Feb. 6, 2013

Feb. 2

Belen (CS surfer from Santiago, Chile), Andrea (our CS host here in Cartagena, Colombia), and I walked around the docks today for about three hours trying to find a sailboat that takes people to Panama. We finally made the connection at Media Luna Hostel, but the boats are too expensive. $500. Some are a little less, but I just no longer feel like dishing out that cash.

Magically (thank you, Pachamama!), I got a message tonight telling me how to make the crossing for $150. It´s from Evelina from England. She and her partner are here in Colombia now.

My CS hosts, Andrea Y Fabio, are musicians and have been married for 13 years (2 kids). Last night, he played a big Yamaha keyboard and she played guitar and sang (Colombian Andes traditional music). Very beautiful.

Fabio made octopus, shrimp and some other shellfish additions. Delicious. Tonight Andrea cooked a fish we bought at the extremely hectic downtown open-air marketplace. She also made platanos, those yummy fried bananas.

I have a whole new, deeper appreciation of love since meeting Andrea Y Fabio.

My perfect love: a gay man who is also a nerd/geek computer guy. We don´t have sex with each other, just with other people. But we have a true, deep, eternal love for one another. Perfect!!

In the back of Andrea´s little second-floor apartment is a warren of tiny backyards, used mostly (it seems) for washing clothes and hanging them up to dry. All the houses have tin roofs.

Belen says most Colombians don´t get married nowadays; they just live together (like in the US and, I guess, many other places).

The sun is blisteringly hot here. No seasons here really. In Medellin, it´s ‘always spring.`

No hot water in the vast majority of houses I´ve stayed in on this trip. No need for it. It´s always warm so a cool shower is wonderful; the dishes get clean with soap and cool water.

We drink Agua Diente, a Colombian alcohol made of sugar cane. It´s gentle, sweet and delightful.

I am living passionately.  I am glad to be a free woman from a culture that encourages women to be free (for the most part).

I´m an Aspie woman, and, unlike many Aspie men, I like the opposite sex. I love the complementary (not same) genetic parts. Many Aspie men are homosexual because they like and understand people who are JUST LIKE THEM, even physically.

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Feb. 3

On a Saturday night, one house plays recorded music for everyone in Andrea and Fabio´s neighborhood. Loud, beautiful, romantic songs. Little kids play outdoors until ten or twelve midnight. These sounds carry over and around the postage stamp-sized yards and second-floor balconies.

Suffering is not romantic, but it is romanticized.

To have no defense against waking life is my goal. To stay in my dream-consciousness, that{s my goal.

The language of my dream state is not English, and it may not even be a human language.

Great music here. Among the popular styles is Champeta music from Africa; we heard it on a bus yesterday,and Andrea pointed it out to me. (She´s a violinist, singer,  and music teacher for poor children here in Cartegena.)  I love it when I´m in towns where they play loud popular music on public buses. A woman beside me on one of the several buses we took yesterday was singing along with the music. Very nice.

Being prickly is OK. It´s great to have lots of smiling and laughter, but, you know, being a bit detached and into one´s inner state (dream life) is just fine, too. It´s irrelevant if people don´t like it.

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Feb. 4

Marshy grass land between Cartagena and Monteria, Colombia. Five hours on a bus.

I’m the type who looks innocuous, but I’m actually someone who screwed any man who wanted it. Wild child. I broke loose, and look where it got me: Into a happy life where I can be who I really am. Song: “I wanna know the other side.”

What you need to live my life: must be tough enough to not care if people laugh at you; able to be alone for long periods; must love people and animals; ability to flow with constant change; freaking honesty is a definite plus: must be able and willing to show yourself (warts and all).

Stands by the roadside with people cleaning fresh fish. A little fire burning behind them. Beautiful birds!

On the streets of Cartagena, you can negotiate the bus fare by holding up one finger, meaning, “I will pay 1,000 pesos (instead of 1,500 pesos) for a ride.” On the bus to Monteria, some people could only pay part of the fare–no problem. One young man paid nothing–the Colombian’s kindness is amazing.

Gender roles strong here. Women are strong here, too, in The Land of God and Men (name of a book about a Colombian woman who goes to the US and discovers she has rights she never was told about at home). Knowing my rights makes ALL THE DIFFERENCE.

“Sweet water” is my favorite, said my Cartegena host, the lovely Andrea. That means rivers and lakes. My favorite, too.

Mules cost more than horses in Colombia. They are stronger and tougher than horses.

Spanish language, Latin American people: playful, soft, poetic, dramatic, passionate, slow to anger, fun, friendly, good for the stage and public gatherings of any kind.

English language, American people: hard (rough), facts, concise, direct, logical, reason-with-heart, good for physics and computers.

Watch your open containers: drugs can be put into a drink, and you can be robbed.

Ballenato music: Colombia.

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Feb. 6

Monteria is famous for its cows. They are so special (the red ones are unique to Colombia) that people come from as far away as the Middle East to buy semen from these cows to improve their own herds.

Monteria has a swath of land 2 kilometers long right along the river that has 4-foot long iguanas, sloths, and two kinds of monkeys in the trees (they will come down if you offer them food). I saw a couple of iguanas and a few monkeys when I was walking there two days ago with Felipe, my Couchsurfing host (he got me a hotel room for a night–very nice!).

The drug dealers live in Medellin. Monteria has profited from the drug (cocaine) business and its fine cattle.

Turbo is a wild and crazy little port city between Monteria and Capurgana. It’s a major cocaine distribution center, and the police presence is heavy.

Bus ride from Monteria to Turbo (yesterday): thatched-roofed houses; in one tiny village, I saw a man working on a laptop; HUGE banana plantation outside Turbo; Colombians (men, mainly) whistle to get others’ attention.

Shakira (from Baranquilla, Colombia [home of South America’s second largest Carnival]) moved to Barcelona, Spain.

Colombians say a baby is born with a loaf of bread under his arm. The idea is that god provides when a baby is born.

Low river in Monteria because there has been so little rain recently.

Chickens tied to roof of bus. The boy helping the bus driver got up there and gave them water and poured water on their bodies to help them in the fierce sun.

Felipe tried to estimate computer use in Colombia; 70% of Colombians, he guessed, use computers. Far fewer own one.

I got mad when the driver put my backpack in the back of the bus with the passengers. I was riding in the cab up in the front of the bus. When a pregnant women joined me and the driver up front, my backpack was tossed into the back. It took a few minutes to register (I’m slow like that), but, when I did, I was mad. My Spanish suddenly got much better! I told the driver twice, in no uncertain terms,  that I wanted my “bolso.” He wouldn’t comply (even though we had  stopped when I made this demand). Finally, I said, “Trente milliones pesos, Senor. Yo quiero mi bolso ahora!” or “Thirty million pesos, Sir. I want my backpack now!” I knew I had paid more than most (all?) of the poor people on the little bus: 30,000 pesos. So I told him: I paid 30 thousand pesos for this trip, and I want my backpack NOW. Ha ha. I got it right away.

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I am realizing who I am: a lover. I love men. I am starting to treat them better; I’ve been kind of mad at men for years (whiles still loving them). I am showing love to more people, in general.

I am a little afraid of women (probably because Mom was the one who hit me, not Dad). If I imagine a woman in a wheelchair, I’m not afraid of her!

 

 

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