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2003-12-12 23:13:00

In the hotel and have already walked around the city a little. The place is a dump for the most part so far, I have left a quaint city of Dharwad for a dumpy city of Hubli. I will leave tomorrow for another cotton town, and hope it has cotton. It could just be the hotel is not as nice, I had a pretty good room in Dharwad, and this one is sort of damp like or too much concrete. This one is cheaper at 100 Rupees here in Hubli. I am going to go look for an open internet café.


I am excited about going to Hubli today. I saw a large truck full of raw cotton in bags go by on the road last night and this got me thinking. I went and looked at or read my guidebook about Hubli. It is supposed to be a center for textiles industry. I have no idea what that means, does it mean they make or manufacture the goods there? Or does it mean this is a shipping point. It is also a point where two railway tracks cross so for sure it is a good place for shipping. On the small map in my Footprints guidebooks shows a street labeled “Cotton Street.”

I want to see raw cotton. The land of Dixie and all this talk about cotton all my life, and I have almost never seen cotton up close. I found a little, but not a lot. So hopefully they will have a street where they sell raw cotton. It looks like I am in luck, because to see a crop like cotton you must come or go when they are harvesting the cotton. I wanted to see the cashews being harvested, but it is the wrong time of year.

But the textile…?

I looked up the word.

1 : cloth 1a; especially : a woven or knit cloth

2 : a fiber, filament, or yarn used in making cloth

- Encyclopedia Britannica

I guess they are talking about cloth that is woven or the fiber in the yarns, threads, or lines used to weave materials. I saw yesterday here I Dharwad a store that sold Hand loom materials, a loom being the machine that weaves cloth. I have not seen any looms so far, but if I get close to looms then I am getting close to very cheap labor. Machines weave most cloth though even when they say “Hand Made.” That really is not correct, only special woven designed materials are hand woven. The ones with drawings on them and unique, the ones that are symmetrical or something are done on a machine I am pretty sure.

I found a really nice cotton blanket yesterday for 80 Rupees. It was an unbleached white soft cotton blanket and looked more like a shipping blanket then a sleeping blanket, but then again it may have been a shipping blanket for all I know. 80 Rupees are about 2 dollars USA or less, and I wanted to buy the blanket to help replace the blanket that KLM lost on the flight from the USA to Turkey. I have to think about it. It is a good, but white is not the best color to carry around. I have this Duvet cover that I bought in England that is working pretty good, but if I put the cotton blanket over the top it would be just enough on cold nights. A sleeping bag is always a pain, it is too much or too little, and difficult to adjust. I presently just have the Duvet cover. If I am lucky I have a blanket provided by the room, but in these hot countries they like to assume that you never need a blanket. It is cheaper and easier for them, and makes my life uncomfortable. I am amazed at the number of people that,

“Just deal with it.”

Why would anyone just deal with being cold? I had a girl traveler the other day talking to me about being cold in the night. They often just move rooms or leave because of a blanket. The room is uncomfortable, but they it does not click in their head, that the only reason is because of the need for a light blanket. I have a sleeping bag at home, but it is awkward and too heavy, difficult to pack and all sorts of other problems. It is one of them mummy bags, but hard to use for a blanket on a cold bus. It is really good if it is real cold, but anything other than really cold and it is too hot.

I presently use the Duvet Cover, which are 2 layers of sheet materials. Which in the tropics is plenty. The hotels provide a cover about 50 percent of the time. If I get really cold I will unfold my rain poncho and put over me, that and the Duvet cover would keep me nice and toasty.

If I took or bought that cotton blanket I could put it inside the Duvet cover and have a great blanket. I can remove when I am in hotter areas and used when needed. I am going to check to see if my poncho would fit inside the duvet cover. I would be an extremely warm cover that would be good down to almost below freezing. The poncho would hold in all the body heat. Something that does not breath like plastic is for real cold times. All the body heat is heal inside, but you then have to be careful about perspiration.

Layers is what I am looking for, but easy to carry and easy to separate, plus cheap and able to be purchased anywhere in the world so when I lose it I am not frustrated. I just buy a new one. A poncho is a little difficult to purchase. Not a cheap plastic one, but the really good materials is harder to find. I can almost always find a cheap poncho. I carry an umbrella for rain, but if I were really caught in the rain I would use the poncho to protect my computer and my backpack. I have had this one for about 2 years and never opened it, but like the mosquito net, when you need it, you need it and you cannot live without it. I suppose a lot of travelers need their poncho a lot, but I am pretty experienced and do not put myself in situations, or avoid types or travel that would lead me to need the stupid poncho. Nothing is more uncomfortable than walking with a poncho on in the rain. That to me is sign of bad planning or a desire to wear the poncho for fun. A small fold up umbrella, sold anywhere the world for 1 dollars… (Cheap countries) is what is best for rain.


