india

day 64. open source & bloggers in delhi

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it's fun n food village

yesterday was a great day... a wash in new faces, names, scents and foods, i found my self at home in delhi. if you have a chance, click on the photo and see the day unfold.

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morning 65.

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dreams are something i like remembering. flaming endlessly in a sporadic direction, images are scud missiles of the soul.

last night, i dreamt of a world where writing (all forms of writing) faced government control. in this hazy state of existence, mankind's resistance grew from dust bunnies.

long live the revolution! long live societies dustbin.

morning 64.

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it's 7.30 am. the sun's rays are blasting through the window, prashant's domestic help is clanging away in the kitchen making tea, and i find my self singing "it's the end of the world" by R.E.M.

wim wenders' until the end of the world and R.E.M.'s it's the end of the world as we know it (and i feel fine) have captivated my soul since my youth.

night 62 & day 63. a home cooked meal

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fasten seat belt while seated

after yesterday's adventure in the wastelands of future hubbub, i arrived in mumbai. under the cover of darkness, i quietly roamed the halls of the international terminal.

greeted by a plainclothes custom's agent and without any questions, my passport was stamped and i walked into india. within 10 mins my bags were on a stroller and i was strolling into the humid night.

while my original plans were to spend the night in the terminal, things changed very quickly. on the day of my departure from cairo, former CiviCRM stunt man and current Drupaller, Yashesh Bhatia emailed me emphatically saying i should visit mumbai. upon telling him that i was just passing through, he told me that he would be at the airport dropping off his father and that he would be waiting for me.

in the hot sticky air, my bags and i stumbled out into the public waiting area squinting for a glimpse of a face i have only seen via email. tired, alone and without a working SIM, i quickly worked my way to get change and make a phone call.

suited to help you after a bit of belligerence from a guy selling water, a young man wearing a hotel uniform pulled out his cell phone and offered to call yashesh. within a matter of minutes, chaos turned into peace. all of sudden, yashesh's friend/coworker (who's name escapes me at this moment) turned out of the crowed and ushered me to meet yashesh, his wife and three year old son.

driving though the crowed streets of mumbai, we talked about our geek history, the last 24 hours of travel, my time with the guys and gals of opencraft and my sadness leaving them. upon arrival at the Bhatia's family home, i was greeted by handshakes, a seat, a plate and a home cooked meal from heaven.

at 4.45 in the morning, yashesh and i drove to the airport. after a mad dash through the airport, i found myself watching the sunrise above the clouds.

tonight, a floor at the apartment of prashant singh and jitender singh.
tomorrow, oss camp delhi!

google loves me!

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(this is an email you will soon receive if you had subscribed to my email list... if you haven't, you need to do so ASAP...) click < http://groups.google.com/group/luckofseven >

hi, do you remember me?

i have wonderful news! today marks 60 days on the road...

AND with less than 30 days of cash left in my pocket, google has acquired me! YES, THAT'S RIGHT I AM PART OF THE GOOGLEZONE! after a long series of negotiations, prodding and more importantly, chasing google's tail... (ha, and you thought i was moving around to interview people... WRONG!). google decided that i'm worthy every penny to have an all expensed trip on them.

when i land in new delhi, i will be awash in google paraphalina (Hawaiian shirt, "high" performance underwear, fishing pants, camelpak and cheese cloth. the cheese cloth was a special request.) also, they have decided to out fit me with the most state of the art satalite/webcam system. i will soon be wired up like justin.tv streaking my naked ass from continent to continent reporting on open culture.

oh wait, was that another one of my fanciful dreams? the webcam, google clothing and cheese cloth are not true. almost being out of cash and hitting the two month mark are on spot.

in all honesty, i was sick and tired of having $30 USD enslaved from my bank account. so this message is the first message from the new luck of seven google group. you can invite friends and reply directly to me... this new and improved email list promises to be a digested version of noel's insanity, sanity, and twits...

< http://groups.google.com/group/luckofseven/ >

speaking of twitts, if you are not on twitter, you are missing out on half of the story. while the blog, photos and interviews are a curated view of my life on the road... twitter is turing out to be the background on the background. sometimes you will get a dream, quote, hallucination, fear or blundering mistake... nonetheless, i have a very witty way twitter will be employed in my thunderous Dianetics styled essay, book, movie, and broadway musical.

if you aren't "following" me, then you're not following the whole story. < http://twitter.com/noneck >

finally, let's get into the meat and potatoes of my work...

i first have to thank so many here in cairo... mardini, nora younis, khalid & his family, omar, amr, alaa & mannal, all the kids at opencraft, meramees & EGLUG... oh and how can i forget happy birthday mohamed?!?

tomorrow (wed), i depart from cairo on a two hour train to alexandria. on the overnight flight to dubai, i'll sleep. on arrival (thurs), i'm going to work on editing video. thursday evening, i'll fly to mumbai and sleep in the airport. friday morning, like linus van pelt, i'll shlep to the proper terminal and fly to new delhi. somewhere around 8 am i'll finally land back in asia...

