writings

the aires of buenos.

[taken directly from my drunken taxi iPhone writing. good luck deciphering it.]

 

We sped down – road. windows fucking up my hair. the taxi driver liked inxs. a beautiful woman, belly full of bottom shelf wine to a show, friend of a friend. architecture whoosh. soul. where we’re we? each block argued. Pairs. New York city. Barcelona. mind your sh. Neil Cassidy came to mind. his dance. he had no FB page, just the people on the bus. I dot want to leave, an many haven’t. my photos lack. the videos la k. if you ain’t here, son, then it can’t r explained. but even the name itself conjures up magic. Soul. NYC is punk. Pairs is Ponce. Barcelona is barracho. Buenos Aries, like Cassidy, just dances. and could give a fuck if you watched or not. (alta) I don’t want the wine to stop. I don’t want the music to end. I just wanna be a part of the sponge. the cab was 30 that I didn’t have, but it felt like tithing. here, have this. I dont have much, and I wish I could give more. they talk with both hands, wrote a fella. Well of course they do. thsi city is too much to explain with one.

street snacks – jamon sandwiches [bolivia]

this isn’t so much a snack tip, per se, but a tip on snacks.

Bolivia – as mentioned – has great snacks. some of the best.

and in the same market where I stuffed myself with the daily chorizo was a jamon sandwich stand.

fresh bread, good jamon, veggies from the same market and a plethora of condiments.

but no cheese.

I didn’t understand this. is a jamon e queso so different from jamon solamente?

apparently so – no cheese.

but I found the cheese lady a few shops down.

and for $0.20, she’d cut up the local stuff [think a mix between a mild chedder and feta] and complete the add on.

so – should you find yourself in Bolivia, and in need/want of a good sandwich, know you’ll have to go to two places to complete the order.

but at $1.20, it’s kind of/sort of worth it.

the stretchers

this might have a lot to do with me getting older.

grumpier.

less-accepting of the younger generation.

I hate people who preface things, but I also have to be honest about being easily annoyed these days by the younger traveling generation, even though, one of the next big projects is pushing more of them to take a year off.

but this isn’t about that.

this is about assholes.

we’ve already addressed my zero-toleration for the cheaps – I can’t stand them.

but this is about The Stretchers.

the people who – before leaving – decide that they’re going to stick to their $30 a day budget no matter what, so that their $3000 will last them exactly 100 days.

but, as I said in an article for NatGeo a few weeks ago, this never happens – The Golden Rule of prepping for travel is: pack half as much, budget twice as much.

so, you have these assholes that don’t take into consideration a number of things:

 

– visa costs [your Australian friend might have breezed through the Bolivian border, but Americans have to pay a whopping $140

– drinking – there are no bigger a group of binge drinkers than those on holiday – namely the British – but no one has an excuse not to have one more.

– the ‘you’re not from here’ tax – this happened at the first of this trip to me numerous times in Mexico. bribes, fees, random costs that are never officially published, but you’re not going anywhere until you pay them.

– travel’s little surprises – this happens daily, sometimes two or three times. you might need wet wipes, you might need medicine, you might want to buy a t-shirt, you might be sick of the local food [in both senses of the word] and simply need a good bowl of pasta or whatever, you might meet a pretty girl and want to buy her an ice cream… whatever.

 

… I could go on-and-on about the hidden costs that pop up, but this article really isn’t about that either.

it’s about the stretchers.

so… these assholes have 100 days at 30 dollars a day cause they saved 3000 dollars. fantastic. 3 months abroad does more than 3 years in university – if done right.

but brother – you ain’t gonna last 3 months on 30 dollars a day. you just aren’t.

and here’s where you become an asshole to all of those around you – you’re still going to try.

case in point, through the Bank of America debacle [story coming soon], I was sitting in Cusco for 2 weeks. got to meet a few people each night in the pub [I don’t very much enjoy meeting travelers when there’s not beer around to numb their stories… or to enhance my own]. one night, a new guy joined us – you could already tell he fell somewhere in between a cheap and a stretcher, gladly accepting everyone else’s round, but dodging his own. this was enough for me to not invite him to dinner, but he was with a gal in our group who was super-cool and I didn’t want to mess up anything she had going. so off we went to our favorite restaurant for good wine and wood-fired pizza – best in town and $6 a pie. we sat, we ordered, but when the waiter came to him for his order, he announced that he would be ‘fine with the bread [free] and water [which he had brought with him].

so, lemme get this straight – he gladly joined us for dinner, damn near invited himself, only to mope around our fun dinner party, asking ‘how is it?’ when we made the noises one makes when tasting a good pizza. so – of course – with enough wine, even someone as judgmental as myself caves in and offers him a piece – we all did, and he gladly accepted.

