2 Videos in 3 Days! Praise the FSM! Arrr!

Yes, that is the great leap forward! I will attempt to produce 2 Videos in 3 days.

The FSM, in its unending glory, has delivered my bowels from their wavering consistence.

Pasta Nobiscum,
Pasta Infinitum
Pasta Arrabiatum,

As I'll continue my travels soon (towards the east, Jhapa) I'll have to finish my work before that. So I shall work like the madman that I am for the next three days, and deliver 2 (two) new episodes of that all-time classic, dave's away. Orrr I'll be beaten by reactionary power shortages, but hey, that's what generators are for.

So, I'll write no more and get to work!



Production Delays - yet again

Ahrgh, part two of the video was supposed to be nearing completion about now. But I´m missing my own deadline because, apparently, a few Amobea have found my belly to be nice living quarters. 

So, at the time, I´m a bit down and out and not all that productive. The Antibiotics will prevail, however, and I´ll be up and running in at least two to three days. (Not 23 days, hopefully).

Hasta la victoria - ¡Siempre! you bloody white bloodcells. 
Get on with the fight and kill! Eat! Absorb!

dave down 
*and out.


dave´s away EP II : The Journey to Enlightenment

Oh yes, dear followers, friends, family, freaks, felons and other interested parties: 
The DAVE has been enlightened. 

And he will share his wisdom. 

Yet another happily bullshit-filled episode of dave´s away. Footage taken from the mountains between Trisuli and Ghurka, Nepal. No Bulls or Goats where eaten during the production of this video, but they where interviewed and slightly annoyed. 

We had some chicken, though. 


Madness. Fiction, Reality and Bullshit.

Well, I got bored after some time at the festival, so I decided to write some fiction. 

Currently to be viewed at The Dave Continuum  (Click at your own risk). 
If I feel like it, a second mini-chapter/aggro.stream might just materialise.

The reality there was, for many of the participants, blurry at best. Look out for that vid, coming up in 2 weeks or so... Will be fun. But first, I´ll finish episode 2 of davesaway, of course.

Other news: Diarrhea thwarted, Back´s still hurting from sleeping in a tent. 

These festivals do give you a whole new outlook on life. Like, how beautiful it all sounds when a 50 kw soundsystem is NOT massaging your eardrums for a while? And how nice to know that you were in one of the buses with newer tires? (On two others of the party caravan, the good rubbers noisily evaporated after a steep downhill drive. Those drivers sure know when to plan a rest stop.)

And yes. Thamel doesn´t feel touristy anymore. The organizers had the whole crowd of consumer hippies herded to the feeding station, three times a day. Only. Three. Times. A. Day. 
Yes, fixed feeding times. 
(I just decided to cope with it by not eating there.)

The happily participating minority of (mostly male) Nepalis had a good time between admiring the glorious european feminine fashion ideal of wearing next to nothing while bouncing up and down, and selling bullshit as hash to the stoners. 

Yes, actual, dried, bullshit. I think that´s where the expression evolved from. 

enough BS for a comeback, 
d out.


Off to the mountains - is this Madness?

No, this is psyyyyytraaaaance

No idea what to expect from it all, it´s a little electronic festival, and as I quite like many forms of electronic music, I´ll be going there to report on the current state of affairs on all things goa.

Orrrr I´ll just run back screaming as soon as possible. Let´s see what it´ll be, shall we? 

The next vid is almost finished, but will still need some time. Unfortunately, post production takes a LOT more time than filming all that stuff in the first place. So, I´ll be gracing the world in another episode of dave´s away in about a week or so.

So, I´m out for the next three days, 
have a good one, 
read ya, el d.



EPISODE ONE - Kathmandu Kaos.

Here it is, the first audiovisual product. Have fun. 

All footage from Kathmandu. 
All rights reserved, purchased, copied and cleared. Especially the one´s I invented.

My personal bullshit is not to be taken seriously (except at your own risk).
By the way, the 50 megs of this thing took 4 hours to upload. 

aaaaand I´m out, 
read ya, 
el d.


production troubles.

Yeah, it´s quite difficult getting a clear shot if the damn kids are always in front of your lens. Expect to see lots of kids in the finished vid.

By the way, all my visa troubles are now over. Hopefully, this will mean I can get more stuff done tomorrow. 



sex throughout the ages, previous pics (!) and luxurious lines.

I´m writing from the cozy, somewhat thamel-y New Orleans Cafe (kisses for that hint, my dearest!), which offers free WiFi, real coffee and power. Yes, power! (The nepali word for electricity is "line", by the way.)

So, this place will be my main place of residence the next couple of days. Got the visa sorted out yesterday, by the way, and will hike to the nepali immigration office later today. 

