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2004-01-13 00:11:00

I was talking to a fat American girl yesterday and wanted to find a book to trade in English. She asks me, or I said to her that I carry around 7 books all the time to be ready to trade when possible. I also do not like to trade 2 for 1 because that depletes the trade supply, so better to trade with other travelers and not in the over stupid bookstores.

But she said,

“Isn’t it very heavy?”

I said,

“Yes, but who walks with the backpack?”

“Yes, I walk, but only to Rickshaw.”

But I am really not lazy, and normally even make my life more difficult by walking to meet the Rickshaws. I am amused at the number of people here in the Shanthi that book, or arrange a Rickshaw to be at the door to leave for Hospet.

But being that I am not lazy, but cheap I normally walk to the place where there is a gang of Rickshaws to get the competition going, and get a good price.

I was going to say that I could go one month without picking up my backpack, but this is stupid. It would cost me an extra 8 dollars and that is 4 nights in a Hotel here in India. I am 100 percent positive I could travel in India and never pick up my back for an extra 8 dollars.

Now note that I save the 8 dollars and 90 percent of the travelers pay so much more than me it is ridiculous. They are terrible negotiators or mean ones, and I am good at getting a great price on rooms, taxis, and such in a nice way. Being mean, is being mean, and a good way to have someone decide to rob you and not drive a taxi for a living.

But for the entire world that wants to travel in the poor countries. It should not be about walking, or carrying your bags. The poor countries are the easy ones, and the rich ones of Europe are the pain in the butt ones.

I am realizing everyday that I like the underdeveloped countries because I can live and travel like a King on Paupers wages.

It is hard to understand why a person likes to stay in places like India, but it probably is about the quality of life being so great. It is nice to lounge around all day, read books, talk, and look at tourist attractions for 5 dollars U.S.

I keep thinking it would be nice for my parents to travel in India for a month with me. India is safer than South America in terms of Robbery, so an older person can get on easier without being robbed.


I just went out to take some photos of the inconsiderate jerks making a chant outside the hotel. Don’t ever think that ANY religion of the world is considerate. I have never understood why religions think they are special and can go annoy people without remorse.

It is about 7:00 am in the morning here in Hampi and these jerks dress in orange dresses is singing just outside the hotel. I do not mind them walking by and moving down the road to do this, but they have set up station outside the hotel. So I went and took a photo. I work on the photo reciprocity theme. If they are rude enough to annoy me, I am rude enough to take their photos. Although there is really only about 2 percent of the people that do not want their photos taken, and this idea of stealing the soul, and all the other crap is long since been lost. They are now just as vain in the world as the rest of the world. The world is up to speed on photographs, and most cultures have cameras.

Just yesterday Shackle my seamstress was making me look at her family pictures. I suppose this is a form of endearment and I did somewhat enjoy them, but for me not the best with no choice. Shackle is not a stranger and I enjoyed the photos, but I am amazed that I can meet a person for one minute and they want to show me their wedding photos. Remember on my web site you have a choice….! You can click off.

But most religions of the world do not know the golden rule or even a slight understanding of the golden rule. This includes all the Christian religions also. NONE are considerate. The all like to accost people and they allow people in their religions to accost, provoke, and try to annoy people. Saying hello and giving a pamphlet is not annoying. It is when they refuse to let me walk away, or especially this making me… I rephrase that, when they TRY to make me feel guilty to give them money. I am way beyond the guilt stage of giving money. I am at the self-defense stage of giving. I will tell them to go take a hike. Leave me alone and learn some manners. A guilt-trip given to a person with no choice is abusive. A guilt-trip given to a willing audience may be penance or needed…. !

But walking down the street as a tourist a person does not ask to be accosted or made to feel guilty. But then again it is hard to make an innocent person feel guilty!


There is a little kid that works in the Shanthi Guesthouse. He is real disgusting sounding and acting individual. Every morning I get to hear him clear his throat. But he appears to be a normal person from the Indian culture. Shanthi means peace or quiet in the Hindi or whatever language it is, and this is not peace or quiet. Disgusting yes. I think I listen. I think I read and try to understand the goal. What are the rest of the people doing? I am not perfect, and the only perfection is in trying to be better.


I just used the word “Futile” and then I decide I should go make sure I know the meaning, so I will go check in dictionary.

1 : serving no useful purpose : completely ineffective - efforts to convince him were futile.

