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  • hardie karges 12:50 am on August 12, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Durbar Square, Freak Street, India, , ,   

    Kathmandu, Nepal: Namaste’s and other cliches 

    IMG_0496(Sigh) Finally! I can use the word ‘Namaste’ without feeling like a total New Age newbie, intoning with every simple ‘hello’ the implied meaning that ‘I bow to the divine in you while you return a bow to the tourist in me’ when all I really want to do is say ‘hi’ or maybe ‘good morning’ and you can do that here, since it’s embedded in the language, like Hindi, no accident, brought here by the Gurkhas and now the lingua franca for lack of better options. It is close to Hindi and uses the same Devanagari alphabet…

    Considering that two months ago to the day I had a catheter up my little thingie AND THAT FELT GOOD considering the options, I’m glad to able to take 3mi/5km walks these mornings in Kathmandu, just like old times just like old spaces old places, last here some twenty-odd years ago, and then only briefly, figured no big deal “I’ll be back soon” and it never happened until now on the spur of the moment through inspiration in the most unlikely of places: my in-laws… (More …)

    • Isolated_girl 1:17 am on August 12, 2016 Permalink | Reply


      : )

    • Esther Fabbricante 2:26 am on August 12, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Your life and descriptions are unbelievable. I would not be able to eat the food, find my way around, much less survive.

    • thisisyouth 10:13 pm on August 14, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Good post, I like your writing style. You captured Kathmandu very well.

    • Angela A 4:39 pm on August 18, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Interesting read! I will be going to India and Nepal this December. A little nervous!

      • hardie karges 6:38 am on August 19, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        Thanx! Nothing to worry about, unless you’re squeamish at the sight of poverty; certainly safe enough… stay tuned!

    • kabiraj 12:23 am on October 28, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      after reading i just thought why didn’t I find this blog before, really articulated by your idea and especially the saying I bow to the divine in you while you return a bow to the tourist in me and wifi vs electricity things

      • hardie karges 12:47 am on October 28, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        Welcome, I only recently rechristened the blog with a new name, so probably more dharma and karma than travel for a while, at least. For more metaphysics, see my other blog, the two pretty much in parallel, if not sync, these days: https://hkarges.wordpress.com/

  • hardie karges 8:58 am on August 11, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: cookies, , , India,   

    Curry Cookies, and All That Spice… 

    What is the deal with Indians and their curry powder? I mean: there are a few things that taste good without it, right? Right? This has to be the culinary cliche’ of all time, beyond Americans and their hamburgers, Italians and their pasta, Mexicans and their chilies, or Thais with THEIR chilies. This was made clear to me when, in a hurry, I picked up a pack of cookies for later consumption, without first checking the ingredients, secure in my conviction that I had a safe bundle of something sweet and filling for later–wrong. When I finally got around to them, they tasted like–you guessed it–curry! AARRGGHH! What to do? Peanut butter doesn’t help, only drags the PB down to that level, too. I mean: Americans don’t have hamburger flavored cookies, nor Italians their pasta-flavored cookies, nor Mexican their chili-flavored ones. Thais probably do, but that’s to be expected. I guess I’ll just wait for a rainy day and i’m truly desperate. There are plenty of these here in Nepal…

    • Esther Fabbricante 10:25 am on August 11, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Strange for sure.

  • hardie karges 9:23 pm on June 25, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: India, Jindal, New Delhi   

    Jindal Hotel in New Delhi, India

    Jindal Hotel in New Delhi, India

    If you think all hotels in India are owned by someone named ‘Patel’, then you would be wrong.  Reporting live with the Jindal campaign along the Miracle Mile in New Delhi, I’m Hardie Karges, and I work cheap(ly), editor optional…

    • Esther Fabbricante 10:07 pm on June 25, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Does your family keep you apprised of Brandon news?

      Robert Faries and his wife Peggy, were murdered yesterday by their grandson.

      Bobby Nick Buick died today – the owner of the Busick’s western store on the square.


  • hardie karges 10:30 pm on May 8, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: India, , 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 1:53 am on March 19, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , India, Rishikesh   

    Holidays, Holi Days, Sad Farewells: #Rishikesh #Delhi #India 

    Holi Days in Delhi

    Holi Days in Delhi

    India is a mother, a matrix, mysterious and meandering, wise beyond her kitchen, beautiful despite her years, charming the pants off conquerors and traders and holy men and saints, opening doors only to close them behind you, stooping to fawn and pander with multiple options for ongoing investment, financial packaging and advantageous positions in the futures market…

    India is a monster, cruel and conniving, filthy and chaotic, devious and diabolic, two-faced and teeming with too many people, a misplaced anger and aggression mutated into a caste system for the classists and classes, a hierarchy for racists, upward mobility for the wealthy, and a religion guaranteed to keep it that way, laws for the lawless, feuds for the feudal, but no food for the hungry…

    The truth lies somewhere in between, of course, India defined by the resolution of her opposites, her non-attachment to outcomes, her negligence of incomes, her preference to survive rather than thrive, her attachment to a certain past rather than an uncertain future, her inattention to details while concentrating on big pictures, closed doors and closed windows, warm in here, but a bit stuffy, too…

