Actually Tuesday is newsletter day, but I am always late or not so late with the letter, as I just keep adding and do not get the complete thought until I am late. I suppose the Rabbit in Alice in Wonderland was right. “I’m late.”
But here is Mongolia and Nomadic Nights with a guest writer, my friend Jeff Westin in the Newsletter. Plus the Travel Tip tells you how to connect your computer in an Internet Café.
Photos of Russia, Ulaan Baatar, Mongolia, Beijing, Trains and a few girls in I be Hobo shirts.
Hoboguide.com an online guide that I am working on is making progress. I want to thank Andrew S, a techie from Margao, India. He is happy, vigorous, and systematically attacking and helping me to make an online guidebook for the world.
He has done or made the choices with only a little guidance from me on the architecture of the site. He has a good tone and feel.
UP WITH PRETTY GIRLS, DOWN WITH FRIENDLY TRAVELERS
I suppose the quality of looks and belly buttons has improved in Thailand, but the quality of smiles and friendly dispositions has taken a drop among the travelers. Mongolia has a culture traveler as doe countries like Laos or South America and this is a different channel of travelers. But looks do sell, and packaging is good, I am not complaining and I am going to the beach to see what happens with no packaging.
RAN INTO GIRL FROM HAMPI, INDIA
I spent Christmas Eve with a nice American girl with from New York City and the same New York methodology of looking at or taking from the world. She was looking at some books to buy here in Bangkok and I spied the black, curly, JAP - Jewish American Princess from the back, and then waited for here to turn around to see if I was dreaming, or it is other dreams of mine.
She was funny and telling me all of her exploits and how she wishes to go to MBA School in Thailand. That does seem a Darwinian regression, especially for the East Coast person that has some good schools out there. I do not know what to say about studying in other countries. The best foundations are in the first level countries, and more maybe of the practical or applied in another country.
I do not want to live in Thailand. I love to visit, but I am looking for life more in huggable countries with more touch and feel. I suppose I want to be more sensitive to people like my girl friend in college Judy always wanted from me, and I was clueless. Some countries I am a visitor and other countries I could be integrated into the fabric of their society. But Thailand is definitely fun in a more basic way, and this is good.
I made a complaint about the culture of India and she commented that if I really wanted to learn about culture I would go visit or go see people.
I told her,
“I took local buses from city to city for 90 percent of India.”
In a country where all the travelers take the train, I took the bus to see what is maybe closer to real India whatever that means. To learn about a culture it takes time and isolation from travelers. You cannot buy a culture lesson or go visit a family for a culture lesson. I suppose you can learn about rich well to do families in other countries if you live with them and they for sure will put on their best Sunday go to meeting attitude and represent their country as great Ambassadors and such, but to really find the country. I think you need to spend at minimum 10 days in each city; find places where there are ZERO tourist and learn the language a little. Home stays and living with families is a good thing, but not really getting into the trenches with people.
What I find is that other cultures are uncomfortable, and when I am experiencing a culture I am on foreign ground, and nothing feel right, because I am not in my culture. If it feels good, and seems good, you are probably in a try-to-be-western-culture world of make believe.
People that do not want to talk to you, and have no reason to talk to you, and really cannot be bothered, are the happenstance world of culture. But do not think that living with a wannabe western like family in another culture is NOT culture. It is culture it is a wannabe western like family in another country culture.
Sort of like the guy or girl that does not want to be fashion, or trendy and cops out and flakes out to be a hippie, and has dreads, tattoos, and makes a statement.
“Rage against the machine.”
“They are so trendy they are globalization of fashion, music, and dread, with tinges of Bob Marley, and Che Guererro for kicks.”
There is nothing unique about them, and nothing is freethinking about a person that looks and acts like the group.
I will admit. I do think there is real rage though. That smelly undercurrent inside a person that is wishing to push or hurt someone, even if only by being so obnoxious and intolerant as to try to push their lifestyle on anyone that does not want it.