white blossoming Crabapple tree | Swan Point cemetery, Providence, Rhode Island, USA

I fortunately left just enough white area and took pictures of this Crabapple white blossoming tree on the first sitting. She had already lost her blossoms by my second sitting in the Swan Point cemetery on Memorial Day. I just completed it at home – I usually always sit before my subject live. – just completed it May 29, 2019.

 

Crabapple white blossoms photo progression google

 

carol_may25_selfie_smile

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Spring Bursts in May Bicycling Providence Rhode Island USA




 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sacred Economics by Charles Eisenstein | You’re at Your Best – Doing What You Love

Charles Eisenstein, I discovered through a Facebook group initially, “The More Beautiful World”, that our Hearts Know is Possible.

He created a short film to introduce the concepts of his book, through the direction and production of Ian MacKenzie

Sacred Economics with Charles Eisenstein 2019 remix

Sacred Economics with Charles Eisenstein 2019 remix

Sacred Economics with Charles Eisenstein 2019 remix

“Sacred Economics traces the history of money from ancient gift economies to modern capitalism, revealing how the money system has contributed to alienation, competition, and scarcity, destroyed community, and necessitated endless growth. As we imagine new ways of interacting with one another and with all life on the planet, we may find great opportunity to transition to a more connected, ecological, and sustainable way of being.

Sacred Economics with Charles Eisenstein is a book he wrote.
Here’s where you can learn more about Sacred Economics and purchase the book.

Charles Eisenstein, Sacred Economics, history of money from ancient gift economies to modern capitalism

Sacred Economics book with Charles Eisenstein

 

 

 

Why is there a biodiversity crisis? Why are we drilling for more oil?…Many questions that you ask about the world come down after several layers of why, to the answer of money.

You can read the pdf file online, http://sacred-economics.com/read-online/ translated into 12 languages

This new narrative of sacred economics, shifts the individual to following what they inherently love doing and do best, so that rather than feeling incapable of pursuing what they love to do because of the lack of economic support, they are free to do just that. This is why I’ve incorporated the message of Joseph Campbell, a

The writer Joseph Campbell coined the term Follow Your Bliss.

The Power of Myth, Bill Moyers, Joseph Campbell

The Power of Myth is the full transcript of 24 hours of interviews by Bill Moyers of Joseph Campbell

Joseph Campbell, Follow Your Bliss

Great advice from Joseph Campbell – Follow Your Bliss

“Campbell saw as the greatest human transgression “the sin of inadvertence, of not being alert, not quite awake.”

 

You’re at Your Best – Doing What You Love

 >Make Your Play Your Work, and York Work Your Play<

His introductory short film ‘Sacred Economics with Charles Eisenstein 2019 remix‘, directed by Ian MacKenzie reveals a lot of information about quite a different narrative of perceiving and feeling about the natural world.

Sacred Economics with Charles Eisenstein 2019 remix, Ian MacKenzie

Sacred Economics with Charles Eisenstein 2019 remix directed by Ian MacKenzie

Charles Eisenstein’s book Sacred Economics. Is what he’s come to offer to the world as his gift, realizing that by following the truth and what is in our hearts, this concept will really take on a life of its own and spread physically, as more people become aware of it. Like reaching a critical mass, we can adopt it as a new universal way of looking at our world and our place in it. He talks of the money economy that we have been in, as both the source and the symptom, of an old narrative that has had to do with continually wanting and needing to take things that were once free and plentiful in nature and shared between people as gifts, and turned these into goods and services that we then sell back to one another.

Charles talks of the planet as a living being whose organs and tissues are all the natural systems and biomass; of the different natural waterways, forests, coral reefs, watersheds, elephants, bears, wolfs, butterflies and insects are all part of the planet and its health. The health of humanity and all creatures depends on the health and balance of all of these systems of life.

Here’s an interview of Charles Eisenstein by Russell Brand. Video · Climate Change – What’s The Whole Truth? | Russell Brand & Charles Eisenstein

Climate Change, What is the Whole Truth, Charles Eisenstein, Russell Brand

Climate Change What is the Whole Truth Charles Eisenstein interview by Russell Brand

Sacred Economics, Charles Eisenstein, Russel Brand

Charles Eisenstein who’s written a book on the subject, says that in the traditional sense, people are reducing all problems of the Earth from an environmental perspective to climate change.

Within it Charles talks of the living earth narrative.

In it Charles mentions that we are not recognizing the earth as a living being, with its tissues and organs equivalents to forests, grasslands, coral reefs, elephants, birds…He mentions that only talking about the environment and carbon output, is reduces the problems to one thing, CO2 levels, and completely ignores all the other different factors that are part of this massive ecocide (mass extinction) by reducing things only to numbers.

Ian MacKenzie , Sacred Economics, Charles Eisenstein, Relocation

Sacred Economics with Charles Eisenstein 2019 remix

Sacred Economics, Ian MacKenzie, Charles Eisenstein, relocalization, Localization

Sacred Economics traces the history of money from ancient gift economies to modern capitalism

 

 

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Joel Sartore, photo ark, blogger, Carol Keiter

Joel Sartore photo ark picture and the blogger, Carol Keiter

Arundhati Roy’s Extraordinary Eloquence, Poetically Incising the Truth

I wasn’t going to do another blog till I complete my book. However I decided to listen to the entire Democracy Now news hour while I chopping vegetables preparing my dinner, when I saw that Amy Goodman would be interviewing here. I am once again absolutely blown away with how sharply Arundhati Roy incises the truth with her vision.

I first learned of Arundhati Roy decades ago, after the September 11th attacks in the United States. In her Come September speech in 2002, she peels the truth from the political and economic realities of the constructs of our world, to expose power and powerlessness. It is of the context of what was going on at that time, and is STILL THE TRUTH.

I blogged about Arundhati Roy’s profound speech, “Come September” in 2009 https://digesthis.wordpress.com/2009/10/31/arundhati-roy/

Come September is A PROFOUND BEARING OF TRUTH. Roy speaks poetically to power on the US’s War on Terror, globalization, the misuses of nationalism, and the growing chasm between the rich and poor.

Arundhati Roy, full speech 2002, Come September

Arundhati Roy full speech 2002 Come September

Her first fiction novel is entitled “God of Small Things

Please take the time to listen to each of the interviews. She is profound in her imagery and astounding insightfulness.

