Is↟Frequency of Autism linked to↟EM Frequencies of Cellular Phone Technology?

A week ago I was reading about John Robbins and his unique history of fortune and misfortune, when I learned that his son Ocean has twins each diagnosed with autism. A flash of insight prompted me to google ‘autism connection with wifi or cellular frequencies’. This 2015 article appeared, The Emerging Link between Wireless and Autism. I have had only peripheral knowledge of the autism spectrum disorder. Wikipedia states that “Autism is a developmental disorder characterized by difficulties with social interaction and communication and by restricted and repetitive behavior.” It states that autism is associated with a combination of genetic and environmental factors, with no mention among the long list of potential causes of any association with the effects of EMF’s from wireless electromagnetic radiation. I posted the link, mentioning that one would have to view the statistics worldwide to assess whether there’s a correspondence between cases of autism and populations living in the proximity of cellular communications infrastructure and who have a higher use of electronic devices. Autism: Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatments “Autism spectrum disorder is a neurodevelopmental condition that affects a person’s ability to communicate, interact and behave appropriately with others in social situations. It is characterized by impairments in social skills, communication and restricted and repetitive behavior.”

Autism Rates Around The World  updated 2018, the article goes into detail with respect to reports of Autism in 10 different countries.

Autism Rates Around The World worldatlas

It was a hunch. For all I knew, Autism was a peculiarly American phenomenon. The United States has a propensity to diagnose and pathologize ‘dis ease’. A half century ago, medical practices were made up of doctors with private practices. This almost seems to be a ghost of the past, as the healthcare industry has stepped in. The Healthcare and pharmaceutical industries appear to be intimately tied. That is, Big Pharma applies its business marketing to the public directly, by infiltrating print and air waves with advertising. And at the same time, it extends its tentacles into the medical industry by luring doctors in hospitals and group practices with gifts and enticements (dinners, conferences in exotic places) to sell their products. That’s sort of how the opiate addiction was unleashed and silently allowed to continue unconstrained. In the USA, large industries sort of overstep well, everyone else. They squeeze out smaller businesses or gobble them up. And they lobby and line the government’s coffers, who subsequently remain in abject silence. There are no rangers or anti-trust laws to keep them from becoming more and more powerful. Whose to stop them? In the case of Big Pharma, they treat symptoms with pharmaceuticals, rather than giving attention to the holistic, wider context, as one would think would be the medical intention and approach. The Healthcare industry and Pharma are each incentivized to make a profit, rather than to approach health and wellness proactively; with attention to nutrition, exercise and the wider context. They are not focused on wellness, but on selling their product. And rather than educating the public towards maintaining wellness, they advertise their products and cram into small print & speeded up talking, all of the potential ‘side-effects’ and negative repercussions of their chemical products. Their emphasis is on sales. I digress, yet the paradigm is the same.

Verizon Irving TX

The telecommunication industry leaders may be facilitating the same lack of disclosure, in order to maintain their bottom lines. Not interested in pointing out potentially negative repercussions of their wireless cellular systems, they are more motivated to implement their plans, to ensure that the public is completely ensnared in their system by convincing them that faster and more powerful communication is without exception, what the public wants and needs. I display the various edifices and fortresses of the cellular telecommunication industry leaders, to demonstrate their opulent wealth.

This 'Spyscraper' Freaks Out Tom Hanks (11 Reasons Why It Should)

This ‘Spyscraper’ AT&T Long Lines Building, Freaks Out Tom Hanks (11 Reasons Why It Should)

I almost felt a physical impact when I read that autism is huge in South Korea and Asia. I remember learning  a decade or two ago (to my surprise) that various Asian countries were much more sophisticated in their cell phone technology infrastructures than the United States.

Tech-savvy South Korea has nearly as many cell phones as people. A 2009 article! “There were 45.6 million mobile phone subscribers in South Korea in December in a country with a population of 48.6 million, Sung Suk-ham of the Korea Communications Commission said.”

China Mobile International Beijing

SOUTH KOREAN AUTISM RATES HEAD NORTH, written 2011, “South Korea Autism-spectrum disorders affect 1 in 38 youngsters.” New Study Reveals Autism Prevalence in South Korea Estimated to be 2.6% or 1 in 38 Children

 

Autism, or (ASD) autism spectrum disorders, refers to a broad range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech and nonverbal communication.” The epidemiology of autism is the study of the incidence and distribution of autism spectrum disorders (ASD).

Autism and EMF? Plausibility of a pathophysiological link – Part I. “Abstract
Although autism spectrum conditions (ASCs) are defined behaviorally, they also involve multileveled disturbances of underlying biology that find striking parallels in the physiological impacts of electromagnetic frequency and radiofrequency exposures (EMF/RFR). With dramatic increases in reported ASCs that are coincident in time with the deployment of wireless technologies, we need aggressive investigation of potential ASC – EMF/RFR links. ”

This ’18 article reveals prevalence of autism worldwide. S. Korea was absent from this study.

Prevalence of Autism rates among selected countries worldwide 2018, Statista

Prevalence of Autism rates among selected countries worldwide 2018 Statista

The Japanese mobile phone industry is one of the most advanced in the world. A study in Japan controlled for the factor of vaccinations, and yet Autism rises despite MMR ban in Japan Is it a coincidence?

“In Asia, the number of children registered as autistic is significantly higher in urban areas than rural. We don’t know if that is due to a lack of awareness of the option to seek services, or if, for environmental reasons, there truly are less autistic children in rural areas.” Could this infer that where there are less cell phone towers and cellular phone use, there are less cases of autism?

National research studies indicate that Japan and other developed Asian countries have the highest rates of autism.

Autism diagnosis per 10,000 children – focus for health

Woman blogged, Shockingly Higher Rates of Autism and Developmental Delays in Asia.

cellphone usage wordwide

As you can see above, Hong Kong is almost ‘off the charts’ in terms of its Autism epidemic.

Cell Phone Network Hong Kong

John Herman explains You live your life at 2.4 GHz in Wired that, “Most household items operate at 2.4 GHz. Your house or apartment, or the coffee shop you’re sitting in now, is saturated with radio waves. Inconceivable numbers of them, in fact, vibrating forth from radio stations, TV stations, cellular towers, and the universe itself, into the space you inhabit. Inside your home are a dozen tiny little radio stations: your router, internet, bluetooth, garagedoor opener, cordless phone – household items – all run on 2.4 GHz.”

map cell phone towers geoawesome

There are different frequencies for different purposes. For example, an AM/FM radio has a different frequency than satellite radio. In the same way, the frequencies of a cellular phone are different from Wi-Fi, and from Bluetooth. All cellular phone networks worldwide, use part of the radio frequency spectrum designated as UHF (Ultra-High Frequency) for the transmission and reception of signals. They are not radio signals in terms of being able to, or accidentally picking up on, a music station. This neatly shows distinctions, What is the difference between Wi-Fi and Cellular connections?

Do I Need to Worry About Radiation From WiFi and Bluetooth Devices? “The radiation from Bluetooth and WiFi devices falls into the same basic range on the electromagnetic spectrum—between FM radios and microwave ovens—as the RF waves from cell phones. But because the distances traveled by WiFi and Bluetooth signals tend to be much shorter (between your router and your laptop, for instance, or your smartphone and your wireless speaker) the RF can be transmitted at a much lower power than from a cell phone.

Since I use a computer laptop to write, create and communicate, often in spaces connected via WiFi, not by a cable, I wanted to familiarize myself with the distinction between WiFi and cellular networks. Understanding the Difference between WiFi, 3G and 4G “WiFi is the nickname for a wireless internet connection. WiFi technology provides wireless Internet access via the use of radio waves which transmit a signal to a wireless enabled device, equipped with a wireless network card that communicates with the wireless router. The radio waves operate on a frequency of 2.4 GHz and operate on a standard which is set forth by the IEEE which is the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.”

Wireless LAN (WLAN) LAN (Local Access Network) by definition, implies a shorter distance traveled by WiFi and Bluetooth signals, typically not reaching further than 100 feet. This introductory video Mobile Internet Basics: What is the Difference Between Wi-Fi and Cellular? explains that cellular networks have continued to evolve in strength to accommodate the demand for a faster flow of information.

Cell Phone mega Tower, HAARP, Michael Winter

Cell Phone mega Tower HAARP Michael Winter

Cell phone technology has gone from 1G, to 2G, 3G and now 4G (G for generation). What is the difference between 2G, 3G and 4G mobiles as well as networks? “In a nutshell > SPEED.” Each are more powerful than the predecessor. Thing is, the cell phone broadcast towers have a much wider range than WiFi and are sending out much more powerful transmissions from their source.

Michael Winter states in Cell Phones – Cell Towers – Haarp. An EMF Triple Threat “The measurement of a cell phone’s power is defined by Hertz. A hertz is a unit defining the frequency of an electromagnetic wave.”

“Human beings operate at 10 hertz. 100 hertz equal 1 kilohertz. 100 kilohertz equal 1 megahertz. The average EMF emitted by cell phones is 1900 megahertz, with a market shift toward (currently in use) 2500 megahertz phones.”

“Cell towers operate in Watts. A watt is a standard definition of a unit of power. a normal, round incandescent light bulb uses 40 to 100 watts, fluorescent bulbs produce the same amount of light using only five to 30 watts. A WiFi signal from any standard router is 20 milliwatts. A standard cell phone transmits 300 milliwatts. Consider also that radio station WLS in Chicago pumps out a formerly impressive 50,000 watts, and can be picked up over a 1000 miles away with a middling quality radio receiver. The average cell tower in the USA pumps out between 100,000 to 500,000 watts. The writer of this article questions why the towers are so enormously powerful.”