Yep, that is how I wanted to use the word. I am amazed at all the word I know from a contextual basis, and am not absolutely positive I would want to use in writing. I suppose that is why writer use a journal to learn to write, because it helps to take a thought and translate it from an abstract concept into a concrete statement, and it is work to use the correct words. I could have use the word diction instead of “correct words,” but why use a bigger word?

Back to the subject of the futility of taking photos. I have taken I think around 7-10,000 photos. I am not sure, and this is still just a guess, but I have taken a lot. I have lost a few thousand of them and this is annoying, but goes to express the futility of photos. People take tons and tons of photos like they are going to publish them in a book or something and this is sometime ludicrous and sometimes annoying when they make us look at them. I can honestly say that maybe 5 times more or less in the last 7 years have I shown photos to my friends on the computer. I hate to show people photos on my computer and do not see that this is good to offer to show them photos. The people I showed were bugging me to death to show them their photos, it is almost never photos of something special, but more likely I took a photo of them, and they ask if they could see the photo. This is the nature of vanity.

But, people do like to see photos and off course I am showing all my readers lots of photos, but all of you have a choice, and can click away quickly. I think a lot about photos and how to take photos, but in the end the problem is the futility of taking photos.

My goal is to show or represent what it feels like to be here in India, or sometimes I will pound a subject, for instance toilets to show you what they are like, and the thoughts that go through my head.

So this is I think a form of Photo Journalism, or a way of telling a story with photos. The world is big, and often a photographer is in my mind a Photo Hack, or a person that takes photos to mis-represent something and not to represent something. I try to represent is close to how it feels as possible, and this requires good and bad photos to be shown. Of course a person that pays a lot of money should not and I hope would not take a lot of bad photos to show how the situation was, but most people only glamorize a situation and do not do justice or truth to a subject.

But back to the FUTILE word. It is a monstrous world we live in, and is huge, and to even have inkling as to what the word is about means a person has to have God view of themselves, as to think that they can understand “Poverty.” This is everywhere in the world, or in many ways is not everywhere in the world. There are ugly pictures of how people live, and I cannot always call it poverty. It is how they live and is normal often. I would hate or despise a person that calls India poor. I would call them “Poorer” than the USA, but I would not call them poor. I would call them a bunch of dirty living people, but that is just their culture, and until people die from dirt, there is not normally a reason to clean. Most of the world is probably a level of not needed clean to be healthy. I like to be clean not so much for health reasons, and for respect for others so the rest of the world does not have to smell or look at me, and be annoyed.

But taking photos is futile proposition. I have taken so many photos now though that I am repeating some certain types of photos over and over, like for example photos of toilets, showers, sewers, backpacks, hippies, and lots of subjects. I think a lot about making groups of photos of for example toilets, and try to think of a way to collect all my toilet photos on a page. I even have thought about making funny Web Page domains like.

…. Onthejohn .com or downthedrain .com and I could make better ones also, and have all sorts of fun, but in the end I still am just trying to collect in one place.


I have finally come up with a method to collect in one place. That is not correct, the problem is not to collect in one place, but the problem is to have a directory that I can use, and refer to that makes sense to me, and is easy for me.

I have lots of systems or methods or remembering where things are on my page. For instance on the photos I am talking about I will put them in order like this in the directory.







So they are photo and the second part of the file name is the subject, and because page like this get too big, I have 01, 02, 03, and so forth. You put a in front of these ending and hopefully you go to a page of photos on the subject. I say hopefully because there is lot of work to check to make sure everything functions.

But I make them like this so I can go check all my photo subjects. I group the files in a pre-sorted by name fashion in my directory.

But what I have finally done, and relives me in some ways of the FUTILE feeling is learned a way to make a TABLE OF CONTENTS.

A Table of contents for me is a problem, because sometimes there are no contents to put in the table of contents, so that is futile also, but with time and making a lot of messes I am slowly having enough information to have in a table of contents. Mostly I make a big mess of things, and then I go back and organize. This seems to be the normal procedure.

But what is nice is that I have finally started to group these photos type journalist photos in one place together. I am placing them on the end of my tips by subjects page until they get big enough or they are numerous enough to place on one page.



I like to go to web sites and especially big sites and look at their “Site Maps,” I am often amazed at what they call a site map. To me is a very short and extremely brief table of contents. But I can empathize with the problem of navigation and moving around inside a Website. People complain always about not being able to understand how to move around. Sometime the do not have enough understanding on the internet, sometimes their mental memory is insufficient to remember what they are doing, and lots of times the webpage is just made bad. OR maybe the person making it is not clear on how to organize that would make sense, or does not have enough content to make sense on how to organize, and for me I collect a lot of information and I do not know what or why I am collecting for, but eventually the reason appears, or does not appear. It just sits there collecting space.

