dear santa*

i would like to personally thank you for your kindness this year. you answered my prayer even if i didn't leave you out a pacifico.

christmas this year was better than even as a child, jumping out of my bed and throwing myself on the tree to look at my newly acquired loot.

as i left the airport and overheard upbeat, rythmic spanish punctuated with "che!", saying vos instead of tu, cashay and not cayay, that distinct almost italian sounding singing spanish; the license plates speeding by and the realisation that i had finally made it back to south amerika.

even better the look on carry's face when he looked out the window.

merry christmas, from buenos aires!

(*: santa being the plural form of papa and scott.)


san la muerte, santa muerte

my family on my mother's side is going through a bit of a rough patch, actually no make that a very rough patch. my uncle paul died on thursday, my grandmother died on friday.

it's been quite the death filled week, hasn't it.

i leave mexico city tomorrow. a new adventure begins.

i'm going to miss it here, mostly the people i've met. and mexican curious! speaking of mexican curious, i went to a party last night and behind the dj was a crucifix and a bunch of flowers. very mexican curious.

i look back on my 2 months in mexico and try to think of the good that came out of this trip. i'm kind of amazed i made it to la paz hitchhiking and with no money, it was kind of a test for me to see how far i could make it. a couple months ago, when i left oliver on that rainy morning to go to california, i never would have thought i'd end up in mexico 5 weeks later. but here i am... and i wouldn't be here without all the help i got along the way. all the people who opened their homes and their lives to me, who put up with my boli who was a pain in the arse really, who fed me, who took care of me. i appreciate it immensly, it's thanks to these people that i manage to continue on my journeys.
some people might think it's reckless to just blindly trust people when you're a girl traveling alone, to these people i say: turn off your televisions and go walk around the real world for a second. yes, the world is full of scary monsters but no, not everyone is a scary monster.

i'm going to miss the friends i've made here in d.f., but also the friends i made everywhere in mexico. i now have a home in la paz, in mazatlan, in mexico city. not bad for a homeless girl.

in light of the random acts of kindness i have received this past year, i suggest that this christmas, instead of buying more stuff no one needs, you lend a hand to someone who needs it. feed a homeless person, take in a stray pup. take someone in out of the cold (but keep your laptop locked away, i speak from experience), invite someone new to your table. go out of your way to show a random act of kindness to a random stranger. offer a traveler a home for the night, give the gift of smile to a small child. be human!

and not just on christmas, but everyday.

it's strange being so far away from everyone i love right now, knowing that my mother is going through such a rough time and not being able to be there to comfort her. i feel like a horrible person to be selfishly prancing around latin america when my family is being killed off one by one (that is how it seems, anyway..). christmas time is going to be rough for them... at the same time, i have no idea what my christmas is going to be like. i'm not a very christmasy person, to be honest, but i am wondering if my xmas meal will consist of campechanos, who i will be spending it with, if i actually decide to celebrate it. i really hoped i would be in buenos aires to spend it with you guys, picture on your left. no matter where i end up spending it, or who with, remember you are in my heart.

merry christmas.


life goes on...

... but it's hard.

i still wake up at 8 every morning thinking i need to bring the dog out.

it still feels strange to not be covered in boli hair.

that i don't get my morning abraxos from my puppy - i'd tap the front of my chest and say, abrazame, loco! and he'd jump up and i'd kneel down and we'd hug.

it hurts, a lot. even if i've regained my composure and have stopped crying hysterically, every now and then i feel like breaking down.

i miss him. a lot. ridiculously so. i mean, i had him with me all the time, and i sacrificed a lot for that dog, and it got me... to mexico city, at least.

but enough about the boli. i'm heartbroken, but that doesn't mean i should make everyone else's life miserable.

i've been consistantly bitching about mexico, methico, méxico. let's put the facts down, shall we?

cat's mexican adventure...
(or how cat got her grieve back, a true story! by cat!)

the cops took all my money in tijuana the night i arrived. this should have been a sign. the guy who picked me up hitchhiking expected me to pay for his food, gas, and cigarettes - this meant going up to taco stands with no money and offering to work the food back. while this guy sat in his car and waited. argh. i bailed on him very quickly.

then my fucking wisdom tooth decides it's not happy hanging out with the rest of my teeth, no, he has to go and try and move into my cheek! asshole! luckily thanks to some penicillin he was quickly shut up. let's hope he stays quiet for another while (but now i have health insurance, so it's cool).

i was stuck hitchhiking with a dumbass pathological liar named brad who was, and i quote, a male escort at 14 (must you say I was a male escort, i can see that you are a dude, dude, so the male really doesn't need to be said everytime, just say i was an escort, period, dipshit.) who travelled the world with a sadistic italian woman who would forbid him from leaving the hotel, so he got to go to all of these incredible places but only saw them from a window.

ok, how to shoot this one down: travelling alone when you are 14 is not easy, i know this because i did it a lot. this often happens when one parent lives in europe and the other in north america, yes? ok. so how the hell does this woman who has no parental liability over you manage to just pick you up and HOLD YOU AGAINST YOUR WILL and cross international borders with you? yeah, really.

his idea of hitchhiking was putting on a ridiculous "pity me" face and half assedly sticking his thumb out.
when i hitchhike, i´m usually bouncy and smiling, jumping around and doing pirouettes with my sign. in a way to say, hi! i´m a nice person! i won´t attack you.

brad, on the other hand, looked like a psycho. he looked angry. i wouldn´t have picked him up. no wonder it took me 2 weeks almost to get to la paz.

brad didn´t have any form of id when he crossed into mexico, making it almost impossible for him to go back to the states.. he thought that he would be coming along with me all the way to argentina, which made me chuckle: "You don´t have a passport." to which he would answer, using his angry face ("THIS IS MY ANGRY FACE. GRRR. I AM ANGRY. LOOK AT HOW ANGRY I AM." actually, you look like you´re constipated, and it´s kind of funny. don´t give me that look, it´s giving me the runs.), yes so as i was saying, he would put on this angry face and hiss, WATCH ME. he thought that going to the american embassy and saying he lost his passport would give him a new one... uh, news flash? your passport number is in the system. they can check if you actually had one. i swear, the american government has computers and knows how to use them. not the brightest crayon in the box, are you bradley?
watch you? sure, man, i´ll watch you get your ass deported, and i´ll laugh hysterically.

he also claimed to be a commercial fisherman, but continued lighting cigarettes with candles. what respect for your fellow sailors! oh, and that he would go up to alaska to go crab fishing every year, and yet didn`t know the exact number of days this season goes on for.

and last, he was a marine who had been dishonorably discharged for punching his drill sergeant in the face... and a mercenary!

and yet walking 5 km from the Pemex station to the Malecon in La Paz was too much for him. you were a mercenary, you say? and a marine? but you can´t walk with a 15 lb backpack (mine weighs about 50) for 5 km, and yet i´m practically running it, and i´ve never even been enlisted? oh pschaaaaaaaw, you, i hope our paths never cross again, and that your arm gets stuck in a crab pot up in alaska. oh, and by the way? your plans of stealing diamonds and money from that old dude? so not cool. when ramon told me they stole your dog, i figured, you had it coming for all of the shitty things you did. i still have nightmares of you waking up with that green crusty smile and saying "I had a wet dream about you". YOU DO NOT EVER, AND I MEAN YOU NEVER, EVER SAY THAT TO A WOMAN. how the hell did you make it to 30?!?!?!

i really hope i never see you again. bradley. ugh.

we all know i finally got rid of him, thanks to a beautiful pothead from michoacán.

who was a godsend, really. i mean, ok, yes, i got a little stung, serves me right for opting to sleep in warm bed smelling of lavender and marijuana rather than sleeping on cold tile smelling of bolivian canine, but at the same time it wasn´t so bad.

it was better than hanging out in mexican meth hotel with flying cockroaches and a scheming, lying gringo who looked like the dude from mad magazine and thought he was above the law. oh yes, i´d much rather hang out with mr. cheekbones at the beach and watch him surf while i nurse a cold pacifico and a cone than hang around drinking cheap mezcal from a plastic jug on a dirty mattress with mr green crusted snaggle tooth smile.

it was like being in a bad travel movie, where the free spirited hopeful heroine ends up in a bed and brothel wondering how the hell she`s going to escape, when suddenly the camera spins around and in walks the knight in shining armor. or in this case, pothead surfer with heart of gold. oh, and did i mention, drop dead gorgeous? man, i will never get over that. at least i got to... ahh.. taste.. a little. i would have liked to pig out rather than just have a little bite, but maybe in another lifetime.

and tiago. running away on me. oh god, you fucked up there, little one. i was hysterical, i was crying non stop, and i was freaking out for no reason, not saying much, just drinking and writing, drinking and writing... and then he returned and life went back to normal, consisting of "mija vente a fumar mota con migo" and "mija tienes que comer, vamos a desayunar tacos", and other mija thises and mija thats.

the mau experience was a strange one, for sure. on one hand i was totally blinded by the incredible light and energy that emanated from this man, and on the other was totally disgusted by us being totally smitten one day, and totally distant the next. in the end, though, i don`t regret it. mau really did show up at the right time, taking me out of a really shitty environment, feeding me, letting me stay with him, letting me roll joints and drink beer and pass out half naked in random parts of the house. and calling me "mija" all the time, awww, i miss him. i hope nothing but the best for him. i really think that in the 2 months i´ve been in mexico there are three faces that will stand out - giulia, mau and emiliano.

sidetracked! let´s continue.

i left la paz with my heart a little more broken than when i arrived, as usual meeting people i adore and having to leave them behind, it wears you out after a while. but i left with my spirits higher than when i had arrived in la paz, and confident that tiago and i would make it.

