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  • hardie karges 1:52 pm on September 12, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Freetown, Geechee, Gullah, Kissi, Mende, , Sierra Leone, Temne, tribe,   

    Sierra Leone: You’ll Never Be Alone… 

    Sierra Leone is something similar to the UK as Liberia is to the US, the place where they resettled the slaves that they had just liberated from the high seas and holding pens of West Africa, this after slavery had been abolished in the UK… (More …)

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  • hardie karges 12:50 pm on September 5, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Aztec, Cumbia, El Salvador, , Mexica, , Nahuatl, Nawat, Pipil, refajo, skirt,   

    El Salvador: Rescuing the past… 

    El Salvador is not necessarily the first country to come to mind when you talk about indigenous cultures in Central America, but that doesn’t mean there’s nothing there, either. There are. And if the indigenous language is the mark of that culture, then it’s been looking pretty grim, with only some two hundred Nawat (Nahuatl) speakers left in a culture that calls itself ‘Pipil’… (More …)

     
  • hardie karges 1:42 pm on August 29, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Chinese, , Malay, , shoegaze, Singapore, Tamil   

    Singapore: singin’ no blues in four languages… 

    Singapore has always had an image–I mean identity–problem. I mean: what do you do when you’re a tiny city-state slash ex-Malaysia cast-off slash Chinese immigrant magnet slash ex-Straits settlement British crown colony commonwealth cultural mash-up without comparison in the modern world? For starters, you speak English, boldly and proudly, and hope for the best. After all, what choice do you have? (More …)

     
    • davekingsbury 10:01 pm on August 29, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Manglish is a new one to me, like it … always stimulating to hear dialect versions of one’s own language, as these nice clips show.

      • hardie karges 1:18 am on August 30, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        Hey, you gotta’ keep up with the provinces; that’s the cutting edge of language and culture–sometimes…

        • davekingsbury 5:59 pm on August 30, 2017 Permalink

          The border is always more interesting than the capital …

  • hardie karges 1:56 pm on August 10, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , insurance, , kidney stones, , Obamacare, , ,   

    Hooray for Travel Insurance! Just keep traveling, fellow Americans… 

    IMG_1302

    Author’s Note: Medical issues of a sensitive nature discussed here…

    Well, I never thought I’d see the day when I’d write a post lauding the insurance industry, but since I once wrote a ‘sh*t-list’ post on the bad ethics of bad bizniz, here, then I guess it’s only fair that I write a special post for one of the good guys, in this case Aon Travel Insurance, who just wrote me a check for almost $2222 (I’m too lazy to look up the actual number), for what was hopefully the last of a series of ‘pee gravel’ episodes in my ‘Year of the Kidney Stones’. I almost didn’t even file the claim, I was so skeptical…

    Back story: I’ve traveled to some 155 countries, but almost NEVER got the suggested shots, much less purchased travel insurance. After all, some of the shots seemed worse than the disease itself, and travel insurance was only as good as the doctor, and the hospital, and the country, and the policy, AND… (More …)

     
    • Esther S. Fabbricante 4:22 pm on August 10, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Oh, my! What a life – and Godspeed.

    • jgf 12:50 am on August 11, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Keep on truckin’, old man. Love and Bliss from Joketown!

    • davekingsbury 11:34 pm on August 11, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Studying is a sort of travelling … what’s that line from TS Eliot? I read much of the night and go south for the winter. Or something. Anyhow, best wishes for the next phase …

  • hardie karges 10:39 am on July 25, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Blues, , , Dos Lobos, , , Los Lobos, , , religion   

    Leaving LA in the Not-so-Broad Daylight… 

    IMG_2509I’ve been accused of writing country music songs in my spare time, to make ends meet and to fulfill other sporadic random urges, apparently, so maybe I should. Here goes another attempt, one more time, so how’s that howling coyote go? Wa-ooo, wuff wuff wa-ooo, get along little doggies…

    Except that the LA in this case is Los Angeles, not Louisiana, and the time in question is midnight, not daylight, BUT: Hey, it’s better than ‘LA in the Rear-view Mirror, US in the Gutter’, which is how I really feel. Don’t you just love it when happy coincidences converge in real life? (More …)

     
    • davekingsbury 11:04 pm on September 22, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      The admirable sub-text here is a plea for less commercialism and more community. You do end on a hopeful note, however. I guess the task is to paint a picture of the way it should be – much easier said than done, alas!

  • hardie karges 6:04 pm on June 23, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Amtrak, , , ,   

    LA at Midnight, Tucson by Morning… 

    IMG_2475Thumpity thump thump thumpity thump thump thumpity thumpity thumpity thump thump, thumpity thump thump thumpity thump thump thumpity thumpity thumpity thump thump, thumpity thumpity thumpity thump thump thumpity thumpity thumpity thump thump…

    “Man with a plan don’t play with no band just me and these hands and a few hundred fans who never hesitate to step up and donate, so please don’t wait, I get off at the next gate…”

    The guy on the Metro ‘Red Line’ is playing a tune, using only his hands, and the long metal walls of the subway car, in a style probably best described as rap, early style, long before hip-hop, long before the progeny and the misogyny and the world-wide knock-offs as appropriate to local milieu… (More …)

     
    • esther Fabbricante 9:40 pm on June 23, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Too deep for me.