Each of these segments have the transcripts. I suggest you trying to find as much of here writings (fiction and non-fiction) and speeches, as you can!

https://www.democracynow.org/2019/5/13/arundhati_roy_a_us_attack_on

Arundhati Roy: A U.S. Attack on Iran Would Be “Biggest Mistake It Has Ever Made”

https://www.democracynow.org/2019/5/13/arundhati_roy_capitalism_is_a_form

Arundhati Roy: Capitalism Is “a Form of Religion” Stopping Solutions to Climate Change & Inequality

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EKaU8skVKnU

Arundhati Roy on the Power of Fiction: “Literature is The Simplest Way of Saying a Complicated Thing”

Arundhati Roy Interview, Democracy Now

Arundhati Roy Interview Democracy Now

“As the ice caps melt, as oceans heat up and water tables plunge, as we rip through the delicate web of interdependence that sustains life on earth, as our formidable intelligence leads us to breach the boundaries between humans and machines and our even more formidable hubris undermines our ability to connect the survival of our planet to our survival as a species, as we replace art with algorithms and stare into a future in which most human beings may not be needed to participate in or be remunerated for economic activity, at just such a time we have the steady hands of white supremacists in the White House, new imperialists in China and neo-Nazis once again massing on the streets of Europe, Hindu nationalists in India, and a host of butcher princes and lesser dictators in other countries to guide us into the unknown.

While many of us dreamt that another world is possible, these folks were dreaming, too. And it is their dream, our nightmare, that is perilously close to being realized. Capitalism’s gratuitous wars and sanctioned greed have jeopardized the planet and filled it with refugees. Much of the blame for this rests squarely on the shoulders of the government of the United States. Seventeen years after invading Afghanistan, after bombing it into the Stone Age with the sole aim of toppling the Taliban, the U.S. government is back in talks with the very same Taliban. In the interim, it has destroyed Iraq, Libya and Syria. Hundreds of thousands have lost their lives to war and sanctions. A whole region has descended into chaos, ancient cities pounded into dust.

Amidst the desolation and the rubble, a monstrosity called Daesh, ISIS, has been spawned. It has spread across the world, indiscriminately murdering ordinary people who had absolutely nothing to do with America’s wars. Over these last few years, given the wars it has waged and the international treaties it has arbitrarily reneged on, the U.S. government perfectly fits its own definition of a rogue state. And now resorting to the same old scare tactics, the same tired falsehoods and the same old fake news about nuclear weapons, it is gearing up to bomb Iran. That will be the biggest mistake it has ever made.”

Pope Francis Encyclical on Climate Change

 

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blogger, Carol Keiter

December 10th, 2018 Carol Keiter

“I Am” documentary | What is Wrong with the World? What can we do about it?

After facing his own death, film producer Tom Shadyac suddenly had an instant sense of clarity and purpose. He went around the world with a film crew of four, to talk with significant minds, authors, journalists, academics, leaders, historians, religious leaders who had been extremely influential and inspirational in his own life, to ask two questions: What is Wrong with the World? What can we do about it?

He created this documentary film in three parts. This is it. Tom Shadyac director of I Am. Part one.

Asking whether there is a fundamental, endemic problem, that causes all the other problems?

I Am, director Tom Shadyac, Albert Einstein quote

I Am, Albert Einstein quote

I Am Part Two introduces HeartMath, the concept that the heart is smart and in many indigenous cultures, the heart is the center of consciousness, not the brain. It also ventures into quantum entanglement.

I Am, Desmond Tutu

Desmond Tutu God says I dont have anybody else except you

I Am Howard Zinn No evidence that war comes out of some innate human need

“I Am” Part Three introduces the fact that mass mind – many individual actions together – really does affect the fabric of reality. The evolutionary biologist, Elisabet Sahtouris, states
this is a participatory universe. Interconnectivity. Everything that we do in it, changes it. We have an interior role in co-creating with all the other species.

Everything on our planet is alive.
 

I Am Part Three Howard Zinn talks about how change happens in increments by individual actions together. Desmond Tutu states that change happens, when each person feels concern.

I Am quote Ralph Waldo Emerson, Money, False Principles

I Am quote Ralph Waldo Emerson

The Power of One person.

I Am video on Vimeo Dr David Suzuki

I Am, We should be grateful and celebrate our relatives

I Am We should be grateful and celebrate our relatives

Dr. David Suzuki, scientist, author “The Sacred Balance”, mentions Wade Davis’s term the ethnosphere: the sum total of all of the ways that humans beings have imagines the world into existence. Suzuki talks about the separation of humanity from the natural world, and the fact that the economy is the most important thing in our lives.

Among the people interviewed:

Lynne McTaggart – Author, “the Field” talks of the stories that fashion our worldview, in a competition, scarcity, in which a person needs to be significant, at someone else’s expense

Dean Radin – Senior Scientist, Institute of Noetic Sciences,

Howard Zinn – Historian, Author “A People’s History of the United States”

John Francis – Environmentalist, Author “Planetwalker”

Noam Chomsky- Professor Emeritus of Linguistics, MIT

Desmond Tutu – Archbishop, Cape Town, South Africa

Thom Hartmann – Author “Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight”
There’s a fundamental difference between machines and life, and we are running our society as if we are a machine and as if the world is a machine
Thom mentions Jack Davis Professor of Native American studies at UCA Davis, talks of the Native American term “Wetico” = cannibal – one who eats the life of another. It is considered an illness.

Daniel Quinn – Author, “Ishmael”

Ray Anderson – CEO Interface

Chris Jordan – Photographer

Coleman Barks – Poet, Author “The Essential Rumi”

Marc Ian Barasch – Author, “Field Notes on the Compassionate Life”

Dacher Keltner – Professor of Psychology, UC Berkeley

Rollin McCraty – Senior Researcher, Heartmath Institute

Elisabet Sahtouris – Evolutionary Biologist

Marilyn Schlitz – President, CEO Institute of Noetic Sciences

 

eco_revolution

Carol holding the plastic globe

Earth Day April 22 | Msg from the Future ~Green New Deal~ with AOC | Extinction Rebellion

Today, April 22, 2019 is Earth Day!