Now, for some pictures, for those of a more optical inclination: 

Yes, this is ancient chiseled graffiti, found on the stone steps of some trail in the mountains. And yes, it says "puti", or "f*ck". Apparently, ages change, but peoples basic interests (and forms of expression) don´t.

This is yours truly, on the top of a mountain (quite foggy, one hell of an ascent) next to a Stupa donated by a Peter Steiner (A sibling of the anthroposoph fascist?) of Germany. Most of the people in this region are Hindu, by the way. On the way up, as I was struggling with the steep steps, heat, moisture and my own aching knees, a whole school class of local kids strolled casually up the mountain, hollering and cheering all the way. And this on a trail any school in Austria would never consider for a hike (because of the probable high body count). Somewhat demoralizing, that. 

And now, Sex!
Ah, isn´t this refreshing? Apparently, Shiva and Parvati decided to incarnate as doves, and happily proceed to procreate in the Ghorka temple/fortress. 
This is the dark side of Phokara: Bitumen, anyone? There´s practically no public recycling system, other than the occasional roadside burning of plastics.

so far, so good/bad/ugly - dave´s away.

the cult of "refresh" - frantical clicking for the win-gods

When going to a Nepali internet cafe, frantical clicking ensues. And it's not the porn sites that go into hiding, or even online crack (such as kongregate.com, for example. The net
is simply to slow for that here). No, it's a ritual rarely seen in our western hemisphere:

The cult of Refresh.

The mac users out there might not remember it, and the vista users probably as well, but there's a feature in Win XP that allows you to integrate websites into your desktop. So there's a small item in the menu that says "refresh".

You have to see it to believe it. Nepali "hardware computer teachers", as close to trained professionals as you can get here, are right-clicking and left-clicking at speeds too fast for the untrained eye. And now for the wtf!?! of this>

They actually believe this will make their computer go faster. It says "refresh", right? So the computer will be fresher, and will go more quickly.


rotfl, dave out - happy tibetan new year 2066 everyone!

by the way: wosIsig's "Atheist" is now available with english subtitles!


Kathmandu Blues - generator, sweet generator.

I spent about 8 hours today just walking through the crazy, smoky streets of Khatmandu. Getting the flight to Dehli changed was easy (and cheap). Even finding the nepal immigration office (in order to get my visa extended) cost me two hours and lots of sweat. Tomorrow will be a day of fun cueing at the Indian embassy. 

Argh. If you haven´t got a reason to be for the abolishment of all nations, after a normal embassy crawl you´ve got lots. 

But yes, now I´m back in Thamel, and here, the world revolves around the tourist must-haves, like 24-hour internet access, food and gift shopping. The warm hum of Kerosene-powered bliss envolves your humbly writing geek. 

I hopefully will be able to work in peace for the next few days (besides the embassy stuff) and will provide the first episode of "Dave´s Away" at the end of this week.

so, read ya, loving the comments,
el d.


Phokara-Land. Normality and Insanity.

When you´ve spent some time in Nepal, coming to Phokara lakeside really makes you wonder what country you´re in. You actually do cross a police checkpoint, and the impression couldn´t be any stronger.

Lakeside Phokara is like a really big amount of hotel-and-restaurant architects (sometimes with less, sometimes with more skill) were given a free playground. 
Oh well, it still isn´t Las Vegas (or Thamel, for that matter). It´s still somewhat quiet, relaxed and not too bustling with tourists (now´s not Anapurna season, by the way). 

Somewhere between the tourist who told me happy tales of (comparably) gigantic bakshish payed to the indian police, and the fact that, in the current season, I´ll probably be wet all the time (especially in the south, both from monsoon and sweat), I decided going to India isn´t such a good idea after all. Hey, just one month. For a subcontinent that size, you need about a year. Minimum.

Tomorrow´s back to Kathmandu, and change my flight, get a visa extention, check my indian visa, and then stay another month in Nepal. I kinda like it here.

Food, by the way: Momos. Whether veggies or chickens, buffalo or cheese: Momos are a wonderful variety, with some ties to Newari tradition. The name´s tibetan, however, and a lot of exiles are here and selling stuff. To tourists, mostly.

Getting back to the well-trodden trail has it´s ups and downs: On the one hand, you´re no longer the center of all attention wherever you go. Very relieving, actually. On the other hand, the kind of attention you attract is guaranteed to at least start some attempt at selling something. Anything. Be it a blessing or a bracelet, just buy. 

el d.


Location Update: Ghorka




Ah, yes, Ghorka. The ancient seat, palace, temple etc... of the dynasty that ruled Nepal until just a year ago. Just got here, and was again convinced of the fact that Hindu temples are really boring. All the statues are hardly recognizable because the devout smear them full with red paste. Apparently, the gods like that.

