viernes, 19 de agosto de 2011

Inner-thigh Pain and Religious Rabbits

It is probably in all our interests if I offer a quick background to the following events: I've recently set sail from Necochea (south of Buenos Aires - on the coast) and have arrived in Bariloche (inland - essentially halfway down Argentina, where people go to ski in the winter. It was summer when I arrived so people just thrash about in the lakes). More or less, Bariloche marks the the first port of call wherein I am travelling alone, thus hostel life is as fresh as a mountain stream – a simile I would have done best to avoid using in hostels. So:

Detox is being embraced, the whores and transvestites shall take a back seat – the aphoristic one – and I am to become at one with nature. Natural beauty is my oxygen and I breathe it in deeply at every and any self-created moment, acutely aware that the fragility of these moments will soon be apparent and the novelty will wear off. An extract from previous travels in China support this omen: “Oh dear God, delicately placed before our eyes we have yet another piece of natural fucking beauty. There appears to be the exact same hill as gazed upon yesterday unfolding before us, with what is almost definitely another generic, tackily decorated temple.” ('The Beginner's Guide to Natural Fucking Beauty: China, just yellow and red?', 2008)

My reading for the moment is “The Anatomist”. The protagonist has recently discovered the clitoris (cue round of applause) on a dying woman in the 16th century (suppress or soften still running applause) – as far as dying wishes go, this lady's were surpassed...“before I go, leaving you all in a poverty filled abyss, I shall be requesting just one thing...a glass of Tropicana, with pulp...what?...I'm sorry doctor, what was that? You said you've found the whaaaaaaaaatttoohhhsweetgod!” She never ticked all the boxes on her bucket list.

Hostel life is adaptable, I hope:

‘Twas the middle of the night when I heard it: the shrill, hysterical screaming that selfishly awoke me. The screams were akin to those of a child watching a rabbit being burnt at the stake for heretical crimes. Naturally I remained all tucked up: no bunny watching child would force me into unforeseen night-time movement (it’s not right to have the words “child” and “night-time movement” in the same sentence, but alas, this is where they shall lie.) Eventually the mother settled the child and thus my dreams. I still await the apology from the aforementioned child.

Returned to hostel later the next day. Legs ached. Why? Cycling. Days are now spent flying along roads and pathways singing 'Do Re Mi' – it was a throw up between that and a little bouncy number from 'My Fair Lady'. Anyway, I strolled through the hostel door, my gait as if I had just strolled out of Shawshank. A lot of people stood in the room before me, the classic and yet sickening buzz of an overenthusiastic hostel – a climate that I would soon have to get used to – filled the room.

“Just pass through them, up the stairs and hit the showers (cue flashback to face of 'maternal' prep school matron).” I muttered – already I was muttering. I should point out that muttering, to yourself, whilst hovering over the precipice of a large group of strangers, is not a recommended course of action. You tend to give off a less than stable vibe. No one is likely to casually stroll over and remark: “Hey there, I saw you with your chin pressed to your chest and your eyes unnervingly looking ahead, while you muttered busily, and I thought to myself: 'hey he seems like a bloody riot to chat to, and not at all mentally fragile.'”

Despite my internal affairs grinding away, I strolled through the crowd. 'Hey look at me now dad, I'm strolling, through a crowd, of humans..sorry, people, I always call them that, really.' Maybe the intimate little monologue I was constructing should take the blame for this, but no sooner had I finished this victory sentence, then I tripped – probably over some shitty, communal mood-lifting hostel cat.

You have two options to take when confronted with such a shade of public humiliation:

1. You regard yourself in an ever so serious light and fly into deep and quizzical expressions of thought and wonder how on earth this débâcle occurred - it was not your fault. You are YOU.
2. Smile, maybe even let loose a jovial giggle, not too girlish but not too territorial, get up and continue on your way. Maybe engage in light conversation, following eye-contact, with someone close by who could and can not deny standing witness to this. You shall both laugh and everyone will think none the less of you.

In the moment, I saw it fit to combine both these options – 'the moment' takes a lot of blame during the course of one's life... “So what if she had a penis, I was in 'the moment'”.

So, with complete disregard to my prettily laid out options, I let out a girlish giggle whilst simultaneously looking at the soles of my shoes as if the Holy Grail and answer to all public trippings could and WOULD be found there - they aren't. I then arose and walked towards the stairs, turned to a girl 'close by', giggled again (why!?) and said: “Owww, guilty candidate for a broken nail...right there.” She then took me firmly by the hand and we spent the following 4 and a half minutes imitating non-heretical rabbits. Only kidding, she looked at me in complete distaste and wandered off into a sea of hemp and dread-locks... .

Moral of the story: don't make sounds like Maria.

viernes, 25 de marzo de 2011

"I am a passenger," says Iggy Pop...but he had heroine to help with the journey. I don't.

I am lacking in time, my anecdotes are scribbled on the pages of my “Hello Kitty” diary (yes, it’s pink, and yes, it has a heart lock, a tangible one at least). I have become a traveller, nay; a “back packer” (…is the fact that I’ve already over used the quotation mark sufficient evidence of aforementioned diary?). Anyway, it appears that I’m only just coming to terms with this realisation…

I was strolling along the streets of Comodoro Rivadavia (from now on please assume that all names of towns or cities are said in an annoying faux-Spanish accent that says: “Yar, like I don’t even think about it anymore, ever since conversing, from an STA travel distance, with villagers when I was building mud huts in Bolivia and thus simultaneously placing local workers out of a job…lovely race, a tad small though”) …sweating like any normal person with a b*** p*** on who doesn’t wish to use the words “black man”, “pedophile” or “vicar” in his simile, when I suddenly saw my reflection in the shop window. I stopped, obviously.