Earth Day April 22

Earth Day April 22

“On April 22, 1970, millions of people took to the streets to protest the negative impacts of 150 years of industrial development.” This was almost 50 years ago! I currently live in Providence, Rhode Island. I just watched as I stood in a coat and sweater, with long underwear on, a man get out of his truck in a t-shirt, then get back in, turn on the engine, and sit there parked, with dark brown and grey fumes coming from the ignition. He sat there for a long time. I stopped approaching people about the topic of their spoiling the air by leaving their engine’s idling after the first few months.

Earth Day April 22.

 

Certainly the most exciting thing presently, is the release of this fabulously illustrated, simple and direct message which reaches us through the heart.

The Intercept: A Message From The Future With Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

A Message from the Future with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Intercept

You can listen to the making of this message through Democracy Now, “A Message from the Future with AOC”: New Film Imagines World Transformed by the Green New Deal

In the meantime, The Climate Reality Project states “In report after report, including the IPCC’s Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5 °C, the world’s leading scientific experts have sounded the alarm that unprecedented and aggressive measures must be taken to reduce emissions to safe levels to protect our future.”

The Climate Reality Project Protect Our Planet

Which is why scientists and professionals as well as school children globally such as the Sunrise Movement, are stating that writing books and relying on the government as leaders and guides in addressing climate change and creating legislation to honestly do something about it, has not been working. That’s why people have started to Rebel for Life.

Extinction Rebellion professionals talk about what pushed people to act to change

Extinction Rebellion: what pushes people to drastic action on climate change?

Farhana Yamin is a climate changer lawyer who helped draft the Paris Climate Agreement in 2015. She participated in the Extinction Rebellion and was arrested, expressing that at various points in time people have to take a stand and act, in order for things to change, such as Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr.

Farhana Yamin Climate Change Lawyer, Paris Climate agreement, arrested XR

Farhana Yamin Climate Change Lawyer who helped draft Paris Climate agreement arrested XR

Extinction Rebellion, which began on April 15th in London and locations WorldWide, continues. Extinction Rebellion wants a Citizen’s Assembly for Climate Change. Greta Thunberg, who boycotted school to sit by the Swedish parliament, demands that they honestly talk about climate change and educate the public. She has inspired youth all over the globe to act. Greta Thunberg addresses the participants of the Extinction Rebellion rally in London.

 

Greta Thunberg, Swedish teen, School Boycott for climate change, Climate Actiont, Extinction Rebellion rally

Greta Thunberg Swedish teen School Boycott for Climate Action speaks at Extinction Rebellion rally

Extinction Rebellion Day 1 London Greatest Threat is Leaving it for Someone Else

There are plenty of local groups to join or discussions to participate in. I went to one by chance a week ago in which 8 panelists talked to a full auditorium of local Rhode Island citizens, to talk about Climate Change Solutions.

Publick Panel Climate Change Solutions

We Demand a Green New Deal

Blue Flowers | Easter Sunday 2019 | Faber Castell Watercolor progression

Blue Flowers
Faber Castell Watercolor pencils

Blue Flowers Faber Castell Watercolor pencils Easter’19

Blue Flowers Faber Castell Watercolor pencils Easter’19 _2

Blue Flowers Faber Castell watercolor pencils Easter Sunday 2019

Blue Flowers
Faber Castell Watercolor pencils

Photo Reorganizing | flickr fuckd | reducing 12,000 + 100’s to 1,000

Here’s the 8th page of screen grab pics among the 120 new google photo albums I’ve created and documented during this transfer and documentation process.

New google albums created in the process of removing albums and downsizing photos from flickr.

April Spring Santa Fe, New Mexico clouds, flowers, light-sheet

April Spring Santa Fe, New Mexico clouds, flowers, light-sheet

The new owners of flickr announced several months ago that all of their customers who had been provided with unlimited photo storage, were now going to have to pay fees to upgrade, or reduce any photos or videos to 1,000. Prior to using flickr, I had reached the maximum of photo storage using DropBox, where I still have thousands of photos.

adobe_blossoms_vjew_

adobe_blossoms_vjew_

Goldie, Gordo and Groucho were 3 cats I would visit at a farm Hershey Estates

Flickr’s deadline was a couple months, around Feb. 8th. Enough people must have raised complaints, because Flickr extended this a month to March 12th.  

I had a several hundred photos more than 12,000. I had to decide – pay the upgrade fee, or. I didn’t have to think too hard. I find the tactics of the new owner’s of flickr annoying. 

At first I perused different ‘free’ photo host sites. Some were really quite grueling to negotiate: not user friendly whatsoever. Others, even worse, had all of these ads popping up with continuous distracting video playing. 

I used PhotoBucket a bit, then decided to move most to google photos. I created a system in which I documented with word documents as well as new file folders in Pictures, tracking the original photos, then creating an alias folder and a running count of the new albums I was creating. 

As I systematically created new albums, I removed albums (at times tedius to actually to find the original photos in flickr) because the photos are located in a separate reservoir than the albums. In other words, in flickr, even if one deletes an album, this does not delete the photos. It’s a tedious, multistep process, finding the original photos within the “organizer” of flickr, in order to delete the photos. 

I had 3 ‘pages’ of albums.


flickr_album_collection_3

flickr_album_collection_4

flickr_album_collection_6

My priority was to be sure that my links to flickr from each of my blogs were not broken. My blogs go back a decade, however the use of flickr only about 5 or 6 years. I had to find which of my blogs had links to flickr photo albums, then create that same album in google photos and update the links.  I went into the HTML code of wordpress to transfer and replace links with the new ones from google photos. It’s actually quite user friendly with a Mac. It’s pretty easy to use the find tool for a specific link, which will keep the link you search for highlighted, and then you can paste the new link, exactly within the brackets of the html. It’s really quite user-friendly. It helps that I document everything in word (Pages) documents, so that I can play around with html code within a document and then paste it back into the wordpress blog and update it. 

I also wanted to be sure that all of my paintings and portrait art were available for viewing. 

I created 120 new photo albums once I decided upon Google Photos. I watched as the numbers of photos within the reservoir of flickr reduced > to 12,000, to 8,000 something, several weeks ago to 5,593, when google announced that the account was now 99% full or I’d have to upgrade. 

I gave it a break. Then had a new idea: to take screen grabs of particular photo albums in Flickr that I chose to delete from there, and made sure that I knew where to find the originals.

It’s been tedious, but quite interesting to find and recall all these memories looking at various photos from all sorts of re-locations, most of which date back 2 to 6 years.