mazatlan wasn`t easy - but at least it was devoid of methicans (my pet name for mexican meth heads), flying cockroaches and asshole gringos. instead, i managed to land on an inspiring little beach, the island of stone, called the island of the stoned by many of the retired gringos who inhabited the island, which is actually a peninsula. john used to tell me to relax and consider it a vacation. a 10 day vacation! tiago loved it there. we'd go for runs, him in the water happily barking at the waves, at the birds, happily chomping away at fish that escaped from nets and washed ashore, and i would twirl his leash and practise my mediocre juggling.

and then one day hector came and forgot to close the gate, and tiago got out, but chris found him a few hours later and brought him back.. and i found my dog lethargic and unwilling to eat, unwilling to go for a run. it was the beginning of the end of the boli.

the rest is too recent for me to elaborate. it hurts too much to talk about the boli.

but through the hard times i notice there was always a silver lining. whether that silver lining be named giulia, mau, ale, john, alan, diego or emiliano (why so many men? why can`t i ever meet women? oh right, i scare them, gotcha. except for giulia la contessa, because i think she´s me in 30 years.), there have always been people willing to lend a hand to pick me up. granted i probably could have gotten up and limped, but it's always useful to have a crutch. and many crutches i have had. from close or afar... my blog readers, my friends all over the world, have also pitched in, without many of you i would probably still be stuck at mau´s.

yes, mexico has been one gigantic pedo. (for the record: pedo means fart in spanish, but in mexico they use it all the time, no hay pedo oue, no problem man, etc) mexico has been full of topes en el pinche camino. mexico has used me as an aztec sacrifice (even though, as emiliano pointed out, the aztec used to sacrifice people so the sun would keep on shining, ok. the sun does keep on shining, but regardless.), mexico stole my money, mexico stole my skirt (DAMN YOU BAHIA DE LOS SUENOS!), mexico stole my dog, TWICE, and gave him back sick, mexico ended up killing my dog, and mexico almost, i say almost, stole my light. it almost took my dignity and my hope.

but these days, even if i am boliless, even if last night i slept on a floor in a huge abandoned house, things seem to be looking up. i´ve made some great friends in mexico city. i´ve been having a blast discovering mexican curious thanks to emiliano, who really should convert himself into guide for non touristy tourists like myself. witches markets and trannies and pepas are cajetas which is actually dulce de leche but that doesn´t mean pepas are dulce de leche.

and i´ve gotten used to the idea of tacos for breakfast.

(actually. tacos are a very important meal. you have your guisanos, your campechanos, your nopales con queso, your chiles rellenos. you can turn anything into a taco. in fact, i told emiliano about poutine, and he thinks that poutine tacos would be great. so do i. then again we´d just smoked a fattie, so that would explain it.)

mexico, i´m sorry. i take it all back. you are a beautiful, amazing country, albeit fucked up like i´ve rarely seen... you have some serious issues, but then again..

don´t we all?



the road is bumpy, full of obstacles and problems, little things that i can get through and horrible things that made me want to break down and smash everything. but through the good and bad, i had tiago to help me pull through, my luz boliviano that shone through the mexican darkness...

i must admit that right now mexico has left me not with a buen sabor en la boca, oue, like foca once told me, but with a rather bitter and foul taste. like marmite. like meat gone bad.

i´ve overcome many obstacles on this trip, but this is one i think i might never get over.. the obstacle of being boli-less. no more tiago. no more girl wandering alone with her dog. just girl wandering alone.

i met tiago some 8 months ago, in a little mountain village covered in jungle named Samaipata in Bolivia. 8 months ago i had written in this very blog that never again would i have to wander alone.

how wrong i was.

i sincerely hoped i could give him a better life than out in the dirt streets of this tiny andean village. from the moment i got him, we were never to be apart more than a few hours when i was out picking cherries. he came with me to parties, he came with me to the peruvian amazon, he crossed canada, the us coast with me, and crossed part of mexico.

how was i to know he would never make it out of mexico alive.

his thirst for freedom ended up taking his life, when he escaped from where i was living in la isla de la piedra.. he was never the same after that, and as i watched my baby boli convulsing and twitching in the hospital yesterday, i knew i could not let him go on suffering.

at 14h20, as i held him and sweetly cooed that i loved him in his ears, he left this world.
i love you boli. and for some reason, i feel like you're sitting right here. i hope you had a good life with me. i tried, i really did. at least you got to see a bit of the world in your short 8 month life span, you saw the ocean, the rockies, the andes, the amazon, you went to california, you went fruit picking.

in those eight months i came to know a rebellious dog, who had little regard or respect for the rules, an affectionate dog who would go nuts whenever i would come near, a protective dog who would watch over me and our home (monstro the backpack.).

he had many names, amorcito, che boli, el boli, puto boli, and of course tia-goo. he was my best friend these past 8 months, something to anchor me down to the real world, someone to hold, someone to keep me warm, someone to talk to while waiting for rides.

i feel so bad for what i did, but i had no other choice. if i had been more selfish i would have kept you alive, but i figured i could not let you suffer, i couldn't bear to see you like that, twitching in an artificial coma.

i think i did what i could, and i think i gave you what i could. i went hungry some days so you could eat.

also, i wish i had a usb cable to show off all the pictures i have of you.

i had hoped to bring you back to samaipata. that you could see where you were from. alas, things are different... but i will bring you back there. i will have your ashes tomorrow or thursday, and i will rub some of them into my new skar (morbid? i care not.), and bring you with me until i can return to bolivia, and i'll scatter you in amboro, near a pretty little waterfall with colourful jungle flowers all around.

i´m sure you´d love it.

i hope you're up there with pi, and squat, and luenlai, and snarf, and all of my dearly departed animals. i know you're all pigging out right now and i hope you find some wonderful legs to bite, cause i know you loved biting people almost as much as you loved me.

te amo, puto boli. descanse en paz.


the universe vs. cat

so, the boliviano has been sick, as my holey pockets have been able to attest for... but now it's escalated. he had 7 seizures in 24 hours, is currently hospitalized, on some crazy meds and has ivs sticking out of him.

and my friend has had to put up with it. i feel so bad right now. i am so sorry.

my boli. my baby. don't die. please don't die.

this is a call for help.

this is a call for help.

this is a call for help.

i need to be out of my friend's by thursday, and i have nowhere else to go, no one to turn to. can't leave without my boli, can't just leave him to die.

i can't deal with this right now. he is my only fucking friend in a world of instability, the only thing i have that's real in a world where my reality exists only in my head.

the universe is being cruel. the universe wants me to fail. the universe wants to break me into a thousand little pieces, and then maybe a steam roller will come through and pulverise what little is left of me. yes.

FUCK YOU MEXICO, you hurt me so much. so much. i was ready to leave you, and here you are, sucking me right back in. why do you keep doing this to me? i eat your tacos, dammit, for breakfast, lunch AND dinner, so WHAT GIVES?!?

just... rip that heart out of my chest, go on and throw it in the fire, that's right. oh and crush it a little bit more? ahhh, perfect. now throw that mushy muscle that looks like ground beef back into my chest, and i will function normally.

i feel like an aztec sacrifice.


cut me open

i ventured down to kaustika yesterday to go and meet miguel, an artist here in d.f. whom i've been in contact with, and who knows friends of mine down in buenos aires. i conacted him about doing my skar, my maya kin of the skywalker.

we discussed size and placement, and he went off to sterilize his work area, and finally got to it.

after my last skar experience, i was expecting this to hurt. a lot. i mean, i love my stomach skar, and it reminds me of friends and of argentina, but i'll be honest - it hurt like a motherfucker.
but this didn't hurt. i barely flinched. miguel works fast, and this is a small skar in comparaison to my catamarca frog.

this is my maya kin. it represents the skywalker, the one whose mission is to join the celestial heavens with the earth, the one whose mission is to constantly observe, learn, and walk the roads of life.

okay, now ... it's a bit off. the lines aren't very straight and my kin looks like he's biting his lip. but since when am i a perfectionnist? it was a gift from him and i appreciate it all the more that it was free, and that now i will have something to remember my tumultuous passage through mexico. because let's face it - it hasn't been a piece of cake, and the ups and downs have been many. thankfully the ups have ended up outweighing the downs.
it also serves as a bridge between my past life and my current life - you see my maya kin has a little circle on top of it. instead of having miguel make one, i had it placed directly under an old cigarette burn, branded into me by mathieu the evening before i left for lima, when he proclaimed "this way, you won't forget me." i chose to incorporate this old scar into my new scar because it is a part of my camino, old meets new, learn from the past and go forward with your future.

a lot of you might think, why the hell does she do this to her body?

well, i like to remember things, people, places. that's one reason why my hair is the way it is - full of people i've met who have given me dreads, talismans and gifts given along the way. i describe my dreads as my photo album, they give me strength, not unlike samson. cut off me locks and you cut off me strength.

my body is my canvas, but i choose to decorate it at certain moments in time, rather spur of the moment, with things that seem appropriate in meaning and in context.. my dots i'd wanted for quite some time but getting them done coming back from ushuaia seemed like it was necessary. my catamarca frog i got done before leaving argentina to permanently bear the mark of this country that marked me so deeply, this country i had dreamed of and loved since early adolescence. also to wake up my immune system before embarquing on my trip to bolivia.

my maya kin was deciphered for me in la paz. i loved it from the minute i saw it. and the phrase caminante del cielo often came up in conversations, used to describe me. it seemed fitting, but would have been out of context to have it done anywhere else than in mexico.

the work i do to my body is for me a way of remembering who i am and what i've done. where i come from, where i'm going. in a maori meets memento sort of way, i hope one day to be able to look at my body, not only as a piece of art, but as a recollection of travels past, all the different times and phases of my life. each step taken, each cut in my skin, a constant reminder of my path through this world and through this life.


thoughts on d.f.

while diego is sick (sorry man, my fault) or working on school papers, or off interpreting for some hong kong banker, i've taken to night time wandering around the city with a young chilango named emiliano. i met him two days ago when he walked right up to me and asked what my name was. we ended up spending a couple hours together, just going for a ride.

fact sheet:
emiliano, born in london of mexican parents (with some brasilian thrown into the mix, somewhere), smokes a lot of mota and has a kind smile, with cafe au lait skin and honey coloured eyes. he looks younger than his 23 years, studies biology and kung fu, and takes me out at night to find the travestis and prostitutes, helping me see the seedy underbelly of this city, stopping every now and then at a taco stand to savor the different varieties of campechenos to which he is a self proclaimed slave.

these night time lurks have been fun, seeing parts of the city that come alive when the sun goes down.

i wrote a few lines in my notebook about the city which i will share with you , in french. sorry to the english speakers, but for once my francophone readers will have a bit of a breather!

