Page 26. " on the island of Rhodes "

Lindos Village, Rhodes
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeLindos Village, Rhodes - Credit: Boehringer Friedrich
 Rhodes is the largest of the Dodecanese Islands, located in the Aegean Sea around 18km southwest of Turkey. It has at various points been used as a fort city, due to its proximity to Turkey, and was home to the Colossus of Rhodes, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. The main industry of the island today is tourism.

Page 27. " a passage in Mr Palomar "

Mr Palomar is an English translation of the novel Palomar, by Italian author Italo Calvino (further bibliography here). The novel was originally published in 1983 and translated into English by William Weaver in 1985. It is divided into 27 short chapters and deals with philosophical observations about the world around the principal characters, who is searching for fundamental truths about life.

Page 31. " to China on the Karakoram Highway "

The Karakoram Highway running alongside the Indus River
GNU Free Documentation LicenseThe Karakoram Highway running alongside the Indus River - Credit: Anton Oettl and Gert Wrigge
 The Karakoram Highway is the highest paved road in the world (although it is not in fact paved for its full length). It connects China and Pakistan through the Karakoram Mountains, and reaches an altitude of 4,693m (15,397ft) in the Khunjerab Pass. Completed in 1986, it is 1,300km (800 miles) long and is sometimes referred to as the ‘Ninth Wonder of the World’ due to the construction problems it has overcome.

Page 36. " between us and the River Ravi "

The River Ravi, near Chamba
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeThe River Ravi, near Chamba - Credit: Vjdchauhan
The River Ravi is one of the five rivers in the Punjab region. Originating in Himachal Pradesh province, India, it flows through Northwestern India and across the border into Northeastern Pakistan, covering a length of 720km (450 miles).

Page 36. " two blocks from my East Village apartment "

Google Map


The East Village is a neighbourhood of New York City, in the borough of Manhattan. It was named and became famous in the 1960s, when it became home to a growing number of artists, hippies, students and musicians. Many movements including punk rock are claimed to have begun here, and the whole area was known for being a centre of counterculture in New York. It is now more well-developed, but still known for its nightlife and culture.

The East Village Visitor Centre

Page 37. " loudspeakers mounted on the South Asian Gay and Lesbian Association float "

The South Asian Lesbian and Gay Association of New York City (SALGA-NYC) is a non-profit organisation which has existed for over ten years, offering support and advice to South Asian ethnic groups, and raising awareness and tolerance throughout the city.

Page 38. " the people of the Indus River basin "


Map of the Indus River
Creative Commons AttributionMap of the Indus River - Credit: Kmhkmh

The Indus River is Pakistan’s longest river, with a total length of 3,200km (2,000 miles) from its source on the Tibetan Plateau to its mouth in Sindh, in Pakistan. It flows across the length of the country and provides the economy’s key water resources.

The Indus River near Skardu, Pakistan
GNU Free Documentation LicenseThe Indus River near Skardu, Pakistan - Credit: Kogo

Page 39. " in a fashion reminiscent of Val Kilmer in Top Gun "

In Top Gun, the 1986 American action blockbuster, Val Kilmer (an American stage and screen actor, born in 1959) plays Lieutenant Tom ‘Iceman’ Kazansky, rival student to the main character, Lieutenant Pete ‘Maverick’ Mitchell, played by Tom Cruise. Kilmer’s pen-twiddling can be seen in the movie trailer.

Page 40. " a Wharton woman, for example, instructed us in finance "

The Wharton School is the business school of the University of Pennsylvania, situated in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The University is in the Ivy League, and the Wharton School is the most published and cited business school in the world.

The Philadelphia Skyline
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeThe Philadelphia Skyline - Credit: Parent 5446

Page 42. " we went to the bar at the Royalton "

The Royalton is a luxury boutique hotel in Manhattan, near Times Square.

Page 43. " the same elite universities – Harvard, Princeton, Stanford, Yale "

Harvard University Yard
GNU Free Documentation LicenseHarvard University Yard - Credit: chensiyuan
 Harvard, Massachusetts, is the oldest university in the United States. It, Princeton (New Jersey), Stanford (California) and Yale (Connecticut) are all members of the American Ivy League.

Page 43. " my mother quoted the poems of Faiz and Ghalib "


Faiz Ahmed Faiz
Public DomainFaiz Ahmed Faiz - Credit: Yaminjanjua

Mirza Ghalib
Public DomainMirza Ghalib - Credit: Gurubrahma
 Faiz Ahmed Faiz was one of the greatest poets of the Urdu language. Born in 1911, he  was a committed Marxist his entire life. He won the Lenin Peace Prize, awarded by the Soviet Union in 1962 and was a member of the All India Progressive Writers’ Movement. He was nominated for the Nobel Prize shortly before his death in 1984.


Mirza Ghalib (real name Mirza Asadullah Baig Khan) was born in 1797 and died in 1869. He remains one of the most popular poets of the Urdu language and is most famous for his ghazals, which are beloved by Urdu speakers round the world.

Page 48. " at Jim’s house in the Hamptons "

The Hamptons is an area of villages and hamlets at the far eastern end of New York’s Long Island. Some of America's (and the world’s) most expensive houses are here, and it is popular as a summer seaside resort for the wealthy of New York.

Page 48. " made me think of The Great Gatsby "

F. Scott Fitzgerald
Public DomainF. Scott Fitzgerald - Credit: Carl van Vechten
 The Great Gatsby is a novel published by F. Scott Fitzgerald in 1925. It is regarded as a literary classic, illustrating the genre of the American novel. The novel is set in the post-war summer of 1922 in New York and Long Island, and follows the narrator Nick Carraway, a wealthy young broker who rents a small summer house in an upmarket neighbourhood of Long Island mansions, one of which belongs to Jay Gatsby. The book has been filmed six times and a seventh, directed by Baz Luhrmann, is scheduled for release in 2012.