Other than that: Found some rests of an ancient martial art in local dance traditions. Will check that out in Phokara, tomorrow. The Brits (especially their Ghorka regiment) are about as helpful as a brick wall. Quite polite. but not budging one inch.

From the lush green palace gardens, you have a wonderful view over the local dusty favela architecture. Especially from the helipads. You have to give that to the Maoists: at least they got rid of that King.

el d.


Mountains of Ramblings, Ruminations and Ramen.

Very well, dear fans, friends and family,

welcome to the reincarnation of Dave.

After a week in the mountains, nothing seems more luxurious than some meat, power and running water.

This is the f!§"ing middle ages here, people. Yes, some houses have electricity, but 93% here still survive on what they can farm.

No, you eco-freaks, this is not a good thing.

The life of a farmer here is as hard as they get. Which means: Work all day, go to bed early, get up as soon as the sun rises. No, wait, half an hour before.

One good meal a day (dhal-bhat, rice and lentils, some meat maybe once a month), the rest is just toiling away, beating and shouting at buffalos, oxen, wives, kids or other relatives to work faster...

And yeah, there´s nearly no rain (once the monsun has gone, that is). Once a day, mostly in the evening time, a few drops come down.

Something like the mac book I´m writing on now (and have lugged across the frickin himalayas, here) could as well be from an extra-terrestrial civilisation.

They know that something like that exists, but it´s as far out of their reach as the stars themselves.

Coming back to a favorite topic of mine: Food.

The Dhal Bhat in the lower, non-touristy areas is quite spicy, often with a hint of ginger. As you get further up in the mountains, everything starts to get blander, as well as more expensive.

My personal recommendation (and diet plan) for all of Asia: Get the pre-packaged noodle soup (RAmen!, oh ye faithful, RAmen!). For less than 20 cents, this is not a bad deal. Especially if you add some vegetables and more chilly. Yum! This is the safest possible way to eat, and one of the most nutritious as well. Other than that: deep-fried Samosas for less than 5 cents rule.

As to a fitting drink: Why pay about 2€ for a liter of warm beer, when you can get a glass of the local "wine" Raksi (home-distilled corn/wheat/whatever) for much less? Less than 35 cents, that is.

And if you buy outside of Khatmandu, you just might get a quality that doesn´t cause a headache the next day.

Water can be a problem, if only a small one. Basically, if you have it boiled, it´s okay. So the local chai is a good drink on the road (tastes universes better than warm coke and costs less than 10 cents).

This rough price guide only applies to the non-touristy areas (meaning everything except anapurna circuit and everest base camp). If you on one of the big two, expect to pay a lot more for less quality.

Some highlights of my sojourn so far: Scrambling almost straight up for 6 hours (without my 10k backpack) and then stumbling down again. 800 meters of height difference isn´t half bad. Another bright idea: Walking/climbing/freestyling down an unknown canyon with my trusty camera (didn´t get good shots though) and then wading barefoot through the rice paddies.

Ah yes, being a caucasian with a beard, I´m the main attraction at any event I attend. Funny, but can be somewhat bugging if you can´t get those frickin kids to go away and leave you in peace. At the Tirpura Sundari festival, I was the center of a very big group of kids wherever I went.

To my original plan: Finding anything here somehow related to the ancient warrior culture that surely at some time must have existed here is, well, impossible. The farmers simply farm, about the same way they did about 2000 years ago. And the noblemen that possibly once practiced some form of martial art have gone extinct, which is not wholly a bad thing. I did find a wonderful Kukhuri today, though. Forged by an ancient smith in his .. ah, shed (compared to which the old hammers of the Ybbstal where I´m from also look like the frickin Starship Enterprise) and bought for less cash than you normally spend thoughtlessly on fast food.

I´ve not given up on my plan, however, and still want to visit a British training camp and perhaps interview one of the officials there, perhaps even get a demonstration.

Oh, we´ll see, shan´t we?

Now, back to food. Apparently, it´s a question of honour for the farmer here that a guest staying at his home shouldn´t leave the table if he´s still remotely able to ingest anything. The servings are huge, and it´s considered polite to ask for seconds. I mostly ask for halves, and still can´t move a muscle after a decent Dhal Bhat. Strangely enough, my stomach hasn´t started the usual travelers rampage, hopefully it will stay that way.

As this post is far too long anyway, that´s all for now, folks!

I`ll try to have the first episode of my audiovisual work ready in the next week or so. (If I can find a suitable place to edit. Probably Pokhara.)


el d.