Here’s another shot of your humble narrator in New York
Damn I love that place!
Here’s another shot of your humble narrator in New York
Damn I love that place!
This was a girl asleep in transit at Sao Paulo Airport from my sketchpad.
Measures about 1m wide
(Photo taken with a phone camera, so the colours are somewhat washed out. The real colours are vivid pomegranate reds and golden yellows)
Buenos Aires is certainly a beautiful city,
with its rich culture and amazing french architecture, but the reason I loved it so much was because it was the first place in South America that I could easily make friends. Everywhere else was almost entirely spanish speaking - even in the hostels - so by the time I got to BsAs, I was desperate to have a *real* conversation with someone!
Luckily for me, I met some really fantastic people there and shared some fantastic moments.
I think meeting so many great people has definitely helped me grow a bit.
In a conversation about how people are more receptive to making connections when travelling, I offered them the metaphor of waves:
We think we’re individual waves roaming about.. but we forget we’re all connected.
We’re all part of one spiritual ocean:
…and every person you make a connection with leaves a little bit of themselves with you (in terms of wisdom, inspiration, and attitudes to life), just as you do with them. (An idea I extended from a great book I read recently)
Even with a broken arm I couldn’t be unhappy for long… the day after the accident, everyone snuck into my room while i slept and wrote on my plaster cast!
(Sit in an airport for 16 solid hours and you WILL be able to hear Brian Eno everywhere.)
I did have more sketches, but my scanner did a crap job catching the light pencil work.
(ps, that last sketch is of random people sleeping at Sao Paulo Airport… Am I creepy or what?!)
Oh I might have forgotten to mention, I had a bit of an accident in South America, which has given me an unexpected souvenir:
I almost didn’t make it to Carnaval, but the inspiration and support of some newly found friends encouraged me to continue on… and I’m so glad I did!
How many guys can say they’ve been done one handed cartwheels and spinning kicks in the middle of a capoeira roda during carnaval with a broken arm!?
(Dear Family: I hadn’t posted this earlier because I didn’t want you worrying about me while I was still travelling through S’America. I’m safe n sound in Newb Zealand with friends now, so there’s no need to fret! :)
Just a quick post from an airport internet cafe:
Leaving Olinda (Brazil) now.
Carnaval was absolutely crazy… inescapably massive, and very very messy. And I’ve certainly found some of the challenges I’d been traveling for. On the whole, I think I handled them pretty well. :)
As I will be in transit for almost an eternity, so I’ll try to post something more interesting from another internet station before I get to Los Angeles.
As my camera was stolen a whole back, I am now depending on friends to email me shared travelling pics… so I’ll be posting them up as I get them.
I’ve got some great new NYC ones, but don’t have enough cash on me to stay on this terminal.
I’ve discovered a new fetish of mine:
I went out and bought a replacement sketch pad yesterday. It was a decent enough pad… good price, ok paper quality, leather bound… A very sensible purchase.
But as I was paying, I saw another book, which was…
Oh god - I’ve discovered a new fetish: overpriced handmade sketch books! It was a one off production, made by the paper company. There are no others like it: Perfect size, amazingly soft dark leather, HEAVY paper; perfect for ink work. So beautiful!
But I had just bought the sensible sketch pad… and my dream book cost about the same as two months accommodation in Bolivia!
I moped around for an hour, I couldn’t get this other book out of my mind. I eventually ran back to the store and swapped my mediocre purchase with this devine new book, for a ridiculous amount of money…
I cant wait to fill it up!
Ok maybe its too early to be making judgement calls… but Buenas Aires definitely does NOT feel like the rest of South America. Really its just like being back in Europe. Everything I so far attribute to SA is a million miles from here: poor kids hastling me to buy something, run down streets and buildings, dogs and llamas running through the streets, etc. etc… Oh well maybe I’ll just holiday like I’m in Europe for a while. I think its time to do a little shopping. Find some galleries and cafes. And maybe take some spanish lessons. And a nap. Hmmm, definitely a nap. In other news, I read a good book last night: Tuesdays with Morrie. A short read, but circling around death and philosophy in a beautiful way that gives lessons on living more loving and human lives. I thought that the ideas could have been pushed further, but given it was a true story, I found it heart-warming.
Despite the unfortunate ending to my time in La Paz, I really love the city. It’s strange, because I have generally hated every other city like it: both the city and its inhabitants are AMAZINGLY dirty! Its far too crowded. Its too noisy. There are traffic jams at every other intersection, so there was a constant drone of a dozen car horns. There’s a constant threat of theft and of violence (there are cops with shotguns on every other corner) and there is poverty everywhere.
But, for some reason, I loved every second of being there: It was such an unpredictable place! Despite everything, the city had mystery… and I was intrigued.
With the majority of the city’s tradings happenning in makeshift stalls on the side of street, its like one giant, surly market-place. Haha, and I was blown away by just random the stalls were! Walking any given street you could find: Toilets for sale, then lingerie, raw meat hanging by hooks, stationary, snacks and coca leaves, then spare car parts and hardware accessories!
Oh, and I love coca leaves.
Therein may lie the reason…
I was robbed the other day! Bastards! Quirky Anacdote ensues:
Its 6.30 in the morning, and I’m walking through La Paz to get to the int’l bus terminal: Tired and grumpy. Walking up a steep hill. Pre-coffee. Carrying my heavy main backpack and my small ‘day’ backpack.
And a bird craps on my head!
A massive squirt of bird crap ran from my back, over my head, onto my backpacks on onto the pavement. Bastards.
I blink a few times in shock, then start trying to clean myself up… A passer-by chuckles to himself, then offers a few sheets from his newspaper, I mumble thanks, take off my backpacks and start trying to wipe clean both myself and my bags.
It wasn’t until after only a few moments when I realised what had happenned: This wasn’t bird shit, it was mustard… and my small backpack has disappeared! Someone had squirted me with mustard, and the old man with the newspaper distracted me while someone else grabbed my stuff.
As well as getting miscelaneous daytime stuff like my Holga camera and Lonely Planet guides, the bastards took my sketch pad!
I’m not so concerned about material crap, like the books or leather jacket, but now I’ll never be able to get a decent scan of my old sketches of Cusco, and now nobody will see the new illustrations. I’m yet to decide if I should start a new sketch pad, or if I should leave the idea be.
Took an overnight bus into Copacobana, Bolivia last night. About to catch a boat over to Isle De Sol.
From what I can gather, theres not much to do other than a few quiet hikes to see the Incan ruins, and generally skulk about on the beach drinking and admiring the view. Something tells me there won’t be many internet cafes, so you may not here from me for a week or so, probably not till I’m in Lima or Buenas Aires (Feb 9).
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Oh and a word of caution for anybody out there thinking about travelling to a spanish speaking country and going to the local markets in the morning for a nice cheap meal:
DO NOT ORDER PATITAS FOR BREAKFAST!
In fact, do not order Patitas under ANY circumstance!
I have a habit of randomly ordering things from the menu, despite having no idea what Im getting… At least this way Im not always ordering the chicken curry.
Anyway, I was face to face with a WHOLE PIGS TROTTER, sitting up to the knee joint in a watery stew.
oh. my. god.
I politely sipped at the stew and even prodded at the trotter (toe nails and skin still intact) and even nibbled on SOMETHING floating in the water.
Despite whatever i tried washing my mouth with, I could still taste it for the rest of the day! ! GAR!!