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  • hardie karges 7:12 pm on November 24, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: border towns, borders, Tangier, Tijuana   

    Border Towns of the World Unite!  

    014Expose yourselves!  Celebrate your absurdities!  Strange flowers grow in strange places, back to back to the same fence with a neighbor you hardly know, selling tickets to an arena where reality is the only show.

    Tijuana, Tangier, and Istanbul define the turf long taken over by Bali, Bangkok, and Bora-Bora, pushing back the borders of consciousness to a neighboring dimension of time and space.

    Tourists line up to see the natives sing and dance and otherwise entertain the bored wealthy Europeans seeking novelty and succor.

    The world’s sunny beaches are increasingly filled with sons and their bitches occupying space once given to fishermen, and complaining about the high price of fish.

    We are all in the same boat, rich and poor, a ghost ship to the future.  Don’t rock it, rock out.  Time to shake hands rather than fists.

  • hardie karges 7:53 pm on November 17, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ,   

    Ensalada lengua, tom yam bahasa… 


    Grand bizarre in Istanbul…

    If there’s anything more annoying than gringos speaking incorrect Spanish, it’s—wait for it—Spanish-speakers speaking incorrect Spanish, for the presumed benefit of non-Spanish speakers, creating a mindless muck of incomprehensibility that is more annoying than anything else, as if I would never know what country was being talked about unless the Spanish-speaker said ‘Your-a-guey’ instead of ‘Oo-roo-guai’, which is the correct way, for Uruguay, or ‘Pair-a-guey’ instead of ‘Pah-rah-guai’, as actually happened once, from a Spanish-as-a-second-language speaker before she knew that I could speak Spanish, too.

    Actually I’m not sure if she ever acknowledged that I could speak Spanish as good or better than she, even though she had actually lived there a long time, and I never really did. That’s all too often the problem, of course, dueling with dual languages for supremacy and the upper hand at whatever dignity might be at stake. And it’s justified, too, in that anybody should have the right and encouragement to speak the language of whatever country he happens to be in.

    Thailand is the worst, though, only grudgingly relenting to speak the native tongue with a farang unless he can physically pass as a brown-eyed black-haired Asian or similar half-breed luuk kreung, insisting almost to the death that any English they speak will be better than any Thai you can speak. The books tell them that. The problem with such a mish-mash of languages is that when you can’t understand something, then you don’t even know what language it is you can’t understand! One must persevere…

    • Esther Fabbricante 12:00 am on November 18, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Very interesting. I don’t pretend to speak Spanish at all, even though it was a minor in college.


    • hardie karges 12:03 am on November 18, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      That’s the other side of the conundrum, of course, that studying and speaking are entirely different, takes a combination of the two…

  • hardie karges 6:16 pm on November 11, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Interzone, lingua franca   

    This world is science fiction… 


    Somewhere in Ethiopia…

    …the fractal edge of the universe in the process of expansion, chaos meeting the void, waves crashing on the beach, the fragile border area between existence and non-existence…

    This is Interzone, the international zone, the chaotic border where languages fall flat and desires become erect…

    Modern standard Pidgin English is the lingua franca, Chinese language torture, the tongue of half-baked smiles, crocodile tears, and alligator pears…

    This is science friction; this is World War III; this is reality. Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night and have no idea where I am…

    I search an empty mind for the most recent memory, any memory, anything. What’s a computer without an operating system? Insert boot disk…

    Finally a reference point emerges and the rest can be extrapolated. Sometimes I wonder if a different memory had popped up, then maybe the entire extrapolated world would be different?

    Is history constantly shifting its point of reference? IS there such a thing as objective reality?

  • hardie karges 8:23 pm on November 7, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ,   

    Got That Itch? Time to Scratch, and Sniff… 

    Image result for airplane cartoon picsDid you know that you can get a round-trip from Los Angeles to Bangkok this winter for as little as $650?

    Yeow!  I haven’t seen prices that cheap in ten years! A combination of cheap fuel prices and strong dollar (no connection) mean that it’s a good time for Americans to travel overseas.

    The US Dollar and the Euro are closer to parity right now than at any time since the beginning!

