Category: Interesting

The Last Notes

Notes on the San Raphael Swell
Notes on the San Raphael Swell

All photos by the author. Author’s note: This post is dedicated to the DJs at Moab Community Radio, KZMU, 90.1.Tim Patterson’s notes on one trajectory out of Boulder.Boulder, Colorado. 6 pm. All of a sudden Dave and I didn’t have jobs anymore, so we went to Utah.Driving south in a storm, past the University of Colorado, past people caught in the rain, typing on their smart-phones.

After the Quake: Images of a Catastrophe
After the Quake: Images of a Catastrophe

How quickly do we forget the feeling of instability? When do we learn to trust the earth again? Acclaimed Chilean novelist Sergio Missana considers the short- and long-term effects of the latest earthquake in his country.ONE COULD ARGUE that there is no experience more kinetic, more purely experienced with the body, than the earth suddenly becoming unsteady.

Notes on Longing at the Kali Temple
Notes on Longing at the Kali Temple

Robert Hirschfield finds: “In disordered Calcutta, I feel a vulnerability that could lead me anywhere. Every morning, it leads me to the Kali Temple.”SOMETIMES, in the day’s white heat, you see them lined up a block long outside the Kali Temple.They are faithful and meek before the Black Goddess, before the terrible Kali Ma of skulls.

What you can do to help Haiti [UPDATED]
What you can do to help Haiti [UPDATED]

Photo: ingro.comagenciadenoticias2.0Matador is mobilizing our travel community to help earthquake victims in Haiti.Please donate now to support relief efforts:– UNICEF. Go online to unicefusa.org/haitiquake or call (800) 4UNICEF.– Red Cross. Go online to redcross.org, or call (800) REDCROSS.– Direct Relief International.

Notes on Sadhus Getting High
Notes on Sadhus Getting High

Robert Hirschfield looks at ceremony and how the “mystery of continuity in the presence of collapse” occurs not in the otherworldly, but right at ground level.THE TWO OLD sadhus at the Trevini Ghat in Rishikesh were always smoking ganja. They would suck their fat paper horns into their mouths in a way that was so erotic watching them seemed indecent.

Notes from the Faisal Hostel
Notes from the Faisal Hostel

Robert Hirschfield becomes de facto ambassador in a hostel where Palestinians, Israeli soldiers, Christian Pilgrims, and German journalists all come together.I find myself waking up before dawn at the Faisal to beat the backpackers’ rush to the communal bathroom. The sexagenarian’s need for whatever solitude he can get.

All Aboard!
All Aboard!

A swim out to sea brings new friends off the coast of Hoi An, VietnamUnder a westering sun, dozens of fishing boats bob in the waves. I swim towards them. Now a good 100 yards from shore, it is just me and the snacking, napping crews whose vessels dot the horizon.As I am spotted, a rotund, tattooed fellow stands on deck and waves his arms like a man in desperate need of rescue.

Notes on Nariman House: The Travel of Remembrance
Notes on Nariman House: The Travel of Remembrance

Photo by the Author.In some places, what can you do except remember?A gray skeletal hulk in the middle of an alleyway in Colaba in Mumbai South, it is a place that will always belong to the past.Even on this warm Sunday morning in March, with the neighborhood women in their red and gold saris passing Nariman House with mangos and chapattis, this structure belongs to November.

Notes on Celebrating New Years with Los Colque
Notes on Celebrating New Years with Los Colque

Celebrating New Year’s with people you’ve just met can remind you of exactly where you come from and who you are.Some of the Colque grandkids + Lau and Layla.12/31/09 4 PMMaxi is carrying crates of beer down into a well-pit. I whistle to him across the fence and he grins back at me.Maxi is one of Adela’s 80 grandchildren.

Notes on Not Being Able to Pray at The Wailing Wall
Notes on Not Being Able to Pray at The Wailing Wall

All photos by the author.Robert Hirshfield sees a sign only he can read: Only Those Serious About Their Souls May Enter Here.My tiny digital camera weaves and bobs on the security belt. I am scanned from armpit to ankle. I tingle. Is it because I feel myself threatened, or because I feel myself a threat?