Images from a third wordpress blog – deliciousmedicinalfood

My objective:

Not to let FCKR (deliberate misspelling) force me to pay them because of the new owner’s decision to suddenly charge for storage.

And, not to let them choose which photo(s) album(s) they would delete, since the new rule is nothing over 1,000.

4 days ago I had brought the amount down to 3,332 by 3am, with 35 folders I created to track each of these albums and screen shots of all the photos in the albums. Yesterday, early morning today,  March 11th 2:15am, I had technically 24 hours till March 12th, with 1,992 items > only 992 to go.

Now I’m taking precious time to write this, when in fact, I still have 1,992 “items”. Still almost a thousand  to go. 

mpl_jardindesplantes_2019-01-12 at 11.17.23 PM_treemakeawish

I’m proud of my diligence. Others would perhaps find it an abysmal waste of time, and would just pay the fee for the upgrade. Not me.

Here are some of the 120 new photo albums in google. Now I have to get back to taking care of the last thousand photos – down to hours remaining before March 12th.

Ventabren, France in Provence | workaway Jan. ’18 | idyllic town, castle ruins | architectural & textile beauty

A number of weeks after my trip to the New Delhhi airport and back to Frankfurt, during a number of days in limbo in a vacant office building over Christmas in a town not far from Frankfurt, I made a plan. I had warmth, electricity and internet access.  I arranged to go to a workaway in Heuchlingen, German, a work exchange in a village not too far from Stuttgart where I did some outdoor work as well as cooking. I realized my ex beau lived not far from there and visited him in Germany as well.  I documented the trip with lots of photos https://digesthis.wordpress.com/2019/02/02/new-beginnings-germany-a-workaway-in-heuchlingen-december-2017/

I had already begun arranging the  workaway in Ventabren, France in Provence to follow the one in Germany. It was January 2018. Ventabren is a village not far from Aix-en-Provence, which is a gorgeous city. That’s where I met my host and her son, A Russian woman Vicka and her son Maxim.

I visited Aix-en-Provence and took pictures in an earlier hitch to Nice from Montpellier, France to visit my sister. https://carolkeiter.wordpress.com/2017/10/12/hitchabout-nice-antibes-aix-en-provence-arles-and-back-to-a-redefined-montpellier-home/

Aix-en-Provence France Sept. 2017

After having visited Aix-en-Provence and taken the pictures in Sept. 23, 2017, I was now back there in Jan. 2018 about to meet my hosts of the workaway. I happened upon Rue du 4 Septembre in Aix-en-Provence where I took lots of pictures. This was the nearest city to the village where I would do my workaway in Ventabren.

In Aix-en-Provence, I was particularly drawn to the rue du quatre de septembre, because that’s the anniversary of my father’s death in 2012. That’s why I made an album specifically of these signs of rue du 4 Septembre. I had to look up the significance of this date in France. The significance of the date in France is that on the 4th of September, 1870 a new republic was declared.

4th of September France

The 4th of September has personal significance. My father died on the 4th of September, 2012.

On the road leaving Aix-en-Provence en route to the hilled town of Ventabren, this aqueduct was pointed out. Are you kidding me?

Roquefavour Aqueduct, Ventabren, France, Provence, travel, beauty, craftsmanship

Roquefavour Aqueduct near Ventabren France in Provence

Ventabren is a fairy tale, idyllic hilled, once-fortressed town with the ruins of a castle – Château of Queen Jeanne – at the town’s peak.

Ventabren, France, Provence, travel,

Ventabren in Provence, France

Here are the numerous pictures that I took during my stay in Ventabren, France. I was absolutely delighted with the fairy tale landscape and history and the craftsmanship of stone walls, streets, stairs and architecture. The home I resided in is particularly elegant, a breathtakingly gorgeous home with a tailored choice of fine materials; tiles, slate, ceramic, wood. It has beautifully crafted tiles, colors and fabrics and a gorgeous layout of space. Windows look over narrow streets and copper tiled roofs. One doesn’t need to occupy a huge square footage to demonstrate taste and elegance.

Ventabren, workaway, Provence, France

Ventabren in Provence, France 2018

workaway in Ventabren, France, Provence, art, architecture

Ventabren town and interiors in Provence, France 2018

Ultimately, this workaway, in this idyllic town was where circumstances lead me to decide not to continue on the path that I had intended, to organize one after another workaway on a farm or whatever kind of property in France. My VISA had expired. I didn’t want to be informed that i could not return to the country that I love. I also realized that although most of these properties are quite gorgeous and interesting, and i particularly would seek out places with animals, I decided that most are by their nature, remote. It was after that first ‘weekend’ in this idyllic town of Ventabren, that I realized, there wasn’t really any communal place to go to, no night life. I didn’t know anyone other than this family. This would be the same case in most of the other workaways. I had spent the 6 months in Montpellier, a town with multiple universities and tourist town. I could promenade along a street with hundreds of people passing by, go to one among a hundreds of bars and cafés, and found places to dance. I bicycled everywhere in that hilly town, Mont means mountain, so a mt. bike was necessary to adequately peruse the streets.

As you see in Ventabren, my room was adopted by the house cat Croquette. I was very happy about that.

house cat Croquette

house cat Croquette

my room

Ventabren

my room in Ventabren

hanging clothes to get the hitchhiking travel wrinkles out

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What I learned on My Week Long One and a Half Hour Trip to India

I was sitting in an airport hotel room in Kuwait when i began writing this very long story, for a very brief visit to my destination. I’ve decided to make it since a shorter story. I had sent just my family members a long email detailing my plans to embark on a journey to nature and wildlife, in pursuit of elephants.

I since had spent the last 4 days leading up to and beyond Christmas – which is also my birthday – mostly alone in an office, in a huge building, outside of Frankfurt, Germany; courtesy of the guy whose start-up it is. The building empty for christmas holidays, this huge building hollowed of people, was my home. It was actually the perfect place for the time. The electricity, WiFi, expansive desk and foldout bed upon which I laid my sleeping bag, served my time to continue to communicate and peruse the internet with ideas of where I would go now that my plans were no longer pertinent. I basically spent Christmas and my Birthday in a room alone behind a computer screen; catching up, filing, investigating my next possible moves, reading and writing. Something that I actually love to do, hence a gifted appropriate space.

