< link rel="DCTERMS.isreplacedby" href="http://ban-sidhe.com" >

Tuesday, March 15

Intercontinental Zombie from Hell

Last nite was the second nite in a row spent sleeping in a plane. In the last 48h, I've been in Asuncion, Paraguay, in Sao Paulo, Brazil, in Newark, NJ, and both Beauvais and Paris, France. I'm in a café logged in over the cellphone network while listening to Prince and Missy Elliot and IAM shuffled on my dear, dear, iPod, waiting for Chaton to get back from work and provide me with access to a shower, and a bed, in his flat. I'm also short 30 cents to pay for the 4.40 euro coffee I just guzzled. And I have a gazillion pictures of the wedding to upload and suffering from the blogging equivalent of motormouth in the meantime... this post will probably scare away what few readers have kept coming here thru the patchy posting from South America :D Thanks guys, you know who you are, and i'm not ashamed to say half of you are family ;P Anyway, here's my big thought of the day : tropical developping countries all look the same. Thailand, Bali and Paraguay, on the ground and in the streets, look much the same. Big, gaudy, beat-up, evil-smelling, big black cloud belching, no air-conditioning buses on irregular roads with oversized gutters/sewers, corrupt cops in overly tight uniforms, beating heat, curdling humidity, great, cheap food, friendly people who practice siesta religiously,
local beers you learn to like because they fit the weather so well, expat communities and an elite that live very well, are very educated and polite and nice and smart but very focused on their social life, like a PC reality-TV version of Dynasty/The Jetsons,
an irresistible itch in your shutter-finger that leads to taking 800-1000 pictures a week, and thank god for rechargeable batteries and digital cameras, everything you were warned about not nearly as bad as it had been made out to be, and the rest sometimes surprisingly painful to watch, or scary, or just plain weird. Oh, and the little detail that gives it all a local taste and makes you so happy you braved the trip and the discomfort to see it, however humble. For me, that would be seeing all Paraguayans, no matter how rich or humble walking around with their little coolers of cold water and their horns full of Yerba Matté to drink cool, refreshing Tereré thru a silver straw... The epitome of exoticism for me, as i first read about this in Claude Levi-Straus's 'Tristes Tropiques' as a late teen.
The main difference, I guess, is population density. Paraguay is basically empty, compared to SouthEastAsia, and it shows, particularly when you drive across the country. It's not an easy country, and they are not very well off, politically, or economically, but at least they are not suffering from over-population. Anyhow, I had a great time, and I'm looking forward to any future visits, with some real time in Brazil with La Hermana, since she speaks the linguo.

4 Insights :

Blogger ViVi intuited...

I was going to say welcome back, but you're not really here for long, are you? Well, in any case, glad you had interesting (and safe!) travels. :)

3/15/2005 08:03:00 PM  
Blogger gregoire intuited...

The cops in Thailand complained about the aforementioned tight uniforms. They were tired of fags hitting on them. Now I can't think of anyone who would dare show such disrespect for the uniform. Well my batch of cops will be here shortly so I'll slip into something more comfortable, uh, I mean review my lesson plan. :D Somebody needs to teach then how to communicate with farang felons. Ok, gentlemen, repeat after me, "Strip and grab your ankles, punk."

3/16/2005 10:17:00 AM  
Blogger Mathieu intuited...

Welcome to the Party, d00d.

3/16/2005 11:11:00 AM  
Blogger james intuited...

Sounds like you had a great time down there. I would love to visit there too. I do not understand those people who win the lottery and then say they are going to keep their job. If I won the lottery I would travel the world for about 3 years straight!!

Welcome back.

3/16/2005 06:23:00 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home

Missed a recent post? Find it here.

Looking for more B.S.? Find it here.