Saturday, March 8, 2014
Wednesday, March 5, 2014
To quote the Vedas: "The cows have come and brought us good fortune. In our stalls contented may they stay! May they bring forth calfs for us, many colored, giving milk for Indra each day. You make o cows the thin man sleek, to they unlovely you bring beauty. Rejoice our homestead with pleasant lowing. In our assemblies we laud you with vigor."
There are, if you are wondering, McDonald's in India. They do not, however, serve beef. My mind belts in amazement.. As in Israel where they do not put cheese on the beef, and so have no cheeseburgers, India is the one place in the world where they do not have hamburgers. Such delicate sensitivity on the part of Leviathan! They will do whatever it takes, even if it means dispensing with their signature product, to succeed.
Anywhichway, just know that cows do in fact have their way here, and it is in fact rather quite charming.. Even if you often have to step around them and their shit everywhere you go, and when out in the countryside driving at night you have to keep your eyes peeled, else you plow into one. Not so bad as hitting a moose whose legs are much longer, putting their carcass atop your roof, rather than merely your hood and windshield, but still..
Parting thought: maybe Chick fil-A can figure out an Indian angle for their ads someday? Hmm..
Tuesday, March 4, 2014
|There's a balcony in both front and thru the back.|
|the great tree|
|Said courtyard, my room opposite, seen from above, the 3rd story|
|The Wajullah, or Big, Mosque, owners of the house, as seen from my room balcony.|
Here are a few shots of the social scene, not at all exhaustive, because I didn't think to take very many pictures. People came, people went, every week there was a new set of folks, from all over the world.
The unstated, sporadically scandalous, policy is that Indians were not allowed to mix, due to the potential for culture clash, especially with the women.. The room price is too low (350- 525 rupees - like 5.50 to 8.50 bucks a night) and the culture gap with lower caste Indians too wide, so they "discriminate."
It's yet just another bubble of travelers - not tourists, really, but vagabonds and pilgrims - in an odd faraway place:
|In reception, achieving yogic nirvana..|
|Davida, Raja (i.e. King in Sanskrit) and myself. All kicking the glasses, note..|
|Raja (the night reception) and Bella, the English girl..|
|My digs radiating in the dark|
|The commune hard at work..|
|On the roof, at night: these are the choicest digs in the house..|
And there, that's been my ramblin' home these past few weeks. I've got more posts in the tube for the coming week or more, so keep your eyes peeled attentively on this here space..
Saturday, December 7, 2013
Picture of the Day: Succinctly Summating Why I Shall Forever Prefer la Cuccina Italiana to la Cuisine Française..
As I've said somewhere once before, paté is for cats, and the Italians know it.
Thursday, December 5, 2013
I'm off to visit the Archangel, now that I've had my coffee.. Pax et bonum, all.
Wednesday, November 27, 2013
For those of you who will understand. They put the repaired statue up again, in front of the newly consecrated (as of this fall) parish church the day before yesterday:
Pretty spiffy, eh? About time, finally..
Friday, November 22, 2013
The dish is pasta alla Norma, which was first served here in Catania, inspired by Mount Etna herself, being pasta with tomatoes (for the lava), eggplant (for the blaclk volcanic rock and pumice), ricotta (for the snow that coats the cone all yearlong), and the basil (for the vegetation on the mountain).
Wednesday, November 20, 2013
I found it interesting that the church takes its name from the priory later established by the Order on the Rue St. Jaques in Paris, named after St. James due to the fact the pilgrims to Compostelle congregated there, being the major thouroughfare of the medieval city. Later, in the years leading up to the French Revolution, a political club met at the priory there, and took their name from it, also being called "the Jacobins." This club became famous for radical republicanism, and came to dominate the revolutionary government during the regicidal Terror. Robispierre was a member.
I find it ironical somehow, that the Order responsible for the Inquisition (Torquemada was a member) later gave its nickname to another group infamous for totalitarian terror. Is there some metahistorical poetic synergy there? I think there is.
Here are some of the pictures I took, mediocre though some of them may be:
|The Tomb of St. Thomas|
|And the candle.|
Thursday, November 14, 2013
Wednesday, November 13, 2013
I say nearly failsafe, because sometimes, ever so rarely, something in fact does fail, and even blow up in your face..
I then and groped about for my flash light, knocked over my open liter of water all over the floor, found the flashlight, then my glasses, came back and read the note the ever diligent Swiss management posted there.
For you non-Francophones out there, it says "Do Not Touch. Thanks."
And I'm sitting here going, "No man, thank you. I'm so glad that that switch was not instead the trigger on a bundle of C4, or one releasing a rabid wolverine into the room, or the button to a trap door into a laundry chute there beneath my feet dropping into the dungeon, or something even more exciting.."
I need my sleep after all, and having the lights permantly cut off now is not such a bad thing. I'm going to shut my iPad now, become enveloped in utter darkness, and drift off to sleep.
Blessings upon all your heads, mes chers. Bon nuit.
Tuesday, November 12, 2013