"La Ciudad de Mexico, c'est une ville ou Paris rencontre Calcutta, d'apres la legende.
Une ville ou notre place de la Bastille a ete Mexicanisee et rebaptisee Plaza de la Independencia, ou des rues qui evoquent notre Lutece s'appellent Moliere, Anatole France, Alfred de Musset.
Une ville ou les foules Pekinoises se ruent a travers avenues hautaines dignes de Buenos Aires mais dont l'etat tristoune des maisons colorees en ruine rappellent Lima.
Des vestiges d'epoque coloniale sont stationnes dans des rues aux noms Azteques, Chapultepec, Mixcoac, Cuahtemoc. Cette ville aux multiples facettes, cultures se rencontrant au coin de la rue..
Azteque. Espagnol. Capitalisme.

Ce sont des visages de chiquitana et des nez aquilins, des trapus au visage ride par des annees passees a labourer trop dur pour une paie minime, des jeunes fardees de blanc pour paraitre d'une autre race, des levres rouges et dents manquantes, culs bondes et jambes flasques.

Une ville ou la region totale englobe le Canada au complet, 32 millions de visages, de battements de coeur, de vies en parallele.. 32 millions de reves, de peines, de joies, d'odeurs corporels emanant de tous ces ames se bousculant pour y trouver leur place, leur paix, leurs voeux les plus intenses.

Dans cette ville c'est tout, ou rien. Ou peut etre bien tout et rien a la fois."



blogger stats for tuesday, december 12.
visits by geographical location...

1. Mexico 21
2. Canada 5
3. United States 3
4. Germany 1
5. Netherlands 1
6. Portugal 1
7. France 1
8. Argentina 1
9. New Zealand 1
10. Australia 1

I can account for the mexican visits as they come from Diego's much visited blog, Canada because it's 4 people from MTL and another from Rouyn Noranda (Oligau!), France as it's probably Scott and Argentina is either Ego or Carry.. but the US (Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Arizona, of all places?!), German, Dutch, Portuguese, Kiwi and Aussie visitors are a mystery! Makes me happy though to see my blog is getting international traffic from people I don´t know.

Drop me a line, ghost visitors!

completely un travel related

i don't have much to say today, except this...

vous me manquez. vous savez qui vous etes. je regarde les photos de vous, souriants et de bonne humeur, et mon coeur se fend en deux, de ne pas pouvoir partager ces moments avec vous, que vous ne puissiez partager ces moments avec moi.

je vous aime. toujours. mes amours de wankers.

happy 5 year anniversary to my crew. i feel lucky to have been able to participate in it for almost 3 years, even if now I have different priorities. Hopefully one day you guys will come along for some adventuring.

keep on making some noize, and long live NTK!!!!!!

con todo el amor del mundo,

cat speakerlove.


je hais la bureaucratie.

My passport was not stamped when I entered Mexico, so now I have to pay a fee to get a tourist card. It took me 3 hours today just to get the necessary information, and will have to go back again tomorrow to complete my request. Argh.

I can´t get the dog into Belize without paying some 40$... hence I prefer to just go straight through into Guatemala where it´s a 10$ fee, and then Nicaragua, Hondruas, Costa Rica and Panama as planned, where only health certificates are necessary.

This is a bit of a problem because I am supposed to meet Petra in Veraxcruz and go down to Belize, but right now with all of these extra fees (Tiago sick, me needing a tourist card, etc) I can´t afford it, and I can´t be bothered to fill out paperwork when I can do it the easy way. Maybe we can meet up in Guatemala instead? No clue as to what´s going on, so Pet if you´re reading this, please get in touch with me.

I´ve been feeling quite under the weather these past few days, my muscles are sore and my articulations hurt, I have a constant headache and my nose is stuffed up.. I feel exactly like when I got to Brazil so I´m freaking out that the dengue is back with a vengence, but today I´m feeling better, sort of. I don´t think the suspension is going to happen because I am sick (and also because I can´t afford it), or the scar for that matter. This is me sad, but it´s probably for the better.

At least Tiago is doing better - at least he isn´t pissing orange anymore, and his fur isn´t falling off, although he still isn´t eating as much as I´d like for him to be eating.

So I have to wait to get my documents and then I´m heading out to San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas and your Zapatista communidades, here I come.



**edit below**

The annoncement of the day is that as of Christmas I shall no longer be travelling solo with the Boli ... my good friend and fellow freetekno embassador Petra will be joining up with me in Veracruz! This means I will not have to hitchhike alone through such hairraising places as Honduras, Nicaragua and the Darien Gap. And that I will be with one of my favourite people ever, here's hoping we don't kill each other!

Welcome aboard the adventure of a lifetime, miss Petra, remind me to create you an account on this blog so you can post to it.

The other news is the vet thinks Tiago has leptospirosis even though he has been vaccinated for it 3 times. This would suck if it is what he has. I had to collect a murky orange piss sample from my poor Boli to get it sent to the lab. He seems to be doing better but still won't eat and he's getting so skinny. My poor little baby.

My poor aching finances.

(hint: click button. you know you want to help out.)

**here starts edit. read it.**

soooooo,`i`ve already seen the squatted university auditorium which is awesome - they squatted it a few years ago and because the uni is autonomous, they can`t call the cops to evict them.
fucking geniuses! i wish i`d thought of something that cool.

i was taken to see the capital of emo, el chapo, and i felt like i had been transported back to the time when velvet petticoats at the flea market in clignancourt were the most exciting thing in my life. ahh, memories of my goth adolescence. i see all these little emo kids with their big hair and identical lip piercings staring at me like i`m a freak - honey, you know my hair be the hottest thing you`ve ever seen, but honestly, you`re the one walking around with a bird`s nest on your head. that is reserved for robert smith only, so please retire your comb and for the love of whatever fashionable god you believe in, learn to apply that bright red shade of lipstick that really isn`t your colour.

then went out to two house parties with diego la gran puta, the first one was... um. teeny bopper central? diego did his best daddy yankee impression (very convincing) and then we took off to another party, where there was minimal techno and any form of boom boom is welcome these days, so i danced for a couple hours before ending up shitfaced off of 5 beers, how the hell does that happen?
well it does happen and this morning i had quite the problem extracting myself from bed. but i managed to and walked around the downtown for a while (madness) and now i need to find a supermarket so i can whip up some of my orgasm enducing vegetarian lasagna for my favourite puntita who has been so kind in letting me crash at his place, and putting up with the boli`s non stop crying.

can`t wait to see petra again. this is going to be teh awesome (tm), i think we should zip off to costa rica and spend new year`s eve eating coconuts and dancing reggaeton on some jungle beach. yes. sounds lovely.



25 millions de chilangos, et moi et moi et moi

Arrived safely in Mexico City, with a sick Boli who managed to survive the 18 hours in the luggage compartment (pobrecito). The Boli would not eat, would not drink. He was not acting in typical Boli fashion (aka, very annoying), so yesterday I took him to the vet (aie, my pockets, the holes they BURN) who could not figure out what he had.. but he's on antibiotics and seems to be doing a bit better, albeit that he still isn't eating much, is losing industrial quantities of fur and has pus filled eyes.

My Boli, don't die on me, not yet. Please. I can't afford the vet.

This city is una locura total, oue. It's like taking the crowds of Beijing in a hectic Lima setting in a city twice the size of Buenos Aires. Yesterday I tried crossing a street in the centro and there were about 150 people on my side and 200 on the other... it was CRAZINESS getting through that, let me tell you.

I ventured off to the centro to find the artesania market and came back with 50$ worth of seeds, stones, leather cords, waxed string and such. I felt like I had died and gone to artisan heaven! Karin would have been nuts, I'm sure. So now I am broke again but full of stuffs to make more stuffs and now I'm sure I'll be able to sell more stuffs cause I will have more variety on my puesto de venta.

Tuesday normally Diego and I are off to Malinalco with Miguel to do fun fun fun things like get scarred and suspended! In an Aztec pyramid. Squirt.
Squirt squirt squirt.
I'm excited. I can't afford it, but tonight I'm going to go parchar so I can. And if nothing sells well.. such is life, friend.

I will probably hang around here for a week or so and then it's CHIAPAS to go find me a zapatista community to hang out with, then Guatemala, then going to fly through central america to Panama where I have two choices..

a) Take a boat to Colombia.
b) Attempt to go through the Darien Gap

I will say that even if the Darien Gap is reputed to be a killer, the fact that it is a part of the world that few people get to see, and that those who try don't always make it, makes me want to try. That is a pro.
The cons are that I could possibly die, or come out missing important body parts, or come out shellshocked.

Try to talk me out of it, because right now I've got my heart set on getting my name up on the short list of people who have made it across.

Maybe I need to stop pushing my luck... but I think I can make it.


past lives

in light of my insomnia (goddamn bugs), i spent a few hours looking over things i wrote over the past 3 years.
it went from hope, getting out of paris and the dismal situations that i lived in and starting my new life in montreal, to despair, in about one year.

a blog post made a few days before my 22nd birthday states:

"In 5 days I will be 22 and I can only think of what a waste my 21st year has been. What have I accomplished other than holing myself into oblivion and partying?
This year will be the year I take on South America. This year will be the year I watch the end of the world in awe and anazement.

This year I'm going to find out just what it is I'm supposed to do."