I’ve been on a continued search of where to go, where to land, that is inexpensive, to create time. My intent is to complete my book in the next two months. That was what I was also after in planning a trip to India. My search there was for elephant sanctuaries and an elephant village. With India out of the picture, I considered hitching to Spain and ferrying to Morocco, to further hitch to a workaway there. A google for an elephant sanctuary surprisingly brought me to France. This shifted my efforts to look for workaway exchanges in France because it feels less risky. I’m going to a workaway host tomorrow in Germany, and have a host in southern France that I’m looking forward to that is booked for a later period of time.

Historic quarter red flag christmas

Historic quarter red flag christmas

I was living in Montpellier France, when I was asked to leave several weeks ago. I had a room with a mother and daughter for reduced rent, in exchange for English instruction to the daughter for the duration of the school year. I didn’t have much time to find a new living situation. I didn’t know where to go. I almost flew back to the United States. Family close and yet far, I decided to continue another intended segment of my journey, to participate somehow in helping elephants in their natural habitat.

I haven’t had income, so looking for any normal priced rental in shared housing in France seemed dubious. I decided to embark on a trip to Africa or Asia, something I have yet to do, to spring into the wilder places of our wondrous planet to experience seeing various different creatures in their natural habitats, while they’re still here.  Before climate breakdown, human overpopulation and ecocide (thank you George Monbiot for your continued fervor in sharing information) clip them out of existence. I’ve wanted to see elephants in particular. I was googling for sanctuaries where I could volunteer, found an elephant village. Tears came to my eyes when I discovered that these as well as potential workaway living/work exchange programs working with elephants. I have written about the majesty of trees, the regenerative properties of fungus, about plastic in our oceans, human corpocrisy, greed, the impossibility of continuous consumption on a finite planet, of overpopulation, of health, various methods of renewable energy and the splendid creatures and life forms with whom we share this planet. I alternately share other peoples’ inspiring or provocative articles or write my own in my blogs.

I decided to take this leap of faith to begin the travel that I’ve intended to do, to the wilder places of this living planet to see some of this splendor, before they are extinguished from existence from ecocide. I don’t like to kill even a spider or a fly. I love all life forms. I figured that once I arrive, the overhead will be considerably cheaper. I had little time.

Still pressured, not sure where I’d go. I write often about ecology and sustainability, with various ideas and potential solutions to matching the need of human power to create community gardens, bee highways, animal bridges, sustainable building and energy resources. I saw a way of creating a win/win situation of matching refugees who long for a home with projects that could be started all over the globe – in renewable energy as well as elder in home care, so that people could remain in their homes and have help stay with them. I thought that my huge love of animals and the natural world could lead me to apply my writing, creative and communicative skills towards matching with groups to educate locals on how to appreciate and live in harmony with the animals around them, to preserve their habitats.
I thought I’d go to a place with elephants. I honed the African safari countries down to Tanzania, however the US State Department had a rather fear provoking portrayal so full of warnings, that I was scared away. I had attended a lecture of an Elephant Dr. of Assam, India in Santa Fe, New Mexico a year ago and had this in the back of my mind since. I lived in Santa Fe last year where I busily working as a substitute teaching for K -12th graders teaching all subjects for the Santa Fe public schools during most weekdays, and working for the Santa Fe ski basin as a 1st year ski instructor for adults weekends and holidays. I loved it.

I have been writing a book that I keep having just small amounts of time to devote to. I have numerous times looked for and applied to artist residencies, but really have never been fully devoted to the task. Many of the residencies or asking for a patron require inquiring way in advance, and with small windows of open times  I had the opportunity this last spring to devote a big chunk of time to continuing with my book, through a friend’s lending me space as an office in his home in Taos, with the electricity and internet connection that I needed. It is a huge priority. I have been continually searching for affordable housing, or work/living exchanges with hosts with internet. And haven’t really found what I’m looking for yet: a group of artists/writers/musicians living under the same cooperative roof; each with a deadline and from time to time showcasing what they’ve accomplished from one hurdle to the next.

The pressure was on in my residence in Montpellier, holidays were coming. I continued searching, now India. Spent hours and days investigating flights, VISAs, vaccine requirement, safety. Booked a flight hastily, because each day closer to the 25th would go up in price. Then started the online application process for an Indian eVISA. That seemed pretty straight forward. I then found like a magnet, a perfect host through workaway. I hadn’t been really able to easily negotiate the WWOOF site, and upon clicking on workaway, of which I’d already been a member but needed to renew it, I found the site sophisticated, user friendly, and plus they list ‘last minute hosts’. I found an excellent match, in the same general area in northern india where I wanted to be. It was a Hindu Priest and his wife and kids who are descendants of the local deity of this Temple of Rats. They also also operate a Camel business. I was delighted and relieved, now having a place to land. All of this took an enormous amount of investigating and comparing and searching and reading and organizing. I had decided to fly out of Frankfurt, an airport hub, because I had over-extended my tourist VISA in France, besides having applied for jobs and attempted to get a working permit.

The adventure begin. Taking an inexpensive bus – a day and a half prior to my flight, because otherwise I would have exceeded the departure time, and I was now ready and willing to skip some comfort and sleep.

I had a long conversation in French with a woman who had been a school director. We had rapport on a lot of subjects. The sleep deprivation had begun. I arrive at the immigration to get to the flight, and I am asked something in German about Berlin. I figured it was about a train ticket, for once getting caught by controllers for not paying a €2,50 U-bahn ticket. The 25 year old German policeman was stern. He eventually walked me back to a waiting area. The price was not €100, or 200, but €1,000. He told me I needed to pay them €1,000 in cash to get on the flight. Uh, I guess the interest accrued over the years. He wouldn’t listen to any explanations, that I haven’t lived in Germany…He walked back to their offices behind a glass wall and I saw him laughing with his colleagues. I decided to take a picture of this, and another man rushed to the door and I deleted it before him. He left.

The other option was 15 days in jail, which wasn’t really an identifiable option, when one has just booked a flight, paid for an eVISA, and made all the preparations. I wonder how many times they do this? I walked to an ATM conveniently located just a few yards away. Typically I don’t get cash from a cc, it’s too expensive. Now was withdrawing a thousand euro, with which the exchange rate and ATM fees added to $1,450. I typically travel by bicycle, and have a loved mt. bike in Montpellier that cost a little more than the lock. There’s a lot of bike theft in Montpellier, I found out with the disappearance of my first bike. I’ve learned my lesson concerning outstanding tickets. I wanted to fight it, and now accept it.

