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  • hardie karges 3:19 pm on April 27, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Antigua, , , , Quezaltenango,   

    Time Travel Guatemala 1977: Xela and Antigua, all too Chichi … 

    Continued from previous…   

    February 1977

    CHICHICASTENANGO

    If you gotta’ get away from la dolce vita at Panajachel, then Chichicastenango is where you start.  It’s accessible by an easy day-trip from Panajachel, sardine express, or you can stay here—alone.  When there’s no market, the place is empty—of tourists and locals!  This was a revelation to me, that indigenous people would pour into a semi-urban area for markets and festivities, then disappear back into the countryside from where they came, just like they always have, confirming the role of ruins as occasional ceremonial centers.  They still are!

    But a good fiesta is the deal if you can swing it with the timing.  Every town and village in Guatemala has one, the eponymous fiesta for the town’s patron saint, in this case Santo Tomas.  Every town and village has two names, a local indigenous one and that of its patron saint.  Fiestas can go on for days, though one day is usually the biggest.  Every person has two names, also, a Catholic first name and an indigenous surname, unless they identify exclusively with ladinos. (More …)

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  • hardie karges 10:27 pm on April 20, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Lake Atitlan, , ,   

    Time Travel 1977 Panajachel, Guatemala: Life Sweet, Whiskey Sour… 

    Continued from previous…

    If the drive from Guat City into the highlands is exhilarating, then the drive down to Lake Atitlan is nothing but spectacular.  Imagine a mile-high lake ringed by three volcanoes and a dozen Indian villages with some of the most colorfully dressed people you could ever imagine.  It’s easy to fall in love with beauty like that, and many people have already.  Hippiedom is alive and well here in 1977, so that’s why they made me cut my hair.

    These are some hard-core hippies, sleeping on the beach and playing songs for tips in restaurants.  The restaurants are good, too, with real live vegetables on offer, which is something almost unheard of in Mexico, where food is meat and beans and corn and rice, and vitamins are something to be extracted from fruit, especially jugos y licuados, aka ‘vitaminicos’ and zumos in other versions of the vernacular.  It’s cheap, too, dollar a meal, much less than pre-devaluation Mexico a hundred miles away, a devaluation still weeks away.  (More …)

     
    • Philip Melnick 8:23 am on December 22, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Hi Hardie…I owned Roger’s Pub (Risian) from January 1979 to 1981. I leased it from Rudy, a Guatemalan guy who was married to a woman from Quebec. (Her father was a famous Canadian country music singer). The minute I first walked into the pub in 1977 I wanted to run the place. It was one of the most wonderful experiences of my life. We used to greet the tourists coming into Panajachel and tell them the other bars had live music, but we had live bartenders!

  • hardie karges 8:18 pm on April 12, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Frida Kahlo, , , , , Tehuantepec   

    Time Travel 1977 Mexico to Guatemala: Socialists, Hippies, Haircuts, and Screwdrivers… 

    Continued from previous…

    OAXACA   1/25-27

    Oaxaca is burning.  Isn’t it always?  The Revolution of 1910 was Mexico’s ‘permanent revolution’, ensuring that disgruntled democrats and befuddled Bolsheviks would forever find something to complain about—Mexico’s ‘perfect dictatorship’.  Mexico’s rites of protest are a perfect counterweight to its lack of development and chronic corruption.

    This time they’re burning buses, so I get a van south to Tehuantepec, on the Isthmus, that serves as Mexico’s narrowest point, and once in play for the canal that became Panama, so but for some quirk of fate we might be reading about the ‘Tehuantepec papers’ today.  But not before being held up at screwdriver-point in the market in Oaxaca.  Huh?

    I was negotiating for an ice-cream when an interested bystander pulls a screwdriver on me—in broad daylight! I almost burst out laughing!  “Don’t you have a Phillips-head?” I shoulda’ said.  But I didn’t.  I just gave him the money I had in my hand—not much.  Enjoy your ice cream. (More …)

     
  • hardie karges 9:01 pm on April 6, 2016 Permalink | Reply  

    Time Travel 1977 Oaxaca, Mexico: Frito Bandito, Sex on the Beach… 

    OAXACA   1/15-18

    Oaxaca is the picture of lively colorful Mexico, Trique Indian women weaving in the square and men selling beautiful rugs from a nearby village famous for it, Teotitlan del Valle.  I go visit the ruins at nearby Monte Alban and the surrounding crafts villages, each with its specialty.  Tales of a beach finally lure me and my partner (no, not Leonardo DiCaprio) away, so we catch a twelve-hour bus ride over a dirt road to the coast to Puerto Escondido, not much more than a fishing village with a fledgling tourist industry, consisting of mostly backpackers. (More …)

     
  • hardie karges 2:47 pm on April 5, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Lesbian, Lesbos, , Sappho   

    Lesbians and the Turmoil back on the Island, mon… 

    With all the hubbub and ruckus over what to do with the increasingly unwanted influx of immigrants in temporary refuge on the island of Lesbos in Greece: shouldn’t we ask what the local Lesbians want? Aren’t Lesbians the ones most affected? Shouldn’t they have a voice? This is democracy, after all…

    (author’s note: this is humor, not political commentary, 🙂

     
  • hardie karges 8:55 pm on April 2, 2016 Permalink | Reply  

    Hong Kong in the Rear-View Mirror… 

    I don’t know about the model who raves on and on about Hong Kong… “I’ve lived here for years, and it makes me fall in love with it over and over,” or something like that. I mean: who falls in love with a rusting hulk of steel and concrete? Big cities suck, their lights too bright to see the light in our own hearts.  Cities bring out the worst in us all, base instincts given license to do business.  People do things in the city they would never do in their home village, hiding behind the veil of civilization to remain anonymous.  Cities are a time bomb, a trap, a bill of goods, a promise that will never be fulfilled. I bet that model never stayed in Chungking Mansions.  Repulse Bay, indeed…

     

     
    • Esther Fabbricante 10:53 pm on April 2, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      You lived in Hong Kong? Shannon and Greg Hooper (Sherri’s daughter) visited there last year and brought me jade jewelry for Christmas.

      Esther

      • hardie karges 11:11 pm on April 2, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        No no no, just revisited, very much like New York, without all the good music!

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