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  • hardie karges 7:49 pm on October 1, 2015 Permalink | Reply  


    Glaciers Calvin in Patagonia

    Glaciers Calving in Patagonia

    Tourism is the great modern gold rush, linking past and present, rich and poor, traditional and modern, in a gradual melting pot of cult and culture. The modern rich get their entertainment by viewing the past as expressed by poor traditional peoples. The only problem is that it puts itself out of business. If successful it changes the very thing that drew tourists in the first place. This is the new colonialism, tourist colonies and sunny beaches, Interzone girls and forty inch screens. The brave new world is a chicken sh*t travesty, a burlesque of the real world, dancing girls included. Entertainment is everything now, the real thing itself, not just what ‘holds us’ between the real things.

  • hardie karges 6:51 pm on September 25, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: America, , , desert, Desert Hot Springs, ,   

    Perfect Day, Infinite Gist, final part: Bus, Crappers, Caffeine, DFW, D-i-v-o-r-c-e… 

    Desert Oasis in California

    Desert Oasis in California

    (continued from previous)

    And so the bus breaks down, at three in the morning, with battery problems, or something in the electrical system, as those things are hard to pinpoint without accurate diagnostic tests. Anyway, it’s not good news, though somewhat mitigated by the fact that the desert is not so hot at three in the morning, AND…

    …the place has crappers. This is important for early morning ablutions, almost indispensable, in fact, given the circadian rhythms of the human body, without even considering the semi-trauma of being broken down on the side of the road, albeit in a pump-and-poop parking lot. It’s not the first time I’ve ever been in a broken-down bus, but the first time in America. (More …)

  • hardie karges 5:56 pm on September 22, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: D. F. Wallace, depression, , suicide,   

    Perfect Day, Infinite Gist, part 3: Bus, Desert, DFWallace, Suicide… 

    Ghost rider

    Ghost rider

    (continued from previous)

    My ghost bus proceeds from Tucson, avoiding Tucumcari, likewise Tehachapi, straight past Tonopah, on the outskirts of Phoenix, known for its wide skirts. The Pepsi soothes my parched throat sputtering and fizzing noisily, much more than a breakfast drink, as we say down south, it almost like elixir… medicine… some kind of magical liquid that lures you into its parlor and creates the future need for itself—it crackling with life when everything around it is dead, it calling out your name when all your friends tend to ignore you…

    No one on a bus wears a suit; that’s what I like about it. We pre-millennial Americans are defined by our suits: collar and tie, cuff and link, symbolized by our chains and the willingness of our submission, as it has been for the last hundred years, gentlemen and their ladies defined by that yoke, everyone else defined by its lack as lackeys… (More …)

    • Esther Fabbricante 8:53 pm on September 22, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Traveling alone is not in my future – just with family – one or more. Maybe a trip to Dallas/Southlake for Thanksgiving to see my two new twin great granddaughters who are imminent between now and Oct. 10. Greg will be a grandpa again! And 2-year old Jack will be a brother.

  • hardie karges 12:16 pm on September 17, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Phoenix, ,   

    Perfect Day, Infinite Gist, part 2: Bus, City, Desert, Vaginas… 

    Bus full...

    Bus full…

    (continued from previous)

    1500 Hours: If travel is an addiction, then buses are the junk that courses through your veins. By American standards this is one step above homelessness, the ragged and wretched and the too-afraid-to-fly queuing up for bumpy-road jaunts to familiar locations where unnamed relatives live in uncertain symmetry, silence only occasionally interrupted by the rat-a-tat of gunfire and the backfire of Mexican low-riders…

    Of course it gets boring in a bus station after a few hours, but this is what happens when you go ‘next available’. In any city outside the USA, there would likely be huge crowds, if not actual throngs, of people watching and waiting expectantly to see if their bus will be on time, and if not then why not. People would be shifting body weight from foot to foot over some imagined fulcrum that merely hides the tracks and traces of boredom. (More …)

    • Esther Fabbricante 9:36 pm on September 17, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      What can I say? I liked Phoenix when I visited – but that was in 1976; and Scottsdale – didn’t see much. Sedona was beautiful.

