Jan. 31, 2013

Women are still considered property here in Colombia. They have to live up to men’s expectations. They seem to have no concept of their rights. Older women are definitely not considered sexy or much of anything; I don’t care if I’m not considered sexy, but I don’t like being discounted as of no value as a person. That’s really offensive.

I did see a woman cop today. Girl skateboarders here.

I am hanging out right now at a hostel (which means I’m with non-locals, travellers, tourists). It’s nice because they open at 8 am (many places open late here, probably because of the siesta time [12-2] and the night-life in the Latin countries). And for 5,000 Colombian Pesos (about $2.50 US), I can get 2 eggs with toast and fruit and all the coffee I want, PLUS internet! Outside the hostel, with Rachel, I am hanging out with ex-pats (who are not people on-the-move, but rather people who have fled their own countries for one reason or another and are “parked” somewhere for a year or forever).

On People: Shades of brown- and black-skinned people here in Colombia; it’s very mixed. No extremely black-skinned Blacks, like in Haiti. The Jamaicans were unique looking. The Trinidad & Tobago people, too–many are a very unique mix of East Indian and African; other T&Ts are straight Indian (from India) or straight African/Black.

It is possible that when I am AWAKE, my animal spirit takes over, and that when I am ASLEEP, my own spirit takes over. Mystical world thoughts.

My groups: Aspie. Ayahuasca. Couchsurfers.

The Perfect Disaster: falling in love with a gay man. I love it! It’s wonderful for me right now to imagine perfect harmony with a man without having any sexual pressure to “keep him.” Next week, I will be in love with someone new, but I always remember past loves.

For an Aspie, working with other people can be very hard. We–or I–do better alone. But I long for and love companionship about half the time.

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Rules of thumb: Never judge myself by external standards. Inner locus of control. Take good care of myself. I am done trying to look like a person from someone else’s dream. Know myself; BE myself.

Social rules are part of a false reality. “Saving face” is trying to meet social expectations smoothly and appear to fit in. Autistics disdain many social conventions (like being “polite”) because we view them as a display of fake concern for others. The goal of these social conventions is conformity. Why is conformity attractive? Because when you don’t know yourself and feel afraid to be yourself, conformity is a safe option.

I am tired of serving the imperatives and dictates of physical/material life. I am changing and growing.

Here’s a new concept: be happy to spend money on things and people I love. I feel very lucky to HAVE money (and the health, etc.) for taking care of myself and others.

I can spend a few (2-3) days with almost anyone. Longer, and it depends on the relationship between me and that person.

The dogs of Santa Marta are apparently fed well when the tourists are in town.

I sat on the balcony of Rachel’s (Raquel’s) apartment for three hours (more or less) watching the busy street scene seven floors below. William (Rachel’s private English language student) has a hamburger and chicken sandwich cart across the narrow, one-way street. He opens at about seven pm. Wonderful food. Across the street from him is a hotel. Down the block is a brothel and more nice hotels. Vendors come through on bikes and on foot and pushing carts (food, coffee, sweets); some have distinctive calls. Families with little children walk through the little (but very busy) intersection. Little, yellow taxis and motorcyclists beep at everyone who is even near the street: “Watch out! I’m coming through!” No one gets mad about this; it’s very peaceable and convivial. The streets are shared spaces rather than combative arenas (as is often true in the US). There are no stop signs at most small intersections; with much beeping, drivers know when to go and when to yield.

A big bird flew over Rachel’s balcony, and the air was filled with pigeons. They have colonized the abandoned building across the street from Rachel’s apartment.

We had a little ceviche party last night at Rachel/Raquel’s. We were six women (three of us Colombian, three from the US) and Jefferson, a Miami native (and surfer) who hasn’t been back to the States for three years. Rachel seems delighted to have me surfing with her again, and she tells everyone about it.

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It’s a tremendous advantage to have working class roots. The neighborhood was middle class, but my parents were definitely working class. Dad, as the oldest boy in a family of eight children, sold newspapers on the street in Berlin (in about 1910 or 1915). I spent time on the street in a few California towns (Berkeley, Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz). I was spare-changing, reading tarot cards, and hanging out with my street-boyfriends. On my travels, when I’m in towns and cities with busy, vibrant street life (like Santa Marta), I can hang out and blend in a little with the people out there.

Feb. 1

Sex is a false bond. Usually. I am sure some people have a strong love bond and sex only strengthens it.

“Where am I?” is my main question. What is Life On Earth? Gurus and medicine people and shamans say “Who am I?” is the most important question.

I am in love with a Geek for the first time.

Wild, warm winds all night long and continuing into this morning. The spirits are around and active.

The more I learn about other people’s mothers, the more I realize how good my adoptive mom was. She let me get really close to her, and she defended me always. She helped me with school work, and she taught me Old Ways. I could count on her 100%. She believed in complimenting me and building my self-esteem. Mom apologized to me when she knew she was wrong. What she wanted to learn (and to teach me) was patience.

The ex-pats here in Santa Marta want to be part of this place. They can’t understand why I don’t want to or why I only want to know enough Spanish (or any language) to get by. I resist full assimilation into any culture, including the Western Culture of the USA. I am part of Travelling-Gypsy culture.

I like staying in my own bubble half the time. Being free of participating in the social life around me is a relief. I can be in a crowded room and yet retain my own space. I don’t have to talk or mingle.

Every place I go is different, and in every place I do different things. Here at Rachel’s I spend hours up on the seventh-floor balcony (usually with the cat), looking down at the street life at the corner of Carrera 2 and Calle 20, one block from Parque de los Novios.

After the siesta, life picks up again by about 3 pm. Everyone’s back out on the street, rested and ready to resume the day’s activities. The heat of the day is over.

Prostitution is legal here. At about 3:30 am last night, the taxis were piling around the brothel down the street. Much honking of horns and some yelling.

Street kids here on meth. Many of these kids swim in the dirty water at the beach by the harbor. Yesterday I saw a huge cargo (“container”) ship pull slowly into the dock there.

Santa Marta, at least here in the historic district, is full of warm, gentle, conservative people living a peaceful, relaxed life.

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