< http://luckofseven.com/letter_mr_and_mrs_india >

a lot of people have asked blankly what am i doing... normally, i give them a long winded answer how i'm trying to save the world with a straw hat, beard, camera and cell phone. though, in reality, i'm meeting the world's coolest people. i'm not talking about esquire, high society, nor woman's day... i'm talking honest to god/s, hard working people who don't take smoldering piles of poop from anyone.

despite the fact it's taking me longer to edit video than originally expected, and my ADD ravaged soul has problems being a one man band, i've cranked out 13 videos (6 while on the road, 1 every 10 days... not to shabby). once i land in india, get ready to shoot whiskey and watch one or two more episodes...

in the meantime, you should check out...

13 - dries, founder of the drupal project, on the history of drupal and it's community...
< http://luckofseven.com/vlog/episode13 >

12 - christophe aguiton on future coworking software and barcamp/coworking community
< http://luckofseven.com/vlog/episode_12 >

11 - dirk slater and the tactical technology collective
< http://luckofseven.com/vlog/episode_11_brighton >

10 - two american freelancers in berlin looking at coworking
< http://luckofseven.com/vlog/episode10

09 - the history of transitions online and their work in former soviet republics
< http://luckofseven.com/episode_9_tol >

08 - my running with the bulls
< http://luckofseven.com/episode_8_running_bulls >

07/07/07 - my goodbye speech (filmed by charles hope)
< http://luckofseven.com/good_bye_toast_blog_blip_tv >

until we meet in india!
noneck noel
--
join me on a trip around the world!
http://ontheluckofseven.com

noel hidalgo
[ skype ] nonecknoel
[ email/jabber/aim ] noel[a]noneck.org
[ twitter ] http://twitter.com/noneck
http://www.couchsurfing.com/people/nonecknoel

a letter mr. and mrs. india...

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dear mr. and mrs. india,

i know it seems a bit weird to be addressing the whole country of india, but seeing how i really don't know whom or what i'll encounter, i thought it would be polite to cast a wide net. after many days wondering close to GMT, i'm hoisting my sails, setting east and heading back to asia. after 36 hours of planes, trains, taxis and airports, i will beach my self in new delhi on the september 7th.

first, let me tell you about my little project... in my mind's eye it is a little project, but on the grand scheme of things it's a very large project. i hope you can help me... for the past two months, i've been traveling around the world - departed nyc on 7.7.07, slid through europe on a bar of soap, sped through jordan & threw stones in israel (asia), and created a dust storm in egypt (africa).

in all honesty, i trying to see the world through my own lens. i'm also trying to understand the worlds we inhabit - organic (pinch yourself) and digital (poke a friend on facebook) - i'm doing this by interviewing bloggers, political activists, covering open source technology projects, events and attending a protest or two. you can see what i've seen at < http://luckofseven.com >.

so back to how you can help...

on the 8th and 9th, i have plans to attend F/OSS camp new delhi. (that's free/open source software camp, not the teethey stuff). maybe attend a couchsurfer's going away party and hopefully catch an interview or two. afterward, i'm sailing to the taj majal, and then on to bangalore before hoping a flight to thailand.

after the 8th and 9th, my timetable is as flexible as tinfoil. my visa is for three weeks, but i really should not spend more than two. while i know i should stay more and say less, i can't help to express my upmost desire to see the entire country... from north to south - east to west, i hear you have a magical place. so, let's make a date with destiny, and schedule a time to meet...

8 / 9 Sept - Delhi, taken by F/OSS Camp and hosted by Prashant Singh
10 / 11 Sept - Delhi, hosted by Daksh Sharma
12 / 13 Sept - Akor, open
13 / 14 Sept - open |
15 / 16 Sept - open | <- any of these dates can be compounded into one location
17 / 18 Sept - open |
19 / 20 / 21 / 22 Sept - Bangalore, open

day 52. food/home illness

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today, i picked up my indian visa and will depart on sept 6...

while my stomach curls in cramps, today has featured a second day laying in bed, running to the bathroom and dreaming there is an alien inside my abdomen...

shortly after the drupal presentation on saturday, a large group of us headed out to the northern most island in the nile. after a few heroine turns, we arrived at what appeared to be a chain restaurant. in a rush, i ordered their club sandwich.

thinking it was safe, i inhaled the fries and three of the four sandwich bits. for no particular reason, i found my self a bit disturbed and started pulling the sandwich apart. with the "roast beef" a bit green, i feared something wrong but shrugged off any serious concern.

that was until i woke up yesterday. barely able to move with aches all over, i knew there was something hideously wrong.