I am very proud of how far I have come this past year. in fact, i'd go far as to say i'm astonished at the progress i've made. i don't think i need to go into detail of my private hell i made for myself in 2006, but i was pretty far gone and when i see who i am now and what i've accomplished all i can think is that maybe there is hope for me after all.

that having been said, i say my goodbyes to the island today.


as i walked back from the bus terminal, a bus full of school children zoomed by and i heard squeals of delight as a group of girls and boys yelled "QUE PELO CHIDOOOOOO" (awesome hair!), it made me smile something fierce.

i leave for d.f. at 3, by bus and not by finger, because the bus is pretty cheap and i'd like to be able to zip through. i'd hate to get stuck somewhere. i really just want to go and see diego, get my scar done, and head to chiapas.
my christmas plans of being in buenos aires are pretty much nixed by this point.. it's taken me 2 months to get to the halfway mark, so i'd say i'll probably be in buenos aires by january. in which case my new plan is to find me some tribe who have never heard of this jesus bloke that way christmas is non existant this year.

sounds good, yes?

d.f. scares the shit out of me, though. it's babylon incarnate. 25 million people? that is NUTS, how can so many people live in one city? i mean canada has what 30 million people and it's the second largest country in the world! granted 2/3 of our territory is pretty much inhabitable unless you like permafrost, so i guess it's not the best example.

it's going to be weird being back in a city, an actual CITY, after having spent the past 5 months travelling around the country and the past 2 months on the beach. even when i was in L.A. i never left Venice Beach because i didn't see any reason to go into the downtown core.. i liked my little canals and my beach and my boardwalk.
but i am looking forward to seeing diego again and being back in a hustle and bustle, maybe actually going out for a drink in a place that plays something other than banda music. i would have expected more reggaeton in mexico, alas, i have been failed.

i'm kind of scared that tiago will go nuts in a place like d.f. though, he's jumpy, and he likes his freedom, so i have no idea how he is going to react to being in the largest city on earth. let's hope he doesn't bite anyone in the crotch this time?

(she was a tweaker! she came in between me and my bag! he was just doing his job. good boli. bite all them bad meth addicts.)

goodbye isla. goodbye beach. goodbye ocean. we will see eachother soon.. but before that, i want to go back to the jungle.


quiero seeeeer tu dueno, y algo mas

ahh, banda music. it goes poom poom poom, poom poom poom, and it's slow and syrupy, melancholy or romantic, sometimes uplifting.

i can't tell the difference.

i'd rather listen to reggaeton, thanks.

tomorrow off to town for financial reasons - i get 100 pesos for running some errands, woot. then i figure out how i'm getting to d.f. to see my puntita!

i've added a new part to the blog... the thank yous. it's starting to be quite a long list, so if you're in between entries and you still can't get enough, go read it :)
i figured enough people have helped me along the way in different ways that they deserved a spot on here.. they too are a part of my journey, why not include them.


like a cold steady rain

well, at least i got to test the rain stopping capacities of a thatched palm roof - it rained last night. i also got to discover that my sleeping bag is impermeable (can you say that in english? meh, franglais works too.) but my hammock isn't - result, a slippery hammock and a warm blanket.

i am going to attempt going into town today and not getting kicked out. nevermind that i can't afford the boat back, it's 5 pesos, i can always find 5 pesos.
i don't like leaving the island much, in truth.. the island is like a little paradise away from the city, what with such large coconut groves, and the mangroves, and the dirt roads and children running barefoot, calling out to the dogs "CHUCHO!".

tiago woke me up this morning, he was singing. it's not the first time i've heard him sing, he used to do it in la paz a lot, mau would start howling and kaiser and tiago would follow.
this could usually go on for a good 30 minutes, as i watched on, shaking my head laughing. el cantador de perros.

anyway this morning before i opened my eyes i heard this, thought it was just mau howling with the dogs again so i went to turn over and put my hand out and felt empty humid ocean air, opened my eyes and saw that i was in a hammock where the pleasant peppery lavender smell was nowhere to be found - in its place, a heavy salty smell and a steel green ocean, the colour reminding me of piercing eyes.

tiago was sitting on the palapa roof, singing out to a dog who was singing somewhere further down the beach.

strange morning. strange night, too.

my self esteem and high spirits have been rather lacking these days, ever since i found out the boat wouldn't be leaving till february and the whole ideal with the cops. it makes me sad and upset, thinking that i really can'tdo this on my own, surviving just off of my meagre jewelery sales.
but to admit defeat is to fail, and i don't consider it a failure even if i have to ask for help. there are always people who extend their hand to me when i've fallen, and they are never forgotten.. they're the ones who will hold a special place in my book, i'll dedicate entire chapters to them!

i keep trying to keep a positive outlook but it's hard, i mean anyone who thinks this is glamourous needs to come out and see how i'm living...
i have no problem living with the bare necessities but you need to have an expandable stomach to deal with the foodless periods, be able to sleep anywhere no matter the circumstance, find ways of surviving even though none seem to be available, keep a smile so the charm keeps flowing even if you want to break down and cry like a child. which is how i feel these days.

i miss my friends. and my family. there are days i'm happy being alone, and others i wish i could be more sociable, which i'm having problems with these days. i keep mostly to myself, hanging around with tiago.

well, attempting to go into town today around noon. hope it doesn't rain, but i hope it rains finances.


spange, spange, spange.

well, mike, 46, british skipper, isn't leaving until march. and won't be going much further south than mexico. oh, snap. but he assured me he would listen to the net every morning and transmit my information if someone mentions needing a cook or any kind of crew on board going south, which is nice of him.

the cops keep being annoying and kicking me out of the spots i try to go sell in. next time, apparently, they confiscate my wares. that's a good 200-250$ worth of stuff made, so i need to lay low these days, which sucks because I have a whopping 15 pesos to my name, i can maybe get 2 tacos with that. and i still need to pay for my hammock space. argh.

so this is me saying BE KIND, PRESS MY BUTTON, SEND MONIES.

it's almost xmas, after all.


Dear Santa,

This year, although I am lacking a chimney and milk and cookies to give you (how does Pacifico with a lime sound?), I would like to say that I'm sorry I have been such a bad spender. That having been said, I would really like it if you brought me the following gift, for which I promise to... get a job upon my arrival which would not involve me sitting on the ground in front of really crappy jewlery made from marijuana fibre.

So Santa, please remember me this year. I will leave out a lime, a knife, and a fresh Pacifico on the porch for you. Please come early. I have a duck to cook for Carry.



p.s. Sorry for that one thing I did. I know you know what I'm talking about. No one else needs to know.


un dia si dios quiere...

well. a bunch of things.

the other day, after having spent some 8 hours parchando, no money in pockets. i got on the boat back to my island and sat down to write when a man named Montana came to sit and talk with me. finally he offered to go smoke a joint, and as i got up to follow i noticed a piece of paper on the ground. i picked it up.


Buen viaje
Vaya con dios!"

inside the note was 10$ and 50 pesos.


no name. no idea where it came from. the american couple who had just left chabela's? christophe? the nice dutch lady from the boat who i spoke to the same day? it could have just been placed on my bag, which i had just manipulated, or could have been in there for a while. so strange, so cryptic, but welcome as i had only 7 pesos left, enough to take the boat back to mazatlan but not back to the island if i didn't make any money the next day.

yesterday i went to the marina and dropped off a note on the bulletin board announcing that a young girl with no sailing experience but mucho enthusiasm, very versatile and fast learning was looking to work, cooking or cleaning or any odd job, in exchange for a trip to central america.
today i got an email back! so i'm going to hop over there tomorrow and talk with the guy and see where he's going and if we get along.. as Scott pointed out, once you get on a boat, there's no getting off until you get to port.
i hope this works out. it would be so incredible to work my way to panama on a boat!

aaaaaaand, new living situation! and pictures!

mi hamaca is now installed on the roof of this very sweet man named John's house. i wake up every morning looking at this:

this is me waking up.

begin jealousy... now. hahah. personally i've been living on or around beaches for almost 2 months so now it's just same old, same old. i will admit that going to sleep and waking up listening to the sound of the waves is very nice, though, and it's great for the dog because he loves the water, the dead fish, and he can run to his little heart's content.

tiago likes beaches. what a lucky bolivian, most never see the beach.

look at how cute and big he is.

Now, pictures of the author, because it has indeed been a long time, hasn't it?

deep in conversation. hrm.

making jewlery in mulege, a few weeks back.

gratuitous myspace shot! nah i needed a good picture of my eyes for someone who asked for it.

a girl and her dog...

... we wander together.

more when life gets exciting again. ie: having no stress. have no money, but have beer and lime, and can find fish on the beach. yay, fresh dead fish.


isla de la piedra

as predicted, i ended up spending saturday night on the beach. i found a gazebo near a bit of a grass patch so i put my stuff down there, and walked across the street to see if i could find some cheap food. as i made my way back on the sidewalk, three young girls stopped in their tracks.

"Look at her hair!"

one of them ran up to me and started stroking my dreads, the two others grabbing my pigtails and putting them on their heads. one of them looks up at me with big brown eyes and asks if i`ll give her my hair.

"Well i can`t really just pull it off..."

"Oh please! just this fuschia one!"

i rummaged around for my scissors in my bag and cut it off, she held it up to the other girls.

"she gave me one! look at how pretty it is!"

the two others demanded they get one too. i figured it wouldn`t be fair, so i cut off a purple one and a pink one.

they ran off after their mothers, each proclaiming her dread was prettier than the other´s.

it was cute.

found my way back to my pack and tiago, and set up camp. about 15 minutes later `m pulled out of sleep by the sound of my alarm - tiago is barking. i wake up and see five policemen.


"uh, what the hell are you doing, girl?"

"um. sleeping?"

"where are you from?"


"why are you sleeping outside?"

"the only hotel i can afford won`t let me stay with my dog. i do have to sleep somewhere, don`t i?"

