Tagged: Hardie Karges Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • hardie karges 8:39 am on September 4, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Hardie Karges, , ,   

    BHUTAN: No Problem in Little Tibet… 

    IMG_0591…once you pony up, that is, and then you’ll be handled and kept, with your own driver and guide, even if there’s only one in your group. You gotta’ hand it to Bhutan, for successfully marketing its brand. After all, how many countries can charge every tourist $250 a day, with the only airline charging overpriced flights, declaring Gross National Happiness the goal of life, and fill those same flights from full to overflowing, even if only turbo-prop baby Fokkers from Nepal? Druk Air flies you back in time…

    In the latter half of the last century the previously self-sufficient Himalayan kingdoms saw the writing on the wall: the world is changing, and they need to change with it. Tibet was lost to China forever for no greater crime than simply being there and being itself. Sikkim gave herself over to India, for lack of a better plan. And Nepal opened the door to every Harry, Dick and Tom with a stiffie and a spare dollar for a bottle of Boone’s Farm… (More …)

  • hardie karges 8:18 pm on April 12, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Frida Kahlo, , Hardie Karges, , , 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 7:33 pm on October 13, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: bipolar syndrome, Hardie Karges, Parthenon, redwood   

    To be alone in a sea of strange faces… 

    Playing in the Parthenon

    Playing in the Parthenon

    …is not only natural, not only not dreadful, it’s heavenly, relying on the basic goodness of mankind, unlearning the violence inherent from our fathers’ mistakes. Still the best part of travel is coming home to the nest, complete with mother and son… and sh*tting in it. Sometimes I don’t need to travel; I just need to BE without direction or schedule, an extra in the movie with no lines to read. I need no extra lines on my face to show my age, like some giant redwood lying shattered on the forest floor cut full girth across the grain of resistance, with no quarter-sawed comfy little beds and all their fibers lying smoothly between their teeth. Fibers one and all had their lives cut short, perpendicularly open-ended ready for anything, large or small, objets d’art or mansions in the sky. I need contrast, the constant zigzag between poles, both north and south, bi-polar syndrome…

    • jodie 2:20 am on November 7, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      being….sounds as if you sense the have a sense of the manifestation of duality….I strive for this through silence and solitude…my own mythopoetic space…maybe….symbolism and bullshit…probably…this leads me to answer your question….no Facebook or social media ..I do look at blogs on occasion, which is how I came upon yours… web wilder was a musician playing to university crowds in the early eighties…of no great significance to me other than remembering those four lines.


      • hardie karges 2:58 am on November 7, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        Whether real or just apparent, yes, duality is unavoidable, I’d say, call me Gemini. I thought maybe Robert Mann mentioned me to you, since he seems to know you and is one of my few friends here in Tucson. I never knew you had a mythopoetic space, Jodie; I like it… stay in touch…

    • Jodie 6:17 am on November 9, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Yes I will stop by now and again and stay in touch …, Tell Bird (Robert) I said hello.

      I am curious…was it the beat writers that influenced your choice to be a traveler?

      I have not read any of David Foster Wallace’s work… But I have always admired Camus for his approach to the
      age old question of man’s angst…these questions are seldom asked in philosophy
      these days…and may be meaningless at that …instead we get epistemology and call it philosophy…obviously I am influenced by Rorty…and might be wrong.

      I never knew you to be interested in philosophy Hardie…I was probably stoned and it slipped by me.

      To the depths,

  • hardie karges 7:38 pm on September 14, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Greyhound Bus, Hardie Karges, ,   

    Perfect Day, Infinite Gist, part 1: Bus, Station, Weed, Whacker… 

    Greyhound Buses: main line in the US

    Greyhound Bus: US main line

    1100 Hours: I am sitting in the Greyhound bus station in Tucson, Arizona. I walked here from my house a mile or so (two km) away. I plan to go hang with my wife in LA, if I can only get away, get all my ducks in a row, get everybody on the same page, then just take off; but there is no bus with seats available today Sunday, or so they say. So I get online—in the bus station, mind you—and find one: six hours from now, a bus apparently hidden down an Internet worm hole…

    This is not the same Greyhound bus station that serves as my first memory of Tucson, more than a decade ago. That one was smack downtown, where University of Arizona housing now sits—stands? Tucson is changing. A guy who looked like Randy Quaid once hit me here—for no reason—just whacked me on the shoulder. Then he just kept walking like nothing even happened. So did I. I just now realized that it might actually have been Randy Quaid… (More …)

    • Esther Fabbricante 9:57 pm on September 14, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      You can even write about ‘nothing’ with a flair – I don’t know how you do it.

  • hardie karges 9:56 pm on April 7, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Dire Dawa, , , Hardie Karges,   

    Following Rimbaud In Harar, Ethiopia…. 

    Ethiopia has desert, too...

    Ethiopia has desert, too… 

    May 2009

    …Addis Ababa bus station at 5 a.m. ain’t pretty… bus already quite full when I arrive… suspect some of the riders have been there all night… looks pretty lived-in… taxi driver asks if he can help.  Does a bear sh*t in the woods?