Essentially, we are being saturated 24/7 with many, many thousands times stronger radiation fields than our body is equipped to deal with. Our failure to deal with this onslaught is manifesting in the form of stress and sleep disorders, birth defects, cancer and Alzheimer’s. We are being silently culled, and footing the bill to make it happen! By paying your cell bill, you simply ensure the continuity of a product that is killing, and will kill, millions and millions of people.”

Global Indoor Health Network: Cell towers are harmful to humans, animals and plants. “California Supreme Court Affirms Local Authority to Regulate Wireless Infrastructure. This breaking development recognizes the shift of power toward local governments, and away from the 5G corporate oligarchy operating through the FCC.”

Cell towers are harmful to humans, animals and plants -global indoor health network

Cell towers are harmful to humans, animals and plants -global indoor health network

Published 2007 Wi-Fi linked to Childhood Autism cites a study published in the Australasian Journal of Clinical Environmental Medicine warning that wireless communication technology may be responsible for accelerating the rise in autism among children. “Autism is a disabling neuro-developmental disorder.” It is associated with heavy-metal toxicity. “An expert on the dangers of electromagnetic radiation (EMR):

 

Dr George Carlo headed the world’s largest research program on mobile phone health hazards in the 1990’s which revealed the autism-wireless technology connection following a series of tests on autistic children monitored during 2005 and 2006.

Electromagnetic Safety and Cell Tower Health Effects, states that “The Federal regulations ignore the hundreds of studies that find harmful bio-effects from long-term exposure to non-thermal levels of cell phone radiation.”

The article goes into detail listing what service is provided with that bandwidth.
700 MHz to 5 GHz FCC ID Applications By Frequency.

US Frequency Allocations chart, Radio Wave Spectrum

700 MHz to 5 GHz – US Frequency Allocations chart Radio Wave Spectrum – Frequency bands of operation for the Internet of Things

In 2012, guest scientific blogger, Emily Willingham wrote, Is Autism an “Epidemic” or Are We Just Noticing More People Who Have It?, that perhaps it’s more a question of how it is diagnosed. There are factors influencing a country’s reporting, such as lack of disclosure due to it being stigmatized, or less sophisticated means of doing statistical analysis. She cites, “In 1951, Kanner wrote, the “great question” became whether or not to continue to roll autism into schizophrenia diagnoses, where it had been previously tucked away, or to consider it as a separate entity.” In 2018, Racheal Rettner sort of downplayed the role of Autism What’s Behind the Recent Rise in Autism in the US? “saying that the more it’s recognized, the more it is diagnosed.” And in 2017 Tom Chivers highlighted the fact that A Paper Claiming Wi-Fi Is Linked To Autism Has Been Accused Of Pseudoscience “Published in the respected journal Child Development, by Cindy Sage and Ernesto Burgio, titled “Electromagnetic Fields, Pulsed Radiofrequency Radiation, and Epigenetics: How Wireless Technologies May Affect Childhood Development.” was completely attacked and dismissed.

Certainly some articles published reflect a bias towards downplaying the extent of Autism, whereas others are quickly silenced. It depends on who’s paying the writers. Follow the money, as the saying goes. Nevertheless, the last few decades of spikes in Autism around the world are not random cases of schizophrenia.

Seems the increased frequency of Autism correlates worldwide with exposure to increased EM frequencies from Cellular Phone Technology – which keeps getting stronger, or so the Telecom Giants promise us.

It was a hunch, that prompted an intuition fueled search.

Verizon, AT&T Reveal Additional 5G Launch (2018) Markets “This is part of densifying the network and positioning it to excel at 5G.”

From a business insider’s perspective, this article Cell Phone Networks and Frequencies Explained: 5 Things To Know mentions that the four major networks in the U.S. are Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile. 4G is often up to 10x faster than 3G — with speeds commonly between 20Mbps and 50Mbps (which is really fast). The United States is broadly covered by both 3G and 4G LTE technology. The next generation cellular network-5G-promises speeds between 10 and 100 times faster than 4G LTE.

Why? Do we need to encase our minds and focus our attention in a virtual world, as we continue to maim and disfigure this one?

The Answer: don’t let the cell phone provider companies whose towering glass edifices in every major city, like Oz, shiny and powerful, dictate an infrastructure mania to have ever faster and more powerful waves for your convenience and your purse – as you continue to pay them for each new model and upgrade. Perhaps what is lethal beneath their shiny, buildings and the shiny devices, is that their ultimate goal is to maintain their profits and control.

Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation

Huawei technologies Mexico

China Mobile Ltd. CNET

Japanese Yokohama F.M. Broadcasting Co. Ltd. building

Perhaps as tobacco companies concealed the dangers of smoking cigarettes, and that among other companies, General Motor’s intention was to dismantle the infrastructure of street cars & train transportation in the USA to make room for the tire and automotive industries, and that for 40 years the petroleum giants have known indisputably the hazards of burning fossil fuels, kept that information from the public, the association of autism with cell phone technology is not spoken about. I wonder if the CEO’s of the various cellular companies dominating the international market, have cell towers right next to their multimillion dollar homes, or if these tend to be in more lower income neighborhoods? I doubt it. And the writer of Cell Phones – Cell Towers – Haarp. An EMF Triple Threat, Michael Winter did as well. He shows a map of a wealthy neighborhood and the corresponding map of the absence of cell towers in that precise region. I did my own brief research. I found the wealthiest county in the USA, Loudoun County, Virginia near Washington D.C. and then used this tool to locate the cell phone towers in the region, https://www.cellmapper.net, and my map comparison also showed an absence of towers in that county.

These towering, windowless, bomb-proof cellular communications buildings are in under-the-radar partnership with the NSA.

These towering, windowless, bomb-proof cellular communications buildings are in under-the-radar partnership with the NSA.

Written by Melissa Parietti, https://www.investopedia.com/articles/markets/030216/worlds-top-10-telecommunications-companies.asp, “The world’s top 10 telecommunications companies each have a market value of more than $50 billion. Servicing the world’s ever-growing telephone and wireless connection needs, the telecommunications industry is forecast to continue to expand operations on a global level. More individuals in emerging markets are signing up for telephone and Internet contracts, while new telecommunications technologies in developed nations are expanding providers’ pre-existing customer bases.

China Mobile Ltd.
2) Verizon Communications Inc.
3) AT&T Inc.
4) Vodafone Group plc
5) Nippon Telegraph & Telephone Corporation
6) Softbank Group Corp. Japan
7) Deutsche Telekom AG
8) Telefonica S.A.
9) America Movil
10) China Telecom

This website allows the public to locate cell phone towers worldwide. Cell Tower Location Maps for each State

http://www.antennasearch.com/default.asp

https://www.cellmapper.net

Carol Keiter aka nomadbeatz welcomes donations for her writing, photography, illustrations, eBook & music composition

The PayPal donation button functions in Safari and Firefox, however is broken in Chrome.

PayPal Donate Button

blogger, portrait drawer, painter, photographer, musician, composer

Zayne Cowie – Goodbye Earth | Yuval Harari – Master Storytellers are Bankers | Andreas Weber – Economy of the Commons | E. O. Wilson – Half-Earth Project

Zayne Cowie wrote this book which he presents in video. ‘Goodbye Earth’: A Story for Grown-Ups

Goodbye Earth, Zayne Cowie

‘Goodbye Earth’: A Story for Grown-Ups

Goodbye, Earth written by 9 year old Zayne Cowie on the travesties, grown-ups, mis-management

‘Goodbye Earth’: A Story for Grown-Ups by Zayne Cowie

Goodbye, Earth written by 9 year old Zayne Cowie on the travesties of grown-ups mis-management leading to climate catastrophe

It appears that an answer to the dilemma of our economic and political system that has been thriving in the past century due to the power of its agreed upon valuation of money over natural resources and the natural world, is the need to use our hearts and minds to create a new system. A system which recognizes and values all life forms and the resources upon which they all depend. Integrally connected and interdependent, requiring clean water, air, soil and the right to life and to wander on the planet. I don’t think that humans have the right to choke the planet with plastic, deplete the spoil and spoil the water and air. This and warming the planet are ecocide. George Monbiot says, Heating the Planet is an Ecocrime.

In my digesthis.wordpress blog Israeli historian, Yuval Harari talks about the power of human stories. Beyond our objective reality, humans have contrived fictional realities and entities, which dictate actions upon which all life depend.

Harari states in his Tedtalk on the rise of humans that “the master storytellers are the big bankers, the finance ministers, the prime ministers. They tell us a very convincing story and if everyone believes this story, it actually works.”

“Money is the most successful story ever invented and told by humans; it is the only story everybody believes.”

Species all over the planet are critically endangered due to human population increase, territory intrusion, human industrial policies regarding food, housing, energy and transportation demands as well as their tendency to continuously promote war and military might. These activities have damaging repercussions on the health of both humans and the habitats they encroach upon and destroy.

All of creation is dependent upon the decisions made by fictional entities, the storytellers (banks, corporations, governments, religions) and their fictional content (money, shares, development, GDP).

Harari eloquently reveals that “The most important actors in the global economy presently are companies which are legal fictions. Corporations mostly want to make money. And our capitalist system is one built on growth as measured by the Gross Domestic Product. Unfortunately, this hasn’t been the healthiest manner of cooperation with the ecosystem of the earth.

George Monbiot published ‘Common Wealth‘ in the Guardian 27th September 2017, subsequently in his blog. “Hope lies with a great, neglected sector of the economy, through which we can create a system that is neither capitalist nor state communist.”