    • hardie karges 10:00 pm on September 17, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      1976? It’s changed…

  • hardie karges 7:38 pm on September 14, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Greyhound Bus, , , marijuana   

    Perfect Day, Infinite Gist, part 1: Bus, Station, Weed, Whacker… 

    Greyhound Buses: main line in the US

    Greyhound Bus: US main line

    1100 Hours: I am sitting in the Greyhound bus station in Tucson, Arizona. I walked here from my house a mile or so (two km) away. I plan to go hang with my wife in LA, if I can only get away, get all my ducks in a row, get everybody on the same page, then just take off; but there is no bus with seats available today Sunday, or so they say. So I get online—in the bus station, mind you—and find one: six hours from now, a bus apparently hidden down an Internet worm hole…

    This is not the same Greyhound bus station that serves as my first memory of Tucson, more than a decade ago. That one was smack downtown, where University of Arizona housing now sits—stands? Tucson is changing. A guy who looked like Randy Quaid once hit me here—for no reason—just whacked me on the shoulder. Then he just kept walking like nothing even happened. So did I. I just now realized that it might actually have been Randy Quaid… (More …)

    • Esther Fabbricante 9:57 pm on September 14, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      You can even write about ‘nothing’ with a flair – I don’t know how you do it.

  • hardie karges 9:29 pm on September 12, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Celsius, Fahrenheit, hostel, , temperature,   

    Hypertravel Hostel News: Good-bye Summer! High Time for Travelers in Tucson… 

    Hypertravel Hostel, Tucson

    Hypertravel Hostel, Tucson

    Right now it’s 99f/37c degrees in Tucson, Arizona, USA, and counting: 99.1, 99.2, 99.3, etc. Bottom line: it’ll probably hit 100f before the day is over, which is significant for a couple reasons, 1) It’s the first 100f day of September, and 2) It’ll probably be the last 100f day of the year, إن شاء الله

    To say the least: Tucson is one hot mother, and that 100f threshold is one convenient standard, maybe TOO convenient. I mean: this is a city that gets almost 100 of them per year, and that is the stuff of fame, or rather infamy, so I use 40 Celsius as a kinder and more sympathetic standard, ONLY 104f. That way the number of days go WAY down way fast, (Brit: rather a lot, and rather quickly)…

    Hypertravel Hostel: back view

    Hypertravel Hostel: back view, in January

    It’s a nice skill to have, too, to be able to convert temps from one to the other scale, far more useful as a hostel owner (Hypertravel Hostel) than any of the small handful of languages that I’m conversant in. After all, most foreigners don’t come to the US, at least not alone, unless they’re at least conversant in English, and once they do that, they sure don’t want to condescend to speak the native lingo with a gringo (call me ‘rhyme-a-dime’)…

    But temperature conversions are another thing. Almost no foreigners know Fahrenheit, except for a few older Canadians and Brits. The ablility to do rough sums in one’s head comes in handy then. The ability to withstand Tucson heat is another thing. You can have June and July. If I’m here next year, it won’t be in those months; that’s for sure… C U soon, I hope…


    • Esther Fabbricante 9:53 pm on September 12, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Do you own this hostel? Looks nice. Hot in Brandon, too, but only 81f at 4:50 p.m. and forecast is 54f tonight. Will watch the MSU/LSU football game tonight on TV. Ole Miss is winning this afternoon over Fresno State – 49-14 so far.