I was awoken by a lone dive-bombing mosquito. I must be alert to mosquitoes after reading about a couple of hammocks that are also tents on the Internet yesterday. Mosquito nets are so lame, they are irritating and difficult. I spend about 80 percent of my time in the tropics in areas where they have malaria or other diseases carried by mosquitoes. But the rooms are not designed for safety from Mosquitoes, about the only real protection I can be guaranteed is a fan. A good overhead fan will keep mosquitoes down to a minimum, but the problem last night is it was too cool for a fan and I would have froze, plus if possible I avoid the fan because the constant blowing dries my eyes and makes them hurt or red. So I had a diver bomber this morning. Just one, but enough to wake me… buzz in my ear.

I have a large double bed mosquito net I carry with me all the time, even in Europe and the USA. It has 4 corners with a loop for rope on each of the 4 corners. The idea is to tie a string or rope to each corner and hang up. In a thatched hut or cabana made of bamboo or other types of wood materials it is pretty easy to find something to tie the corners too, but the problem is I am in the 4 square concrete rooms 90 percent of the time, and there are no hooks. This is one reason to have the heavy-duty gaffer tape or something to hook on the walls, especially when I am staying over a couple of days.

You would think they would have screens on windows, but that seems to be a USA thing, and the rest of the world does without.

I have about 80 percent of the time 2 corners to connect, but I do not have all 4 corners. I suppose you think well what is the big deal, and just let it hang down on you while you sleep. The big deal is that mosquitoes can bite right through a mosquito net, a sheet, or a hammock. If you are really in a problem area the mosquitoes will come in any hole or bite through any cloth. So you must not have the net touching you. Plus a mosquito net is hot, and normally with the heat comes the mosquitoes. I normally tuck the net in on the edges of the bed and put my backpack or something large on the edges to hold the net away from the sides. But in the end it is best to have all 4 corners tied up. Then the mosquito net is wonderful.

TOMMORROW HUBLI - Friday night 7:25

I will leave Dharwad for Hubli tomorrow; it is about 20-27 kilometers away and should be a quick trip. So tomorrow shall be a leisure travel day, but probably not very interesting along the road. Dharwad has been interesting as I went further away from the hotel I discovered lots of fun and exciting stuff. There is a hoop maker, or a person that makes the steel hoops that go around a wood wheel like they would have on a Conestoga wagon. There are plenty of oxen pulled carts around here, mixed in with the noisy trucks and motorcycle.

I just returned from having Egg Fried Rice for 10 Rupees or about 25 cents USA. This is a very healthy and nutritious meal. Very spicy. I had watched the man cook and new he took great care in his methods, and that attracted me to this roadside diner.

The town is very modern in most ways, but the roadside food stands have only a gas lantern, and a gas pump stove for cooking. They have what looks like oversized woks for pans. For 2.5 Rupees I can have some Chai or Tea with milk. I had this my first night but decided tonight to pass on the Tea. He served water for free.

I have a rule of thumb on water. If the locals will not drink it, I won’t drink it. But if the local drink it, then I will drink it. There is a presumption that people are ignorant in the world and would drink water even if they got sick. Bottle water is very cheap where the water is bad and is not a big expense if you buy in the very large bottles like a 5-gallon jug. This makes the cost almost nothing.

But I am impressed with the water system of India so far; they are very far ahead of Thailand or South America so far. But this is a big country and not that easy to make such large sweeping statements.

I am sure each state is a little different.

It would be so easy to focus on one really nasty person drinking out of a river and call that the whole country, but this is not true. They have water taps for free located around the cities.

I did see a very ugly sight today, and almost took a photo, but decided that it was too disgusting. A man was lying on his side with his butt facing the road, he had his pants down and it looked like hundreds of ants or insects were attacking his rear. I won’t get more graphic, but I started to stop, and then just kept walking, it is possible he was dead, but I have no idea. I do not think so, but I was not going to go up close to check.

This memory is much more powerful then the very modern hotel and internet café across the street, so if I wished I could allow that memory to fill my brain, and exclude all the modern aspects of life her in India. I think the water and sewer system so far are better then Thailand by a long shot.

My room has 2 big mirrors. I cannot remember when I have been in a room with 2 wall mirrors and this is a treat. My table is covered with marble and all of this for 160 Rupees. I am staying at the Karnatak Bhavan Boarding, Lodging, and Restaurant on Poona-Bangalore, Road, Dharwad - 580-001. I could give you the telephone, but why would you want that. There are lots of nice hotels around.

I have a double room, the single room was 100 Rupees and I decided it was not secure enough. India has these extremely huge deadbolts on room and the double had these locks, while the single just had a skeleton key for the door, and I had to depend on the owner not having access or a worker not wanting to enter. With the double room I replaced their lock with my lock and I am good to go. India has the most secure rooms I have lived in so far compared to the rest of the world. The most insecure rooms are in places like Europe and the USA where the hotel always demands that I trust the clean lady, the manager and anyone they want to be able to enter the room as they wish. I love the lock system of the lower end hotels of India. I am pretty certain that if you pay more you can have less secure rooms…. Hehehe. Most 3-5 star hotels allow anyone to enter, of course they have more to steal there too.