Andreas Weber The Biology of Wonder cover

Andreas Weber The Biology of Wonder cover

The German biologist, philosopher and nature writer Andreas Weber recognizes the interconnectedness of humans to nature. In his talk at the conference on “Economics and the Common(s): From Seed Form to Core Paradigm” Weber mentions that though we can maintain aspects of our modus operandi of the age of enlightenment, we need to make a paradigm shift to enlivenment; seeing all life in continuous interrelationship.

“In our question of “what is life?”, we need to look beneath the ‘operating system’ engendered by the enlightenment in which things, life, humans are measured according to efficiency, competition and egoistical agents. This approach is cutting things down into blocks, separate parts, into arbitrary entities and dead objects. What is missing is that there are no feelings involved.”

This is where Andreas Weber draws the distinction between the repercussions of the enlightenment, in which nature and species have been commodified. “life, humans are measured according to efficiency, competition and egoistical agents. This approach is cutting things down into blocks, separate parts, into arbitrary entities and dead objects. What is missing is that there are no feelings involved.”

We need to create a paradigm shift, Weber states “we need a new bios, enlivenment; stressing the expressive and experiential qualities of being alive. Instead of looking at nature and life in a causal way, when we see things as they are, they are constantly changing, in an unfolding process of freedom, autonomy and value. Every commons is a material and knowledge commons.”

Enlivenement – we are feeling beings who wish to feel meaningful experiences within a community of other beings.

He recognizes that the wealth and extent of human experience and awe and wonder contributes to the emotional and spiritual health of humans beings. We need the richness of diversity for the wealth of experience in feeling.

Andreas Weber’s book describes how he wishes the world to see natural living systems.

He claims, “Nothing is more open-source than DNA.“

The economy of the commons is naturally anti-capitalist. From within a cell to a whole organism, all life is in compartments with its own boundary. However it’s not a wall, but a permeable boundary, in which the inhabitants are continuously interrelating and crystalizing into a whole, a unity. Quantum physics demonstrates that we affect the outcome of the experiment by observing. When we’re talking about the biosphere, ecology, economy, we are always talking about ourselves.

E.O. Wilson extends this recognition of the importance of the commons, to half of the entire planet devoted to other species. To provide half of the earth for the species whose habitats have been rapidly depleted by the human community and their development, military exercises and energy extraction policies.

“Unless humanity learns a great deal more about global biodiversity and moves quickly to protect it, we will soon lose most of the species composing life on Earth.” – E.O. Wilson

Edward O Wilson proposes the Half-Earth project
Devote Half the Surface of the Earth to Nature

Designing an interactive means for all of us around the planet to participate in protecting the flora and fauna of our globe. https://www.half-earthproject.org/pledge-support/

Let’s help him! We can all do this together! Half-Earth is a call to protect half the land and sea in order to manage sufficient habitat to safeguard the bulk of biodiversity

Half-Earth Edward O Wilson Devote Half Surface of Earth to Nature

Edward O Wilson Devote Half Surface of Earth to Nature

 

Half-Earth Project Maps

Half-Earth Project Maps

Take the Half-Earth Pledge, Learn, Care, Act

Take the Half-Earth Pledge Learn Care Act

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

Carol Keiter aka nomadbeatz welcomes donations for her writing, photography, illustrations, eBook & music composition

 

 

 

 

 

The PayPal donation button functions in Safari and Firefox, however is broken in Chrome.

PayPal Donate Button

Carol Keiter

 

Care for the Natural World – Treat it with Respect and Reverence | The Duke of Cambridge interviews Sir David | WEForum

Sir David Attenborough interviewed by Prince William aka the Duke of Cambridge, at the World Economic Forum, in Davos – the 22nd to 25th of January. Prince William has very thoughtful and prescient questions. It’s evident that Princess Diana’s son is very in touch with what is essential, and is bringing these points out in his interview to the esteemed Sir David Attenborough, who has a great deal of wisdom to share (working 70 years bringing the natural world to people’s homes through television and documentaries).

Sir David Attenborough interviewed by Prince William, HRH Duke of Cambridge

Sir David Attenborough interviewed by Prince William, HRH Duke of Cambridge

I think this should be required listening, required in schools and by world leaders, especially the bimbo in the Whitehouse and any Republican climate science deniers. Sir David Attenborough says,”presently we’re living in the paradox, in which there have never been so many people out of touch with the natural world (more than half of the worlds population live in metropolitan areas), and yet every breath of air and every mouthful of food that we take comes from the natural world. if we damage it, we damage ourselves. The essential part of human life is a healthy planet. We are in danger of wrecking that.”

Asking what he wishes to communicate to the audience of global leaders, Sir David Attenborough responded.

“Care for the natural world. Treat it with respect and reverence. The natural world is the source of all wonder. The future of the natural world is in our hands. We have never been more powerful or populated. We can wreck it with ease, and without even realizing that we’re doing it.

We wreck it, we wreck ourselves. DO NOT WASTE THE RICHES OF THE NATURAL WORLD ON WHICH WE DEPEND. Do not throw food away, do not use energy wastefully. THIS DISASTER OVERTAKING THE WORLD STARTED IN BRITAIN IN THE 18TH CENTURY, THE INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION. > THE AIM WAS TO CONQUER THE NATURAL WORLD, SHOW OUR MASTERY, WHICH WAS TO DESTROY IT. We know better now. It is time to act.

Borders on Vox | Johnny Harris Filmmaking & Journalism Excellence

Suddenly he was popping up on Facebook. He was in China and Hong Kong specifically for a while, now at the border between Columbia and Venezuela.

Johnny Harris, Borders, Senior Producer, filmmaker, journalist

Johnny Harris Borders Senior Producer filmmaker_journalist

The theme Borders couldn’t be more appropriate in today’s world. I read that the senior producer of Border, Johnny Harris, has a BA in international relations from Brigham Young University and an MA in international peace and conflict resolution from American University, each based in Washington D.C.

Johnny Harris, Borders, Prod, Filmmaker, Journalist, Vox

Johnny Harris Borders Producer Filmmaker Journalist Vox

Here is his current most recent video, on the other side of the globe from China, in South America.

Borders, Vox, Johnny Harris, Colombia, Venezuelans

Why Colombia has taken in 1 million Venezuelans

 

I’m posting a blog about him so that more people can become aware of his series. I think he’s an excellent journalist, weaving in history, talking to people. I see that he asks locals with any historical information they deem appropriate to his videos, to offer their insights. He’s obviously got a nice tool, a camera attached to a drone which makes for some fantastic footage. And his series on Borders couldn’t be more appropriate at this time.

Let’s Act Differently-Embrace All Life-Change Habits-Incite Responsibility-Share Incentives

I am sending this letter today, right now, to one after another individual and group on the list included at the bottom. Talk about complete transparency. I want each to realize who all the recipients are, so that they may also add to the list. I need a job, and this is what comes to mind; gathering many to coordinate education at the grass roots level, that all of us can participate in.

I’d like to work with you in starting a global, grass-roots educational campaign – coordinated between all – re: ecological emergency; informing and inspiring public response to changing habits and actions.

Hi, 

I would like to work with you towards shifting peoples’ perceptions from complacency to fully recognizing how their actions and habits make an impact on their immediate surroundings and cumulatively affect climate change. Offering education and incentives that people can relate to, to guide them to think and act differently. An edutainment campaign which reaches to the public to give them a voice, through asking them to participate in providing ideas, questions, answers and listening to their responses. The idea, that by allowing people to engage and participate, they will feel more connected, more empowered and motivated, more responsible, and feel excited and involved as they watch how their messages like waves, ripple to bring other people together. 

I don’t believe anything can happen unless everyone is involved. That’s why I’m writing to each of the (individuals and organizations) resources of information I’ve valued and whose messages I’ve shared. Altogether about 40 at the moment. In fact, I’ve just decided to include the entire list of who I’m writing to, so that each of you can fill in and add some more people or groups to the list; who may in fact be more pivotal and effective in initiating this. I’m a female American who loves to write, draw portraits, paint trees and landscapes, play piano and bass guitar, and use computer music programs to compose electronic music. My compositions often incorporate the sounds of different creatures: whales, dolphins, penguins, insects and birds, so far.

I am ready right now (as I will probably have no housing nor money to pay rent in a matter of weeks and am able and willing to relocate virtually anywhere on the planet) to join a movement that coordinates education to raise awareness and offer guidelines towards immediate action. I believe that by working together, across individual and organizational boundaries, across disciplines, that we could engage the public to respond, as if life on our planet depended on it. Well, because it does. Complacency or lack of information has no place. Leaders and polluters will not inform. Therefore, though the odds may be dramatically against us (comfort over change), we could nevertheless try to inspire a movement of actions from the ground up, for each of us to collectively change some habits, that may actually gather so much momentum that people will start to care about what BIG energy hogs and polluters are doing, and BEGIN to speak out to them. New habits are difficult to start, but if everyone starts to really engage because the same messages are rippling out to the public globally by a team of people who are echoing what you and your collaborators have improvised, there is no telling how a critical mass of people with awareness and action and their heart into it, may start to make this grass roots message really move. 

The idea is to instigate people to re-define their relationship to the planet and its life forms and inspire them to re-imagine a dramatically different relationship to all of life, in which humans act responsibly as guardians to the plants and creatures with whom we share the planet. Messages which convey the realization that our greatest treasure is the life that surrounds us, supports us and delights us on earth; containing inspirational guidelines as to how we can change our habits, to live in harmony with other life forms and feel their value; the natural cycles, beauty of flora and fauna and fertility of the earth. You could say I’m an idealist. 

