Dear India, thank you for inviting me to stay here forever

After 89 mind-boggling, frustration-inducing, grey-hair-propagating, bureaucracy-cursing, confusion-rendering days of limbo over my application for a permanent residency and work permit in India, the central government here in Delhi— lithe, agile and efficient as it always is (heavy sarcasm) — showed me the meaning of unexpected haste.

Though I was expecting the process to take months or more to complete (if ever), at 4:23 p.m., Monday, February 1, 2010, I, Adam Franklin Jadhav, officially became an Overseas Citizen of India. For nearly all intents and purposes, I now have dual citizenship and am free to do almost entirely as I please.


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A year-in-review

2009 kinda kicked ass

2009 kinda kicked ass

This past year pretty much rocked. And the New Year came in fine manner.  No kisses, but a bonfire amid the palm trees (above), new friends, lobster, a decent cigar (thanks, C!), champagne and even the Harry Connick, Jr., band playing Auld Lang Syne at midnight (never leave home without the iPod).

I meant to post this sooner, but here’s a little look back at my new life (as chronicled on this blog):

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I may be ‘stuck’ in southeast Asia

Anyone contemplating a visit in the next year should probably pay attention. There has been an official hiccup in visa rules, meaning I may need to leave the country for longer than planned this spring.

Essentially, after it was revealed that alleged terrorist conspirator David Headley had stayed in India long-term on a tourist visa, the Indian government has cracked down. Under previous rules, with the five-year tourist visa I currently hold, I could stay in the country for up to six months at a time and leave even for one day to “reset” my visa clock. Hence, my week booked in Thailand beginning March 31.

However, under the new rules, I have to leave for at least two months. This means that instead of returning to India from Thailand, and heading to Sikkim to teach English at a volunteer-supported school, I would be “stuck” in Thailand. And the Thai tourist visa is typically valid for 30 days, meaning I would need to move somewhere else.

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Technology is a mother…

UPDATE: I have jumped on the University of Illinois public WIFI and I’m blogging from the parking lot next to Greg Hall. Apparently, it’s totally Comcast screwing with me. Damn Comcast.

I have spent inordinate amounts of time upgrading, growling at, fixing, wondering why its broken, crying over and finally giving in to technology in the last week.

Unfortunately, my normally stable, Mac-enhanced, technodriven lifestyle has been a mother of late.

This is my story:

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To live out of a backpack…

I would like to think I’m a minimalist, that I don’t really need much. People who know how I pack probably laugh at that thought.

As I was laying out my gear this morning, to be stuffed into one 110-liter trekking bag and small day/camera pack, I took this picture. Then I decided to label it all, so show just how much stuff I’m going to be carrying.

Note: this includes almost zero clothes and toiletries.

Not quite all of my stuff

Not quite all of my stuff

  1. Books. Travel guides to India, Kenya, Madagascar, Thailand, plus some entertainment reading and my Hindi textbooks.
  2. One pair of pants. I’m trying to limit myself to one pair of brown chinos and several pairs of shorts.
  3. Hand sanitizer.
  4. REI shell jacket. Water/wind proof, good for 40 degrees up to 85.
  5. Schlafly beer beanie. Soft material for packing fragile goods; nice for cold nights in highlands.
  6. REI Bug Hut Pro. Minimalist bug shelter.
  7. Reporter’s notebooks.
  8. REI mini multitool.

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Weird beagle

She's kinda dumb. Cute, but dumb.

She's kinda dumb. Cute, but dumb.

Joel’s dog Blue is a regular source of entertainment.

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Itinerary for the next year or so

My itinerary is still a bit up in the air. I’m trying to be flexible on purpose, but here’s the basic rundown, if the dates as a little (or a lot) squishy.

  • September 3. Fly Chicago to New York to Dubai to Nairobi. I’ll have a couple weeks in and around the Kenyan capital playing with Shannon, adjusting and touring/chatting/shooting in the slums of Kibera.
  • Approximately September 20. Fly/overland to Dar es Salaam. I’ll be checking out on a number of conservation projects that will take me across the border into Tanzania and eventually the coastal city.
  • Approximately October 1. Fly to Antananarivo. Madagascar sits at the top of my Places to Visit list (after I knocked off Cuba this spring) and I plan visits to plant science and conservation efforts as well as fun-time with lemurs, butterflies and maybe a titanium mine.
  • Approximately October 11. Head back to Nairobi. Finish up leftovers; possibly head east to Mombasa for a few days or west to Kisumu. Also contemplating a trip up north near the border with Somalia.
  • October 21. Fly to Bombay. Begin visits related to U.S. companies there; planning efforts re: Monsanto, Anheuser-Busch and others. Also planning an early trip to Delhi.
  • November 27. Train to Palolem, a tiny beach village in India. R&R.
  • December 5. Back to Pune for a family visit. Mom, Anna, Riley and Ravi are planning a stop.
  • Approximately December 14. Begin winding trip to Port Blair in the Andamans for five year anniversary of crushing tsunami. Hoping for an ocean voyage and crazy good beach and journalism scenes.
  • Approximately January 10. Return to Pune area to pick up on previous visits with U.S. companies.
  • April 1. Fly to Bangkok to eat food. Possibly take a few days down to Phuket.
  • April 9. Return to Bombay. Begin trek up to Sikkim.
  • April 14. Volunteer teaching at small elementary school in Sikkim, a northern part of India sandwiched between Nepal and Bhutan.
  • June 14. Head back south for monsoons in central India. Evaluate bank account and goals.

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New phone number 623…

…no, I didn’t move to Arizona, which is the 623 area code.

I’m the proud owner of a Google Voice account. It organizes all my phones present and future with one number and allows remote access — even by Internet — to voicemail and text. I’ve actually had it for several weeks, but am only now publicizing the number:


This will be my permanent phone number for as long as Google exists. Arizona was the only place I could get my AJADHAV handle.

Right now that number will ring my old cell phone, which will die when I leave the country. Once I’m overseas, calls to the 623 number will go directly voice, and I’ll be able to check the messages online wherever I am. Text messages will automatically go to my e-mail.

I won’t necessarily call back right away, but it’s the handiest way to leave a quick message or send a text.

And e-mails, of course, will continue to work at

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Hey mosquito, leave me alone

There are plenty of disease vectors that are serious enemies of the international traveler. Serious enemies. Nemesis level. Damn.

I’ve been vaccinated (or protected) against a lot: Yellow Fever, Polio, Typhoid, Hep A and B. And the standard U.S. MMR, tetanus, diphtheria, etc.

And I’m more than familiar with basic food and water precautions to fend off cholera, giardiasis and the like.

But mosquitoes still are a royal pain. I’ll be on Lariam (for malaria) as long as I can when I’m overseas, but the little bastard insects carry other diseases, including the infamous Dengue Fever, which is known as Break Bone Fever, due to unfortunate symptoms and pain.

Mom called today and asked about it. I told her not to worry too much.

But it’s a nasty threat. Hence why I picked up this fun little bit of protection at REI today.

Meet the Bug Hut Pro 1.

Bug Hut Pro 1

Eat it, bugs

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One month to go

I have one month left in the United States. I officially moved out of the apartment and into Joel’s house (temporarily) Friday. The weekend was filled with fishing and peaches and relaxing.

Now, it’s back to work. My to do list for the remaining days (not including substantial play time and peach eating):

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