    • hardie karges 10:00 pm on June 23, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Okay, no more deep stuff, I promise…

    • davekingsbury 10:21 pm on June 27, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Oh I like deep … travel writing with a free-wheeling Kerouac style spiritual dimension still has a way to go – surface not even scratched – and is always up my alley, done v well here, keep up the g work!!!

      • hardie karges 8:14 pm on June 29, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        Thank you, sir, thank you thank you thank you… there is no higher compliment than Jack K…

  • hardie karges 1:49 am on June 13, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , Nubian, Sudan   

    #Egypt in #Music, #Nubian and Urban… 

    Egypt (Misr) is a mother, the mother of us all. With origins at least ten thousand years ago and a well-documented history for at least half that, this is where it all began, the bottle-neck between Africa, Asia and Europe, where black and white have rubbed shoulders since time immemorial and big ideas have been made and canceled as a matter of course, where Greeks, Romans, Arabs, Mamluks, French, British and Ottomans have all had their day, until Egyptians ultimately have their say and their way, and agree to disagree…

    The last six years say it all, at the start of which I could travel freely all over the region, over land and water, like a pilgrim in search of everything, now divided into safe zones and no-fly zones and there-but-for-the-grace-of-God-go-I zones. Pick any God. The pyramids are the big deal, of course, but Thebes is all about columns, though never given credit as the prototype for Greece, with whom Egyptians share more DNA than has ever been acknowledged, either, only now obvious with the world genome now revealed…

    If you want to travel there, do it. There is an overland route going south, too, you know, South Sudan optional. Sudan also has a border with Eritrea, and onward to Ethiopia via Djibouti, more of that same Greek/Nubian DNA there, apparently. Get visas in advance, if possible. You can always fly. The horn is the heartland. Welcome to the Bible. Go before WW4…

     
  • hardie karges 1:32 pm on June 6, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Kristina, , Slovakia, Travnice   

    #Slovakia in #Music: #Kristina and #Travnice… 

    Slovakia is probably best known as little brother to the Czech Republic and half of the former Czechoslovakia of Warsaw Pact fame in the Communist era. But there’s more to it than that, though, as this video shows. I myself only passed through the capital Bratislava through the night on a train from Prague to Budapest, but that much looked quite nice. It’s on my list for a return trip. This is the song Kristina sang for her Eurovision contest. Then there’s something straight out of the past, out of the heart of the Carpathian Mountains, and no more than a strong yodel or two from the Alps. Enjoy…

     
  • hardie karges 12:12 pm on June 3, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Som Tam, street, , , Tom Yam   

    #Bangkok After the #Food Ban: Don’t think twice, it’s all right… 

    IMG_2427Okay, so I’m being a bit snarky and ragging on a couple of friends who took extreme exception to the ruling Thai military junta’s recent decision to crack down on sidewalk vending, including food vending, to which some of them responded by threatening to cancel their biennial bivouacs in the Land of Smiles. Well, that crackdown got written up as something like: “Ban on Thai Street Food!” which of course is total BS, as no food in Thailand is banned, to my knowledge, certainly nothing like the status of pork in Islamistan or the status of bovine burgers in India…

    No, this is a crackdown on sidewalk vending…

    Not to mention the fact that of all the pictures of this supposedly ‘banned’ street food, none—absolutely zero—of them was indeed street food, i.e. sidewalk food. Now I doubt that the average farang—Westerner—even knows what som tam is, much less ever eaten it, and that is probably THE most popular ‘street’ food in Thailand, whether Bangkok or the countryside. I mean, the first time I ordered that ‘papaya salad’ on a restaurant menu, I almost died when I saw what they brought me, and NO, cream is not an optional topping. Marinated emulsified fish is… (More …)

     
  • hardie karges 2:11 pm on May 26, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Chechnya, , , , mob, Papua, snuff, Uganda,   

    Cry for Guatemala: and Cambodia, Uganda, Chechnya, PNG and Afghanistan… 

    Okay, so I can’t play the video that inspired this write, since it’s a snuff film, and I can’t do that, in all good conscience, so I’ll play this one instead. Sometimes I think that maybe we need some rocket-launcher control legislation, since I’m not sure what I’d do if I had one—no, not that, since that’s a sin, and I’m a Buddhist…

    That a sickening ‘snuff film’ made the rounds recently, of a girl being torched in public, by an angry mob in Guatemala, is sickening beyond belief. The fact that she may have committed an equally heinous crime herself is immaterial. Guatemala is a Christian country. I know it well. What has happened to the world as we know it? Can it get any worse than this? Or has it always been like this, and we are just now getting the news because of smart-phones and social media? None of the above or all of the above? (More …)

     
    • Esther Fabbricante 4:05 pm on May 26, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      An eye-opener!

    • Anna 11:16 pm on May 26, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      The world is a sad place.

    • tom 8:45 pm on May 28, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Some good hot topics. Ill vouch for homosexuality in some muslim countries. As i was approached to partake. Unwillingly of course, in a few muslim countries. I learned that long hair on a man is a sign that you are gay where i was! I feel its Difficult to curtail sexual urges for sometimes 5 to15 yrs. Till a man reaches 30 years or more before he can afford to pay the dowry for a wife. But as youve written , theres shit that happens everywhere.

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