    Fortunately I have great faith in people’s goodness, especially those of the Book.  People were touched by the Book long before they ever had one thrown at them.  Still nothing cleans and scours the soul like fear, removing psychological debris and detritus long caked on and ground in, leaving you whiter if no brighter.  (More …)

    • Esther Fabbricante 11:15 pm on April 7, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I am still speechless at your descriptive ability. My right eye is coming along and I am able to read a little more now – cataract surgery was a week ago tomorrow. We had had Easter and celebrated John and Greg’s birthdays; and Charla is vacationing with three girlfriends in Asheville, N. C. this week.

    • Esther Fabbricante 11:23 pm on April 7, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I’m reading a little better, but still blurry and having lots of little floaters. Another appointment a week from today for Dr. Ford to determine the next step.


  • hardie karges 2:54 pm on March 31, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Hardie Karges, Oliver Mtukudzi   

    Fear & Loathing In Addis Ababa 


    Scenes From an Ethiopian Wedding

    …flight to Ethiopia is on Turkish Air, so I change planes at Istanbul, finally getting in at midnight… friend’s there to meet me; first time for everything… night air is cool; that suits me fine.  I drink a beer and we shoot the sh*t for a while.  It’s midnight and I’m wired, jet-lagged as Hell.  Welcome to Ethiopia.

    …Oliver ‘Tuku’ Mtukudzi is playing on Sunday; I’m in… first thing’s come first, though, so I go get my visa to Somaliland, even though it’s not really even a country…

    The “ambassador” calls me into his office.

    “Who told you to go to Somaliland?”

    “No one.  I decided to do it on my own.  I plan to go to every country in the world.”

    “Have you ever been in Ethiopia before?”

    “First time.”

    “Where else have you been in Africa?”

    “Mali and Senegal.  But I’ve been in eighty other countries also.”


    Cultural Dinner in Addis Ababa

    He nods.  He didn’t have to know that Mali was an unmitigated disaster and Senegal only somewhat mitigated.  He knows that Africa is a continent unlike any other, where your very conception of what it is to be human will be put to the test, where you’ll see things you might rather forget… like humans eating off the ground in flocks like pigeons… collecting discarded mango skins to process one more time nutritionally.

    …seems as if a whole nation is hungry and willing to do just about anything to satisfy it.  When I suggest to two amputees, one male and one female, that they look cute together, they suggest that I should snap up the thirteen-year-old girl with her hand outstretched.

    …girl immediately comes over closer and strokes my…arm-hairs.  They ask where I’m from, wondering if I’m Chinese.  I guess it’s not obvious with my baseball cap and sunglasses on.  I respond that I’m American, lifting my glasses and showing my eyes.  That seems to quell any further interest.  Apparently the Chinese are getting all the press as the nouveau riche from heaven.  Apparently the new Mandarins are the old Mandarins; they just haven’t come to collect the rent yet.

    Oliver 'Tuku' Mtukudzi

    Oliver ‘Tuku’ Mtukudzi

    Ethiopian women are quite fetching… comparisons to Thailand occur to me…  word for “foreigner” is even almost the same, “faranji” instead of “farang”…  people equally subdued in character, with delicate lines and fine features, both men and women.  Stuff’s cheap, too.  A Plan “C” gradually emerges in my fantasies; if all else fails, then one could do worse than here.  It gets worse…

    Blogs are illegal apparently, and so is Skype… Addis no paradise either, though some modern conveniences and a bustling night-club scene… sprawling and chaotic and hard to walk around… probably “shambolic” too, as the quote goes, but I’m not sure what that word means.

    …go to a “cultural dinner” complete with song and dance… traditional Ethiopian dancing has to be seen to be believed… like pec exercises… while hopping around the floor, kicking and screaming and gesticulating wildly to music that is best described as a cross between Mungo Jerry and Khmer-style gantreum


    A Decent Restaurant in Addis Ababa

    …coffee is excellent, apparently an Italian legacy… cheap too, except in the foreigner haunts… it originates here, but the Italians took it to a high art… antique espresso machines prove it… old fashion machines with four-barrel carburetors… words “macchiato” and “cappuccino” are in the local vocabulary.  Ethiopians drink it with popcorn traditionally, and incense too, a more distant legacy I guess.

    …don’t like to have to watch my back every day in the city, so I’ll reserve judgment until I’ve seen the countryside.  Cities should be reserved for great art and beauty and culture, not shanty-towns.  Poverty still has dignity in the countryside.  Leave it there.  ‘Tuku’s show is great, but I’m getting antsy…

    • Esther Fabbricante 3:30 pm on March 31, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Very informative indeed. You can fit in “anywhere” – and it is unbelievable.

