Nowgasm: “the sudden discharge of accumulated direct perception regarding the beauty of the universe”. That is the name and essence of our blog, a blog that has been fun to write and that hopefully continues to be an inspiration to many, somewhere in the abyss of the internet. It is time for me to say farewell. I got such a generous offer that I could not refuse: back to Europe with 100 euros. My lovely friends backed me up and if everything goes without complications I should be flying to Helsinki some time early February. Continue reading
(Drafted 14 Jan 2014 in Portobelo. Edited 17 Jan in Panama City.)
So, here I am; alone in Portobelo, Panama, trying to catch a boat to Colombia – a boat that doesn’t seem to exist. Hey! Wait! What? Alone?
Yes, it happened: Lea said she doesn’t want to have a relationship with me anymore and that she rather travels without me. I left The Monkey Farm and she stayed there, making sure there’s continuity and everything runs smoothly. Apparently I’m really good at freaking out the people I’m in love with. The pattern is obvious and repeating: after a great start I slowly become too demanding a lover and in the process manage to squeeze the romance dry. Continue reading
The reason for our recent silence is that we have been working our asses off! “I wonder how lucky you have to be to stumble upon a farm that is just starting; a farm where you could stay for a longer period of time; a farm where your efforts are actually needed to get the place going,” Lea mused after the relaxing Inanitah experience in Nicaragua. “How do you find a place like that?”
Well, the universe works in mysterious ways. Vicki Conley, a Californian-turned-Costa-Rican, was in trouble with her farm in the meantime. She had a full-time job while trying to manage the farm on her own. Violent uncontrollable wild fires had effectively wiped out all the vegetation earlier this year and, once she had re-planted everything, the neighbors cows had come in and trampled everything. Regardless of her efforts, Vicki was facing nothing but adversity: even her rabbits were gone, eaten by hungry boa constrictors! Tired and disappointed, she was just thinking of giving it all up. Then, her phone rang. Continue reading
Entering Nicaragua was a tad challenging. The Central American countries are bound by a CA4 treaty that should, in theory, guarantee freedom of movement for everyone, much like the Shengen Agreement in Europe. However, in practice, the border officials interpret the legal jargon as they wish and probably pocket at least part of the money they collect. As the reader might know, we mostly travel without money. While we knew that the border pricks are gonna ask for some cash and Lea had been meticulously picking pennies from the ground to meet this “need”, we were not prepared for the exuberant bribes that they expected us to pay: TWELVE DOLLARS!!! $ 12 each! Of course we didn’t have that kind of riches.
In many ways Honduras has been a country of first times (in just a week or two). It has been quite an adventure altogether. As in all CA4 countries (Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua), people keep warning us of perils and dangers, road blocks and wicked people and whatnot. What we experienced in Honduras was, of course, just the opposite. Well… Almost.
We entered the country at the night of the football match when Hondureños confirmed their ticket to the Mundial. At that point we had no idea we’re at the world’s murder capital, San Pedro Sula. So we were carelessly sipping beers in an improvised bar at a car-repairman’s shack. We were joined by some officials, police, I’m not sure, but some of those guys with big guns. Then those same guys fired those big guns, into the air, next to my ear. I was born in a country at a start of a war but this was the first time I had my ear slightly deafened. More guns came later.
Greetings from Tegucigalpa, Honduras. We have now-
SCREEECH! (sound of brakes) Wait! What, what, what? You’re in Honduras? Isn’t that like… When and how did you get out of Mexico?
Sigh. Okay. Let’s backtrack a little. We hitched our way from Mexico City to Chiapas, stopping on the way in Puebla to exchange farewells with our dear “Uncle Carlos” – and to make a new friend, Yazmin, who is intimately involved with a project called Eotopia – worth checking out! One night we got surprised by the storm and saved by some indigenous people who took us into their village. Chanal is a place guarded by the mountains – a place where some don’t even know Spanish, where pigs and donkeys roam the streets freely and where there seems to be absolutely nothing to do but sit on the street and groom each other. Nice!
In Mexico, we were told, it is very easy to get a drivers’ license. In the written exam, if you don’t know the answers they’ll help you out. And the driving test doesn’t happen in a car but a simulator. “‘Just continue’ the instructor told me when I accidentally ran over some pedestrians,” a local youngster explains. She is seventeen and hardly knows how to drive. However, she does have a license. Continue reading