Determined to fight this 1,000 Euro fine

I stayed some days in Frankfurt,Germany upon my return with the intention of getting this money back – criminal injustice. This was now out of the airport police jurisdiction and in the hands of Berlin. I decided to go do a workaway instead.

So, I pay and board the flight. In retrospect, was thinking that this amount of money is worth being able to re-enter France.

flickr_Trip Pics Frankfurt Oasis Plastic plug in Kuwait

flickr_Trip Pics Frankfurt Oasis Plastic plug in Kuwait

I had planned to sleep on my 21 hour layover of the Kuwait Airways at the Kuwait terminal (an online booking of the most inexpensive fare). And was shock delighted, to learn upon approaching the airways immediately and asking about their transit visas, I learned that I was to be provided a hotel and food, due to having over an 8 hour layover. This lead to a delightful series of conversations with Indian employees, from whom I learned a lot about their lives in Kuwait.

My Kuwait Airways experience was marvelous, especially the sophisticated jet that I was on en route to India, and the hospitality I received on the 1 day VISA layover in Kuwait.

Jan. 2018 – featured a complimentary Hilton Hotel room for those who had longer than an 8 hour wait. I was one. Processed a transit VISA there at the airport. The 777 jet was modern with a sophisticated interactive panel: featuring downward cameras, forward cameras, a map of timezones, flight trajectory map and zoom in images of earth from any point on the globe. I was investigating the depletion of trees in the Amazon rainforest at one point. Checking out a lovely unusual feature in New Zealand on a peninsula near Christchurch

Almost every Indian man when asking ‘how long have you been in Kuwait?’ answered 10 years. So I was met with a van taking me to the Kuwait Holiday inn, free of charge transportation from the airport, and complimentary meals and and room service. Things were looking great. The next flight on an equally sophisticated 777 jet with great interactive video features. I had a great person sitting next to me with whom I had a non-stop 4 hour conversation with a bright Indian girl attending NYC, daughter of two doctors, who was full of information and with whom I also had a great rapport. I’ve met wonderful people with whom I’ve communicated and learned a lot of fascinating information, as well as seen a lot of the impacts of globalization; on slave workers from Asia to the Arab countries, families broken up, over-the-top pollution in Delhi…

flickr_Kuwait Airways experiences

flickr_Kuwait Airways experiences

I arrived at the Delhi airport and proceeded to immigration, and now it was pointed out that the papers I printed out from the initial eVISA were not an actual VISA. There had been problems on the eVISA form, when after the 1st pdf file of my passport pic was not the correct size (after i attempted to resize it in photoshop, when I decided to go back to the copy shop, this time a different service woman scanned it with the precise dimensions that i stated. My error I presume for not communicating this the first time, or realizing that it had to be done initially within the proper dimensions. The form would not let me upload the correct size, now for a 3rd attempt. I contacted the Indian govt office link provided and explained with documentation my case # and so forth and sent them the attached pdf, showing my passport pic at the size that was appropriate. This information was not transferred. I was denied, and I assumed it was because of this technical failure. I was told I could not enter the country, and had 15 minutes to book a flight out of it.

They had no WiFi, I have no smart phone. Upon my continued demand for WiFi access, a young Indian guy with his smart phone was delivered. He became the person supervising and keeping me in check. His phone provided me with internet. I didn’t know where to fly to. I have left things of value at a friends in Montpellier. I didn’t want to fly back to the States. I was beginning to investigate flights to Nepal, where I was told there is ‘visa upon entry’. I was just about at the point of choosing a flight and paying, when the man approached and said, your 15 minutes are up.

He said I would be sent back to Frankfurt, from where I started, on a flight in several hours. My passport was passed from one to another official. This flight unlike the sleek, modern sophisticated 777, was smaller, older and packed with mostly men of Indian, Pakistani and Bangladesh origins, returning to work in whatever Arab country, where they leave their wives and kids at home for years. Another layover in Kuwait, but this time at an airport hotel, designed to be a lockdown, for those without VISA entry status. I met a bunch of people, Indians who are residents in NYC, a doctor and his doctor wife, an IT guy, another Nepalese IT guy, an aging Israeli hippy type who teaches yoga in NYC and who was carrying these Tibetan bowls, which he used for 7 of us to have a healing ceremony, laying down on carpets in one corner of the lobby, with our eyes closed and he guiding us with visualization and sending out tone reverberations of each of these bowls (which probably weighed altogether 75 pounds). The conversations we all had together were fantastic.

I arrived at Frankfurt and was about to approach the steward who had my passport, when a tall, big bellied, borderline disheveled man approached me with an envelope and sort of leaned into me and quipped, why did you go to India without a VISA? You need to pay for this flight. He was bullying and aggressive. It then occurred to me that he must have worked in the same department as these immigration police, who I felt, were using the parameters of the situation there at airport departing immigration to extort money. In such a sophisticated cyber system that they could almost instantaneously track fees, with years of interest rates, how was it that they couldn’t contact me via email, to inform me that I had an outstanding fee? Were they not able to discern that I was no longer living in the country? Or recognize mail delivery being returned? I demanded this guy to have my passport and then asked him what his name is, leaning down to read his name tag, and as quickly as he appeared, he receded.

So I arrive in Frankfurt ready to go to the police, above the police there at immigration, and find that there at the airport are the federal police. I tried to make an appt to reach someone at the embassy, where you can visit by appointment only, and there are no places to book it in their online system. I have a number I will call tomorrow, just to get advice on how this has come to be. I never saw the alleged ticket or anything in documentation. the guy had given me a flimsy 1×2 inch receipt, that surely would have been lost or forgotten, if I hadn’t been immediately sent back to land in Frankfurt.