  • hardie karges 10:36 pm on September 8, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ,   

    Syria in the Rear-View Mirror; Welcome to Europe إن شاء الله 

    Image result for refugees in europeThe flash mob that is now Europe has at least reached a pleasant plateau, if not exactly a Happy Ending, Feliz Final—whatever. So while we die-hard Liberals all get a feel-good moment and a pat on the back, for being so generous, and kind, and understanding, you have to wonder what everyone else is thinking…

    …and while I certainly don’t want to give credence to the racist ideology of the Hungarian government (ironic in that they are the least European of all Europeans, at least in origins, likely from the far Uralic northeast, language related only to Finnish and Lapp), still it might be worthwhile asking a few questions: (More …)

  • hardie karges 4:38 pm on September 5, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Arabia, , migration,   

    The Math of Migration, the Path of Pilgrimage… 

    Okay, so right up front: I’m not an Arab-basher. I’m not an Islam-basher. I’m NOT Charlie Hebdo. I’ve even been accused of being a Jihadi. But here’s what I don’t get:

    1) the oil-rich Arab states of (Olympics sponsor) Qatar, UAE, Kuwait, Bahrain and others import literally millions of foreigners to do the work that their princely asses won’t do, up to 75% of their populations, to the point that the English language there is more of a lingua franca than their own native Arabic…

    2) millions of Arab-speaking Syrians and other war-torn Arab states are in a state of massive migration, in search of better lives, mostly to Europe, for lack of better options, a place where they know not the language nor the culture…

    3) almost NO Syrians have been resettled in the Persian Gulf, Bahrain being the one exception…

    What’s wrong with this picture? You do the math…

    • anna 11:15 pm on September 5, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Ive been thinking the same thing. Do you think its because the gulf nations wont be able to exploit the syrians as easily as they do the indians, filipinos etc?

      • hardie karges 12:05 am on September 6, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        I don’t know, to be honest, unless the filipinos and nepalis work for less. Otherwise you’d think they’d welcome the opportunity to reinforce Arab culture…

  • hardie karges 6:04 pm on August 31, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , exchange rates,   

    Travel on Sale! Dollar Days to End Soon! 

    The value of the US dollar (USD) over the last few months has created a travel opportunity for Americans the likes of which haven’t been seen for decades, back when “the dollar was king.” But that may be changing soon. Trading at less than $1.10 to the Euro recently, the dollar is now at $1.12 and climbing. Likewise the British pound (GBP) and Canadian dollar (CAD), the most important currencies for the average American, are at unprecedented levels of weakness against the dollar, but starting to show signs of change.

    For all but the bravest economists, the complicated relationships between currencies and interest rates, and the prices of gold and oil, are not the stuff of idle conversation–yet they exist. The current situation will not last forever. Europe is beautiful in the fall, after the summer hordes have gone back home. Might be a good time to go check it out, before the dollar loses a quarter of its value. You heard it here first, remember…

  • hardie karges 8:43 pm on August 15, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Ethnic Cleansing, , , Islamic State, Srebrenica, WWII   

    #ISIL #Srebrenica #Ethnic Cleansing and #WWII… 

    ISIL drones: suicide chickens…

    The predilection of the ISIL guys for the politics of rape is making big news these days, more than would seem headline-worthy, really, but I guess wars need buzz-food, too. Since Johnny Jihad lost his job as head throat-slitter, there seems to be an open slot in the reality TV line-up from the Mideast. Christian girls are apparently prime targets for victimization, surprise surprise. That’s still better than murder, though, especially considering the gruesome gut-wrench a slit throat always brings, no easier in ‘Zorba the Greek’ than in the Syrian desert. Still, I doubt that this indicates a softening of their position…

    Now I hate to be a whiny-ass Facebook-style pseudo-politico, BUT: where was all the outrage when Serbian Christians—CHRISTIANS—were raping and massacring Bosnian Muslims only some twenty years ago, while Dutch troops under UN mandate stood by powerless? Ironically Roman Catholic Croats ally themselves with Muslim Bosniaks, not Orthodox Serbs. A further irony is that they’re all the same race, originally, and speak the same language, separated only by religion. If only the Bosniaks used the Arabic script, that would make the perfect trifecta of divergence, along with the Roman and Cyrillic alphabets… (More …)

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