived in a remote monastery surrounded by rhododendron forest and three glaciers. The place is called Kyimolung, the Valley of Happiness. It is a two-week walk from the nearest road and accessible only by a rickety log footbridge that spans a gorge seventy-five feet wide and nine hundred feet deep. There was a summer night in the south of India when I sat on the balcony of my hotel room and smelled the delicious fragrance of a flowering shrub called raat kee rani, the Night Queen. Pony carts with their bells ringing, moved through the darkened laneways, and bats wheeled overhead against the night sky. I once lived with the sultan’s drummer in the Maldive islands where a pretty village girl taught me the local language by day – and returned after dark.
For seven years I wrote about these people and places in my travel diaries. In addition to observations on everyday life, the notebooks contain a collection of short stories, hand-drawn maps to remote Afghan villages near Russian border, pencil sketches, and recipes for things like the sticky rice flavoured with coconut cream and steamed in sections of green bamboo that I ate while floating down the Mekong River past soldiers of the Khmer Rouge. (…)
Until fairly recently I used to look out of my window in New York and try to remember some of the stories I had lost. (…) 

   
Eric Hansen - Motoring with Mohammed