I am sorry, I think that I have just formulated the blog I’m about to post, as I continued to ramble on to you, telling you the story. I have been waiting for days through the three days of celebrating Christmas in the German tradition, alone in this space, a bit daunted to leave it, because I wasn’t sure that I could get back in, even with the supposedly appropriate keys. I am still exhausted. I have now after writing for the last days, created two cover letters to ask would be hosts if I can stay with them in Morocco, and have begun investigating how to get there. I probably will use the Flixbus voucher I now have to return to Montpellier, where I have to ask someone if I can stay there.  Whoops, just as I waited the last few days for the American consulate to be open, I would have to wait a week here in Limbo for the holiday prices to drop down to their regular price. They appear to be doubled, even tripled during the holidays. And having packed for India, am pretty much ready to launch off to a new conservatively dressed

 

 

I had a workaday lined up, my laptop and electronic equipment with, absorbing all of the information about how to be street smart in India as a single female traveler. Had thought of going to Tanzania, but was scared away by the US State Dept rather fear provoking portrayal. So I decided upon India, and was pulling this decision and actions towards making it happen together in a matter of weeks. This coincided with the death of my only brother, on the 2nd of December and the decision of the last housing situation, mother of the daughter wanting to learn English in exchange for less expensive rent. When she told me, no discussion, that I needed to leave and kept pressuring me, I felt sort of fed up with having the last several shared housing situations evaporate. Money is an issue. I so much want to spend merely 2 months on completing my book, and want to continue to learn, research, absorb information and write my blogs. I thought that since my love is languages and animals and a feeling of urgency about the environment, that I could do cultural exchanges, live inexpensively and live for a bit of time at elephant sanctuaries….I found an inexpensive flight, then immediately processed an online eVISA, then set to contact potential hosts. Found some great workways. Felt so excited to finally embark on going East of Eastern Europe…had found a delightful sounding place to land, had researched like crazy, then had some technical issues with the pdf file of my passport not being clear, because it had not been properly scanned and digitized the 1st time and when I realized that I needed to do this again, it was now the 3rd time i was uploading the pdf pic of my passport and the reform kept saying ‘you already uploaded this’. I nevertheless sent the resized form to this office along with all of the documentation, and departed. I met a wonderful woman with whom i gained a lot of information and exchanged a lot on our ride on this inexpensive bus lines. Shared considerably a lot between our points of view of education….I had been doing so much research, so much, about where…how, guests of when. Then I arrive in Frankfurt, Germany airport hub, found a great cafe to do yet more investigating of the train station the new host informed me i needed to take on this long journey, after arriving in the int’l New Delhi airport, also a hub. I get to customs, and this 25 or younger hardliner, stern, police officer working at customs at the airport, when I was there with enough time to look at prices for the electronic equipment i want to purchase either there or in Delhi to not fry my laptop with unstable electric currents, and he basically says, about this ticket i didn’t pay, for a metro Berlin rail ticket, maybe i was given a fine for €35 euro or something. He said, you can’t get on the flight unless you pay €1,000 dollars. WHAT! this girl here is so fucking frugal i can live on 1,000 for 6 months. I never eat out, i have bought 2 beers in bars, way over my budget. i’m the purchase a can and drink it in the park to save money kinda gal. So, then he escorts me to this back waiting room where about 10 other officers were mingling about. I said, okay, and i was speaking in German, that this must have been something that accrued, over 5 or 6 years. what? he said, either pay me 1,000 in cash or go to jail for 15 days. I would have taken jail, but I just spent a GINORMOUS amount of time and effort to finally make moves towards this dream. So, angry, but naturally one can not reveal anger to an officer, tears starting to stream. The clock ticking. Investments and contacts and huge effort already made, basically thinking that the school year deal that this family had now suddenly retracted, left me with just not the funds to pay rents…..What got me was that this guy then behind the glass walls of the police desks, was laughing. I took a picture, and another officer almost ran out to me to grab my phone, and i deleted the pic in front of him. I mean, for me 100 dollars is extravagant. I realize now, and after sitting on the flight with a very bright Indian girl going to NYU who was returning to India for her winter break, that this is not something I’m just going to let slide. 

I never do. I wrote to Verizon wireless once in a complaint letter signing it at the end ‘Can You Hear Me Now?’

So, yeah, he escorted me to the ATM, and i handed over more cash than I’ve held in my hands in any one time, EVER. yep, i write, draw, paint, take photos, blog, research, have had numerous mega stints writing my book so now it is about %90 completed and I’m so, so into it and so excited and proud and fervent about what i’m introducing in this science fantasy tale with history, geography, science, biology…..woven into it. And this little nazi basically used extortion, intimidation and threats, and then laughed with his colleagues about what he was getting away with as i stood there helpless. Wow, is that ever criminal, super criminal. 

Well, then I have this continuous delightful conversation with the very insightful and bright young Indian woman whose both parents are doctors. She gave me many many insights into the Indian culture and places to visit…Mentioning that the phenomenon of males exporting themselves to Arab countries to work is more of a working class phenomenon. Then I arrive at the Indian customs, and basically the Indian version of the German dude, decides that regardless of whether the eVISA was rejected because of an IT flaw or passport blurry, when I contacted them 3 more times with officially explaining what happened. He decided that this American woman was going to have to bow down to his authority. And about an hour and a half later, he basically in a tone convincing and authorizing his boss to not let me in, lead to his boss saying that I can not enter the country. he said, you have 15 minutes to book a flight. uh, what? ok. do you have internet? no. well i don’t have a smart phone sir, EVERYTHING i do, job seeking, housing seeking, communication with family…..is though the internet. He then got this rather hot young guy in a suit to provide his phone to give me internet access. 

Oh, yeah, forgot to mention that after the 1 day bus ride and one night waiting for the flight, then anticipated 21 hour layover in Kuwait on Kuwait Airways, figuring I’ll be entertained looking at the people streaming by, i get a hunch. find a Kuwait desk upon arrival, and it turns out, the airline allows you to fill out forms to be ushered a transit visa, and the airline provide complimentary transport to a Kuwait Hilton, complimentary room, with slippers, room service, three meals, pool. This is a chick who only couch surfers or sleeps in lobbies, as I had the night before my flight, among an assortment of other airport campers, where I also met a really cool young Greek girl with whom I also had an engaging conversation. 

So, yeah, perks like this are VERY appreciated by me, sort of like a Fantasy. I immediately go to open a window, damn, windows in most hotels i guess don’t open, climate controlled, then when I did walk outside, i was like, shit, i can smell something funky in the air quality, so maybe it’s just as well to have a room that has a slight dank musty smell. I was loving life. Got an adapter to use….and the flight was really cool. Excellent interactive maps, movies…complimentary this and that. Yeah, so the green  tree-hugger just massively contributed to 777 chem trails.  