  • hardie karges 2:55 pm on March 23, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Hardie Karges, ,   

    #Kabul #Afghanistan: Jihad for Dummies, Spring Hopes Eternal 

    Happy Persian New Year 1394! I celebrated it last year in first-cousin fortress Kabul, behind enemy lines, me and Brian Williams, the biggest celebrations at the Serena Hotel, where foreign journalists and dignitaries felt safe until Talib and the Taliban bluffed their way past Checkpoint Charlie, killing several before it was all over while I slept soundly (gulp) in another neighborhood… What a difference a year can make!

    แสง สี เสียง: Light, Color and Sound

    God & State in Kabul, Afghanistan God & State in Kabul, Afghanistan

    The queue for Safi Air flight #248 from Delhi to Kabul looks like something of a loya jirga in itself, businessmen and diplomats, village traders of lapis lazuli, scammers and schemers, all going back to the homeland for one reason or another, all with excess baggage—fridges toasters and microwaves, dreams hopes and expectations—all wearing long tunics baggy trousers and funny hats, all speaking strange tongues and whispering strange sighs, body odors wafting from overcoats whose histories likely date back to eras unspecified and improperly documented.

    Any one of these guys could be a Taliban terrorist, al-Qaeda conniver or Saudi Salafist, down on his luck up on his religion out of his rightful mind and into the only one that’s left, high-tailing it or in-boxing it or tweeting it or snap-chatting architectural blueprints for any one of 1000’s of memorials and buildings and airports freely…

    View original post 588 more words

  • hardie karges 3:49 pm on March 19, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Hardie Karges, Mongolia, Tsetserleg, Ulan Bataar,   

    Freaking Mongolia, Man…. 


    Tibetan Buddhism in Ulan Bataar, Mongolia…

    August 2012

    …plane landing at Chinggis Khan International Airport in Ulaan Bator; I look down at the dirt tracks swirling through the pastures surrounding the runway… beginner’s guide to chaos theory, the likely paths and the strange attractions, converging and re-converging according to some logic or design… map to the Mongolian persona if not history… they conquered half the known world of the time, even getting out of China’s grip in the end… with help from neighboring big brother Russia, who took a piece herself in the process; I believe the teeth-marks are still visible on the map… (More …)

    • Esther Fabbricante 4:46 pm on March 19, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I love your closing line – you made my morning more than mundane – but glorious.

  • hardie karges 2:49 pm on January 13, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Hardie Karges, Jamaica, Montego Bay   

    Montego Bay: Friendly Natives, Soul Food, & The Quest For Wi-Fi 

    Surfin' to Jamaica

    Surfin’ to Jamaica

    December 2008

    Caribbean ain’t cheap… picture-postcard-perfect swimming-pool-to-the-gods only half a day from approximately one-billion North Americans and Europeans… $50 “budget” hotels… means different things in different countries…. qualities peculiarly Jamaican: reggae, Rastafarians, and rum, the “3R’s” of Jamaican experience…

    …reality on the ground in Montego Bay a bit different… MoBay a veritable cold bed of activity, which is good… Negril the hipper tourist alternative, Ocho Rios the slick uptown cousin… MoBay still manages to rock on weekends and cruise-ship days… functions as an airport terminus far more user-friendly than funky Trenchtown; I mean Kingston. (More …)

    • Esther Fabbricante 3:39 pm on January 13, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Been there – no problem. No “Jamaica Natural,”. No Kingston. Just the Western Caribbean cruise (twice.) Interesting to say the least.

    • Esther Fabbricante 3:49 pm on January 13, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I liked Montego Bay best of all about our Western Caribbean cruise – and remember that everything was ‘no problem.’ Fun. Second cruise in 2004, my Christmas gift to 14 of my family members. Also cruised in Hawaii, Alaska and Nova Scotia.

      Nothing compared to your travels all over the world!


    • hardie karges 3:52 pm on January 13, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I ended up spending all my Jamaican time in Mo’ Bay, so what can I say? Oops, think I gave away the ending… Caribbean is one place where cruise is very cost-effective…

  • hardie karges 3:13 pm on December 27, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Hardie Karges, Sanaa, Yemen   

    Yemen: There are some things you can’t cover up with burkhas and chadors… 

    Yemen: Arabian Nights

    Yemen: Arabian Nights

    …circle the airport more than once coming down into Sana’a, but I don’t know why, since there’s no traffic at all… weather is beautiful; so is the scenery… cross between the Bolivian altiplano and the Grand Canyon.  Immigration formalities… no problem… but sixty buck visa not cheap…

    Arabian Nights are alive and well in Sana’a… apparently God said, “Yep, pretty much like I remember it…” fairy-tale architecture…like icing on the cake, an Arab-style cake… swoops and swirls and extra sugar on the side.  Sana’a is to architecture what halwa is to sweets.  (More …)

    • Esther Fabbricante 3:38 pm on December 27, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Reading this at 9:30 a.m. on Dec. 27, 2015 – a good way to start the day. I enjoy reading on Facebook where I can enlarge the print and see the pictures. Happy New Year!

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