Toga Parties, Gangsters and Near-Death Experiences: 27 Years With The Times

Walter Baranger reflects on his decades-long career managing logistics and communications for The Times’s far-flung bureaus.

Comments: 9

  1. Please, write a book!

  2. Thanks for putting me into your shoes, if that can be said…

    Do you think you really will stop (except for un-airworthy contraptions)?

  3. It's true: International travel can be addicting, and the perks are undeniable. My favorite airline granted me lifetime gold frequent-flier status, so I can always check a bag for free and use their overseas lounges. I've made many good friends at our bureaus, and seeing them is like attending a reunion. Helping publish the news report was always satisfying, and an elixir for jet lag.

    But my last long-haul trip for The Times – Los Angeles/Seattle/Hong Kong/Shanghai/Beijing for more than three weeks in November – was 11 flights punctuated by dreadful air pollution, many hours dissipated at airports and a few meals that I deeply regretted later. I arrived home late on Thanksgiving night, too late for turkey with my grandchildren. Then there's the homeward jet lag, the gift that keeps giving.

    I think my wife also had enough of my perambulations, though she rarely complained. A good friend in California occasionally noted that when I was overseas, his stomach would be in knots; I reminded him that since he was an Angels baseball fan, his stomach was always in knots anyway.

    Still, I would happily fly back to New Delhi even during monsoon season to savor the Hotel Alka's vegetarian sampler with my old friend Satish.

  4. I really enjoyed this. I love to travel, so taking an "arm chair" adventure with you this morning was a delight. Good luck with your next phase of life.

  5. Yes, PLEASE write that book!
    And, NYT do tell us when it's published!

  6. How scarily exciting. Look forward to more writing from far flung retirement quarters.

  7. Congratulations on your retirement and a job well done. Only one thing dismays me: no picture of the cat!

  8. I have a 2001 photo of Purdah – she was named by our talented photographer Ruth Fremson – in a pet carrier en route to the airport in Islamabad, Pakistan. She has the look of someone who is about to spend 30 hours on planes.

    However, she does not appear to be pregnant. But looks can be deceiving, so Purdah, now around 16 years old and completely toothless, lives in Connecticut with her remaining kitten from an ill-timed Pakistan liaison, a 15-year-old orange tabby named Gus.

  9. Congratulations on your retirement. Your article reminds us implicitly that the international, on-the-spot reporting that the Times does well is valuable and can't be farmed out to stringers. News is global and this is valuable.

    To Times management: Skip the potshots at Trump (and his wife) and engage in the serious business of the news, especially on a global basis. That's where your value is and what I will subscribe to, no matter where I am in the world.