"i suppose. well. it´s ok for tonight. but find yourself a room tomorrow. it`s dangerous out here."

strangely enough everytime i opened my eyes i saw a cop standing nearby. cant see how dangerous that is, unless of course you consider my cops-stealing-my-monies-in-tijuana experience.

yesterday morning i was wandering off to the market to get a bite to eat (and a banana papaya milkshake, man i love those things) when a man painting a sign on a store stops me in the street.

"is that a chucho?"

"beg your pardon?"

"your dog. is he from mexico?"


"oh. he looks like a mexican chucho, where did you get him?"

"bolivia. he`s a callejero"

apparently this little thumb thing he has on his front paws is a sign of being a street dog, and a lot of mexican ones (chuchos) have them. i ended up talking with him, oscar is his name, and he asked where i was staying, i told him what had happened the night before.
he shook his head. "you should go to chabela`s on isla de la piedra. she won`t mind our dog, and if you have a tent i`m sure she won`t even make you pay 50 pesos."

well i have no tent but i have my trusty hammock.

i jumped on the lancha (boat) to isla de la piedra and started walking. turns out that chabela is actually isabelle, an artisan from montreal who specializes in making stuff out of coconuts, and she agreed to let me put up my hammock for 45 pesos a night, including use of shower, kitchen and bathroom.

and she lives right on the beach. it costs 15 pesos to go to and from the island, so basically it`s a 5$ a day deal. not so bad.

i went to hunt my first coconut by kicking the tree a couple times. i can`t climb a tree with no branches to save my life (something i need to learn, note to self) so it was pretty comical.

then someone tapped me on the shoulder. i turned around. in his left hand, a machete. in his right, a cocount.

he showed me how to open it to get the water out. i drank half of it, and gave the other half to tiago. then i hacked away at it to get the flesh out. once again. half for me, half for tiago.

it was delicious.

i met my upstairs neighbours, bud growers from grass valley. their kush knocked me out and sent me reeling back to my hammock, where the gegenas ("no see ems") ate me alive all night. apparently they also lay eggs under the skin, which uh, sucks cause i'm covered in bites.
must change hammock`s location from bamboo grove to somewhere far from annoying bugs. that, or buy a tiki torch.

but for that i must get to work, which is what i`m going to do! wish me luck.


goodbye baja, hello mainland

so much stress for nothing! i got tiago on the boat without a problem. and he put up with the 18 hours in a cage pretty well, he didn´t cry, didn´t have any accidents.

such a good boli, yes you are.

i feel like my blog has become overstuffed with my stress, i mean.. i went to some of the most beautiful beaches in la paz and didn´t even mention them. then again what´s the point of mentioning "white sand, clear, turquoise water, bright sun..." cause i mean, a beach is a beach, right? the boys (ale and mau) tried to get me on a surfboard but that didn´t work out too well. i wish i had pictures of that.

in the meantime, here are some stolen pictures of baja beaches, where ale, mau and i spent a lot of our time.

el tecolote. gegena free.

balandra bay. famous place, full of gegenas.

balandra, again.
somewhere, in pachuca, there exists a phone belonging to a certain alejandro in which there is a photo of a cat and a mau hugging in front of this beach.
hurry up, mamon, i want that picture.

anyway so la paz is behind me now, snif, kind of, now i´m alone again in a new city. i met some people on the boat, a francophone from Switzerland named Christophe (OMG FRENCH IT´S BEEN SO LONG) and some Mexican guys who were a hoot. One of them offered to come around later on to find me and he´s going to try and find me a place to stay, which is cool, but for some reason I have an aching feeling I´mma be sleeping on the beach again. 18 hours on a ferry is looong, but we got dinner and breakfast, and everyone kept buying beer for me so that was cool beans. not quite worth the 85$, although that ferry was the most luxurious ferries i´ve ever seen, then again i´m used to ones that take a few minutes to a couple hours at most. i still feel like i´m on it, still feel the rolling of the boat.
so just got into mazatlan about an hour ago, tried to find the spot where the artesanos go but apparently i need a permit to sell on the street here which makes me angry cause in order to buy said permit i need to sell said artesanias, it´s like a snake biting his own tail thing. ugh.

some days i feel like my expectations are too high, that i´ve set the bar too high for myself and i´m sinking, other days i feel like everything is riding high and i have luck on my side. today i´m a little from column a, a little from column b. just feels like the universe is trying to tell me something. something along the lines of ...

"hey you, yeah you, the freak with the 50 lb backpack, bolivian canine and travel cage on your head, you heard me, what the hell do you think you´re doing?"

umm. fufilling my destiny?

"bullshit! you´re digging your own grave! hello, reality check!"


i think my energy and my force of will to survive and overcome these obstacles should be stronger than all of these things. after all this is only a test.

it´s weird, there´s so much i want to see and do and right now i´m just stuck in a rut of i can´t do this when the entire point of this trip was proving to myself that i can do this, but it´s just getting harder and harder as time goes on. there were days in venice beach (LA) where i wouldn´t make a dime and people flying a sign that said "FUCK YOU" could make 40$ in 10 minutes. that used to depress the hell out of me. i´m sitting here knotting away and trying to make an honest living and i have to be thigh deep in a dumpster to eat (and what terrific dumpsters) and these dudes run around and say "fuck you! i´m hungryy, gimme some cash!" and make more than i do. jesus christ what is wrong with the world.
or maybe it´s what i make? granted i´m not very good yet, well i´m good at the knots that i do know and people seem to like what i do, but i´ll admit it´s not yet varied. i really want to be working with leather more than hemp but i do what i can with what i have and i think that´s the important thing. when i get to d.f. i´ll stock up on stones and seeds and leather so i can start making other stuff to add to my puesto de venta.

it´s the first time in a week that i´ve woken up to something other than mau saying mija come smoke a joint, wouldn´t mind the joint right about now, wouldn´t mind getting my morning hug either. need to find me some new friends. shouldn´t be hard. i´m a happy shiny bouncy ball of joy with multi coloured dreads and a nicotine stained smile that will melt your heart or make you want to buy me a different brand of toothpaste.

off to find the artesanos and figure out where the loophole in the system is, hope i make some $$$, hope you all are safe.

i am.


incoming grey hairs! zomg!





"Wake up and come smoke a joint with me, mija."


(for those who know me, you know that MUH is morning speak, especially when following a night of tequila shot upon tequila shot upon... good gracious Natalia! You are my new hero.)

I woke up and went in the kitchen and smoked a joint with Mau. So last supper style.

"I`m sad you`re leaving. You`re a nutcase, but you`re also a great person. You always have a home in La Paz, if you ever come back. Will you ever come back?"

Biting my lip.

"Maybe. I don`t know."

"Well if you do, you have a home with me. Don`t ever hesitate, my door is always open for you. And maybe you won´t get out today, La Paz has a funny way of keeping people stuck here."

No mames!

And then something really funny happened but I`m not going to broadcast that to the world. A hug, a kiss, a cuidate mucho, and goodbye.

Poof. Goodbye, Mau. You´re beautiful. Really. Maybe in another life.


Ok. Day on. Run to Baja Ferries, buy ticket (85$ what!) ask woman at counter if dog can come, she says yes in cage. Run back to Mau´s, get stuff, get dog. Run to buy cage, go to bus station, but ticket for Pichilingue. All is good. Look at ferry ticket. Oh noes.


oh. god. no. que pinche pedo.

So. I´m freaking out. 30 new grey hairs have elected my head as place of residence along with the other 500 that have popped out since I started this trip. Stress! ARGH! OUT OF MY LIFE!

Options? Get ticket paid back and prey that I can afford a plane ticket from San jose del Cabo to Guadalajara? Hitchhike back up to TJ and go down through Mexicali?

Hop a cargo? Seems like the best option. Cargo. Yes. Cargo. There is always cargo in a port, right?

In other news that isn´t cat`s raging case of stress (tm), i`ve found an artist for my next skar (if i can afford it) who also offered to do suspensions in some pyramids out near oaxaca. QUE CHIDO! especially since the skar i want to get is the symbol for caminante del cielo which is mayan, so having it done in such an incredibly spiritual place and on mayan land would just be so beautiful.

que buena onda.

alright. bus leaving in 30 minutes. in one hour my fate is sealed... let`s hope tiago doesn`t fuck up yet another thing (i love my dog, but damn it`s difficult.)


tacos for breakfast

"Good morning Catalina"

"Good morning Mau"

"You hungry? Want breakfast?"

"Sure... what do you suggest?"



eeeh... what?! tacos... for breakfast?!

crazy mexicans.

Still no bag, probably not until tonight, anyway. Dammit. I walked around for a few hours last night, and finally this cute little mexican girl with a mohawk (!!!) comes up to me and says, "you´re so beautiful! I love your hair! Where are you from girl?" and turns out she works at a bar, so she called me in and gave me some free shots cause no one was in there yet. Her name is Natalia and she´s originally from TJ (tijuana), and I stayed and chatted with her for a good 2 or 3 hours until I figured I should probably haul ass back to Mau´s and feed Tiago. She told me to come back tonight cause it´s free tequila for girls, I asked what kind of music they´d be playing and she rolled her eyes.


I am SOOOOO there, girl. See you tomorrow.

Got back to Mau´s, he kept trying to force feed me an omelette cause he says I don´t eat enough, which is probably true but then again i´m used to eating a meal a day from being dirt broke. I conceded and ate the stupid omelette (which was full of garlic mmm, garlic, stop feeding me aphrodisiacs, fool!) while he howled away making the dogs go crazy (El cantador de perros oue), i swear that man is crazy. I made a few necklaces cause I have hemp again (yay), listened to him screaming over his video game "A HUEVOOO!!! CHINGOOOON!". I fixed a necklace for him, something a Japanese friend gave to him which didn´t look like it needed to be fixed but he´s been asking me to make a new braid for it so I did. He seemed really happy with the result and gave me a bone crushing hug saying, "Now I have something to remember my cosita francesa!"

