Updates from May, 2015 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • hardie karges 10:10 pm on May 29, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , pronunciation, , World Cup   

    Qatar, Cutter, Gutter, Cuddlier: Let's call the World Cup off… 

    Is this our fate as a descendant of the British Empire, the right to butcher languages like beef body parts all reduced to hamburger, just add ketchup for instant satisfaction? Now I hate to be a linguo-fascist, some kind of pronuncio-pundit, or even worse: some kind of grammar-slamming silver-haired grandpa, BUT… since when is there a country in the Persian Gulf called “Cutter?” I mean, is it that difficult to pronounce correctly? Or are we trying to smear all Arabs with the same ‘jihadi-with-a-dagger’ (cutting) brush?

    I hope not, but is ‘Cutter’ the best we can do, reduce the name of your country to some Looney Tunes Yosemite Sam version of Nat Geo? Okay, I realize it’s NOT pronounced like ‘guitar-with-a-K’, so maybe ‘Cutter’ is not so bad, IF (drum roll here, please)…IF you actually pronounce the ‘T’ as “T”, so not like ‘cudder’, so typically American, but ‘CUT-TER’ with a ‘T’ not a ‘d’; got it? And separate the two syllables a little bit, okay? And get that tongue out of the back of your throat, and….

  • hardie karges 12:35 am on May 28, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , train   

    Asian Swan Song: Stir-fried, Sweet and Sour, part II 

    Bangkok elevators

    Bangkok elevators

    …continued from previous Sub-title: Leaving Bangkok in the Broad Daylight (leaving the trash leaving the filth leaving the skyscrapers leaving the street-scrapers leaving the leaf-blowers leaving the elevators leaving the percolators leaving the bar-girls leaving the traffic snarls leaving the uncertainties leaving the eccentricities catching the wind catching the morning sun catching a second wind catching a train…

    The landscape is alternately hilly and swampy, populated and rural. There are rubber trees and palm, pineapples and mango—cash crops all. Rice is seen less down here in the south of Thailand. That’s mostly up north. That symbol of life and tradition is also a symbol of poverty. Nowadays cash is king; without it you’re resigned to a peasant’s life and existence. (More …)

    • Esther Fabbricante 12:54 am on May 28, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Your stamina and expertise are far beyond my comprehension – and how you put it all into words is remarkable.

  • hardie karges 11:03 pm on May 24, 2015 Permalink | Reply  

    ASIAN SWAN SONG: Stir-Fried, Sweet and Sour (ผัดเปรี้ยวหวาน ) 

    That's Entertainment: Bangkok Style

    That’s Entertainment: Bangkok Style

    May 24, 2014

    I turned sixty years old today, alone as usual, lonely boy in a lonely city—Bangkok—and I could get laid from any one of thousands of beautiful women (if I could get laid by any), and yet I’d likely find comfort in none. I know; I’ve tried.

    Ten years ago I turned fifty in London: same deal—couldn’t buy a friend (though I probably could have bought someone a pint). I don’t drink any more, not much anyway. Ha! That’s the secret to my longevity. It was raining that day in London; I remember distinctly. (More …)

    • Esther Fabbricante 11:16 pm on May 24, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I knew today was an important day – other than my routine – so, wishing you a very happy birthday – but not with those who are so easily available for a few dollars. LOL

      Can you believe that I am 30 years older than you! I cannot! Your video greeting was so special.

      Esther – and now to read this post – with anticipation.

      • hardie karges 11:18 pm on May 24, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        30 years is but the blink of an eye–in geologic time, hahaha (555 in Thai, impress your friends with that trivia)…

    • Esther Fabbricante 12:08 am on May 25, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      555. I am worried about your diagnosis – and with your life at risk, the expense is imperative. I really do think you should slow down. On June 6, I will see Wilson when I go to the Brandon Opry for a performance by Bobby Joe with the Opry band (Not with his Rockabilly band this time.)

    • hardie karges 12:25 am on May 25, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      No worries, just scored a .7 on my PSA, very good… 🙂

  • hardie karges 11:04 pm on May 19, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Rio Grande, Spanish,   

    A River runs around it, the borders of your subconscious… 

    Tex-Mex Border, behind Fences

    Tex-Mex Border, behind Fences

    Sometimes all you need is a little change of focus, a little shift in perspective, a little depth of field, when you’re standing at the border, when you’re on the threshold of a crossing, when you’re sitting at the crossroads, trying to flag a ride, waiting for the light to change, waiting for a a sign, waiting for a little voice inside you to announce something Big.  Good luck with that.