    C U in Thailand, or China, or Latvia, or Ukraine…

  • hardie karges 5:35 pm on November 3, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Republican, , vacation rrental   

    Vampire Weekend(s), or 5 Reasons to Never Rent your Home to Millennial (Republicans)… 

    Aftermath: counting the damage

    Aftermath: counting the damage

    (continued from previous)…

    Somehow I survived the night and entered my house at ten in the morning—normal checkout time—and caught the last man out, high fives for sympathetic magic and I surveying the interior for any possible damage—none. I dodged a bullet. But what about the other booking that I have pending in two weeks? He already indicated that it wasn’t the two people as originally indicated, but in fact more—’no more than ten or twelve’ he assured me. What should I do? 

    But that’s a glitch right there, and cause for concern. So I e-mail him and inquire the final number of lodgers and initiate my pitch that if the plan is to party, then he should make other arrangements. There is an awkward e-mail silence of several days, and I am at the point of canceling his booking, when he finally responds that there will be twelve people, and that they’re all ‘young professionals’ (as opposed to riff-raff, by implication). (More …)

    • Esther Fabbricante 6:14 pm on November 3, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Oh, my goodness!! And no, I didn’t know you were selling your house. What then?

    • Esther Fabbricante 6:17 pm on November 3, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I don’t know if my reply went through. I said, “Oh my goodness!:


    • hardie karges 6:31 pm on November 3, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Probably be here much, if not most of the winter, then re-visit options, looking at California…

      • Esther Fabbricante 7:02 pm on November 3, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        Interesting. California sounds like a good option.


    • David R 8:59 pm on November 8, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      MD 20/20? Didn’t know they still made that…

  • hardie karges 11:07 pm on October 29, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Hypertravel Hostel, , , vacation rental   

    Vampire Weekend(s), or 5 Reasons to Never Rent your Home to Millennials… 

    Hypertravel Hostel

    Hypertravel Hostel

    I can still smell the after-shave, the cologne, the liquor, old-fashioned Las Vegas casinos (the day after), all the smells that I detest, manliness in a spray-can, just add spray-tan, stirred not shaken and ready for a night on the town, now more than a half day after the group left my house, or should we say: ‘the party’? That’s four days of my life that I’ll never get back.

    Back story: I operate a hostel cum rooming house cum ‘Air BnB’ cum ‘vacation rental’ in Tucson, AZ, aka ‘Hypertravel Hostel’, whatever pays the bills and pads the pocketbook, and lets me live another day without begging on street corners. Problem is that there really are very few travelers down in this neck of the woods except in winter, and even then, more hangers-on-and-around than actual x-country boogiers… (More …)

    • Esther Fabbricante 11:31 am on October 30, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Wishing you well!


  • hardie karges 8:48 pm on October 26, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ,   

    Special Relativity of Tourism 

    Addis Ababa, looking for something

    In Addis Ababa, looking for something; think I’m being shadowed by someone…

    Time travel is the best kind.  You don’t have to move a muscle or start an engine.  You just flip the pages of memory and sit back and enjoy as images pass by on the projection screen of your mind’s eye.  There’s only one drawback; it involves getting old.  So, as with most of life itself, it all works out in the long run; the less you’re able to travel in space, the more you’re able to travel in time.  Don’t laugh at that old guy with spit dribbling down his chin; he’s trucking in his mind.

    • Esther Fabbricante 9:53 pm on October 26, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      My real travel is very limited, but plans are go to Dallas for Thanksgiving (3 days) to see my three great grandchildren (twins I have never seen.)