Awww. At least everything is less.. awkward than it was. Cause it was awkward for a few days. Now it seems like it´s back to normal, minus a few things, ha.
This should be a lesson to me.. like a crash course in Traveling 101:

"Never sleep with the people who are letting you stay with them, even if they look like they walked out of a Calvin Klein ad when they`ve just stepped out of the shower, even if they have the most amaaaaaazing dark green eyes and cheek bones you could cut yourself on, even if they have lips like whoa and pretty dulce de leche coloured skin, even if they smell like lavender and pepper, and ESPECIALLY even if they say, you can sleep on the floor or with me."
Bed versus cold tile. Gorgeous Mexican surfer boy versus hairy Bolivian canine. Hrm.

Hard to pick which sounds more appealing.

Ever been to an all you can eat buffet chock filled with all of your favourite foods, and have your mouth screwed shut? I haven't, but I have had to sleep in the same bed as a Mau and not be able to touch the Mau, and that is torture.

So the floor it is for me.

/end bitterness. Not really bitter. But still. I`d have preferred a different ending. I WALK OUT ON YOU, NOT THE OTHER WAY AROUND. GRR.

And speaking of endings...

I know I keep talking about leaving people behind and such but it is something that´s been on my mind for a while. There are so many people who I love and care for immensly and I haven´t seen a lot of them in a long time. My mother, for example, and my father, but there´s also all of my wankers back in Montreal.. I feel so selfish for having taken off the way I did, but I think I need to elaborate a little on why I left so abruptly.

"So I’m up at dawn putting on my shoes
I just want to make a clean escape
I’m leaving but I don’t know how soon
I know I’m leaving but I don’t know where to"

First, imagine going from the Amazon to concrete jungle, fluorescent lighting, traffic, white skin. Shock, complete and utter shock. Imagine going from living day to day to stagnant sedentarism. It´s like an iron fist to the jaw.
I broke down. I spent 2 weeks crying. I spent 2 weeks bashing my head against the wall wondering why the hell I´d gotten on that plane, why I didn´t stay. So I left for the West coast and tried to make money but failed. I got bored. I wasn´t getting any news from Montreal, and all the news I was getting kept breaking my heart, over and over. I miss my family, really, but all I could imagine going back there was not being able to find any work, being miserable, and having to go through another winter too cold for people of sound mind.

"it only gets worse when i´m stuck in one place.. i´m always pacing around or walking away..."

So I went south, and kept on going. And I´m going to keep on going. Even though I miss my parents, my friends, my family, even though with every new city I love and lose, even though I hate saying goodbye, I am going to keep on going until I get tired, until my feet are bleeding and broken. like they sing in my favourite song..

"Je ne sais pas ou je vais, oh ca je l'ai jamais bien su,
Mais si jamais je le savais, je crois bien que je n'irai plus..
Aujourd'hui je t'aime, oui mais demain, on ne peut jamais etre sur de rien, on va toujours seul sur la route, je continue coute que coute.."

I feel like I need to apologize for living my life this way, because when I left I left a lot of things untended. My apartment is gone now, my stuff is at a friend´s (merci crevette), but I left without saying goodbye. I left without saying I love you, take care, I´m sorry I´m so unstable and can´t live like this anymore. I´m sorry I want to walk alone with my dog, and be myself, and wander through this life like the mayan caminante del cielo. That is my purpose, and it was my choice, but that does not mean that it doesn´t hurt me every time I have to say goodbye.

"and it all boils down to one quotable phrase ´if you love something, give it away´"

But I shouldn´t have to apologize for wanting to live my life the way I live it, for loving people, for loving cultures, for loving seeing something new everyday, meeting new faces, speaking another language than my own, and wanting to discover the world.

" "if you're still free, start running away... cause we're comin' for ya!"

I´m sorry that I haven´t seen my mother in almost a year, and that the last time I saw Sarah was for her mother´s funeral; that Amelie and Crevette are stuck in Montreal when I´d rather have them here on the road with me, that Niko needs to go back to France and I don´t know when I´ll ever see my big brother again (on a eu nos differences mais dans mon coeur, tu es et sera toujours mon hermano), that Aprille is going to Thailand and not Buenos Aires (HERPASSO SECORRO).

Anyway. Thought I should clear some things up. And I leave you with Bright Eyes, Landlocked Blues. It´s a good summary. That, and it will always make me remember Aeon and Courtney who picked me up in Garberville one rainy day, and who I left in LA two weeks later. Hope you guys are well.

(quotes from Landlocked Blues (Bright Eyes) and Ou je vais (La rue Ketanou))

p.s. this blog entry was edited 10 000 times. Hope you like it. I think it´s very entertaining.


la concha de la lora....

universe, please stop sending me signals that force me to stay in la paz. please stop, ok?

now that i´ve found a cage (within 3 blocks of the bus terminal, oh thank the lord), i left my bag at a friend´s house and he was supposed to bring it back around 2 but didn´t. so i have to wait to get my bag so i can leave. what the hell, man!

anyway! last night met a bunch of great people, pedro and renée, awesome people and we sat around while ale played some traditional mexican songs (la llorona goes on and on and on...) and drank a shitton of mezcal and i ate the worm and now i think i am the worm, or that i have an amoeba or some intestinal parasite.

enough about bad things my god! i´m in mexico! it´s hot out! there´s no snow! yay.

well i guess if i manage to get my bag back tomorrow i´m off to pichilingue and then mazatlan... makes me sad, kind of. ale left this morning and invited me to come see him in pachuca, and tomorrow i´ll have to say goodbye to mau who has been so good to me, cooking for me, and never letting me buy my own beer.

i wish things had been different. we don´t have much to say to each other these days, but it´s also cause i´m always running around trying to figure stuff out and he´s always passed out from smoking too much weed and cause he gets up at ungodly hours for his school (marine biology go figure). in any case i hope he hasn´t minded having a crazy french girl and her even crazier dog in his house for a week.

now just cross your fingers that i manage to get my bag, the cage, and on the ferry for mazatlan before i do something stupid.


puto boli

tiago decided to escape on me for 4 days, leaving me in a state of shock, which lead to complete despair and finally me trying to beat the shit out of a banana tree.

needless to say the tree won.

so this is me wandering through la paz at 7 am, at noon, at sunset, in the middle of the night, barefoot, whistling. crying hysterically, calling out to my dog. tiago. tiago. por donde andas amorcito?

this morning when i heard something fidgeting with the front gate, then the sound of something metallic, and a run. i lept out of bed and ran out the door and lo and behold, was the puto boli himself, tiago la terreur. a little burnt on his nose but other than that he`s fine. i`m so happy he came back, i couldn`t imagine life without him. in fact, life without him was terrible. he`s annoying as all hell but i wouldn`t give him up for anything.

the past 4 days haven´t been so great, therefore, what with me looking for my dog and not noticing the situation with m. going from whee! to meh in .5 seconds. we had a little chat last night which ended with me saying something along the lines of, such a shame, you`re a pretty little thing, but i`m used to it by now, i always end up leaving, so i try not to get too attached. it`s cool man, no worries. i`ll be out tomorrow, to which he said no no, it`s cool, you can stay.
i wonder if this reaction(*cough* rejection *cough*) came from me being a wreck or if it`s because i´m leaving...
or that i`m trying to, anyway, cause everything seems to be holding me back these days.

now i have to buy a transport cage, but i can`t afford the cage and passage to mazatlan, so i`m not sure of what to do. i am going to need a cage. this is fact. however, a 200$ cage is not necessary. in fact, i could buy the 200$ cage but then i`d have all of 2$ to my name and that won`t get me to mazatlan.
a vet has an old beaten up one for 70$ but it has no door, but she said she could fix it up for me. the thing is i want to leave like, now, right, cause i`m not sure how much longer i want to stick around. actually, i have 30 days to get to buenos aires, so that doesn´t give me much time to hang around staring at the ceiling, or walk around this boring city that i know by heart now.

i leave you with this heartwarming self portrait taken 2 months ago, the day i embarqued on this crazy trip, in rock island, washington.

we`re just one big happy family.


te deja con buen sabor en la boca oue

ahhh, peace at last.

now i`m living in a cockroach and meth free environment with a guy from michoacan so it seems like a more mexican deal than the previous one which was living with a gringo in a meth motel (what else were we expecting for 25$ a week?).

the story as follows:
i got rid of the gringo and got the hell out of the motel inhabited by cockroaches and methheads.. the gringo was talking about robbing some old man and getting tons of money so i walked out, sorry man but i can`t be around someone like that. took tiago for a stroll on the beach and there i met two artesanos (WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN ALL WEEK?!) who i hung out with for a while until they brought me over to mauricio`s where i`ve been living ever since. he heard about the gringo and the hotel and asked me if i was ok and i said not really, i want to leave la paz, so he offered a place to stay so i`d change my negative ideas about baja.
and now i feel like this huge weight has lifted off my shoulders, no more brad, no more meth neighbours, my stuff is in a secure spot and tiago is happy cause he has a new friend named kaiser (yet another pitbull). and mauricio is a really nice person, in fact he`s a beautiful person with a lot of heart and he`s radiant, he just has this crazy glow and amazing energy flow. and just as beautiful to look at, man how do i find these guys i´ll never know, but thank whichever god you pray to, cause i`m not complaining.

which gets me to my next topic: the bane of the traveler`s existence.
the thing about wandering around is that you meet a lot of wonderful people, a lot of assholes as well, but let´s focus on the positive. and i´ve met a lot of incredibly kind people, interesting conversations and fun times were had. and i´ve had to leave all of them behind me, which is always sad. it breaks my heart everytime when i have to say goodbye to them ..this means you, arica, and you, buenos aires, and you, lima, and you, ushuaia, and you, samaipata, and now it also means you, la paz. so many friends, travel companions, lovers, i miss them all and this time i know it´ll be no different.
i guess it´s just the way it goes, i always end up leaving wonderful people behind me, never knowing if i´ll ever see them again, or what could have been.


màs alla del sur!