But my sitemap and my navigation of my site is making progress after working for years, and it is coming closer to making sense for me. It is very ugly still and that is OK, but at least I can move around myself on my site and find things quicker. The search thingy on my page is for the most part junk, but it does work a little. But only to search for titles of pages. There is a reason that exist. Their system of indexing is better than my own… hehehe

They can actually index my pages better then me. I am thinking and trying to put Google on my site as a search of my site. I think it would be better than my searchy thingy.

Well… All this noise is because I have learned how to be more organized and that make me happy. I guess when I learn to understand myself and the word life is in order. A little clarity is a good source of serenity.


I got a feeling of guilt killing an ant. What is wrong with India….aagh!


DUH ! Men are from Mars, and Women are from Venus

I just realized that Mars is the Roman God of War and Venus is the God of Love. This book “Men are from Mars, and Women are from Venus” was or must have been written by a man committed to the fighting with women. Because to say that says that we will always choose war, while women will choose love. Nothing conciliatory or helpful about adopting that proposition. I laugh a lot about this book, as all it really does for me is give me a lot of excuse on why I should not agree with women. This is not a great strategy. I think or try to figure out how we are the same; instead of telling them we are different. But I had an epiphany.

My favorite word to play with of current days.


"Nothing appeals to intellectuals more than the feeling that they represent 'the people.' Nothing, as a rule, is further from the truth." --Paul Johnson


I am about to abort the trip up to see Jeff. It is about the distance from Indiana to California by a slow train. I am thinking it would be better to stop in California and see him on the way home, and take Greyhound to India. Pressing on fast, or pushing to fly across a country is sort of anti-travel to me. This is tourism, to see as much or say you saw something. I do not really care if I see the tourist attractions. I do try to see what appeals to me. This is hard for people. I was nagging this Israel girl yesterday,

“What do you want to see in India?”

She was completely clueless and was just following the path, but then again she had never ask herself the question, so she was looking for a place to go, and did ask the question,

“What would I like to see?”

She would go to a place because people say she should go to a place and after there discover what she thought she should want to see. She did admit that she would like to learn to cook India dishes. I sort of would like to do this, but not a real lot. Maybe I would like to learn to make this GREEN Chetnee. I would like to be able first to request the type of Chetnee I like. They are always serving me this crappy stuff, and I cannot say in their language what I want.

I would say learning how to cook the food is fun in most countries and is cheap and you can take home with you.


I was trying to empathize with the other students in the Yoga class yesterday. It is interesting how many of them really like the feeling of the stretching of the body. I Pole Vaulted and High Jumped for a few years in High School. This is track sport and involves a sudden exertion of high energy, and you must wiggle or conform your body around the crossbar. Both of these activities require a person to be very much in control of their flexibility, plus you can only muster enough concentration every 5 minutes to perform practice, so what happens is we would sit in the cushions or drop pad of the high jump pit and talk, laugh, tell jokes and stretch the whole time. It was very relaxing and fun. I remember being to able to bend my legs over the top of my body and touch the ground. We did all sorts of extreme stretches although nothing like the level of a gymnast that does Chinese splits or the splits. I suppose I was close to being able to do the normal splits like my sisters the cheerleader, but I never pushed it far enough. I wish the coach would have done anything to teach us how to pole vault or high jump. It was definitely a self-taught activity, but the coach was short and fat, and look like a shot-putter. I doubt he had any idea on how to do this. So hard to instruct in something you have no clue.

I still sit around and stretch in bed on occasion while reading my book. I can say though that Yoga was about 5 times more stretching than I have ever performed in one session, but was never even close to the extreme pushing of the stretch we performed. I did realize though how badly my body was, or how tight my bones, and such were.

We were talking to some India people and learned that they can bend their fingers all the way back and touch their wrist. It is enough to make you sick. It is very unnatural to watch. I am going to check a few of my India friends and see if this just normal genetics of this breed of human. If so… so much for me letting him glorify his natural ability to stretch. Hehehe

I am making an inside my head mental joke I do. I am excellent at understanding computer. It is not an act of discipline to learn the computer. Sometimes it is, and to daily type in the computer is maybe an act of discipline, but for me to learn the computer is too easy, and I would never represent this as something that anyone should look at me and say,

“Aw Andy, you work so hard to learn the computer.”


