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  • hardie karges 6:19 pm on February 26, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Krung Thep, ,   

    Los Angeles and Bangkok (Krung Thep) both translate as “City of Angels”, BUT…  


    LA freeway overpass encampment

    …I don’t see what’s so angelic about either of them.  They are two of the most God-forsaken places in the world IMHO.  They just go and on forever, like your older brother talking his endless rap.  There are ten million people and you haven’t got a friend in the world, just streets and highways, all going nowhere.

    Buildings flash their fifty-story erections in worship to a dark God, a God of greed and corruption, each story a different tale of intrigue and cunning, each ending a false one, happiness imposed by the dictates of fiction.


    Bangkok’s pubs-n-clubs define a genre

    It wouldn’t be so bad if there were just some escape, some momentary relief from the grid-work of conformity.  But there’s no relief in sight, no mountains, no forests, no streams of consciousness to break the monotone droning on and on through public address systems and loudspeakers in airports, train stations, and bus stops ad infinitum ad nauseum.

    The grid conquers all, miles and miles of wires and cables pretending to meet at right angles like Saxons and Jutes at the corner pub, get shit-faced, then get up in the morning and do it all over again.  Homo erectus falls flat on his face and sapiens sapiens takes over a bit self-consciously. I fight the grid with a worldwide web of my own design, but it’s never enough.  You can’t change a world that’s not ready to be changed.  You can only change yourself.

  • hardie karges 3:25 pm on February 20, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: psycholinguistics, Thai language,   

    Thai Language/ภาษาไทย 

    IMG_1438Thailand enters the modern world with multiple role models, as the cultural DNA of language readily shows, not-so-parfait with American English on top as the current business-role model.  Below that is Indian Sanskrit in its own and Khmerized forms as the religious and pre-modern model, analogous to the French/Latin influence in English.  Deeper still is the Chinese and Thai tribal past, the racial and linguistic underpinnings of the entire race, overlaid on a Mon pre-history, similar to the Anglo-Saxon and later Danish incursions on a Celtic sub-strata.

    Somehow it all gets mixed and mashed into a fairly uniform system of pronunciation that is recognizably Thai regardless of the origin.  For a modern newcomer to the stew, sometimes the hardest part of learning the language is learning how to correctly mispronounce English.  I wonder if Indians feel the same way about the manipulation of Sanskrit into forms unrecognizable.  I’m sure that French feel the same way about English, but that probably says more about them than language considering what they themselves did to Latin.  I know it’s hard to learn the language of a people that you don’t especially like.  That’s for sure.  It’s also hard to learn the language of a people who refuse to speak it back to you–Psycholinguistics 101…

    • davekingsbury 7:28 pm on February 21, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Good for us English speakers to learn other languages, so easy just to rely on English everywhere!

      • hardie karges 9:05 pm on February 21, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        Too easy: …”but they’re supposed to be learning English”… haha

  • hardie karges 6:17 pm on February 16, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ,   

    In Thailand, where driving is on the left, motorcyclists… 

    IMG_0165…routinely turn left out of side streets as if turns were the norm, and those going straight should yield.  They do that every time, by the way.  Did I mention that Thailand has the highest accident rate in the world?  Then there’s the ‘diagonal drift’.  In some Cartesian twist on ‘innate ideas’, Thais are apparently born with a diagonal lane in their minds that supersedes any white lines that might be painted on the road.  The second they realize that a turn is coming up ahead, they are obligated by the law of gasoline economy and general laziness to take the most direct diagonal route to that turn, regardless of which lane they might happen to be in at the time.  God help you if you happen to be one of the misfortunates going straight ahead in one of the intervening lanes.  This saves them the burden of having to swing wide at every turn, by the way, as if they had eighteen wheels or bad tie-rods or weak wrists or something.  Let’s not even discuss parallel parking.  If you’re wondering why the cops tolerate this, it’s because they drive Honda 100 motorcycles.  There are few, if any, police cars.  The only time they stop drivers are at road-blocks.  They don’t get paid enough to chase people down, even if they could.

  • hardie karges 3:03 pm on February 13, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , ,   

    Winter for Summer… 

    Bi-Polar Vortex? As temps in Tucson top 86f/30c, I guess it’s time to get ready for summer… or close the sale of this house…

    • Esther Fabbricante 4:19 pm on February 13, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Are you moving back to California?