(sorry Diego, I stoled your book title)


I´m alive!

So where to start? Cherry season ended and I found myself without a cause. What to do? I chased BC around for a while and then finally hitchhiked down to California to a festival to see my sister, and then hitched up and down the coast until getting to Venice Beach where I stayed for 2 weeks, making necklaces and hairwraps to survive up until Halloween, when I found a ride that dropped me off some 300 kilometres into Baja California. Between Venice and San Quintin my wallet disappeared, so although my bank card is no longer in my possession, donations are still appreciated and will always find their way to me, so please guys, remember your favourite adventurer cannot survive on filtered water and tacos alone.
Since parting ways with the ride, I´ve been hitching through the desert, accompanied although I would rather be alone, but here is our last stop together - he goes back to Alaska and I go north, which should put a stop to creepy guy staring at me when I wake up. We´ve been sleeping in abandoned ranches, behind Tecate factories and for a week in a palapa on the beach where I met Giulia, a wonderful woman, ageless, who´d been living on this beach for a few months. She inspired me to keep on going. If you read this contessa, I wear your strachi with pride (and the Mexicans love it, skeezes), I hope you love your tresses still, and that they´ll still be in when we (inch´Allah) meet up in Colombia.

Now I´m in La Paz, Mexico. It´s beautiful, it´s sunny, it´s hot, i´m browner than brown, but no one will buy anything from me, and it seems like hair wraps went out of fashion along with dayglo spandex. I also have a wisdom tooth making kits way through my cheek which always makes for great times, thank god for penicillin.

The adventure, hopefully, should follow to Puerto Vallarta and from there... a boat to Costa Rica? A bus to Tapachula where the Ticabus will take me to Panamá? Continue hitchhiking through such hair raising places as Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador? I hope not. I like adventure, but I like being alive too.

Maybe if someone sponsored me I´d do something crazy like that, maybe even go through the Darian Gap like this dude I met who is doing it on a bike (but am i that crazy? I´ll leave that to the next blog entry....)

In the meantime I continue attempting the life of an artesana so that I may one day see the Buenos Aires penis once again (the Obelisk, you perverts) and that Tiago might one day see his birthplace once more and happily frolick through heaps of trash with his parents.

More to come soon from the crazy chick with the crazy hair, crazy love to all and remember... DO WHAT YOU´RE AFRAID OF!



suffering from a large dose of culture clash, and seriously empty pockets, i high tailed it out of montreal (rather abruptly might i add) and crossed canada to come pick cherries in the okanagan valley.
i'm mentally preparing for my return down south which i hope will happen sometime in october. i've decided to go down to mexico and go through central america to panama, where i'll jump on a boat for columbia, and from there make my way back down to argentina.
i'm deciding against taking the plane for tiago's sake, also because i want some more adventure in my life :)
stay tuned for updates in the coming months!


the long road home

This was my original itinerary:

This is what I ended up doing:

Here are the stats:

hours of travel:

bus: 275 hours
train: 63 hours
hitchhiking: 32 hours
boat: 8 hours
plane: 1 hour (+ 21 hours to and from lima)

total: 400 hours

total kilometres:

19 290 kilometres

countries visited:

Peru, Chile, Argentina, Bolivia, Brasil.

diseases contracted:

1: strange skin eruption. possibly dengue.

number of freak accidents:

1. Carmen de Patagones, stupidly walking through low tide while playing accordeon
2. Buenos Aires, stupidly waltzing on flat surface.
3. Isla del Sol, stupidly slipping on gravel surface, but miraculosly unscathed.

No young marginalized white chicks were harmed during this trip.

Involuntarily, at least.

(Buenos Aires, I'm looking at you.)

Many bottles of beer, however, lost their contents.

I'm back in Montreal now after two weeks and it's hard. It's really hard. But, in keeping with the joyous, uplifting spirit of this blog, I would rather not talk about the hell that was Atlanta, or getting Tiago on the plane. Let's keep it happy.

My bag is officially dead - the zippers are busted, the ties are gone, and I found the contents exploded all over the plastic bag that it was held in when I went to retreive it on the belt at PET. I'm sad, but el Monstro lasted 12 years, which is an honorable lapse of time for a backpack. Although I'm not retiring him completely, he has indeed made his last long scale trip, but for short periods and small loads he should handle it fine.

Bookmark this blog, and check back in the fall, for the new installment of the adventures of a girl and her (new and improved) backpack.

Thanks for reading.


jungle fever - the shaman and la madre

we left lima last saturday direction tingo maria, after one of my "brilliant" last minute ideas about going onto yurimaguas instead of iquitos, thinking we could get there from tingo maria. turns out that while tingo maria is really beautful, in the high jungle in the cordillera azul, the roads out of there are terrible and to get to yurimaguas you need to take a taxi to toroche (35 soles) and then a 4 x 4 to tarapoto (25 soles) and then a micro to yurimaguas. um, no.
so we hopped on a bus for pucallpa and upon arriving tried to figure out how to get to iquitos, do we boat it (3 days), oops no boats leaving today, or do we fly it (45 minutes), shit we missed the plane. we wandered back out to town figuring we´d sleep on it when we met a basque who told us about a community he knew some 5 hours by boat where he´d been before. we figured well why the hell not? so the next morning at 8 am we hopped on a crowded boat down the ucayali river towards massisea.

the shipibo who live in the jungle seem more southeast asian than peruvian, they look filipino or indonesian, with fine, graceful features and beautiful smiles. they are a bueatiful people, living with their traditions, without electricity or running water, living off of exchanges and sharing the wealth with the community.

we were not to stay in massisea, though, and walked the 3 kilometres separating massisea from the small community of nuevo ceylan further down the river. when we got to the last bend some 10 children came running out towards us, all sñiles, hola, hola! and led us down the dirt path towards the house of the shaman.

he was not there, though, but his wife was, and she fed us a delightful plate of spaghetti, rice, plantain and chicken, with the most delicious glass of lemonade my taste buds have ever experienced.

teo arrived and greeted us all warmly, with a kind smile, ustedes son muy especiales para mi, como mi niños, and told us we would go see la madre ayahuasca the following day, eat a bit, and then do our first ceremony, relax the next day, do another ceremony on thursday and on friday we would leave.


we walked around the village greeting the locals, children following us and running around, playing with tiago, beautiful smiles and ragged clothes leading the way down a muddy path lined with papaya trees and plantain, all the way to the chocolate coloured river.

we slept in the adjoining room in teo´s house, before going to sleep drinking coca and yerba maté, exchanging our stories.. a 20 year old american boy named riley was there with us an ex intravenous heroin and cocaine user now afflicted with hepatits c, he had been there for 2 months on a cleanse, he told us his story and i felt bad for this young boy with so many demons.

the next morning we woke up and drank our "medecine" before trekking some 12 kilometres to see la madre, a vine about 15 metres high that grows from the ground to the sky, an impressive tressed bark that seemed hundreds of years old, the energy emanating from this plant was amazing. we sat in the clearing for an hour or so, butterflies swirling all around us, coming to rest on our bodies, fluttering off to explore another body, probably thinking we were some sort of malformed flower.

the night arrived and we prepared ourselves for the ceremony, drinking this brick red karkadet tasting liquid - the minute i drank it i could feel it rushing troughmy body, shivering, wrapping myself in blankets to warm myself up. i sat there listening to the sounds of the jungle (at night it really comes alive out there) and thechants of the shipibo who were assisting in the ceremony, trying to concentrate on the plant working inside me.. but nothing. no visions. just the impression that i was covered in filth, scraping a my arms and my face trying to clean myself.

i took the huasca three times over two ceremonies and always the same - sleepy, filthy, sad.

after 5 days spent in the jungle living peacefully with this jungle tribe, teo lent us his boat and we sped back towards pucallpa where we met... a phenomenon. a fabulous maricon, a drag queen not in drag, with the most obvious cocaine addiction i ve seen in a long time, who dragged us from bar to bar begging us to dance with him, us laughing at this force of nature before us.

i jumped on a plane back to lima where i ve been for 2 days, hanging out with my juggler friends and fighting with the artisan who lives in the dorm i m sleeping in ' the asshole was feeding my dog HALF A BURGER this morning wen i woke up and couldnt understand why i was mad. i dont want strangers feeding my dog, even less human food, case then he learns to beg and wont eat his food, and the asshole started insulting me, assuming things about me, and as i was packing my bag all i could say was, dude you dont know me, so what you think means nothing, because you ae a judgemental prick. and hes going on saying shit to me and all i want is for him to STFU and leave me alone so i grabbed my dog and walked out, and here i am.

i leave tonight and i dont want to, im not ready, i cant leave yet. i ve spent 4 months with stars in my eyes and hope and this life i ve been living means so much more, the people ive met and the things ive seen are incredible, and to think that tonight it all comes to an end breaks my heart.

argentina, i miss you, you are my heart and soul. (and my libido. HOHO!)
peru, you made me angry and scared, but now i ve started to get to know you, and you are magical.
chile, i barely know you, but what i know is that you have a huge heart.
bolivia, you are the heart of south america, but you need to cherish your ressources.
brasil, you are expensive as fuck.

when i get back to montreal i will write the wrap up: kilometres done, hours of transportation, yadda yadda.


degenerate arm herpes and stripey socks

after 28 hours travelling from puno watching the andes fall, descending from 3 800 to 2 600 and being able to breathe again, waiting 3 hours in arequipa for a bus to lima, watching the andes change from snow capped to dry and desertic in less than 100 kilometres along the pan american highway that winds through the deserts of south peru while kissing the pacific coastline under a setting sun, absolutely beautiful, but i know these places already. sleep some more, ignore than van damme - schwarzenneger marathon on the bus, eat some papas rellenas and some chicharrones, sleep.
back in the country of reggaeton, last night at 12:30 (am) i arrived in lima, sooo not a good time to arrive. we jumped in a taxi for barranco (at that time i wouldn´t risk a collectivo with all my stuff..) where i just happened to bump into moises (THANK GOD) while aimlessly searching for a hostal at 1 am. tibo gets in tomorrow and i hope tomorrow night we´ll be jungle bound.

