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  • Writer's pictureTamanna Mohapatra

Silk road adventures

I had an amazing day today visiting a silk road exhibit at the Penn museum, PA. It was a wonderful day and I decided to make the most of it. It was sort of experiment and adventure in sustainable living and boy do I have some statements to make!

First - about the silk road:

It did exist, it’s about 2000 years old and covered 4000 miles across Asia, Africa and Europe. It allowed for the exchange of goods, ideas, technology and religions between East and West. It was an amazing exhibit, with 3 mummies from those times. The Asian mummies were formed mostly naturally and are very different from the Egyptian mummies. While going through the exhibit I was thinking to myself, “what a neat job it must be to set up exhibits, learn about places and people and then use your creativeness to bring them to live somewhat.” Some of the things I found interesting were the food items on display there, they were real and preserved naturally over 1500 years! We got to learn the non-religious way of capturing time and eras; so AD and BC has been now replaced by BCE (before common era) and CE (common era). The exhibition is there till end of March this time and is definitely worth a trip; not only for the silk road but also to visit the very nice museum settings and garden within.

Second - about my experiment:

So, it being the first 70 degree day in a long time, I decided to take full advantage of it by spending it most of it outdoors. It was kind of spontaneous decision and what was more spontaneous is I thought it would be fun to take public transport all the way from point A to B and back to set an example and also see how feasible it is to do on a regular basis. I live in Princeton NJ and although we have a NJ transit train stop 5 mins drive from home, it’s always over crowded and NEVER has an available parking spot. So, I walked about 20 mins from home to take the ‘dinky’; a 2 carriage local train from downtown Princeton to the Princeton main train stop..that was fun and nice and I only spent about 5-7 mins waiting at both train stops for the respective trains..Now, if I was in  rush that wouldn’t be good. In fact, there was a guy waiting on the platform to take the train to Trenton but because it was 10 mins late, he decided to drive there..and that’s what I am sure what most people would end up doing if public transport wasn’t reliable. Then, my next connecting train was 1.5 hours after that! (partly because I took the wrong train and a friend had to come rescue me by car!)..But in any case, I ended up getting to the museum around 2 pm..I should confess I stopped en route after I met a hoola hopper on the train to follow her to some park in Philly..I can be easily led anywhere with promises of good photo opportunity! I was at the museum for 1.5 hours which is not much considering it took me 6 hours to get there and back…the return journey was a lot smoother but once I reached Princeton, the dinky had just left and wasn’t coming back for another 40 mins, so I decided to take a cab back home, bringing an end to my ‘traveling sustainably’ experiment. But, I did achieve my initial goal of being outdoors and enjoying mother nature without driving and traffic hassles..

#silkroadadventures, #publictransportation, #sustainabletravel, #sustainability, #pennmuseumPA

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