      • hardie karges 5:17 pm on February 13, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        Maybe; depends on who is elected President 🙂 First I close on this house in April, then I look for a Buddhist temple…

  • hardie karges 3:00 pm on February 13, 2016 Permalink | Reply  

    Bi-Polar Vortex? As temps in Tucson top 86f/30c, I guess it’s time to get ready for summer… or close the sale of this house…

  • hardie karges 4:04 pm on February 11, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Tribes,   

    Mission Indians, Casino Indians; Life on the Rez, Life in the City…… 


    San Xavier del Bac on the Tohono O’odham ‘rez’ near Tucson

    The term “Mission Indians” usually refers to the widely scattered groups in California, who were more or less rounded up and attached, if not outright enslaved, to the missions founded by Junipero Serra along California’s famous camino real to San Francisco, a term which includes the Luisenos, Gabrielenos, Diegenos, and Juanenos, named after the missions they were attached to. These were relatively fragmented groups ripe for the kind of ‘civilizing’ activities that Serra and his cohorts specialized in: farming and herding and other forms of forced labor.


    But the term could almost just as easily be applied to the missions and their resident populations in Arizona and northern Sonora, Mexico, with only a few differences: for one thing, the populations here in Arizona weren’t so fragmented, if still widely scattered, many being members of larger more cohesive groups. And for another thing they were organized by Padre Eusebio Kino, not Serra, with a somewhat better reputation for his milder treatment of his subjects, which included training in many arts and crafts, and a generally more humane treatment, that was controversial even at the time. (More …)

    • tom 2:24 pm on February 19, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      nice bit of history work! we Canadians did our share of indigenous cultural cleansing, as it is now named! our last residential school closed in 1996.where as in much u.s. states the children were forcefully taken from their families and “re-educated” many not seeing their families for years at a time. this pitted children against parents and their culture. these were the least of the destructive patterns that set in motion their cultural destruction. now the teen suicide rate in Canada is high, and indigenous teen suicide rate is 7 times higher than the national average………in Canada. this seems to have been the program followed in several of the colonized new world.

      • hardie karges 4:58 pm on February 19, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        Yep,sad story, indeed, as elsewhere, where consumption is our only cultural gift, and dreams are left to die or rot on the vine…

  • hardie karges 8:16 pm on February 8, 2016 Permalink | Reply  

    Somaliland Stirred not Shaken; Chewed not Spat 

    My experience with Dallo Airlines, the one that had an explosion in mid-air, probably the exact same plane….

    แสง สี เสียง: Light, Color and Sound

    Street Market in Somaliland Street Market in Somaliland

    …get on a bus for a country that doesn’t really exist, except in someone’s imagination: existential ball-juggling 401… Somalia now effectively divided into three, Somaliland relatively peaceful and open for business, connected by land to the also relatively peaceful states of Djibouti and Ethiopia. Somaliland issues visas and currency and guards its borders just like everyone else.

    …catch the first bus out of Harar at daybreak, make my connection in Jijiga and continue on, certain to make Hargeisa within the day now… Travel in Ethiopia not hard so much as slow, crammed in like proverbial sardines… the vast Ogaden Desert, cousin to the Arabian and Sahara, spread out endlessly ahead, highland Ethiopia maybe the only real break in a desert stretching from Morocco to China.

    You decrease in elevation as you increase in heat, by some adiabatic ratio, and the Christian passion and delicate features of…

    View original post 689 more words

  • hardie karges 3:58 pm on February 2, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , ,   

    Motorcycles swarm the roads like flies on… 

    IMG_0197…sand, through the hourglass, they sifting ahead to the front of the queue at every red light.  They occupy no lane of their own, nor could they if they wanted to.  Women ride sidesaddle lady-like on the back to keep their virtue intact, or at least the illusion of such.  Motorcycles go both directions on the road’s shoulder with impunity and full moral authority.  Southeast Asia is a motorcycle culture.

    You should see the old quarter of Hanoi, which has no traffic lights.  Every intersection is a scramble of motorbikes and people that has to be seen to be believed.  Only then will you realize how they won the war.  They simply out-endured us, as they do everything.  In Bali, when the traffic backs up, motorbikes simply take to the sidewalks without a moment’s hesitation.  A motorbike is still a status symbol in Cambodia.  Laos doesn’t have much of anything, but is slowly catching up.

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