I’m primarily concerned with the loss of well, everything, all life with which we could live in harmony. Defenseless species of plants and animals lose habitats through the encroachment of humans, their residual noise, air and water pollution, chemical poisoning and the formidable elephant in the room, global warming, for which human behavior and industry are responsible. A trend which could collapse all systems on earth that have sustained life as we have known it. Given, Americans are the biggest energy abusers, without recognizing their contribution through the demands they put on having ease and comfort. By its nature, the capitalist formula is based on ever increasing profits, measuring success through the GDP, without factoring whatsoever, the health and well-being of all systems on the planet. This perception and motif has been perpetuated through the mendacity of those wishing to uphold it, in their allegiance to profit. We could actually shift our awareness to valuing deeply every single species as part of the labyrinth of life on this planet which we share. Effectually shifting from the notion of primacy of humans, to one valuing and being guardians to the sovereignty of all life. 

I speak conversational German, French and Spanish, pretty close to fluent. I love to communicate. I’m presently available to relocate anywhere. I live minimally, acquire a bicycle wherever I live, have no dependents and am healthy, strong and resilient. I gained new perspectives quite different from how I was brought up in central Pennsylvania, though I’ve gathered quite different perceptions of the world through having lived in a variety of quite alternative communities (New York city, Washington D.C., Taos, New Mexico, San Francisco, California, Berlin, Germany where I lived for 7 years altogether, Paris and Montpellier, France where I lived last year for 7 months. I’m adaptable. I’m also a person who has all my life been able to walk up to strangers, approach people and begin conversations. There are plenty of other people who with the incentive to save the planet, would be happy to do the same. I have a strong appetite of curiosity and creative drive to communicate. I have to admit that many of my blogs and music need to be more concise to be more easily approachable. I’m working on delivering more elegant and simple message. I also think vlogs are the way to go, more powerful and compelling, with images and music for people who don’t have the time or patience to read.

My dream is that outspoken individuals and organizations like yourself would actually stretch across each of their own boundaries and work together to create a resoundingly clear and transparent message and movement. A message that moves people emotionally to act, because of how overwhelmingly obvious and compelling it is. And a message that is spread through teams of people who go out into the streets to talk with people and collect information from the public. Messages that are informative, humorous, and elicit community participation. I can help you to create this message, I can’t do it on my own. We can do it together.

Below are links to my blogs, music and book trailer. I am in search of the best fit.

I came upon this quote when I was writing an article in 2003 which I just re-located on my HD. This from an Adbusters article in March-April 2003 Issue, “our first problem is one of denial. (and that) our crisis is not fundamentally one of technology, but one of the mind, will and spirit.” The author wrote that our ” denial must be met with a world-wide ‘perestroika’, predicated on the admission of failure: the failure of economics, which became disconnected from life; the failure of our politics, which lost sight or the moral roots of our commonwealth; the failure of science, which lost sight of the essential wholeness of things; and the failure of all of us as moral beings, who allowed these things to happen because we did not love deeply and intelligently enough.”  

With heart, intuition and intent,

Carol Keiter

carolkeiter@gmail.com

(720) 243-2953

skype:  carol_keiter

social networks:

http://www.facebook.com/carol.keiter

http://carolkeiter.tumblr.com

résumé:

https://carolkeiter.wordpress.com/2010/12/24/curriculum-vitae-portfolio

portfolio:

https://carolkeiter.wordpress.com/2010/11/23/parcel-of-my-portfolio

blogs:

https://carolkeiter.wordpress.com/

http://digesthis.wordpress.com/

I searched under the themes of environment and happiness in each of my blogs, which resulted in several pages in each consolidating articles on these subjects. 

https://digesthis.wordpress.com/?s=environment

https://carolkeiter.wordpress.com/?s=environment

https://digesthis.wordpress.com/?s=Happiness

https://carolkeiter.wordpress.com/?s=happiness

ebook trailer:

https://carolkeiter.wordpress.com/2013/05/23/final-metamorphosis-of-the-ebook-trailer-for-adora-vitali-a-spin-on-the-matter-of-motion/

music:

https://soundcloud.com/more_nomadbeatz/sets

https://www.reverbnation.com/nomadbeatz

http://www.myspace.com/nomadbeatz

podcast:

https://deliciousmedicinalfood.wordpress.com

Recipients as of August 24th 2018:  

Alternatiba
Avaaz
Beautiful Solutions Lab
Bill Maher
Bill McKibben 350.org
Brian Thomas Swimme – Center for the Story of the Universe
Center for Biological Diversity
Charles Eisenstein – The More Beautiful World
Climate Warriors
Collective Evolution
Dalai Lama
Daniel Pinchbeck – 2012: The Return of Quetzalcoatl
David Wolfe – Environmental Defense Fund
Defenders of Wildlife
Democracy Collaborative
Democracy Now Amy Goodman
DJ Spooky – That Subliminal Kid
Earth Guardians
Earthling Ed
Elon Musk
Gabor Maté
Gar Alperovitz – Democracy Collaborative
George Monbiot
Global Climate Action – Climate Network
Greenpeace
Interfaith Power and Light
International Animal Rescue
James Gustave Speth – World Resources Institute WRI
Jeremy Narby – Cosmic Serpent: DNA and the Origins of Knowledge
Joe Brewer
Jon Stuart
Michael Moore
Naomi Klein
National Geographic
National Resource Defense Council – NRDC
Next System Project
Noam Chomsky
PlaceToB – Paris COP21
Pope
Prince Ea
Rob Brezsny
Russell Brand
Save Animals From Extinction
Stephen Colbert
Trevor Noah
Vandava Shiva
WildEarth Guardians
WWF – Nikhil Advani – WWF Lead Specialist, Climate, Communities and Wildlife

Hitchabout Nice – Antibes – Aix-en-Provence – Arles | back to Montpellier

I think it was the fastest I’ve ever gotten rides in my entire hitchhiking experience. Residing in Montpellier, France, I had decided to hitch to Nice, the day before. I had anticipated it, knowing that my sister and her British husband go there regularly to escape the York, England chill. It was these two who had visited Montpellier several years earlier on a regular basis. That put this town on the map for me. I liked the sound of it. When I’d googled the town back when I suddenly had the proposition to go to the East coast from Taos, New Mexico, I learned that it’s the fastest growing city in France, of which 25% are students that emerge during the academic year. I sort of made the decision to go there in particular, and base myself . I was actually still deliberating on whether Portugal might be a less expensive and lively place to live while I was purchasing the bus ticket from Paris for Montpellier. At some point I decided I wanted to be closer to other countries in Europe and also where I have a semblance of knowledge of the language.

Mont_Saint-Victoire Paul Cézanne

Mont Saint-Victoire notoriously painted by Paul Cézanne among others

Nice, didn’t appear to have any available couches to surf on. The weather which has been continually warm and sunny, dropped about 10 degrees with predicted rain. I decided to go anyway. My bicycle had just been stolen 4 days earlier in the middle of the day around the corner from the cafe I was working in. After the initial discovery, I decided it was a gift for whoever took it. They not only got bad karma, but also a bike that didn’t work. It was hurting my knees because the gears basically didn’t move and I had to get off frequently, to walk up hills. Montpellier is full of them. Many at gradients of 55ª angles.

When I’d arrived in Montpellier the first day I asked a woman sitting on the tram near me “where is the mont”? She discussed it with her friend and decided that she didn’t know. My guess is that the whole town is so hilly that they decided to call it Montpellier, which means mountain. So, the missing bike precluded transport into town outside of the tram TAM, so it was as good a time as any to check out some other places along the Mediterranean. Nice, France is really close to Italy and Switzerland. By the time I finally left the house after consulting google maps to know what destinations to write on a sign, it was going on 2pm. The drive is a little over 3 and a half hours.

I strolled to the end of these outdoor tables with people seated there where I spotted a large white clean piece of cardboard tossed on the ground beyond the tables. I was already steering myself towards this cafe to ask for cardboard. Nice start, I had markers. The entrance to the highway was basically right there. This area was a short walk from where I’d currently been living, conveniently on the edge of town. I noticed several cheap bus lines departing from there, Sabine. I incidentally had been told two days previously that I needed to move out by the end of the month, a day after the bike theft. I had two weeks to decide my next moves. That was another reason to make this trip, a few pairs of ears to discuss my options. I was now less convinced that I wanted to stay in Montpellier. The housing situations had been a challenge.

I watched traffic stopping and starting at a traffic light, and was standing right before an indentation in the road for busses, perfect for cars to pull over. I had written Nice on one side of the sign and was starting to write Aix-en Provence on the other, flipping it up for cars to read both sides, when the first small truck pulled over after only a few lights. I hadn’t been there more than 10 minutes. He’d been working in Montpellier for the day and was on his way to Aix. He’s an Albanian man from Kosovo, his name packed with consonants, Xhemil Iveseldaj.  He’s been living in Aix-en Provence among other members of his family, for 40 years. He was returning from his work week in Montpellier where he stays in a hotel. His boss pays for that, along with his tolls and I guess all travel expenses. He works in such a specialized field, that he’s been accustomed to these long commutes for years, sometimes sweeping countrywide. He’d previously commuted to Paris from Aix, and before that by plane to another town. I learned a fair amount about his life and his two sons. He is one of 7 siblings, five brothers and two sisters. He said in Albania the families tend to be even larger. He said he doesn’t believe in a ‘God’ but in nature. We agreed about that, ‘Nature’ is our ‘god’. I asked if he believes in climate change. We discussed it for quite a while along with other topics.