Okay, so I’m like 15 minutes to choose where to go? uh, okay, do i return? do i Nepal, okay, yeah, Nepal, sort of close. And was starting to configure in my head what I could do. go there, apply for the eVISA again. and then the (was just about to use another pejorative term for the supervisor) dude returns to say, times up, too late, what? so when he said, 15 minutes, he meant it. Now I was too late to book a flight, and was going to be sent back, deported from my 1 and a half hour stay in India. Thank fucking god that the airline paid to deport me, rather than now racking up another thousand for a last minute flight. The mobile phone guy was quite cute, gave him my card to check out the blogs etc. and then he walked back to say are you on FB? which appears to be a very heavily used network, because this was the same question of the young Indian woman who was among our group at the airport (tremendously more shabby) hotel where we (some new fabulous people i connected with who had missed their connecting flight to NYC) mostly Indian, a couple who are doctors, an IT guy father, another Nepalese IT guy and an Israeli yoga teacher who did a Tibetan bell healing ceremony with all 7 of us in the corner of the Kuwait airport lobby in the hooka area, where we laid down and he performed this ceremony. As this time none of us had transit VISA’s as i had had the 1st time around, we were sort of in ‘hotel arrest’, that is, no one in this hotel could walk outside, security, security, like i’ve never seen. Ganesh, the IT guy living in New Jersey reminded me that India hadn’t existed previous to its creation by the British. It had been a collection of separate city-states, each with their own language…of which there are approaching 300 or more. And that not only may there be religious clashes, but regional. Sushi, the NYU girl mentions that there’s sort of a disdain between those of northern and southern India. The north are fairer skinned and the south have a higher literacy rate. She also mentioned that the students that populate the student body of NYU in Manhattan (which has campuses all over the world including Ghana) are first in number, Chinese, second Indian and then the down home American students.

It was a series of meals and fantastic conversations among our little group who found one another who really quite connected. So, I’ve learned a lot, more than I have time to go into here, except that I see MASSIVE pollution. I mean Kuwait, like i said. Delhi, was unfuckingbelievably polluted now in the morning. I mean, as this plane was taking off today, now on a smaller, and more shabby and much less sophisticated plane, it was filled with mostly Indian, Pakistani and Bangladesh men, coming to work, in their quasi slave labor for the wealthy Arabs. 

I found out after asking, i always ask a lot of questions, that one Egyptian guy here, 10 years, and Indian guy from Kerala, here 10 years, uh, each with children and wives. What, you mean India is filled with women and their babies and all the men are abroad, for TEN YEARS? MY NEXT QUESTION, WHO ARE serving as THE PROSTITUTES? Well, I wound up chatting with the Kasaskstan (sp?) and Indian flight stewardesses at length in their service area. They told me of the Kuwait women, many many wearing toe to hijab designer clothes, yes, even the head scarf, and that the the Arab men technically can have several wives. And that the women in their black burkas, with only a slit revealing the eyes, also sport having different boyfriends and no one ever knows who is walking behind this head scarf. And they described a few times that a women is sitting down in seat 32 K or whatever in a black burka, then they come back and there’s a woman with a low cut top, mini skirt, high heels and tons of makeup. And they say, where’s the…oh, it’s her. She went into the bathroom on the flight and returns to her seat on her way to Paris, giving her phone number to whomever. It was hysterical listening to them. They had a lot of insights. I listened to cross-cultural comparisons of the woman from Kurdistan, (i may be saying the wrong  name) but a country that was once Russia, and hence she knows Russia and her own language better than English, and looks Chinese or Siberian! Then the two of them went on to describe that it’s young Indian girls who are the prostitutes, with a high turnover rate. And that it really sort of is slave labor, the Kuwaitis or Qutarians will hold onto the passports of the of their workers, and treat them like shit in some cases, and because they have no rights or ability to leave, they are stuck in these conditions. 

So, wow, I’m so tired that earlier today i had to make sure my laptop was on my little bedside table and not my lap, because i kept nodding out. And now, though i thought i was going to go to bed at 9pm. Our dinner gathering among these delightful mostly Indian native people and the Nepalese and Israeli (looking very much like a hippy) dude who performed this ceremony after our dinner conversations, now has turned into me deciding with my endorphins from sleep deprivation to begin to write. 

I first started to look at workaways, because frankly, i don’t have a clue of what i’m going to do or where I’m going to live. However I do know that I wish to complete my book, and that I have diversified interests and skills, health and strength to contribute to workaway or WWOOF projects, as long as they guarantee internet (necessary in research and writing the ebook) and can offer the time left over from the 5 hours/day 5 days a week to focus on full-steam ahead on the book. It’s cold everywhere, south of france, morocco, germany, and yeah. that’s what’s going on. 

So I’ve just had numerous conversations with all sorts of insights arriving from smart people contributing their ideas and experience. 

And do you know what? The developing and industrializing nations who are outsourced from imperial capitalists and corporate globalization, is just redistributing the dirt, grime and destruction and massive pollution that comes form construction and industry, and is just dumping it into the rest of the worlds back yards, not to mention tearing up social fabric, splitting up families who can’t get buy with the prices of the GDP affecting their now countries. and the Western Northern imperialists and affect of globalization is choking up the entire world. 

 

It is time for people to stop looking the other way. This is ALL OF OUR PROBLEM. In fact, I can’t believe that morally, business and politics can turn a blind eye. I googled before departing for my one hour and a half India trip, and learned that the Indian Prime Minister, like the US Orange MisFit each are in the pocket of industry. Preferring lining pockets for the GDP and forgetting the decency and morality and conscience of what ruin and spoil their actions of profit, for profit alone, are doing to the planet. When the plane was this morning rolling onto the waiting path of the runway and you COULD NOT SEE 20 YARDS, frankly, not EVEN 10 YARDS VISIBILITY out the window of the jet due to pollution. I just thought, oh my fucking god. what are we doing? As long as no one knows, know one cares. Not in my back yard, not my problem. PEOPLE THIS WAS A HORRIFIC WAKEUP CALL. and yeah, appropriate to tack on this handy international real-time pollution index. Looks like i have to wake up in 2 and a half hours, but hey, I had to get this out there. 

Here’s a good indicator to follow, a real-time global pollution index, to perhaps guide you with a more informed decision of where you may wish to head to next. http://aqicn.org/map/india/

Real-time International Air Polllution Index aqicn

Real-time International Air Polllution Index