Friday, March 31, 2006

Universal Truths #6 and #7

#6: Taxi drivers anywhere will try to overcharge you...

#7: You always do better bargaining if you keep on smiling...

Thursday, March 23, 2006

WTF?! Special Guest Photo

This one comes courtesy of the bored fellas at It was too random not to share.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Lessons Learned #3, 4 and 5

Universal Truths

#3) Movie popcorn smells the same everywhere, even Mongolia.

#4) Glam glasses look stupid on the steppes.

#5) 50 cent. That dude is omnipresent.


this is yet another photo series. It's all those what the fu*k moments that Jackie and I witnessed while in Seoul over the weekend. On a side note: I'm feeling like a blog hog...sorry guys. It's been a while since I've been connected to the world wide web...and now that I can get plugged in I'm taking advanatage. is WTF?!? Series #1

This one comes from the record digging adventure Jackie and I went on. You can read more about that in my blog. For now, focus on Baekdoosan..the Kings of Rock'n Roll.

. . .what is this banana so happy about? Maybe that in this city...everyone likes apples.

. . .now this is just fu*ked up. A board game about conquering Puerto Rico. Luckily for the Koreans around was made by a American.

. . .still don't know what the deal was with this. But she was nice and possed for a picture.

. . .and finally. Jackie and I got a glimps of what our babies might look like.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Universal Truths Learned While Traveling # 2

-all exits lead to one direction.*

*this one was Jackie's

Universal Truths Learned While Traveling # 1

- there are assholes everywhere.

universal truths learned while traveling

Today it struck me that there are a few things that I have learned while traveling that seem to be universal. As I thought about it I decided to bring it the blog room so that these things can be debated and discussed. Also, I hope it inspires my fellow blog mates to bring their own universal truths to the table. So as of today I am introducing a new component of this blog. It should go as follows:

For each new Universal Truth learned while traveling a number will be assigned. For Example:

Universal Truth Learned While Traveling # 1...and so on.

The universal truths don't have to be too deep. In fact it is encouraged that they're quirky or funny. But, they must inspire some kind of thought or reaction. After that it's open game for the blog mates or blog readers to comment on and discuss.

Let's see how this works. I'll start with the first two. Bennett....I'm counting on you to throw up some because I know you think along these lines. Let's hope this goes well.


Friday, March 17, 2006

today I got the Watson

Today I got the Watson and still can't believe it. Wangechi, Josue and ALiya are here with me in Jamaica. To be honest, I didn't expect to get it and now I just feel so crazy because I haven't even solidified contacts in the countries. But I guess now I will set up the base and work on that.
In the mean time, I really just need to CELEBRATE!!

So celebrate, set the contacts and get the hell up out of the U.S!!!!

Mumbai Photo Series

Here's part 2 of the city hoping Jackie and I did. Not too many...but just as fun. Check it.

. . .curious George

. . .the cow who loved the boy

. . .elephanta island train ride

. . .do YOU have the latino in you?

. . .Mumbai lunch runner.

. . .no one can eat just one...of what? I don't know.

. . .sugar cane juice...mmmmm

. . .ghandi...respekt

. . .Mumbai taxi's...wicked fun to ride...just like roller coaster

. . .throwback bollywood poster

. . .record diggin' requires some hard bargining

Cairo Photo Series

I'm not trying to out do you Bennett....these are a few photo series that I've been meaning to throw up for a while and I'm taking advantage of the hi-speed in the hostel room (Jackie and I came up to Seoul for the weekend). So I'm starting with Cairo. Here they are. No rhyme or reason...just some cool photos. Enjoy.

. . . jet lagged and lost in Cairo

. . .tempting death and laughing in his face in Cairo taxi's

. . .yummy Cairo pancakes....mmmmmmm

. . .ancient Egypt is our playground

. . .kid robot makes a cameo

. . .sexy camel ass...mmmmmm
. . .anubis

. . .the camel action shot

. . .group shot with Hilary's Arabian Knight

. . .desert sunset

Thursday, March 16, 2006

you didn't!

I don't know who Kris is digging harder, but I take it as a direct challenge. New Guy #1 now comes with pictures. Some of the things that have caught my eye on the road.

Back to the Future.Cliff houses.
sheep pattern.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Longing for home...

I hear you Bennett. There are some days that I realized how much there is to explore back home. For me it's not the nails that hold up my roof, or the concrete that makes up the block out side my apartment (although I understand the metaphor), but more so the people who make up my community and the relatively recent, but none-the-less rich, history of Spanish Harlem. Example?

