Jul 10, 2013

A question answered with a quote: Chile edition

I'm delighted to continue a tradition I began on my European Adventure, collecting quotes from people in my travels. As I did then I'll be attaching trigger pictures associated with the moment and person attributed to the notable phrase. I hope by the end of my trip these will largely be collected through Spanish conversation. In these early stages my interactions have mostly been with other travelers as I'm limited by English.

I also hoped to record some of my conversations for my 'LGR Podcast' but an organic opportunity has yet to present itself. For some reason I'm picturing Mountaintop chats after a nice hike but Chile has been a little too cold and rainy for that in the early going. I remain optimistic.

Mi primera compilación de citas en América del Sur. With that I present my first compilation of quotations for South America: Chile Edition.

Its lost in translation but there is a big difference between "want" and "need"
If you regret not doing it because I told you not to, I wouldn't accept the blame.
You can't regret what you don't see
"Que no panda el cúnico"
(Spanish: Let no panic emerge)
"Tienes una piedra en el zapato"
(Spanish: You have a stone in your shoe = You're compelled to)
I'd heard my friend's voice for 3 months,
then all of a sudden one day - I understood him
At a certain age you need discipline
For some people, having an uncluttered house is the least of their priorities
He's more of a concept than a person
The beauty isn't in the fame, its in the process of creation
Learning another language isn't just about replacing words,
its another way of looking at the world.
- A question answered with a quote: Chile edition
- A question answered with a quote: Argentina edition
- A question answered with a quote: Caracas (Venezuela) edition
- A question answered with a quote: Brazil edition
- A question answered with a quote: Ecuador edition
- A question answered with a quote: Colombia edition
- Find my original 'A question answered with a quotes' from Europe

Jul 7, 2013

Road Music: Songs to be happy to (First Impressions of South America)

Just like in my European Adventure I'll be compiling my trigger songs for South America
'Alturas de Macchu Picchu (Completo)' by Los Jaivas  

This epic number was playing in a Beatles inspired bar in Santa Isabel called 'Pepperland'. I was drawn in by the "Yellow Submarine" style art from the outside, so our merry band came in for pizza and cerveza. The walls were wheatpasted with street press and the bar played music videos from the Chilli Peppers to George Harrison. They introduced us to a few Latin American songs including this Pink Floyd-eqsue production by Chilean band Los Jaivas.

'Latinoamérica' by Calle 13

This song was introduced to me by a German running mate in my first South American hostel. It was recommended to him as one of the most popular bands in Argentina. It appealed to him as it contained a montage of the things he had experienced on his 8 month journey, when he first heard it he didn't understand the Spanish lyrics but now he did. He advised not to refer to the song again till the end of my trip, "not even in the middle". I thought the same. I did hear the song the following day.

After moving hostels to a posher barrio, I stumbled onto a Universidad that had been occupied by activists. They were hosting a festival with dancing and music. The place boarded up by school chairs, tagged with graffiti and adorned in Banners. Even the murals were appropriated, one was painted with shamans and an ayahuasca vine. Another with a kid student kicking her teacher in the nuts. I was later told that many Academic institutions had been occupied for months, with classes suspended or continued online as students made their point during this crucial Election year. This Calle 13 joint blared from the Stereo at one point.

- Find my European 'Road Music' playlist here

First impressions of Chile and South America

Its my fifth day in Santiago, Chile. The start of my South American adventure. Truth be told theres's been a weird energy from the start as I negotiate through the language barrier and the existential danger that comes with this region of the world. Most of it is a creation of the mind and one I hope to overcome.

There is a considerable lack of English but I'm encouraged by running mates who have been on this journey months longer than me who have grasped the language just by immersion and some cursory training. With the right mindset and focus I hope to do the same. I have no choice really as it has a direct effect on my quality of life. The other issue is "Dread", there are constant tales of muggings and petty theft. Some of it from experience though the majority of it is hype. Its like incessant talk of weather, its a real concern and factors into your movements but you wish you could move on to more interesting topics. Makes you appreciate how comfortable it is at home and how good we have it in Australia.

One of my comforts has been to rediscover some of the mojo I had for the European trip. I enjoy finding subcultures when I visit places, I find it connects me to the place and its people. It allows me to imagine growing up there. It also solves the language and danger problem as being around your kin alleviates so much tension. I found a Jazz Bar in Santa Isabel that was standing room only. The fact the bouncer couldn't understand me seemed to work in my favor, he spent most of the night shoo-ing people away but he inexplicably let me in. The night featured Cristián Cuturrufo, Chile's most acclaimed jazzman.

I found a compromise for communicating with locals and one I'll be adopting till I master the language. Instead of reaching an impasse after asking "Habla Inglés" and inevitably getting a "no". My second gambit is to insist I speak in terrible Spanglish whilst they continue talking Spanish.

Today I'll be playing Baloncesto with locals via Couchsurfing and watching Lucha Libre Wrestling, both things I did in Europe. Being in a new place isn't easy but thats part of the fun. On my weaker days Íve got 'Reh Dogg' as the Soundtrack to my life but of course days are better when I'm focused on sunnier things. That's the plan.

Jul 1, 2013

F*Yesta: 6 Months in South America

'Loz in Transit' goes to South America
My next Adventure will be a jaunt around South America with a projected return after 6 months. Dubbed the "F*Yesta" it will be a continuation of the YesMan spirit that carried me through the last few years in Australia and Europe. Whilst over there I'll be musing on my travels, finding Basketball experiences and recording podcasts.

- About 'Loz in Transit'
- My Basketball mission in Venezuela