yesterday, when i re-checked into the mereemes hotel, i just didn't feel physical depleted. i felt tired of all the hoping around, language barriers, and found my self missing the connivence that comes with living in one location - a kitchen, a home cooked meal, take out, my own bathroom, toilet paper...

all of sudden these things seemed to come crashing though the door...

while i tumbled into another world. loving images of my family, friends, and past lovers floated in the air. with my body shivering with a fever i haven't felt in years, my memories became ghosts, former lovers appeared to comfort me, friends dropped by to say hello, and my mom cooked me a meal.

on the verge of my second full moon away from new york. what i ment by my twitter is that i miss all the creature comforts that i knew intimately. i miss my friends. i miss jon and val's rooftop. i miss the ability to pick up the phone to call my family. i miss walking though the doors of the local pub to see old friends...

most importantly, i miss all the loves that comforted me when i was sick...

day 39. planning for day 40.

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245195609 5Fe5169Bfe M forty days. yikes! frankly, i'm surprised that i still have my sanity...

speaking of sanity, i called up the indian embassy in ciaro and they told me it take five days to process visas. so, knowing reality to be somewhat a figment of consciousness, i'm not worrying about my visa until i walk though a metal detector and finally sit down with someone.

if you are planning on doing something as insane as this venture. you have two options, one get an ambiguous visa while you are in the states, OR drop into the indian embassy in paris or london. both locations will expedite same day visas (or following day visas) if you are willing to pay twice the price.

despite these headaches, tomorrow i'm venturing into one of the craziest cities in the whole world. tomorrow, i'm heading to jerusalem...

don't misunderstand me. i'm calling the city crazy, not because of all of the religious zealots that flock annually... no, not because of them... i'm venturing to the "holy" city because it's one of the oldest cities in the world and the "old city" is smaller than a square mile.... oh and did i mention the all the small tiny streets?

oh and if that didn't wet your whistle, i'm looking forward to finding a bus to Bethlehem to experience this lovely "security fence." i really don't understand the whole thing... from my conversations with activist, matan kaminer, this issue is deeply rooted in economics.

from my conversations and terse research, the Ashkenazi jews have long oppressed the middle eastern jews and Palestinians (muslim and christian). let's not even get into the armenian and Moroccan side of things... 'cause, that really starts to blow my mind...

nonetheless, with a country that is the cradle to three of the world's largest religions... let alone, a town that is cradle to three of the world's largest religions... it's bound to be crazy. maybe i'm too secular. maybe i've long lost my faith in a specific religion, but one thing has emboldened my perspective from the past few days...

these "holy warriors" would love to have an iphone, ipod, imac, internet, youtube, air conditioning, power, clean water, transportation, education, the opportunity to travel and the ability to move freely. so many of the Israeli's whom i've come across live a comfortable middle class southern californian suburban lifestyle. from shopping mall to shopping mall, from strip mall to strip mall, from gas station to gas station... the modern israeli is no different than the community i was born into nor the midwestern community i grew up in.

hopefully, tomorrow i will get to see a different perspective.

Couchsurfing solicitation for accompaniment in the jerusalem-yerushalayim / israel groups.

(photo discovered on fejron's flickr feed but obviously stolen from somewhere else...)

day 39. my indian predicament

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mcgorlic park in greenpoint - 3

perched in the arid land of zionist deliverance, i mull over the next few hoops. from these mounds of sand, i move southwest into the land of the pharaohs. all along the way i am perplexed by my next journey. after visiting the river nile, i am to venture onward to india.

like an impatient child, i neglected to pick up a visa in new york, and with less time to waist, i ran away from the visa services line in paris. now i am faced with a dilemma. relinquish my passport to a travel bureau, wait 10 days bouncing up and down in israel and miss an opportunity to visit the occupied territories, or i can venture onward to egypt, re-negotiate my travel plans, and hope that i am not detained more than necessary.

i should note that within this predicament there is a silver lining. my original departure would have shuttled my soul before the full moon. now with a vague statement of 10 days to process my visa, i will be in forced to capture my second full moon on my second continent. oh the pain and agony of watching a bright and beautiful moon amongst the company of random strangers.

day 19. running around paris

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ugh, in an early morning with a sour left foot, i attempted to visit the indian embassy. after running around looking for a photobooth, i stood inline for 15 mins. realizing a huge error, i departed in frustration.

why? i have no to paperwork stating where i'll be going, whom i'll be visiting and worse, i have no definitive exit plans...

in angst, i limped off to meetup with my host, Aurélien Tabard and his merry crew of classmates. after a brief introduction, i ferociously devoured email and tagged photos for flickr.

around 16h30, i realized that i was running desperately late for paris couchsurfing's rondeviuz. after slapping some high fives, i departed for a little tour of the latin quarter and XXX.

