Tuesday, September 21, 2010

travel residue

I was laying in bed last night reading Paul Theroux's brilliant Ghost Train to the Eastern Star and found myself sifting through my memories of Asia.  The sounds, the smells, the snippets of memory which stay with you.  It is funny how after time memories of travel begin to feel dreamed up, how what once were crisp edged experiences become more and more hazy strange.  What is even more striking is that a writer can capture aspects of these places which bring memories back to life.  They awaken forgotten sensations and experiences, sharpen soft edges, and stir up emotion.  There is something about Theroux's writing which so captures places.  It makes me want to re-read the Great Railway Bazaar, a book I read on my first travels to South East Asia and re-live a bit of that adventure.
Thinking back on all of it I wish I had spent more time writing and drawing about all of my travels.  I suppose there is no time like the present.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

God brought me there.

I am sitting in the huge echoing restaurant of Hotel Sahara in Santa Ana, San Salvador. Directly in front of me there is a long table full of God lovin' people. At the center sits a typical overweight thick wristed man with a neck wider than my thighs and a petite phillipina wife. According to him, God spoke to him last night and told him that he needs to learn spanish. He then went on to say that he had had no interest in visiting his wife's birth country until God told him to go there.
God never speaks to me.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not really all that dissapointed by that but I can't figure out why (S)He spends his time talking to this Yanqui.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

3 years on.

Today on the breezy bus to Rio Dulce I was ruminating that it is closing in on three years since I started this blog and my adventures to Central America.  It is hard to believe what started out as a dream, "man I wish someone would pay me to travel!" has turned into a reality.
These days things have seemed to melt into a sort of soup of memories and dreams.  My waking reality is so much like my dream time that I often find myself struggling to find the borders between memories and things I've dreamt up.
In that vein I just finished watching Apocalypse Now Redux which was a trippy experience to say the least.  The critical traveller eye in me wanted to know what dreamed up ruins Kurtz was hanging out in.  Another part of me was horrified to see such a familiar landscape under the damaging hand of war.  Watching these American soldiers thrashing around in the Vietnamese jungle fighting a senseless war dredged up some of my current thoughts on my Motherland.
As I spend more time out of the states I feel like I am getting a better understanding of how the rest of the world sees us.  This goes hand and hand with my slowly growing understanding of our history of forcing ourselves upon impoverished nations in the name of founding democracy while extracting huge economic benefits for ourselves.  How are we fooled over and over by this same story?  What happened during the last century in Asia and Latin America is playing out again in the Middle East.  It is hard to feel proud of a nation which values improving our economy over the lives of people.
None of this is meant to sound like arrogant rantings of an ex-pat. Ex-pats are generally overweight and have tanned themselves with in an inch of turning into leather so I'd generally like to avoid that classification.  Anyhow, sorry for the absolute random tangent that this blog entry has taken.  I blame all the deet I had to use yesterday in the jungles of tikal.