    The Rio Grande is also known as El Rio Bravo del Norte, the wild river up north, but it ain’t so wild, really, not here in southern Texas, the part below the Pecos that was never a part of pre-independence Texas anyway, so we Texans just stole that, too, figured as long as we’re here…

    Tex-Mex Border, with River

    Tex-Mex Border, with River

    In other modern countries full of Western ex-pats, they remember the Alamo, too, how we moved in as guests, and then refused to play by the rules of the game, prefer to just make them up, something like Manifest Destiny, something like American exceptionalism, something like taking what you need and leaving the rest…

    It’s funny how in Mexico they talk about ‘El Norte Barbaro’ and we talk about the Wild West, and it turns out we’re talking about the same place, really. They settled it, and then we took it. Such time-honored American concepts as the cowboy come straight from the Mexicans, the words ‘buckaroo, lasso, rodeo, and many more all American bastardizations of Spanish gone English.  So now we refuse them entry into what was once their own country–classic American.

  • hardie karges 12:16 am on May 13, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Amenia, ,   

    Little Armenia, Big Armenia 

    Lunch break for the duduk makers

    Lunch break for the duduk makers

    When I’m in LA, it’ll be Thai Town, sometimes called the 77th province of Thailand, enough Thai restaurants to satiate even the most famished of Thai affections, and a few grocery stores, gift shops and massage parlors to boot.

    It’s also Little Armenia, which overlaps the Thai part of town, and is the larger of the two, though you might mistake the Armenians for Russians, since most speak Russian also, unless they came here 100 years ago during the final days of the Ottoman Empire and that celebrated genocide of resident Armenians, who were there first by millennia, at least in the eastern half of the country that is now Turkey, that now turns its ‘zero-tolerance’ racial policy mostly toward Kurds, Armenians long subdued, either by change of name and language or actual geography just to the east which at the time was also in process of becoming part of the USSR, and probably saved its life.

    (More …)

    • Esther Fabbricante 12:40 am on May 13, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Very interesting.

  • hardie karges 10:30 pm on May 8, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , traffic   


    Kolkata train station

    Kolkata train station

    India is the perfect example of chaos, controlled chaos, somehow working toward uncertain ends with almost no reference to a common center. My favorite example is when traffic stops at a railroad crossing, at which point the traffic on both sides immediately fills up both lanes on both sides. Well, that’s fine as long as we’re all waiting to watch the train go by, but you can imagine what happens when the guard rail goes up again: total chaos, of course. This happens at every crossing every time, but it makes no difference. Any other way of reacting to the crossing stop is unimaginable, short of divine—or police—intervention.

    • Esther Fabbricante 10:37 pm on May 8, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I’m glad I don’t have to contend with this situation.

    • hardie karges 10:43 pm on May 8, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I let others do the driving in India…

  • hardie karges 11:15 pm on May 6, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Bahir Dar,   

    In Search Of The Nile’s Source At Bahir Dar 

    Ethiopian Christians at Bahir Dar

    Ethiopian Christians at Bahir Dar

    Today the air is cleaner… good day to backtrack a few hours to Bahir Dar… …maybe catch some vistas that I missed on the way in to Gonder… maybe my lungs can start recuperating… but the vistas are few even on a clear day, nothing more than a few old stranded Russian tanks… finally Lake Tana comes into view, monasteries dotting its islands and shores, and a thousand traditional straw-thatch tukuls dotting the landscape…

    I get a place right on the lake, for the equivalent of a ten-spot, but no TV, and Wi-Fi just a sticky wet dream (beware of cheap places advertising “wireless,” a radio). My place in Gonder actually had satellite TV with real movie channels, but only when there was electricity… (More …)

    • Esther Fabbricante 9:49 pm on May 7, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      My goodness – an adventure to say the least. My excitement is the impending birthday party on the 9th of May.

    • hardie karges 10:52 pm on May 7, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Happy birthday in advance, Esther…

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