upon arrival, i found a lovely handmade flag and a few folks wearing couchsurfing t-shirts. as we meandered the winding streets, i introduced my self to many.

one of the first couchsurfers i ran across was heather smith, an american and a recent graduate of a social working school in Arkansas. standing at 5'4" with long brown hair and freckles, this american had a backpack full of snacks and tall bottle of rum punch. as we meandered, we talked the past two months, her trip to algeria and our trips around europe.

when the couchsurfers finally stopped at some snappy bar, heather and i departed to find a $3 bottle of wine and sit next to the seine. across the river bank, a man wailed in his saxophone. as the day turned to dusk, we mooned passing tourist boats and fended off passing drunks.

as the clock chimed 23h30, teetering on the river banks we drunkenly gathering our belongings to catch the last train that would part us in opposite directions.

day 9, 10 - time has stopped

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on my way to berlin, i slept and noted many thoughts. now that i'm reviewing them, they don't seem to make sense. i'll eventually get back to them. for now i have other things on my mind.

the past three days in berlin, fueled by friendship from will and sue, have gotten me thinking about the unique opportunity of berlin. divide by years, their identity is very reflective of the conflict and opportunity the 21 century faces.

the wall yesterday, i went to the berlin wall. despite the fact that kids tagged freely, i found myself a pilgrim. a pilgrim to a wall of hate, oppression and fascism. the cold cement wall that baked in the sun was not a normal wall. this was a wall erected by men for the obstruction of freedom. frequently, i have found my self building similar walls, but unable to tear them down. unknowing how to free the mind, i've set out on this journey.

as day 10 has passed, i've started to see that many fears are diminishing and being replaced with opportunity. though time and perseverance, these walls are crumbling. sadly, the dreams i had of new york are also fading into a distant memory. the opportunity that lies ahead is not physical, but mental.

i now frequently wonder if neil stephenson's the diamond age contains more buried truths. more importantly, i wonder how the next 27 weeks will unfold.

pizza dinner #2 yesterday, my friends and i heading into the scowling heat for a bit of sightseeing. wandering through the streets, we parked at a flee market and then departed for another round of pizza. one thing i have discovered, the flavor of berlin's punk rock culture has not been completely lost. unlike new york, you will still find hole-in-the-wall pubs with rockin flare or a pizza shop covered in punk posters and memorabilia.

today, i awoke early to interview regine from we-make-money-not-art.com and promptly came back to my friends flat to hammer out emails and to do a bit of research.

somewhere within the mix we headed back out to the scorching sun for a bite to eat. after stumbling upon a small turkish stand, we chewed on falafel, and marauded though the heat. somewhere around 3 pm, i passed out. since prague, i've now gotten accustomed to waking up early, working, taking a nap around 1 or 2 and burning the midnight oil until 1 or 2 in the morning...

after further research, it appears there is only one visa that might cause me hassle. reluctantly, i did not make arrangements for an indian visa. i assumed that that like every other country, india makes allowances for boarder entry visas. unlike the rest, india has a very beaurcratic method. apparently, you can only arrange for visas from within your country of origin. so, despite what wikitravel states, should i really be concerned?

Asia

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''My third continent is Asia. From September to October, I will bounce around looking to cover as much as possible. If you have something to add, please feel free!''

the hop from egypt to some place in asia is going to be intense. i would love to take a boat from egypt to india. then i will work my way along the indian ocean, and the second.

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== '''week 10''' ==
* '''8 - 15 Sept'''
* '''delhi, india'''
* OSS Camp Delhi - http://www.osscamp.in (8 - 9 September)
* hole in the wall project - http://www.hole-in-the-wall.com [http://www.liftconference.com/videos/view/single/33 video]

----
== '''week 11''' ==
* '''16 - 22 Sept'''
* India
* [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taj_Mahal taj mahal]
* [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bangalore bangalore]

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== '''week 12''' ==
* '''23 - 28 Sept'''
* Thailand

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== '''week 13''' ==
* '''30 Sept - 5 Oct'''
* Cambodia
* [http://www.theculturedtraveler.com/Archives/Sep2005/Angkor_What.htm Angkor wat]

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=== '''Seas to Sail''' ===
* [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indian_Ocean Indian Ocean]

=== '''Events to Attend''' ===
* 4 October, Sputnik party (50th anniversary of the space race)

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on the luck of seven was an open-source, around the world project by noel hidalgo, a new york city based activist, organizer, barcamper and coworker.

for seven months, he traversed the globe. using a new media voodo (blog, vlog, wiki, flickr, couchsurfing, twitter, myspace, dopplr, and facebook), noneck harnessed the collective knowledge of the internet, and report on seven topics of freedom. this trip was funded by 253 people and supported, house, fed, and loved by countless others.

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