“Oh dear god Frederick, you have what appears to be a b*** p*** on you. Further more, you have a hand woven bracelet on your wrist and long flowing locks…I am akin to a Von Trapp child, Justin, of course.” My mind piped up.

I can whole heartedly say that people who wear a bracelet, hand woven by some small Peruvian child, makes me sick, buy it from a supermarket and support a corporation. However, mine is different. ‘Twas made by a crazy Frenchman, Alan, who always wore a hat, a hat that always sported a feather, a feather that probably sported diseases. I didn’t touch him, or his hat. Anyway, the bracelet is a mixture of ivy green, daffodil yellow and love, lots of it. I like it, it makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside...and what!?

Recently, I have been given a lot of unnecessary chagrin from dogs. The first incident goes as follows:

The resident dog in the hostel I was residing in, in Ushuaia (southern most city in the world, why did I go there? To say I’d been there. It wasn't for the penguins. Fuck the penguins, or don’t, save that for a nighttime stroll to a zoo, which has penguins, or you’ll be settling for a marsupial and they’ll probably see you cuming…being animals off the night ‘n’ all), named “Gordita”, which does translate as: “little fat female being”. Anyway, I believe this animal to be having a thyroid issue (all diagnoses are sponsored by New Labour), but unfortunately this disability/disease hasn’t saved it from owner induced aggravation.

So, I was minding my own business, preaching the good word (democracy and Libyian food) when I passed said dog…

“Oh, hello Gordita…how are you today, little doggy woggy. Would you care to smell my foot, you seem awfully interested: a fetish no doubt.” I offer, in a generously patronizing tone, as all children and animals ought to be addressed in.

(I proceed to move my shoed, right foot towards its bed: testing the water as you will.
The dog woggy then launches, as best it can, at me like a beige balloon with buttons of death stuck on it as eyes. Jaws, lock around my foot. I let out an oestrogen filled, girly scream, followed by a guttural, manly laughter…sprinkled delicately with a garnish of fear, courtesy of Nigella. Silly doggy.)

“Damn you cushion doggy, with unfortunate thyroid problem.” I say, coolly, whilst I swing my right foot around, now adorned with an Argentine mongrel (‘twasn’t even pure bred: scum).

Those around me are either laughing or trying to help.

“Remain calm Pablobians, all is well and rosy here. I saw some action like this in India…eventually the boy relaxed his jaw.” I broadcasted to the room.

I was right, the doggy did let go, and then receive a sharp kick in its face...that was a joke, I don’t hurt animals with four legs. If a suspiciously large or any amount of Green and Black’s finds itself in its food bowl, I know no evil, merely speak a little.

Second dog incident shall be relayed a little quicker to you, as I seem to have rambled.

Well, when crossing into Chile, believe it or not, one is required to cross a border. This border has rules. Two of the main rules are: “NO FRUIT OR SMALL CHILDREN”. I carry a lot of one of those commodities, not the children, although the Peruvian border awaits me with baited breath.

(The following is said around a camp fire as flutes rasp out the “Titanic” soundtrack.)

“Rules are vague, I’m a passenger and now a b*** p*****, therefore materialistic trappings of a society corrupted by vanity and self preservation mean nothing to me, neither do intangible boundaries, dragging one down like governmental gravity. This Granny Smith is coming with me.”

So, you are required, having shown some official your darkest hour, the passport photo, to stand in a line. I thought that that was it, we was all to be shot because of some childish border banter…couldn’t I at least have a shower like Scorcese says. “What?”...nothing.
A dog came out, on a lead. Everyone sighs and there is a group “awhhhh” sound.
“Oh you foolish Pabloblians. Not cute little doggy…devil doggy that’s going to send anyone with a banana or rock of crack up their arse straight to a Chilean cell to be sandwiched between a 6ft 5” misunderstood black man and a skinny, victim of society with father issues (previous stereotypes are based solely on fact and films). The dog starts to sniff peoples’ bags. It stops at mine, places it left paw on my bag and gazes up at its owner. Everyone giggles and another collective “awwwhhh” sound is heard. Who is responsible for the "awwwhh" spark? Pablo?

Thus, thanks to a small golden retriever with a nose for fruit and crack (another chap had a casual prostrate exam; forever a changed man), I was forced to spill the contents of my b*** p*** on the floor. “No, I have no idea how that laced silk dressing gown that hugs one’s thighs like a warm summer wind got in my bag, and no, I can not explain those stains…oh, all right, I can.”

I never had to pay a fine, financial that is…I was however forced to watch their rendition of “Cats”, twice.

Moral of this story…wedge higher if you want to fend off Lloyd Weber.

(May I apologise for lack of appropriate punctuation…the keyboard has decided to mix up the necessary buttons. “Made in Chile.” This won’t happen again.)

The next post is due to address the difficulties of sharing a room with seven other living human beings...go on, use your imagination.