He had missed his turnoff and I was wondering if I was going to be dropped off in the middle of the highway at an inconvenient place, but he then went back through toll booths, and tracked back to the highway where we were now still heading towards Aix-en-Provence en route to Nice. He’d seen the Aix on my sign. Works every time to have a sign. Xhemil always seemed a bit impatient when coming to any toll, as if seconds shaved off his time were going to critically screw up his day. I guess he was simply in a big hurry to get back home at the end of his workweek. He brought me to a good place where all traffic was heading in the direction of Nice.

I was happy to find a bathroom next to an odd parking garage area where on one side there were buses, ironically, one on its way to Nice. I had covered half the distance already and didn’t bother to approach the bus to ask the driver, preferring to hitch. Someone saw my signs and was yelling out to me from the top story of this large round parking garage building. I ignored him/them. It took about 6 minutes, maybe less, for a car to stop. I heard the responses from above as I was getting into the vehicle. The driver was Olivier, a local who lived in a little town with a great view of this mountain outcropping Saint Vincent from one side. He was on his way to Cannes for the evening. Olivier is an engineer, specifically works on plane engines. He lived in Paris for a stint, said he learned a lot working for Air Bus. He still works for them, and was relieved to move back to his home ground.

Mont Saint-Victoire, Paul Cézanne

Olivier says this landmark outcropping of rock Mont Sainte-Victoire, changes color frequently and has been a feature of many painters.

He and I had a nice rapport. We talked the entire time and really had a lot of similar points of view about the quality of simple things in life that give it value. He dropped me off at a very convenient location at the entrance to highways from Cannes. I was sorry to see him go.

My next ride was with a professional chauffeur, John Christopher. He had made sort of a precarious stop to pick me up. I guess as a local he knows what he can get away with. He was going to pick up his clients on this late afternoon to take them to a fundraiser gala event, hosted for wealthy families who were donating money to hurricane victims in Saint Martin, a French island in the Caribbean. He has worked for this same family exclusively for 15 years. He said that this event was perhaps at a hidden location. He knew that football stars, actors and actresses were going to be there among the very wealthy patrons. He described what these evenings could be like, and how he had to always be available for and and all things that might occur. He might have to make the commute over the bridge to pick up one item left behind, or drop off kids at different places. I enjoyed this little scope into the lives of the upper crust there, from the chauffeur’s point of view. A very gentle guy, he left me off before taking his route to the home of his employer. We left with smiles lingering.

Nice, France first shots - pastry and me

A bridge separated me between where I stood where everyone seemed to be racing to their next destination. I’m guessing I was at St.-Laurent du Var by this bridge. I wondered how long this ride would take, since now I was extraordinarily ‘out of place’. A hitchhiker with a backpack among demonstratively expensive cars and high income drivers. Surprisingly, a car stopped. It was Raphael a medical student in Nice, where he also was raised. He looked distinctively Spanish or Italian. He did me the courtesy of using his phone to dial my contact number and drop me off after crossing into Nice to a very familiar cement way lined with Palm trees before the beach. The Promenade des Anglais is where a demented man drove a truck moving down pedestrians on Bastille Day on the evening of 14 July 2016. The Nice attack killed 86 people and injured 458. Sound familiar? The whole area has since been reinforced to block vehicular traffic, involving bringing in full-grown palm trees with cranes.

historical Nice, France and cemetary

I wound up spending several days in Nice, endowed with lovely weather. Took various local rides ferried to different parts on cool excursions with family into the hills looking back down over the city. I had particularly wanted to see Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat.

Nice page 1 of second group inlaid stones

Nice, France inlaid stones

When it came time to leave, I finally noticed a text message on my cheap French phone, an invitation from a friend I’d met years earlier, who had actually invited me to stay at her and her boyfriend’s place. I texted her back explaining I’d missed seeing her text. In a little while I made my way to make a start, found some cardboard and what appeared to be the entrance to highways. I stood there a short time up in the hills. I saw a dread-headed girl across the street who when she crossed, approached to tell me she’s hitched a lot, and if I’m going to Aix-en-Provence, I’d have better luck down standing down by the water – once again before the Promenade des Anglais. I thanked her and walked down the hill. When I turned the corner I saw a group of people waiting for a bus a hundred yards away. I thought to myself, they’re probably wondering about what I was doing. Within several minutes, my first ride stopped. A smartly dressed man in a nice car on his way to Aix-en-Provence. I laughed to myself at how easy I made it look for the people standing there waiting for a bus. He made a phone call to his wife indicating he was on his way. I mentioned that I’d come from Montpellier to Nice and still was trying to figure out where to land. He mentioned that for using English, Aix-en-Provence would have better opportunities than Montpellier due to its larger influx of British because of the nearby seaport. He convinced me in fact. He said forget Montpellier, it’s mostly a college town, whereas Aix has an English speaking presence and a sophisticated flair.

mazza

mazza

 

Manu

Manu

The text was from a woman whom I’d met with her boyfriend 5 years earlier in Krakow, Poland. I was now getting out of the car upon receiving the text, only half an hour or so from Nice and 100’s of km before where I thought I was going. That was a great timed text, minutes before the Antibes exit. I had a splendid visit with these friends and their wonderful feline creatures. It was the therapy I needed, the playful cats along with friendly and inspiring conversation and inclusion.

Edwige and Bernards in Antibes

Edwige and Bernards in Antibes

 

Edwige, Antibes

Edwige in Antibes

Edwige and Carol Antibes

Edwige and Carol Antibe

I departed from my friends and the kitties in Antibes who I was already missing. Once again I got fantastic rides, two rides from Antibes. A young baker, boulanger, who told me stories of his life and his wife and 2 kids. At the moment that I noticed a sign for a rest stop I asked him whether there was another like it prior to where he was going. He wound up immediately pulling over, because he in fact was getting off soon, where the town was so small he explained I’d probably have very fewer ride possibilities than here at this highway stop. I parted farewell from this sweet guy and was walking into the rest-stop restaurant and showed my signs to the people as I was walking by them. They were a couple, and happened to be driving to Montpellier. I said that that’s where I live, but am going to Aix-en-Provence. They said they could take me there, it’s on the way. I hung with them a bit at the outdoor tables after I returned. We had a few interesting exchanges before getting in the car. A huge lovely white dog accompanied by a man entered the picture. I said, ‘elle est belle’, and the girl laughed, saying she has exactly the same type of dog, whose name is Belle. It’s unusual for a couple to offer a ride, very rare. They have to be really confident with one another, and these two were. Thomas and Gwendoline were very animated. At one point I mentioned out of the blue that I’d like to go to Istanbul, and they laughed, saying they’re going there next Thursday. They each engaged in conversation the entire time. We really connected. He owns 2 businesses in (IT), one which he originally started doing web design and the other advising companies on how to work more efficiently. She isn’t currently working. We talked the whole time, They were on their way to Montpellier to visit his father, and in fact he drove me into the center of Aix-en-Provence which he loves, and Gwendoline had never been.

Eight weeks earlier I wouldn’t have been able to understand but a quarter of what they were saying, now 8/10th percent. She spoke some English cuz she lived a year in New Zealand doing a WWOOF with baby sheep! She visited Australia too. She joked that she’s probably more conservative politically than he. He described that he believed the French president Macron would have more possibility to take a center stage in the global political arena. As we were driving into Aix from the highway, I commented that I believe trees may be more conscious than we are. To my surprise, Thomas the computer guy, heartily agreed, saying that he despises that people believe that they’re at the top of the pyramid of life, when in fact all life forms have intelligence. Thomas so much admires the town, that I decided after walking around a bit that for my saturday night, I’ll stay in Aix-en-Provence, regardless of where I may or may not sleep.

Aix-en-Provence, France

On this late summer Saturday afternoon in the street of Aix-en-Provence  I came upon a group of woman doing a spontaneous dance exercise; an an all female dance troupe. They were doing an improvisation exercise in their practice. I sort of guessed that this is what they were doing. Later when they were less involved in any presentations, I asked a few. One woman with eye that met mine with a sparkle in her eyes and large smile approached me and handed me a flyer.

She was in fact the director who organized this theatrical dance art group. http://cie-mariehelenedesmaris.com

I had decided to stay there regardless of not having looked for couchsurfers. It was a Saturday evening, it’ll be fun. I asked the right couple on my walk, who described several different options, pointing to areas on a map I had of specific areas to find things going on.

I went to a cafe to catch up on writing and organizing my pictures, and wound up hanging there into the late hours, with co-workers and guests. As the evening progressed, I was invited not only to stay that evening, but for an extended length of time, if I was demonstrating that I was doing the work I needed to do. I could now stay at this apartment there in Aix-en-Provence with these two brothers. However that vanquished at the point that the one breached my trust, and caused me to launch myself out back into the streets of Aix with the approaching dawn. It seemed like it might have been the semblance of a good thing, if not for the immediate security violation. One of the brothers was already in bed, it appeared. I was ushered into a room, fine, ah, but wait, no lock on the door. I waited before getting into bed with my pully and pack on by the door. listening for a few moments, when suddenly the door swung open, with me standing right there. I’m sure it surprised him as much as it did me; bursting into the room allegedly having misplaced his cell phone. Not only did this maneuver make me feel quite uncomfortable with the thought of sleeping there, but it also immediately dissolved that opportunity. So, I was heading out from Aix that morning, and still not sure what would define my future. This town hadn’t particularly welcomed me; no couch surfers, no housing possibilities and no tolerance for an opening in a bachelor den that was the epitome of neglect.