I do work hard to make all the page and put all the time into the computer. I also work very hard on where to learn the information. But the actual learning is a breeze. I am a natural. There is little discipline needed.

On the other hand, for me to learn a language is a discipline. I am quite proud of myself for learning Spanish. I had to sit around writing words over and over on a piece of paper for hours to learn and remember the Spanish words by rote memory. This was discipline.


I am being to realize more each day that it would be better to travel with a girl and not alone, especially in India. It would be nice to have a steady friend and companion. I probably have more friends while traveling because the people have the time to talk, while my friends at home for the most part are too busy. Time is what is needed for friends, family, children or any time type of acquaintance. You need time to talk with people to develop friendship. I always have an overabundance of time. This is maybe not true of most travelers, or at least they think they do not have time, but most travelers sit around shooting the bull most of the day, and some are too exited about seeing every tourist attraction. The balance is probably in between. I am fortunately to work on my webpage mission and this give me an extra distraction.


I did the YOGA class yesterday. I was thinking above about distractions and realized this was a distraction or an amusement of my time.

Yoga… The man that taught the class here in Hampi was interesting and good. I think he is a good guy, but sort has a perma-small on his face that makes me question his sincerity. If he would break the smile I would know he was really listening and not being so delighted to listen or understand. His English is good, but he ask if I we had any doubts, which I was soon to realize he meant,

“Do you have an questions?”

I sort of thought doubts was what I was having and this seem very appropriate use of words, and too good for his English, plus too sincere. Because I would say I am dealing with the doubts about what I am doing, and do not have my questions.

Is it good for me? I must say yes. Why? Because it is a stretching class of my body, and it also forces me to obey for 2 hours. I would rather obey for 1 hour, and got a little punchy and started to laugh in the session. I was so bored I thought I was going to drop. This is not what they want you to feel or think, and I broke down laughing on the concrete at my attempts to make my formerly broken leg perform or fold and bend.

I broke my femur, and was in a cast for one year. Now the ankle does not bend good, and he nerves play games, and do not want to respond quickly. The flexibility sucks, but for my age it is extremely great. I am age 49. I suppose Gandhi with his experiment in truth and autobiography is making me feel guilty that I leave that out all the time. I am sure most people think I am 35 and this is what the teacher was forcing or wanting me to behave.

I am not sure about the laughing things. Everyone was too in love with stretching and I was not getting a spiritual awakening. I was getting a lot of good energy though. It was so funny.

He kept saying,

“Breath in the good energy, breath out the bad energy.”

“Breath in the good energy, breath out the bad energy.”

I just about said,

“I am all out of bad energy.”

I was digging deep to feel some bad thoughts to push out of my body. It was a pain, and felt like the gas tank was on empty and I was shaking my body to drain the bad energy. I ask a girl after the class if this was easy for her to do and she said sure.

I asked,

“Do you have a bad energy?”

“Do you think or do bad things?”

She is a saint, and a new friend and she said,

“Yes, I have a lot of bad thoughts.”

The girl I asked is Aila from Israel and she is a candidate in some ways for sainthood, but not really. But she is a really sweet girl and this seems difficult to believe that she could have any guilt.

I suppose that is my idea of bad energy. That fight in my mind between doing the right thing, and the bad thing, and the coming to grips with this to me is Hell. I guess if God stuck me in the chair and said,

“Andy you must come to grips with all your past!”

I am going to make you think of every time you was a bad boy, and now you are going to have to admit, think, feel, and come to grips with who you really are then this would be Hell.”

Sort of what confession is for the Catholic religion if done correctly, but I have doubts that many do a real confession. I think 95 percent of Catholics have pat or standard sins to confess.

I think the confession part was a silly thing to drop in the Protestant religion, but most people would not want to admit they are jerks or sin. I suppose to me, I am absolutely there are times when I am total jerk, and enough people tell me and remind me now and especially in the past, that I take it for granted. I am not a jerk or either do I sin much, but enough for about 5 of them questions daily on,

“Let the bad energy out.”

I am sure he did is properly for the majority.

I suppose I am being a little arrogant which makes people in my world angry, but I really do not have the luxury to build up a good reservoir of guilt. I am an alcoholic and guilt would just be too much encouragement to drink. So I just keep my nose clean, and be a good boy, and I do not feel guilty. Plus I am too old for that crap. Doing a bunch of naughty deed is too difficult. I have learned by experience to keep myself out of trouble. I suppose it is why I am good traveler because I can recognize trouble before it happens.