Just recently a Spanish Harlem grown "congero" (Spanish word for one who plays the congas in a super badass way) passed away. His name? Ray Barretto. Ray was one of the nastiest (and by this I mean super bad, wicked cool, and very skilled) conga players to live on this earth. He played with the likes of Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, Tito Puento, and all of the Fania greats. Now why do I bring him up? I spent the last two year idolizing him and never made any moves toward getting in touch with him. The sad thing about it is it would have been really easy to get a hold of the man. Now that he's passed on (to bigger and better concerts in heaven) I've missed out not only on an opporuintity to pick the brain of a great musician, but also missed out on all the stories, anecdotes, and pices of history that are invaluable...not only to me personally, but also to all the other Puerto Ricans --and for that matter music junkies all over the world. phew...that was long-winded.

It is funny. How you travel thousands of miles. See places that at one time you only dreamed about. Speak languages so unnatural and some that are so natural to your tounge. Eat foods that are divinely inspired and some that taste just know. After all that, all you want is to explore your own what ever shape, form, or material it may come in. But I imagine...that on September 7th, 2006 when we're back home...sitting in our rooms reading, or jamming out on our fiddles, or spinning tasty music, or dancing like fools, or knitting or whatever it is that we travelers do to fill our souls with joy that could only come from a place where the grass is always green and the water is always clear. On that day...for a split that moment when we're rocking out or just being still...we'll get a glimps of the days when we were globe trotting. And in the moment...we'll long to be yet again on the uncertain path to amazing (and frankly...fucking cool) locations. We'll long to back our one bag --full of gagets and gizmos, full of unneccesary clothing, full of toothpaste and floss, and all that other stuff you pack for a wicked cool trip. And in that moment....we may just do it.

The New, New Kid....

Sorry Bennett...but you're no longer the New Kid. Now you've got to start acting like a seasoned vet and start posting some pics (or not posting like the other seasoned vets). We are anticipating the arrival of yet another wicked cool, adventure seeking, travel junky. Danielle Roper of the Hamilton Class of 2006 will be the newest and thrid Watson Fellow to be featured on this blog (if she accepts the wicked cool privledge). So hold on're about to be blown away by not two....not three...not even five...but six badass, risk taking, blog posting travlers. the event that Bennet suggest that this years Middlebury Watson fellows be thrown's gonna be a whole team of badass motherfu*kers up here. Justice Leage, Teen Titans, A-Team, Mod Squad. Those punks ain't got shit on us.

-Mr. Fresh

The new guy

Hi, I'm the new guy. Bennett.

A little about me: Like Kris, I'm a Watson Fellow, and I'm spending this year traveling the world following a passion on a self designed project that must be 1)personal and 2)cultural. Also I have to stay out of America for one year. So my project basically involves going to different countries and recording/participating in their musical labor traditions- musical farming, fishing and herding, to be specific. I'm now in Hanoi, Vietnam, preparing to blast off to Ulaan Bataar, Mongolia.

Though I've somehow managed to put up loads of posts at, I've been agonizing for some time what to put up as my first Blog entry here at traveling beans. Perhaps because of the daunting group of young travelers posting here. Anyway, I've decided to just lay out a thought that keeps recurring, in different places and talking with different people, to the point where it must be addressed.

Namely, I've found that the more I travel, the less I know about each destination. In other words, I feel like I'm moving around so much I barely get time to learn about a place, and then I up and move camp. And the more I think about it, there is so much to learn about each place on this earth, you could spend your whole lifetime getting to know the square mile around your house. And everything in a huge space column above your house and the column of soil and rock below it, stretching off into infinity and back into time and forward into the future. Or you could spend a lifetime exploring just the ecology of the plants growing in the cracks in your sidewalk. Or many, many lifetimes learning about the life of the molecules in those plants, how they move, what they desire, their genealogy, their future...

It's positively thrilling: there's so much to think and learn about, everywhere and always. Right now I feel like to some degree the traveling bug is getting in the way of the real learning, like who built the stone walls near my house, why buds look red in the spring, the history of the manufacture of the nails used in my house. To be skipping continents on a monthly basis, though exciting, seems almost irresponsible, in the sense that I am denying myself a life (perhaps my only life!) where I get to know one place, to learn everything I can about a patch of grass and then to settle into it for a long, comfortable nap.

Of course, the supreme irony is that it took seven months on the road to reach this point. Most people who stay in one place just want to get away from it. But the more I skim past cultures, suburbs, fields and ideas, I find the hunger to learn everything about my own backyard is just getting stronger and stronger.

I'm curious to know how you all feel about it.
Bennett Konesni