The Train out of Krakow
The Train out of Krakow

Feature photo by Kr. B. Photo above by austinevan.One traveler’s take on remembrance and the random nature of travel, especially after ditching your travel partner and jumping on a train in the middle of the night.This has not been my proudest moment. We’d only been traveling for a week but that was more than enough.

To Be a Kid Again: My First Volunteer Experience Abroad
To Be a Kid Again: My First Volunteer Experience Abroad

Learn how a recent high-school graduate found life as a teacher, coach, and mentor while volunteering with Projects Abroad in Peru.My name is Pete Morrow, but most people just called me Pedro by the end of my two months in Peru. I couldn’t tell you why I chose Peru over all the other projects offered, but to be honest, I don’t think it gets much better than South America.

The Last Iceman of Chimborazo
The Last Iceman of Chimborazo

Baltazar Ushca, the hielero of Ecuador’s highest glacierTravel to the glaciers of Chimborazo with Baltazar Uscha, the last of his people to continue the centuries-old tradition of the hieleros.We’re heading towards the home of Baltazar Ushca, the last of the icemen of Chimborazo. The mountain is the highest peak in Ecuador at 6,310 meters, about 20,565 feet.

Brandon Scott Gorrell Goes to Oakland
Brandon Scott Gorrell Goes to Oakland

Sea-Tac. Photo: aturkusSeattle writer Brandon Scott Gorrell navigates his way through the Bay Area on a book tour, seeking authenticity via “ragers”, street preachers, and hipsters with expensive-looking digital cameras.SEA-TAC INTERNATIONAL AIRPORTAfter the security checkpoint I unsuccessfully tried to get wireless without paying for anything.

GuiJu: Rules of the Traditional Chinese Hot Spring Baths
GuiJu: Rules of the Traditional Chinese Hot Spring Baths

Photo by sputnikrentA comprehensive guide to etiquette and what to expect when soaking in Traditional Chinese Hot Springs.When the Japanese occupied Taiwan from the late 1800s to the first half of the 1900s, they left an indelible social, cultural, and urban imprint on the island. Among the remnants are the continually popular Beitou Hot Springs facilities located in the northern portion of Taipei County.

India’s caste system examined
India’s caste system examined

The 14th of April marked the birth anniversary of Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar, the stalwart who fought for political representation of Dalits in India. Born into a family of Dalits or “untouchables,” he was a pioneer of the Dalit movement- fighting social injustices and discrimination meted out to Dalits.

Tours of Post-Katrina New Orleans: Bringing Awareness or Taking Advantage?
Tours of Post-Katrina New Orleans: Bringing Awareness or Taking Advantage?

The other day I was watching MTV’s Real World, which takes place in New Orleans this season, and in this particular episode the group took a tour of Post-Katrina New Orleans. From a van, with a tour company.I was immediately both angered and appalled.Many of the people affected by Katrina are still putting their lives back together, and companies are taking tour groups through there?

First Person Dispatch: Being a Peace Corps Volunteer in Niger
First Person Dispatch: Being a Peace Corps Volunteer in Niger

Photos: etrenardA Peace Corps volunteer in Niger reflects on lessons learned just weeks into her assignment. Editor’s Note: Matador Nights co-editor Kate Sedgwick first read this dispatch on the blog of Peace Corps member Monica Yancey. We contacted Yancey to request her permission to reprint an excerpt here.

Brush with fame: Crying with Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy
Brush with fame: Crying with Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy

Wilco drummer Glenn Kotche, left. Jeff Tweedy, black cap. Brittany Shoot sobbing out of frame.Brittany Shoot relates a harrowing experience of meeting an idol and losing emotional control.Fall 2002, Iowa City, IA. USAMy sophomore year of college, alt-country heroes Wilco came through town.After following the band around during the previous year, hitting shows as far away as Boulder and Indianapolis, I was especially elated that as one of the managers of the radio station, I might have a chance to meet my idols after the show in the stuffy, badly soundproofed student union ballroom.

6 reasons to go by bike
6 reasons to go by bike

Photo: Magical-worldTravel by foot, sailboat or bush plane is hard to beat. But it’s the bicycle that gives you the best combination of long-distance, alternative travel and true roadway connection. Here are 6 reasons why.You Can Move Fast. .Somewhere in the transfer of power a slow, burdened hiker becomes inhumanly fast.