 

Arles, France, Nice, hitchabout

I hitched to Arles from Aix-en-Provence that morning. Maybe I’d go to Nimes (Roman ruins in both towns) on the same day.  The two cities located in the Occitanie region of southern France, were an important outpost of the Roman Empire. Nimes is known for its well-preserved monuments such as the Arena of Nîmes, a double-tiered circa-70 A.D. amphitheater still in use for concerts and bullfights. Its Maison Carrée white limestone Roman temple and Pont du Gard tri-level aqueduct are around 2,000 years old. I wound up staying in Arles instead.

Shortly after arriving at a good departure point in Aix, a woman stopped in her sleek car. I assumed the boy of about 11 sitting in the passenger seat was her son. She was an attractive, well dressed, middle aged woman who appeared professional, everything intact.  She was on her way to Nimes. The song that was playing on the alternative rock station was fairly pop, and each of the songs became progressively more hard-edged. The music didn’t seem to go with her appearance at all. The volume was so high that it impeded the ability to talk. When I asked, she staccato answered that she lives in Aix. That was my first and last question in an attempt to engage them in conversation. Her son and she didn’t say a word to one another the entire time.  She drove very fast and agilely on the highway on her way to Nimes, maneuvering efficiently. I was surprised she picked me up at all.  I pictured that she was dropping her son off at a midway point in an agreement with her ex, as they trade time with the child since divorcing. I decided that she was annoyed to have to drive him there, the hour and a half, now wait, 3 hour journey altogether to drop him off in Nimes and return; an invasion on any other activities she might have wanted to do on that Sunday. I didn’t ask. I let them ‘not talk’ to one another or me. I felt sorry for the kid. The music was quite loud. The silence was fierce.

Michael Jackson T-shirt, Always Be Yourself

Michael Jackson T-shirt
Always Be Yourself

I’m sitting in a cafe putting these pages together, sitting near the bathroom entrance. Many people flow by. One guy was waiting in line, a tall Arab guy, I saw in between the edges of his jacket a skeleton, and I said pointing, “is that Michael Jackson”? He said, yes and opened his jacket. I said, trying as I could in French, after multiple plastic surgeries that destroyed his cartilage, he’s now a skeleton. He said, exactly. He and I were both laughing pretty hard at this point as he was now walking into the bathroom, since it wasn’t supposed to be that obvious. I asked him when he came out to get a shot of the shirt, which is even more hilarious, saying below the image ‘Always Be Yourself‘.

In Arles I met a man whose eyes met mine from where he was perched on a balcony of this cloister.  I was like, what, are you WORKing there or what? Later we met on the stairs where he offered me an extra ticket to the last day of the photo exhibit there. He’s local. So, he’d waited until the last day of the exhibit to finally go see it. I had the impression that in this town that flowed regularly for most months of the year with tourists, that it was well stocked with woman accessories.  I wondered whether he took advantage of this, and lead a sort of double life. I was sort of expecting that we’d hang out together more, but he had other plans, probably a dinner gathering, or going home to dinner with his family. He bade his farewell and disappeared into the dusk, cutting through this building. Perhaps I seemed too risky, an American woman who happened into the town and didn’t know where she was going to sleep that night.  It was a nice exhibit. I wound up wandering away from the middle aged man who vanished to walk up a hill to find myself watching bats fluttering about and looking out over the valley, and instead talking to some young North African teenagers.

I had wandered around the periphery of the olympic Roman stadium and along streets in the town looking at the sites. I had gone into a lovely church where I learned some history. It was later, much later that my bed found me.  I was walking around a building and saw this little sort of fenced in courtyard that was merely following the contours of the rounded building. There was a low decorative iron fence around a small curved plot of soil, encasing a few bushes and a tree or two. I spotted large pieces of cardboard neatly wrapped up and tied together stacked vertically on the outside of this area. I learned years ago from a French (North African) truck driver that cardboard can be used to insulate from the cold. (Who I wound up driving with through Italy to Germany where during Ramadan, he’d chain smoke and start drinking his coffee before the sun came up or went down, and had packed a delightful gourmet assortment of foods home-made by his wife who packed them for his holiday fasting). I picked up the cardboard, pulled the pieces out, saw that they weren’t soiled and laid them out to form a platform to lay on. I had no sleeping bag. It wasn’t cold. I felt quite safe there and happy to not have to carry my backpack any more.  A pretty ‘sleepy’ town, I didn’t sense that anyone was going to look for me there. I didn’t sleep, but was comfortable. The night before in Aix-en-Provence I hadn’t slept at all.

I had already decided to stay in Arles that night. It was still pretty warm, September 25th, 2017. Later that evening, my resting place found me.

Arles rockin an auberge cardboard style at the hidden concave of a building

It was the last ride, Phillippe Lu, (great grandparents or grandmother came from China to Cambodia, where his parents were from. It was the intelligent conversation I had with him and his power of persuasion, which now convinced me after all that I should in fact plant myself in Montpellier; offering English courses with all the university separate buildings spreading over the north of town. He said I could make €15 to 20 per lesson. He texted his son to get the coordinates of an umbrella organization for all the universities called CROUS. He helped to give me some wording for a sign to put up. I since had looked up C.R.O.U.S. and gone there several times to get as much information as I could from what I’d written down while riding with him. They had info about housing, the university of lettres (languages) and basically I followed through and later wandered the labyrinthe of different buildings that a part of the university, that spreads across the north part of town that had been 50 years ago, fields. When I’d returned to Montpellier I was now homeless and searching through many different sources, mostly online, for housing. It was on the eve of the beginning of the month that one friend pointed out a site I’d already disregarded, judging that it was too expensive. I told him I’d already looked at that one, and it tends towards more expensive listings. I noticed that my friend had fr.fr in the beginning of the web address and mine us.fr, because I had first viewed it from the United States (I started viewing housing listings from the moment I booked an inexpensive flight). Turns out the subtle difference in the website made a huge difference in what was offered. The local listings offered a category unto themselves, anglophone families looking for English native speakers to live with them for reduced rent in exchange for some prerequisite time and activities. I’ve since found the most remarkably perfect situation, a win-win.

my signs for the return trip

my signs for the return trip

Montpellier Zoo, Jardin des Plantes

Montpellier Zoo Jardin des Plantes and street pics

It started, or rather was continuing a year ago in another desert, in the high desert of New Mexico, bordering Colorado. Luna was Bill Light’s dog, who built his home in the canyon 5,000 feet above Santa Fe, New Mexico en route to the ski area. His wife had died a few years earlier. I stayed for several months in a cabin adjacent to his home which he built for his daughter. I lived there in the autumn of 2016.

I quickly became a fan of going on walks with his dog Luna. She was a fan of walks as well, and would actually come over to the cabin and tap on the door with her foot. Wow! She absolutely loved the excursion off the property and a long a path cutting through a narrow valley to the National Forest land. In the late summer twice with Luna, I was exposed to bears. It was because Luna discovered them, and barked them into submission.

 

Luna, Bill Light's, Santa Fe New Mexico 2015

Luna my friend at Bill Light’s cabin in Santa Fe New Mexico 2015

I lived in the cabin next to Bill Light’s home in my first months above Santa Fe, New Mexico where my nice landings began. Luna and I would cut through trails up to the National Forest land and then either move further into the canyon’s or launch up to the ridge. These became my sketching/water color excursions. Luna launched and climbed the hill with ease and I followed.

Bill who had an earlier bought with cancer which had gone into recess, got it again, and died from pneumonia since I had moved out. It’s a strange thing that he was there and actively doing all sorts of things, and now gone. I don’t know what happened with Luna, certainly she was completely at home in the mountains. I hope a neighbor took her in. Besides seeing lots of deer in the late summer and the few incidences with Luna barking a bear and her cubs up a tree, I would mt. bike into town from there, regularly. I cycled 7 miles up 5,000 feet to get to the property. I never used any bike lights or reflectors, despite the fact that there were no street lamps. My eyes would adjust whether it was a new or full moon. i figured it was a good way to balance out staring into a computer screen. I find a bike wherever I go and also animals that I love. Now there are stray cats where I am, and I’ve just landed, with muscle and sweat and help with several bike mechanics, a bike that I am delighted to ride.

Now there’s no dog present like in Santa Fe and the ones I affectionately grew acquainted with and loved immediately in Taos, New Mexico the following spring. There are a bunch of stray cats however here in Montpellier. It occurred to me to look for a used bike at this place I’d become a member of months earlier. Le Vieux Biclou. After asking a guy in the street when I knew I was in the vicinity of the bike shop if he knew of where it’s located, it turned out he was on his way there. There I spotted the mt. bike I wanted, and the following day during opening hours learned of its one major obstacle; a seat post jammed all the way down that wouldn’t budge. Several technicians, pounding and myself instructed to scrape off the rust of the now ejected post, and a day later going to another bike shop to get a lock appropriate for the rampant bike thievery in this town, I purchased bolts to replace the quick release wheels and seat, and was assisted in mounting the lock to the frame. After riding it the second time i realized that this bike runs flawlessly, enabling me to climb any steep slope with ease. Stoked!

I’ve since made my signs and printed them and edited my contact cards. I wanted to get this blog out, put up the signs in various excursions, and begin today on a singular path to complete my book between my father and mother’s birthdays. That’s pretty immediate. The difference, no noose around my neck to pay a rent that squelches my time and psyche.