    Holi in Delhi

    Holi in Delhi

    Spring in India comes with a nod and a wink and an invitation to drink, a holiday called Holi day, a celebration of colors and indulgence in opposites, a day of rest for Big People and a day of party for Jungsters exploring the subconscious, the subliminal, anything but the subway system in Delhi, closed until 2 p.m, partiers intoxicated in broad daylight, released from the confines of dark rooms dark encounters and the dark people from down south…

    It’s no big deal, really, more like Halloween with a condom, a few kids cut loose with crayon-like cannons and a few water pistols, terrorizing the street in the wee hours of dawn, while the food vendors dodge powders and the sleeping dogs yawn, India waking up slowly on even a good day, Holi providing a further rain check and incentive to sleep in, put off until tomorrow what you weren’t likely to do today anyway, but at least now there’s a justification for it…

    You can visit Rishikesh on a day trip from Delhi if you’ve got the balls and the alarm clock, six connections in sixteen hours, catch the 0700 tourist train, villagers need not apply, blurry pictures outside the window complete with breakfast, pollution rising with the elevation, neat trick of cities to send the smog upstream, caught a local bus from the rail-head at Haridwar with no problem walked right to it as if I’d done it a thousand times, didn’t have to waste ten minutes in transit…

    Rishikesh, India on the Ganges

    Rishikesh, India on the Ganges

    Haridwar is for pilgrims but Rishikesh even more so, the Ganges in all its glory for ritual purification, or maybe just for crossing to the other side, something pilgrims specialize at, reducing life’s big issues to symbolism and superstition, crossing t’s and dotting i’s with correct keystrokes and all due diligence, if you can purify India with a few wafts of incense and a few whiffs of ganja, then why not do so, certainly saves on the research and development costs….

    The Beatles are all gone now, and the Rolling Stones, too, but a few hangers-on are still hanging on, a few Beach Boys sunning on southern beaches, junkies in Delhi twirling their noodles with expert strokes of the fork and not much else, budget-oriented backpackers on gap year holiday, fat-bellied ex-pats with Hawaiian shirts and no place better to go, a few souls seeking spirituality, and the odd intellectual trying to figure it all out, somehow all making sense some way…

    Broad daylight in Delhi

    Broad daylight in Delhi

    Good-bye, mother and monster, not until much later will I see you.  Good-bye, motorbike maniacs and tuk-tuk tormenters, gunning it at me just to see me run.   Good-bye, chaiwallahs and coffeewallahs, you and your teas and coffee that are somehow always white not black.   Good-bye, sacred cows and dirty rats, your sacredness and filth neither clearly defined nor comprehensible.  Good-bye starers gawkers and sleepwalkers, somehow you’ll get somewhere some day.  And most of all, good-bye, holy men and beggars, the only difference between you one of rewards and expectations. 

    Most of all, India is a mirror; if you look hard enough, you’ll see something of yourself in all the chaos and disorder, a Rorshach test of the soul, a road map of your own…

    • Tomas Belcik 2:26 am on March 20, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Why travel to India?
      An impatience of spirit, a desire for wisdom and a passion for the saner pursuits of the mind is unintentionally imbibed by those who travel to India. There is more to this country than Taj Mahal, Himalayas or the sacred river Ganga; INDIA is an opportunity to explore the realms of ones spiritual being, of reaching out to the unknown, to discover the deeper truth that is life.

      There is no other country on earth that can exude such a remarkable variety of cultures and landscape! Only in India!

      As the Mahabharata says, “What is here, may be elsewhere, but what is not here is nowhere”.

    • hardie karges 3:36 pm on March 18, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Reblogged this on Hypertravel 2: the Electronic Dance Re-Mix and commented:

      Exactly one year ago today: celebrating the most over-hyped Holi Day I’ve ever been witness to. I think I saw a total of 8 kids actually celebrating it.

    • Esther Fabbricante 3:47 pm on March 18, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I must send this to my grandson who went to India on a UGA-Related trip two years ago – I want him to see your wonderful writings.

  • hardie karges 2:24 pm on March 15, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Gaurav Boarding House, , , India, Mathura, Uttar Pradesh   

    Indian Deliverance: #Mathura #Uttar Pradesh #India 

    Getting redy for holi celebrations inMathura, India

    Getting redy for holi celebrations inMathura, India

    Delhi suburbs are z-z-z-l-e-e-p-y, (y-a-w-n-n-n), and you could almost convince yourself that life inside the cocoon could always be like this, z-z-zlow and laz-z-z-y, but all good things must come to an end, soooo… spike my veins with pure caffeine, catch the early morning bus to Uttar Pradesh, Mathura to be exact, got a rep as a hot place to party for Holi festival of lights, festival of colored powders, festival of partiers without borders, guard your private parts if you want to keep them that way….

