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  • hardie karges 3:15 pm on January 10, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ,   

    LANGUAGE TIPS FOR THE SERIOUS TRAVELER 

    Language Tip #2: Don’t feed the pidgins…

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  • hardie karges 7:46 pm on January 3, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: aurora, Death Hawks, , Lauri Schreck, , northern lights, Puhuri, Samuli Kemppi, Siinai, Voittaja   

    The Finlandization of us all, hopefully… 

    Finland is one of the few countries of Europe, along with first-cousin Estonia, and distant cousin Hungary, that isn’t of Indo-European speech–or genome (since those two circumstances seem to follow each other around)…

    But they are part of the north-country heritage that stretches east to the Urals and north to Lappland, with connections through the north country all the way to Asia, and predominant in much of Russia north of Moscow…

    From their tribal origins, Finland has spent much of the last several hundred years under the domination of big brother Sweden or big brother Russia, even playing one off the other, in order to ultimately remain neutral, hopefully…

    No mean feat during the USSR, period, Finlandization a pejorative term from that era implying that deals with the devil are sometimes necessary, notwithstanding the fact that sometimes watching and waiting is simply the best weapon available…

    Fast-forward to the present and Finland is not only free and clear, but a shining example of what a modern 21st century European country should be like, clean and green and polished to a high sheen, maybe not so hard in a vast country of less than six million souls, but still…

    And the music is no exception. These guys–and girls–are onto something good, both the indie stuff and traditional, narrative or ambient. Helsinki is of a manageable size–and price–too, walkable and not as pricey as some of the more ‘western’ capitals. And the Arctic Circle is but a short ride away. Enjoy…

     
  • hardie karges 11:55 pm on December 12, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Principe, Sao Tome   

    Sao Tome’ and Principe’: Paradise found… 

    The country of Sao Tome’ and Principe’ is one of the world’s smallest, with less than 200,000 people and barely a thousand square kilometers scattered over a couple islands off the east coast of Africa… (More …)

     
    • Esther S. Fabbricante 12:10 am on December 13, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      More power to you!!

  • hardie karges 1:31 pm on November 29, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Fiji, global warming, Melanesia, , Pacific Ocean,   

    FIJI: Putting the Mela back in Melanesia… 

    Fiji is one of the brighter spots of a South Pacific that doesn’t always live up to its image as Paradise, and probably THE brightest spot of Melanesia, the darker-skinned portion, where getting lei’d is not always guaranteed upon arrival… (More …)

     
    • Dave Kingsbury 12:01 pm on November 30, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      I wish human rights were as cross-border as music … too often nationhood gets in the way! You got me thinking …

    • hardie karges 12:15 pm on November 30, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Yes, we’re such a young species. Hopefully we can figure some things out before it’s too late…

  • hardie karges 1:31 pm on November 14, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Jeddah, KSA, , Rotana, Saudi Arabia, Waed, Wahabi   

    Saudi Arabia: Kingdom of Kings… 

    Saudi Arabia is one of the great conundrums of the modern world, superficially as modern as they come, but at heart as medieval as any country ever was… (More …)

     
    • Esther S. Fabbricante 4:24 pm on November 14, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Almost too much to comprehend.

  • hardie karges 12:24 pm on November 2, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Harare, , Semitic   

    Ethiopia: Where it all began… 

    Ethiopia is one of the most incredible countries in the world, close to the origin of the human race, in Africa, of Africa, but not limited to it, or by it, highly recommended if you’ve been elsewhere in Africa and figure it’s all the same–it’s not… (More …)

     
    • Dave Kingsbury 11:21 pm on November 4, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Light, Color and Sound indeed! – to quote your by-line – amazing that Rimbaud just stopped writing poetry and spent the rest of his life in Africa as a trader, though his journal entries from the time make interesting reading!

      • hardie karges 6:26 am on November 5, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        Yes, very interesting career that man had, and I’ve never read those journal notes, either, so nice…

  • hardie karges 12:52 pm on October 25, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Dakar, Fulani, Orchestra Baobab, Senegal, Wolof, Youssou N'dour   

    Senegal: Life in the Mbalax… 

    Senegal is one of the brighter spots of West Africa, successor of previous local Wolof  and Serer regimes and the regional nomadic Sahel-based Islamic Fulani/Toucouleur who occupy and define much of West Africa, what with their cows, language and religion… (More …)

     
    • Esther S. Fabbricante 2:41 pm on October 25, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      For some unknown reason, my sound is silent! Enjoyed your blog, though.

    • hardie karges 2:54 pm on October 25, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Sound works, maybe re-start your computer if nothing else…

    • Megs 10:19 am on November 8, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      So there’s always i find something interesting about different people and culture. That`s why i so much appreciate your blog! Stunning.

  • hardie karges 12:44 am on October 19, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Baltic, , , , , Soviet Union,   

    E-stonia: lotta’ hard work, still not Finnish… 

    With origins on the far northern Uralic steppes, first cousins with the Finns and Sami, and distant relations with Ugric Hungarians, these groups of Finno-Ugric speakers are the exception to the rest of the Indo-European-speaking European continent… (More …)

     
  • hardie karges 12:55 pm on October 11, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Balkans, , , Herzegovina, Serbia, Tito, Yugoslavia   

    Serbia: War is Over (if you want it)… 

    Hey, it’s not easy being Serb, or any southern Slav, showing up on the southern gates of Europe post-Rome and looking for a place at the table, a table already pre-set by Dacians, Thracians, Illyrians and Celts to boot, remove your shoes at the door, please… (More …)

     
    • davekingsbury 10:34 pm on October 13, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Nice stream-of-consciousness piece, Hardie …

      • hardie karges 12:59 am on October 14, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        Thx, Dave! Hmm, maybe this should be the s-o-c blog, wouldn’t be hard if it’s a country I’ve already visited, just random access assorted memories travels travails and frustrations, toss them in a hot skillet, stir quickly at high temps, season to taste… hmmm, not bad flavor… good idea, Dave!

  • hardie karges 1:19 pm on October 4, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Asmara, Eritrea, , human rights, Isaias Afewerki, Italy,   

    Eritrea: North Korea in Africa? You Decide… 

    Though Eritrea may have an ancient history, as a modern country they’ve only been independent since MY BIRTHDAY, 1993, and that only after a long hard war fought with neighboring Ethiopia, its big brother and modern nemesis… (More …)

     
    • Kelly 11:33 am on October 12, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      I love the colours, everything is so lush and bright. I never knew that different music can influence on people so much…

      • hardie karges 12:13 pm on October 12, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        Language, music and art are the best expressions of a culture, IMO, and music is easily the most accessible, no prior training required. Ethiopia is definitely my favorite country in Africa, and I think Eritrea would be almost as good. Thanks for your comment, Kelly…

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