And as is typical, I ask for donations. Thanks! PayPal Donate Button  Carol Keiter aka nomadbeatz welcomes donations for her writing, photography, illustrations, eBook & music composition

carol keiter, blogger, Nice

blogger in Nice

Climate Change for Skeptics or Believers | Sam Harris Interviews Climate Expert Joseph Romm

 

Two hours of attentive listening. Make the Time. It is so well worth it!

This two hour podcast is extremely informative. Sam Harris directs the questions in a very intelligible manner. His guest, Joseph Romm, an author, blogger, physicist and climate expert, is fantastically eloquent and articulate. Each word he uses, each sentence is jam-packed with information; displaying his knowledge about the subject of science, human behavior, economics and the politics of power and persuasion.

Sam Harris podcast, audio interview with Climate Expert, Joseph Romm

Sam Harris podcast audio interview with Climate Expert Joseph Romm

Sam Harris podcast, audio interview with Climate Expert, Joseph Romm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It is especially for people who don’t believe that Climate Change is caused through the actions of human beings. Yet is even more persuasive and full of facts for those of you who are already convinced that man’s actions are inextricably linked to Climate Destruction. His guest who wrote the book “What you Need to Know about Climate Change”

LISTEN to inform yourself, regardless of what your opinion is.

 

Carol Keiter aka nomadbeatz, blogger, currently completing by first eBook, musician and composer, has no income, zero. I spend time communicating these things, reading, researching, writing, conversing, because I am passionately interested in the subjects of in particular, saving the environment and habitats of animals from human greed and destruction. I have the time to ponder and consider these things, because my world is not centralized around an immediate family; I am single, and ready to engage in any task employing my language and communication skills, anywhere presently.

PayPal Donate Button

carol keiter squinting in the Montpellier, France sun

carol keiter blogger card

carol keiter blogger card

Hitchabout to a casting call for a political satire TV show filmed in Albuquerque, NM

It was a remarkably successful hitchhiking journey to ABQ and back to Taos, with the generous help of friends, who made my sojourn to Albuquerque to answer a casting call job for a day. I write about it because I learned a lot from talking with each of the drivers. Props for hitchhiking, in which one comes across locals who more than likely are delighted to share information about their own region and its history, as well as stories about their own family. The driver’s were white and various shades of brown; Native American and Spanish, representing each race that live together in this region.

Pueblos of the Southwest

Pueblos of the Southwest

I turned down the first 3 rides, intuitively, and took a fourth to the edge of town, to a better place for people to stop.

While in the process of doing the final research, edits and writing and illustrating of my eBook in the final countdown, I received a phone call. It was from a casting company I had registered with a couple months ago, knowing that both of my sources of employment were going to end with the season: in this case, ski and school. I accepted the job, even though with a slight disappointment, it wasn’t going to take place in Santa Fe, New Mexico, a one hour and a half drive, but Albuquerque, NM, adding another hour; a 133 mile drive.

My only choice to get there, hitch. Upon speaking with the representative of the casting company about the potential call time, I realized that I would have to hitch there the day prior, and figure out how to get to the TV shooting site (yet to be announced), by 6am, or earlier.

Turns out that by contacting my friend living there, who was out of town visiting her home town, she responded immediately, gave me the phone number of her husband who then responded and gratuitously and generously gave me his time and the transport and shelter that I needed.

I only wanted to mention the hitches:

It is the second time in my life that I have turned down rides. Both times occurred in New Mexico. Typically, I feel quite comfortable with those who have stopped to offer a ride. I turned down the first 3 rides, trusting my instincts. Another I trusted to give me a lift to a better departing place with more room for a car to pull over. Within a minute of that ride which was welcomed, a man stopped with whom I had a great conversation the entire time. It was my Albuquerque sign in the early afternoon in Taos, that drew his attention, since he was returning to there after coming to Taos to do mold testing on a structure. As I’ve said before, typically the people who do stop for hitchhikers, are as interested in telling their stories as they are in hearing yours. So we chatted about many topics. I learned about his sons, their projects and several fun stories about their characters, among all sorts of things that we discussed.

Turns out the filming of a political satire TV show, Graves went from 5:45am to 10:30pm, lots of waiting time and repeated filming of the same scenes. Regarding takes, I almost felt I could have been a stand-in after several hours, having heard the lines so often. I opted to stay again in ABQ that night and join my host and his son, driving to Santa Fe the following morning to go to Meow Wolf.

drought, southwest, wikipedia

drought southwest wikipedia

On the ride back, I had one after another great ride. First, a gentle, soft-spoken Native American man who is a jeweler who presents his crafts among other Native American artists 5 days a week in the Santa Fe playa. He explained that he was born in Northern Arizona, and I assume that he is Navaho. He said that his parents moved from there, because there was no work. Several times he mentioned the fact that there is no water. He said that one makes a presumption about water coming out of a faucet. They didn’t have that luxury. He said he attended 7 different schools between his junior and senior high school years, because his parents kept having to move to find employment; from Arizona to California to New Mexico. Each of them are deserts which have experienced droughts. He emphatically stated when I asked if he was coming from work, “no, I work for himself, making jewelry. He says he lives behind the hill of Pojoaque where he let me off, happily with his Pug.

The next ride was with a man and his 11 year old son. Anglo, mixed ethnic (Mexican mother) son, he mentioned all of the different pueblos in the area.

He was driving an exceptionally beat-up Suburu, still running like a charm. I went with them on a few errands on their way home. I accompanied them to the Pojoaque

Pojoaque Pueblo, New Mexico

Pojoaque Pueblo New Mexico

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pojoaque,_New_Mexico . There, the son enthusiastically bound into the library to pick up the books he ordered, several pounds of these slender Japanese hardcover Manga (漫画? Manga) books, part of a series, whose storyline just keeps going.
Considering the fact that I’m in the final edits of my own eBook geared towards kids and young (and any age adults), it is quite impressive to see this enthusiasm bordering obsession with this genre. Having taught in more than 2 dozen schools this past year in the Santa Fe public school system, I saw middle and high school students both embracing anime books (pronounced an i mae).

Anime charicters with tattoos

Anime charicters with tattoos

As the father smilingly responded, you have to have a story that the kids are interested in reading! He spoke about how miserable he was working at a local Casino, and that he makes far better wages and engages with all sorts of people who are friendly and kind, in the hotel in which he now works in Santa Fe.

The third ride was with a young Spanish man, who is 3rd or 4th generation Taoseño. He described the struggle that his great grandparents had when prior to New Mexico being declared a territory in the early part of this century, that previously in the late 19th century, the United States came in and basically just kicked people off of their land, who had been living there prior to the discovery by Columbus. Perhaps this coincided or was subsequent to Mexico territory becoming that of the US. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mexican_Cession His great grandfather and a group of others pulled their finances together to purchase acres by land they valued very much, by El Salto. This they did not to develop, but to protect it from development, to preserve the wilderness, beauty and the habitat of animals there, for all to enjoy. We talked continuously. I learned that with his carpentry skills, he is widening doors and making his home wheel chair accessible for his step son, who has cerebral palsy. I said, so you must indeed have made the commitment in this relationship. He is happy to do this, loves his son and is proud of his daughter by his first marriage, who will now work as a dentil hygienist for a female dentist entrepreneur who rolled into Taos, an eccentric and imaginative woman, who has resurrected and improved a number of local dental practices by incorporating state-of-the-art technology. The dentist woman rides a harley apparently. The technology they use, rather than exposing patients to potentially harmful x-rays, is audio sound technology, so that one can image the cavities and so forth through sound waves. Pretty interesting. It’s called ultrasound technology. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23706922

As I said at the beginning, the neat thing about hitchhiking, is that one comes across locals who more than likely are delighted to share information about their own region and its history, as well as stories about their own family.

PayPal Donate Button

Carol Keiter aka nomadbeatz ~ As an avid blogger who is presently picking up where I left off with my eBook to complete it and and beginning again to compose music, I ask you rather unambiguously and unabashedly to please donate, if you are able. !-))

Carol Keiter le_blogger, writer & illustrator, musician & composer

Carol Keiter le_blogger, writer & illustrator, musician & composer

European Hitchgathering Liptovská Mara, Slovakia | August 8, 2013 | my hitchabout

This blog has been far too long ‘on hold’, mostly because I’ve been busy since my return to Berlin, Germany with relocation procedures, updating resumes with new contact info and searching for work. August 24th dates one month since my arrival in Berlin. The day after my arrival, July 25th, was the MayanDay Out of Time”, with the following day starting the new Lunar year. I realized this only in retrospect, though did feel on the day following my overnight sleepless flight as if I was in a zone without time.

My arrival intentionally coincided with the beginning of an event which tipped the scale, in terms of drawing me ‘Back to Berlin’, a couchsurfing event.

In between acclimating to my new location, time-zone and preparing for a short but sweet dj debut at the Saturday night party of the CS event, I began to map out how I would hitch to the ‘European Hitchhiking Gathering 2013’ in Slovakia, which I’d been introduced to through a Facebook group while still back in the United States.

European Hitchgathering Slovakia 2013

European Hitchgathering Slovakia 2013

I decided that there couldn’t be a better way to seriously start exploring Europe, on not a low, but no budget, than by continuing my hitchhiking tradition. As always, I began looking at google maps and ‘get directions’, to plan my route.

google_map_slovakia_location_hitch_aug3

I also consulted ‘hitchwiki‘ in which people share their experiences and recommend the best routes.

Hitchwiki resource for finding gas stations adjacent to cities along highways and their 'hitchability'.

Hitchwiki resource for finding gas stations adjacent to cities along highways and their ‘hitchability’.