  • hardie karges 1:27 am on October 22, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: gap year, Guinness, London   

    Fifty-five and Unrepentant, Gap-Year Blues… 

    Me and the Stones

    Me and the Stones

    The World’s Oldest Backpacker hits 55 (countries, years old, states of mind) with no regrets and unrepentant.  That’s the new gap year for us inveterate veteran travelers.  Someone asked, “How long you been travelling?”  Thirty-five years and counting…. Turning fifty-five was just like old times, alone and lonely, abandoned by my friends, walking the streets of London without an umbrella or a prayer.  The rain hovers around me like weak soup, reminding me of why my ancestors left so long ago.  I find solace in a pasty pie and a pint, and glad for it.  All that’s behind me now, older Budweiser, Guinness in my future…

  • hardie karges 7:33 pm on October 13, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: bipolar syndrome, , Parthenon, redwood   

    To be alone in a sea of strange faces… 

    Playing in the Parthenon

    Playing in the Parthenon

    …is not only natural, not only not dreadful, it’s heavenly, relying on the basic goodness of mankind, unlearning the violence inherent from our fathers’ mistakes. Still the best part of travel is coming home to the nest, complete with mother and son… and sh*tting in it. Sometimes I don’t need to travel; I just need to BE without direction or schedule, an extra in the movie with no lines to read. I need no extra lines on my face to show my age, like some giant redwood lying shattered on the forest floor cut full girth across the grain of resistance, with no quarter-sawed comfy little beds and all their fibers lying smoothly between their teeth. Fibers one and all had their lives cut short, perpendicularly open-ended ready for anything, large or small, objets d’art or mansions in the sky. I need contrast, the constant zigzag between poles, both north and south, bi-polar syndrome…

    • jodie 2:20 am on November 7, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      being….sounds as if you sense the have a sense of the manifestation of duality….I strive for this through silence and solitude…my own mythopoetic space…maybe….symbolism and bullshit…probably…this leads me to answer your question….no Facebook or social media ..I do look at blogs on occasion, which is how I came upon yours… web wilder was a musician playing to university crowds in the early eighties…of no great significance to me other than remembering those four lines.


      • hardie karges 2:58 am on November 7, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        Whether real or just apparent, yes, duality is unavoidable, I’d say, call me Gemini. I thought maybe Robert Mann mentioned me to you, since he seems to know you and is one of my few friends here in Tucson. I never knew you had a mythopoetic space, Jodie; I like it… stay in touch…

    • Jodie 6:17 am on November 9, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Yes I will stop by now and again and stay in touch …, Tell Bird (Robert) I said hello.

      I am curious…was it the beat writers that influenced your choice to be a traveler?

      I have not read any of David Foster Wallace’s work… But I have always admired Camus for his approach to the
      age old question of man’s angst…these questions are seldom asked in philosophy
      these days…and may be meaningless at that …instead we get epistemology and call it philosophy…obviously I am influenced by Rorty…and might be wrong.

      I never knew you to be interested in philosophy Hardie…I was probably stoned and it slipped by me.

      To the depths,

  • hardie karges 11:09 pm on October 8, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Customs, Houston, ,   

    You Can’t Fight Customs, c. 1989… 

    Hanging with Juan Lennon in Havana

    Hanging with Juan Lennon in Havana

    The Customs guys in Houston had a little table set up on the ramp to the airplane for the international flight. I’ve never seen anything like that, so ignore it. They flag me over. I’m Mr. Profile, by the way. They have a picture of what the typical bad guy looks like; it’s a picture of me. Hey, can I help it if I’ve got an eccentric flair for fashion? I’ve got carry-on luggage, so immediately I’m suspect. Under US law, if you’re carrying more than $10,000 in ‘monetary instruments’, then you gotta’ report it. No big deal; I know all that. I travel all the time; it’s a way of life. I deal with Customs officials all the time; it’s a way of business. I even do my own Customs brokering, so know the rap. They think I’m trying to be a smart-ass. They want to see all my money, so we do that, counting every penny.

    Back then, ATM’s weren’t so popular, so I had traveler’s checks, plenty of them, since I buy handicrafts. It all added up to about $9,300 or so, well under the limit, or so I thought. Let’s wrap this up and get on with our lives. But no, the guy with the badge is getting excited. He leaves and comes back a few minutes later, telling me to follow him on to the plane. Like a good citizen, I obey. We go into the cockpit, where he informs me he wants to ‘know what that bulge in my pants is’. I sh*t you not. I had to pull down my pants for some pervert with a badge while two pilots and a flight attendant looked on. I guess now I know why it’s called a ‘cockpit’.

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