Updates from April, 2013 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • hardie karges 5:39 am on April 25, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Dubrovnik, ,   

    Featured City: Dubrovnik, Croatia 


    Dubrovnik’s Old Walls

    DUBROVNIK is one of Europe’s top tourist destinations for over a hundred years, its walled medieval city the main draw.  As Ragusa, this was a maritime city that goes back to the Roman era, was later ruled by the Byzantines, and rivaled Venice in the Middle Ages, before becoming a colony of it.  Though it later paid tribute to the Turkish Ottomans, Ragusa was a free city until the Austrian Habsburgs took over in 1815.  At that point Dubrovnik was Europe in microcosm, with German, Latin, and Slavic languages all spoken within its domain.  Then came Yugoslavia and Communism.  After Croatia’s declaration of independence in 1991, Dubrovnik was besieged by the rump Yugoslavia for seven months, Montenegro claiming that Dubrovnik belonged to it.  The siege was finally lifted and damage to the old city repaired.  There are 2km of walls around it. (More …)

  • hardie karges 2:19 am on April 22, 2013 Permalink | Reply  

    Good vibe at the #LATFestivalofBooks today, wish I were there selling books, maybe next year. What will happen when there are only e-books? Will we have book raves? Tweet fests? Imagine the possibilities…

  • hardie karges 3:20 pm on April 20, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , ,   

    A Tale of Two Cities—of Angels 


    Faceless Priests: Songkran in Los Angeles

    When I tell friends that the name of Thailand’s capital translates as  ‘city of angels’, they usually ask me, often with a smarmy little grin, “Which is the ‘Bang’ and which is the ‘kok’?”  It doesn’t work that way, of course, since the real name of the Thai capital is Krung Thep, more properly pronounced ‘Grung Taip,’ with a long falling tone on the ‘Taip.’

    Given the city’s seedy rep as an R&R retreat for GI’s and a watering hole for ex-pats, the name ‘Bangkok’ is an easy mnemonic device, though, so is hard to shake, even among first-cousin Laotians and southern Thais accustomed to Malay admixtures, the ‘bengkak-bengkok’ of a winding river possibly the name’s origin, olive groves notwithstanding.  But all that’s academic.  This is holiday season: Songkran.

    Holy Week in Latin countries is a real hoot, featuring the full range of feasting and fasting, and in some places even including the ritual dousing of water, in addition to the usual palms and ashes.  But none of it compares to Songkran in Thailand, sometimes described as “the world’s largest water fight.”  That it is, but it’s more than that, too, much more than simply cooling off in the summer heat. (More …)

  • hardie karges 4:47 pm on April 19, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , travel tips   

    Hot Travel Tip: Did you know that you can max up and max out your credit cards, then simply leave the country, and sip whiskey laughing while the bills and threats roll in and pile up? It’s true. One-way tickets work best. Thailand is a favorite destination. There’s only one problem: it’s wrong. So why do I tell you? Because morality implies a choice.

    It’s tempting, too, now that that banks are desperate; not desperate for food, of course, but desperate for the good old days. You know they’re desperate when they take a credit application over the phone, at their initiative; especially when they’ve absconded with $3868 (not including interest) of my money only a few short years ago; especially with 100 countries in my passport; especially with a $15K credit limit; especially when they canceled my previous credit card unilaterally and refused subsequent applications. They claim they acted in good faith; so did I.

    I guess living right is the best revenge. Yes, it really is. Even though banks may be complicit–if not cause–of many of the world’s current problems, that doesn’t mean I should use that to justify theft. Even if I could max out at $50K, that wouldn’t hurt them. it would only hurt me. Did you know that the religious law of “eye for an eye” forbids revenge, i.e. punitive damages? Too bad; I hear it’s sweet. I think it forbids interest, too. Can you imagine what the world would be like if the payment of interest were forbidden? I figure that interest on loans were the origin of capitalism. What do you think?

  • hardie karges 4:08 am on April 18, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Goreme, , , ,   

    Featured city: Goreme, Turkey 

    019 (2)

    Weird landscapes at Goreme, Turkey

    GOREME is a town in the Cappadocia region of central Turkey and the center of the tourism industry of the region, based on and around the “hoodoo”/“fairy chimney” rock formations which define the region. These are formations in which a hard upper stratum has formed a cap over softer strata, which have then been weathered away and frequently carved out for utilitarian purposes, especially clandestine Christian churches in the era in which that was subversive. It’s surreal and imaginations have gone wild to promote it, most often comparing it to the “yabba-dabba-doo” landscape of Fred Flintstone’s Bedrock City. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Hostels are of good quality and good value.  There are half a dozen listed in the book “Backpackers &f Flashpackers in Eastern Europe,” with complete specs and contact info.  Check it out.



  • hardie karges 3:11 am on April 18, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Coachella, , , Julieta   

    Hollywood is being taken over by refugees from Coachella, audience & bands, 2–#FranzF, #Bats4Lashes, I caught #JulietaVenegas at #AmoebaRecords, genial…

  • hardie karges 5:42 pm on April 16, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , terror   

    Attacks on Tax Day? Language police are investigating; it could be the work of Chomskyites, or Chomskyans, or…

  • hardie karges 2:23 pm on April 16, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ,   

    It only took ABC a few hours to bring up the term ‘al-Qaeda’ in their reporting, despite any apparent reason for it. Knee-jerk reactions are not helpful… My greatest fear is of becoming inured to–not injured by–the constant violence, though the good folks from the 4B’s–Belfast, Bosnia, Baghdad, and Beirut–assure us that life goes on, every day. R.I.P. innocent victims & say a prayer, America…

  • hardie karges 2:01 pm on April 15, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , ,   

    Click ‘like’ if traveling around the world for pennies sounds good…

  • hardie karges 6:43 pm on April 14, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , ,   

    Can you guess where this photo is from?

    Sunday farmers' market in LA

    Sunday farmers’ market in LA

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