And used bvg.de to figure out which stop to get off the train to just exit Berlin, after consulting the Berlin S & U Bahn transit maps. Hitchwiki is an excellent source to see where gas stations near cities are located, with recommendations provided by other hitchers about the hitchability of a place.

Having no accessible printer available, I began drawing my maps, which I prefer to do anyway.

Map of route Berlin to Slovakia

Map of route Berlin to Slovakia

Hand-drawn route map Berlin, Germany to Krakow, Poland.

Hand-drawn route map Berlin, Germany to Krakow, Poland.

Word-of-mouth as well as the hitchwiki site suggested that I begin my journey at a highway rest-stop southwest of Berlin near Michendorf in the Potsdam district. I was pleased to find a busy gas station and other hitchhikers there.

Five hours later, I’d met some of these other hitchhikers, particularly two guys who I learned were from Estland (found out later that is Estonia). They were having similar luck to mine. By the sixth hour I was offered a swig of Vodka from their bottle after we talked a bit. By the seventh hour, I decided to alter my route. Instead of heading to the destinations in Poland that I had already penned out, grabbing some bakery paper at the train station in Berlin (where I met an Israeli guy who observed that I was probably hitching, congratulated me and gave me some fruit & chocolate and wrote down my blog addresses).

European_Hitchgathering_Slovakia_sign_Wroclaw

European_Hitchgathering_Slovakia_sign_Krakow

I now decided to head to this outdoor music festival that was beginning that evening in Poland, just over the German border directly east of Berlin.

Woodstock  An open-air music festival in Poland

Woodstock
An open-air music festival in Poland

I had already thought of heading to this festival perhaps on my way back from Slovakia, so already had looked over the route. I realized that it would be probably be over by the time I got there, so decided to head there first, since it appeared that other hitchers with signs for this festival, had been picked up.

Kuestrin, Poland, Kostryzn is the Polish name of the town.

Kuestrin, Poland, Kostryzn is the Polish name of the town.

Now I held up the sign to go there, with the Polish name of the town.

Kostrzyn Poland

Kostrzyn Poland

Within minutes of making a new sign for Küstrin, Polan (Kostrzyn, Polska) the Woodstock fest, and approaching one car with 3 guys, I learned that they were on their way to Woodstock from Leipzig. They took me along. They were friendly and compatible the whole drive. They offered that I sleep in their car while they slept in their tents, sounded good. Once we arrived to the grounds, they proceeded to unpack their car and set up a table and chairs. I stayed with them, talked, hung out, laughed and we decided eventually to head over towards the festival grounds. Yet as we were about to leave after I’d put my pack in their car, something occurred that caused me to feel uneasy about leaving it there. I grabbed it out of their car and started walking with them as we left. I felt that it was painfully obvious that I was taking it with me. Yet something about the amicable tone had started to morph, I don’t remember exactly what.

Once we started walking, I realized how cumbersome carrying my pack would be. They quickly agreed that I should just leave it in the car. I laughed timidly, confiding that I had had a tinge of not trusting them, as we walked back to lock it inside the car. However, once we started walking again, pretty quickly the tone changed. Two of them walked a few paces ahead of the rest of us, talking quietly to each other. Something about their behavior made me once again feel uncomfortable, as though they were hiding something.

Within the first hours of this 4 day festival, already the parked cars in the fields began mushrooming into a big maze. After walking a quarter mile and getting more and more of a sense that something felt wrong about the situation, we approached a cross-roads. As I was contemplating what to do, suddenly one of the two talking turned around and said, “So, what are you going to do now?” After having wandered through fields of cars and now getting into a thicker crowd, I wondered if I would remember their car if we were separated. I had no phone. Explaining that I’d have to stick by them because my stuff was in their car, the same guy who was no longer smiling but rather short and almost hostile, was confronting me. I had to make a decision fast, we were approaching the gate with a mass of Polish police officers standing in a barricade. I walked away from them and approached a policeman. He didn’t understand German nor English, and acted confused and actually as if I was the person who was the problem. I then turned towards these guys again and said that I wanted to get my bag from their car. Without the slightest hesitation, the friendlier one promptly said he’d walk with me there, while the others stayed behind. I think they were nervous about my action and wanted to get rid of me. Strangely, the guy who had been friendly the whole time, was once again warm and talkative. We wandered through all of the separate car parking lots, and as we approached theirs he asked if I had a lot of money with me. I still wasn’t sure what to expect, thinking that he could even here ‘lose’ me and disappear, but he didn’t. He opened the car and I grabbed my bag without incident. Then instead of just dissing me, he engaged in conversation and we walked back to the same place where his friends waited near this entrance way. I was pretty surprised that he was as friendly and talkative as he was, and actually saying that I should join them, when in fact, I thought that they had been planning to leave me behind and rob me. Ten minutes later we were back by the cops and crowd, where his friends were waiting. I walking about three or four steps with them and within seconds, the friendly guy who was walking and talking with me immediately changed his tone, and was now once again walking side-by-side with the other ring-leader guy. He changed back to being sly and furtive, now that he was back with this other guy who was more of a leader. I was so happy that this drama was over and that I had read their strange behavior and intuited that something strange was happening. And I listening to my gut response and acting quickly. I was now off on my own at this massive gathering, sporting my pack and realizing that I would have to really be alert at a festival with probably already several hundred thousand people, since the combination leaned towards getting ripped off.

Happy to have divested myself from that troubled vibe, I was more than content to come upon the first tent with good sounding beats, where I danced for a while. Later I found a place to sleep under trees and as the sun rose, moved my location to shadows from trees holding off the hot sun. In the morning I wandered towards where the nearby stream was to have a little swim before heading back to negotiate which direction to take towards Krakow.

It was clear that I would miss the pre-gathering in Krakow.

Facebook pre-meet hitchgathering in Krakow

Facebook pre-meet hitchgathering in Krakow

Which I researched closer.

Krakow pre-hitchgathering

Krakow pre-hitchgathering

and made one of my own maps to figure out how to get to this place once arriving in Krakow.
Hand-drawn location of pre-gathering in Krakow.

Hand-drawn location of pre-gathering in Krakow.

Obviously, I missed this Thursday event, since it was Friday already. Once I figured out which direction to go in from the festival, I stood by the road. Across the road I saw two young guys standing and asked them if they were hitching as well, mentioning that I intend to hitch to Krakow. The one explained that they were waiting for his Grandfather to pick them up to have lunch. Confirming my direction, a few minutes later I was just off the road and heard someone call out. I looked up and it was one of these guys holding a map. As I got to the road I saw it was a map of Poland. He not only offered me a ride with his Grandfather, but also I was invited to join them for lunch. I was delighted. We went to a restaurant not far down the road. The two are studying biotechnology in Warsaw. They each spoke fairly good English. We had nice conversation and the Grandfather was very gracious in wanting to treat me to various Polish dishes. It was a very pleasant introduction to warmth of the people of Poland. The grandson firmly stood by his biotechnology choice of study, saying that it gets a bad rap because of the alleged dangers of bio-agriculture. He assured me that this was not true. (I’m one of the people believing that genetic engineering of seeds is by no means proven to be harmless.) After the meal, they let me off at a place along the road where I could begin my hitch to Krakow. The grandson, once again revealing his helpful and proactive nature, came over to talk to the driver of the next car who had stopped immediately. While he spoke with the man, I realized that I’d left my sleeping bag in their car. It was a huge relief to have realized this before they took off and to get it back. When I returned to the other car, as he continued to talk in Polish oblivious to the fact that I couldn’t understand a word, I decided not to drive with him. Thanking him, I got out of the car before he had even began. The two kids and grandfather were already gone. I was unsure of whether to bother making this long trip and stepped off the road. As I walked away, I heard a yell. I approached the van as one guy said he had seen my Krakow sign. The other guy was facing nearby trees taking a leak. When the one said that they were going all the way to – and beyond – Krakow, it was clear that my decision had been made for me.

Both in their mid-thirties, the passenger extended most of the conversation. I felt completely comfortable with them and certainly could communicate better than with the older worker guy whose car I exited. About 40 minutes into this ride that would take about 4 hours, I kept hearing the driver say the same thing. I thought he was saying curve, as he sped along the 2 lane highway, cutting into the middle lane to pass. Oh, there is no real ‘middle lane’, but the Polish style of driving, in which like Russian Roulette, you go for making a pass, hoping that someone in the opposite direction has not also decided to overtake the vehicles in the middle lane from their direction. The center of the high-way of two lanes, becomes the passing lane, literally – splitting the lanes – with some cars driving on to the shoulder to let you pass, and others not. A while into the drive I asked in German what ‘curve (coor vaa) meant. The passenger who was the most talkative, explained that it meant ‘f*$#’ fuck. Not the German word for curve at all. The driver had been swearing about every 6 words.

We were making time, and I was white knuckling it most of the way. It was a fantastically good ride, fast and direct to just outside of Krakow. Despite nervousness about the status-quo Polish driving habits, I felt very comfortable with the two.

Now evening, my last ride from a gas station just on the outskirts of Krakow, was with a polished and professional man who without question gave me a ride. He was dressed very business-like. He works for his mother’s successful hand-painted and hand-blown Christmas ornament business. She had worked for this kind of business during WWII and had lead a strike in her factory against the Russian owners. She was fired, yet wanted to contribute income to her family in addition to her husband. Getting advice and council from her uncle who managed his own similar business, she started out on her own. Her good business skills paid off, with an international business which he and his brother now have taken over. He spoke excellent English and was quite diplomatic.

More to come!! as the evening in Krakow turned out to be delightful…