    Bus takes on passengers from an undefined spot in an undefined lot, on the outskirts of town, ready to go whenever from wherever, transvestite comes on the bus posing as the ticket collector woulda had me fooled if he/she weren’t such the fool herself, with her fanny pack as decoy and her silly grin as the main ploy, posing as only God knows what when the sun goes down and Lord only knows who or what else, nobody else gives her money so I don’t either… (More …)

  • hardie karges 2:37 am on March 11, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , India, , Kovalam   

    #Kovalam #Kerala #India: Beaches, Hostels, and Wise Cracks 

    Miracle Mile at Kovalam Beach, India

    Miracle Mile at Kovalam Beach, India

    Kovalam is the kind of place that Lonely Planet writers like to disparage as having sold out to commercial interests long ago, with their chock-a-block cafes and resto–bars and boutiques a la Cannes, while noting how Varkala up the road manages to maintain its wild and rustic more authentic nature. I beg to differ. For one thing: Kovalam ain’t that bad. For another thing: Varkala ain’t that good. These are basically your two beach options within an hour’s ride of the Keralan capital Trivandrum, aka Thiruvananthapuram (say that three times really fast and try to pull your tongue through the loop).

    True, Kovalam is a fairly homogenized and pasteurized version of an Indian beach town, leaning toward European models and menus, with paved sidewalks and handrails to boot, all clean and neat and ready for biz. But it’s also an upgrade. Is that such a bad thing? LP makes it sound like Kuta Beach in Bali, sprawling for miles down a previously pristine coast, serving banana pancakes in what were once temples, and drinking wine from monkey skulls. Nothing could be further from the truth. (More …)

  • hardie karges 2:20 pm on March 6, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , India, , Kochi   

    #Kochi #Kerala #India: Third Time’s a Charm 

    Old Town Kochi, India

    Old Town Kochi, India

    I wouldn’t even be here if I hadn’t been dissatisfied with my previous digs in Varkala and Alleppey, so I figured if I’m going to make a move, then I might as well head up the road. Actually that was my conundrum from the beginning, knowing that Kerala in general is interesting and diverse, so where exactly then do I start and stop? So I punted and caught the train to Trivandrum, figuring to find a nearby beach whereon to hang. I’ve been backtracking ever since, though still no more than a few hours from the big city.

    Kochi’s worth it, maybe not for the beach, though I don’t really know, but for the historic city itself, based around the old fort and port. This was an old stronghold for the Portuguese and an entrepot for many over the centuries, including ancient Christian sects and Jews expelled from the Roman burning of the temple at Jerusalem in 70 AD. The fact that it was so easily reachable from the early Roman world even adds fuel to the fire as to whether Jesus himself might not have wintered over here in his formative years, doing something similar to what the Beatles would do some two thousand years later.

      (More …)

  • hardie karges 1:26 pm on March 3, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Alappuzha, Alleppey, , , , , India,   

    Alleppey, Kerala, India: the Boat Stops Here 

    Alleppey, India: "Venice of the East"

    Alleppey, India: “Venice of the East”

    Alleppey, aka Alapuzzha, doesn’t look like much at first glance, another decrepit little city in southern India, hot and humid, funky and fuming.  That viewpoint, however, ignores Alleppey’s position on the edge of a vast system of inland backwaters that connect much of the region—and also underlie the region’s tourist industry.  Long ago the Portuguese and other Europeans decided that this all reminded them of something back home, thus producing Alleppey’s nickname of “Venice of the East.”  There’s even a ferry to neighboring villages and towns.

    But houseboats are the big deal here.  Unfortunately they don’t come so cheap, a one-day tour approaching $100.  Ouch!  That’s a bit too rich for my blood, just to float around the bayous for a day. They’ve got cheaper boats, also, fortunately, and they’ve got a beach, too.  That’s more my speed, what with camel rides and bungee trampolining, everything you need.  What’s a beach without a few camels?  You know the answer to that already.  I don’t know how their exhaust mechanisms compare exactly, but I’m pretty sure they’re cleaner than cows.

      (More …)

  • hardie karges 3:21 pm on February 28, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , India, , Varkala   

    Varkala, Kerala, not Ready for Prime Time: Bank Notes and Skank Notes 

    Beach at Varkala, Kerala, India

    Beach at Varkala, Kerala, India

    The state of Kerala, way down south, is where those beach-combing backpackers-in-the-know go when Mumbai leaves them feeling cold and Goa leaves them feeling guilty.  Here you’re back in the ‘real India’, at least, both good and bad.  The good is that you’re actually in a foreign country, not just a tourist colony.  The bad, depending on your tastes, is that alcohol once again is a precious commodity.  That’s no problem for me, but it is for some people.

    But the worst part is that the banks don’t work.  You never really know until you enter a country or a province whether your ATM card is going to work or not.  Theoretically they always do, but sometimes they don’t, depending on whether they’re inter-connected with international systems.  In Pakistan I could only find one, plus all their branches, of course.  In India I’ve had no problem, until Kerala.  My ATM card worked at the train station in Trivandrum, so I figured no problem.  In Varkala, I have no such luck.  (More …)

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