in the meantime i have all of 40 soles left to my name, maybe a little less now after the ceviche i had for lunch (YUM), 10 soles for the hostal so it´s ok, but jeebus. i can´t afford to take cash out on the visa if i´mma take the dog back, and i don´t want to keep mooching off of donations, even though they are always appreciated.

anyway. today is call delta and call embassy and figure out how the hell to get tiago back day, followed by maybe a bit of lima nightlife. or maybe i´ll just crash long and hard.

the centre is calling, good idea to go before it gets dark, god knows it´s sketchy out there.


isla del sol, isla del frio!

we wandered about and ate some delicious asaditos with a spicy maní (peanut) sauce OMGWTFBBQ so good. sooo good.
while the girls were sleeping off our crazy la paz night, i walked the dog and met a sweet columbian artesano, mighty beautiful to look at might i add. make that really beautiful to look at, so much in fact that he actually made me blush by telling me i was bonita, i stared at my feet for about 5 seconds and he laughed at me. aw. i´m a sucker for compliments from pretty boys with pretty accents. i ran off looking for rolling papers and told him i´d see him later - we ran into him later on in the evening before he ran off saying something we couldn´t understand, leaving us alone with our pipe and our bottle of bolivian red, which is weird but in a good way. i was hoping to run into him today as he had a plan for a 5 boliviano hostel, ok well it´s on straw mats instead of matresses but whatever, it´s cheap. imagine the itchy dreads though.

i was awoken the next day by the sounds of tiago chewing... on my llama foetus. doh! you don´t just find those everywhere, only in the witches market in la paz, and god knows what they use to fossilize them. i was so mad, it was a gift!

we had (another) trout lunch (it´s fresh and delicious and good for your memory, which i definately need) before jumping on the boat for isla del sol.

lake titicaca is beautiful and BLUE and big and the mountains kiss the water while the altiplano sun shines and the wind makes your face numb.

we got to la isla and climbed, oh how we climbed, and climbed, i felt like i was going to die, the pack and the dog and the altitude, dear jesus. 4 500m above sea level makes you feel like you´re going to suffocate, you pick something up off the ground and you´re out of breath. so imagine climbing up from 4 300m to 4 500 m with a 20kg pack and a dog, behind hoardes of mamitas and their llamas and donkeys, laughing at the silly gringo who´s clutching her heart and gasping for breath, offering 10 bolivianos to take the pack as i huff and puff, "No es la mochila.. es la altura!"

we get to the top and there it is, the illampu mountain range, it´s 6 500 m peaks (second largest in south america) majestically looming over the beautiful blue waters below.

we camped out for a night, three in a two place tent, with the dog who was vomiting llama foetus (or, as we call it, chupacabra) all night and releasing some of the nastiest gases i´ve ever smellted (i say it was the spirit escaping his little puppy body by any means it could!) and now we´re back in copacabana, stuck apparently because of a strike (oh, bolivia...). who knows when that will end. dammit. I have 17 days left! YOU CAN´T DO THIS TO ME! i need to get to the jungle! well, normally we can get a collectivo to kasani and then get to puno so all is not lost.

thibault, however, lost his CB and seems stuck in la paz, i don´t know how he´s doing.. but he has some stuff i left (ugh) at the hostal so i hope i see him again. cause you know a battery charger is always important to have when going to the jungle.

anyway. PICTURES. parce que vous le valez bien.

northern argentina: sierra de las 7 colores and la quebrada de humahuaca (3 600m)



first night in bus, blair witch styleez.

this one speaks for itself

lemonade in a bag!


la paz children and thibault

lago titikaka

illampu mountain and titikaka

isla del sol

4 500 m! i made it!


put your hands up for detroit la paz

la paz. so. where to start.

the llama foetuses? the shoe shiner who tried to steal my shoe? the san pedro cactuses sold at the witches market for a mere dollar fitty? fried chicken everywhere? the strange street man who grabbed my arm pleading that i give him money, and as i said dejame! and took my arm out of his bony grasp i smacked him in the face (by accident)?
or maybe my food poisoning - it was bound to happen sometime, living dangerously the way i do, except that it wasn´t caused by eating salteñas made by fat mamitas, but by a rather odd tasting wonton soup. serves me right for craving chinese food in bolivia, i guess.

it goes up and down and up and down and huff and puff and pause, heart.. going.. to.. explode. the pollution and the cars and the 70 degree hills and the traffic, both human and mechanical, all of this added on to the fact that you´re living between 3 800m and 4 085 m at all times just makes it so hard to breathe.
at night sometimes it felt like i was suffocating, a big sign of soroche, but i survived.

i think i have everyone covered for presents now. can you say neurotik ALPACA crew?

i sent home 7 kilos yesterday. it cost me a whopping 250 bolivianos. that´s a little under 40$. woot.

isa and her chilean friend maria josé came back to town, we went out for a lovely vegetarian meal with some kind of soya meatballs covered in cheese and god it was good, such a relieving change from, oh what´s this? FRIED FOOD. we went to get our tickets for copacabana and the lady at the desk asked us, french, the both of you? no, french, and canadian. i asked how she knew and she said the accent - surely isa has a very noticeable francophone accent but me? ME?!?!?! with my trusty rrrrs and shhhs and dropin off the d´s in ados and whatnot, with all that linguistic practise, surely she couoldn´t mean that i had a (heaven forbid) FRENCH ACCENT!

i was crushed. so i went and had a coca maté to cheer myself up.

we decided that for our last night in la paz we needed to do something, so we bought a 10 boliviano bottle of rhum (read: DOLLAR FITTY) and looked for food, salchipapas and cheese bread just wouldn´t cut it, so we wandered off towards the oblisk and saw a big MB in the distance.

McBoli! I exclaimed. the mc donald´s of the altiplano!

McBoli! replied the chorus of hungry people.

it actually stood for megaburger but we thought mcboli was funnier.

it was that, or salchipapas, or broaster chicken (read: deep fried chicken deep fried plantain and deep fried fries, which goes without saying)

after that we wandered down to traffic and surprise! the dj was a boli-frenchy. spinning ridiculously awesome acid house and old school detroit and uk techno. Stay up forever? check. Jeff Mills? check. old school Prodigy? check. Vitalic? check.

I know of a certain roommate of mine who would have been nuts. hell i went nuts - i needed a bit of speakerlove.

and then the trance hit, and that´s when i hit the bar, and met a lovely catalan girl who assured me my accent had nothing left of catalá at all, but that i sounded purely argentine. aww. thanks. i do still make a point of saying barthelona instead of barcelona, just because i can´t imagine saying it any other way.
after the comment from the lady at the bus terminal this boosted my ego and i went along happily chatting away in castellano with a myriad of different people.

i met a few people i wanted to hit, one that was trying to teach me about france, when i lived there for oh 8 years? hi, douchebag? don´t try to tell me that bretons and provençales have the same culture, cause we don´t. in any case whenever i´d try to say something he´d say, will you let me speak?
at one point i asked if he was interested in having a conversation or a monologue, and then i left.

then this italian girl lashed out at me when i was trying to help thibault out of the bar, he walked into her and i said lo siento, and she got really mad at me for no apparent reason, piss off you french bitch, i hate the french, i´m italian, blablablabla, vafanculo, vafanculo. i almost headbutted her, but decided that i´d let her make a fool out of her skankself by walking away. i don´t understand people who judge someone based on their nationality - i´m better than that. she obviously wasn´t. i bolted after that.

one thing i´ve noticed in bolivia is people are either extremely pleasant, friendly and helpful, or the are complete assholes. i´ll ask them something in spanish and they look at me as if i´m speaking to them in uyghur. i´ll repeat and repeat and they´ll just stand there - no entiendo

no entiendes o no quieres entender, la concha de tu madre!

the altiplano dwellers are a perfect example of that. they are either odious or delightful, whereas in the oriente, or eastern bolivia, people are generally a lot nicer, and generally politer. but, as in all of south america, people never say oops! sorry! i just bumped into you! or pardon me for stepping on your dog!

cultural differences or lack of education? maybe both?

in any case the indigenous population here seriously needs to learn garbage management and sanitation, because throwing bags of piss out the window (poor hitchhikers) or leaving their trash everywhere, only to burn it all later is definately not hygenic, nor ecofriendly.

getting a little sidetracked here, this morning i ran back to the hostel and put a very very very drunken thibault to bed before grabbing ALMOST all my shit (i left my CAMERA CHARGER DOH and my ganesh statuette) and then ran to isa and m jota´s hostel to wait for the bus. while waiting a delightful old man came and spoke to us and asked us if we were tourists, i said depends on your definition of tourist.

define tourist.

well there´s the tourist who comes with a camera and a credit card and hangs around with ex pats and just looks at sites and has little or no interest in local culture, and there´s the person who goes to share things and discover new people, cultures, places.

très bien, but you know those piercings on your face are going to give you cancer?

it was still a pleasant morning.

we jumped on the bus and promptly crashed, and upon arriving here in copacabana went to eat some fresh trout from lake titicaca.
delightful, and i´m not big on fish.

tomorrow we jump on a ferry for isla del sol where we´ll camp until tuesday morning when thibault comes to meet us and then we go to the jungle and i don´t know what isa is doing yet.

i have 20 days left and i´m petrified, i don´t want to leave, i especially don´t want to go back to lima the dreadful, but then again i miss my pajeritos and i´m sure the feeling is mutual... for most of them, anyway.

i´m going to go get a nice cold beer and go pet the alpaca standing in the street and hopefully dip my feet in the lake, which has a year round temperature of between 10 and 15 degrees, which is a hell of a lot warmer than the strait of magellan.