now – before I go on, this wasn’t some Somalian kid who was making his way to a better life in America, this was a 30-something from Oregon. he was white, he spoke English, he was college-educated. basically, he was set for life. and was the last motherfucker to be a charity case for a group of people his own age.

but – when the bill came, he didn’t even have the decency to offer to throw in some money… even a dollar or two. all he could contribute to the bill was:

‘sorry guys, am on a budget’.

we all are, you fuck.

the difference is, when we saw that we could last 100 days at 30 a day, we decided to travel for 60.

we knew that no one can stick to a budget – unless it’s 200 a day.

we knew about travel’s little surprises and hidden costs – and your previous boasting at the pub about the places you’ve been to tells me you know as well.

but you chose to stretch it as far as you possibly could – most likely making your own trip as miserable as you made our dinner party.

I’ve been a few places, friends – and I say that not to boast, but to say I’ve done this a few times. and never-ever-ever have I been able to stay under my pre-set budget. ever. even in places like Southeast Asia. it just doesn’t happen.

to take what money you have and travel with it – my god, there’s nothing better you can do with your money…. but cut that trip in 1/3 and actually enjoy it.

we’ll talk more soon about the need to treat yourself once a week, to go fancy, to feel like a human again – but for now, just turn those 100 days into 60 and be able to afford actually renting a motorcycle in Ecuador, or a proper dinner in Paris. rent a campervan in Australia or splurge in the Gili Islands and buy a lobster the size of your forearm.

it’s travel, for fucksakes – it revolves around enjoying yourself and learning some new stuff.

which is hard to do when you’re peeking through the museum window.

street snacks – rico mote con huesillos [chile]

so, Santiago turned out to be the most boring city ever.

which surprised me, anyone else who had been there [and concurred] and probably yourself.

doesn’t the name sound like a happening vibrant town?

yeah… no.

even the ‘free tour’ I took was worth about the cost.

but the reason I tipped [okay, I would have anyway, this American guilt], was the above. in the midst of the heat and another important building, we stopped at a little cart on the side of the road.

the one you see above.

‘it’s mote con huesillos’ our guide said ‘a traditional summer drink for Chileans.’

a mix of: dried peaches [ossicles] and caramel – dumped on a a wheat-like cereal.

delish, I tell ya. delish.

restless. and need rest.

[I’m not even going to spell check this. apologies for any glaring errors. hopefully, you’ll understand.]

when you’re this lucky of a kid, you can’t complain about a thing. so this is not me complaining. this is me simply stating where I’m at and how I feel. the room – another room – is small with no AC. and it’s muggy here. there was supposed to be a bathroom but there’s no bathroom. I stood there for 5 minutes wondering if it was even worth opening my bag, as I leave tomorrow night. someone asked me how long I’d been gone for this time and I had to count twice – almost 5 months. 5 months of new and beautiful and sometimes beautiful places. but they’re still new – no matter where you go. I could repack this bag with my eyes closed, and they almost are. I’m exhausted and it goes beyond all of the wine that’s been had this past month. it’s another bus and another boat, this flight and that airport. check in and check out. George Clooney made it look sexy, but it’s anything but. sometimes my bank account is in the black, at one point even had 4 digits. and sometimes it’s in the red. every ATM withdrawal is met with a moment’s hesitation when you click ‘okay’ on the outrageous fee they charge you for their services, then an exhale once you hear that little motor spinning – counting out your few pennies. I love snacks – I love them. a lot. and when I find a good snack, then I’m there every day. but I started snacking because I didn’t have a lot of money. you simply get used to being hungry. and you simply get used to being tired. I suppose this is one of the reasons that when I left places like Valparaiso and Buenos Aires, I got a bit emotional. there, I got to unpack for a few weeks, invest in people. find snacks and the best quiet cafe. it’s not the travel that wears me out but the traveling. I can fill out a hotel room form with my eyes closed. I can have the same conversation with the same person and not even realize it. the romanticism of the road has been romanticized and who would ever shatter that romance? I’m just tired. I miss my family. my friends. my language. a neighborhood I already know. people who don’t ask the same questions. cab drivers that take me where I want to go, charge me what I know is fare, in a currency I understand. I want wifi and hot water. I’d like to wear something other than this few clothes I’ve had for so long. I want a coffee that tastes like coffee. and I’m tired of depending on Pringle’s to get me through long days. I want, I want, I want – very American of me.

but I’m ready to come back to America. I’m ready to come back home.

I’m ready to come back home so I can get bored of everything working, bored of being understood, bored of walking around in a neighborhood I already know so I don’t pull out the camera, bored of not finding difficulty in conversation.

I’m ready to come back home so I can be bored with it all.

I’m ready to come back home so I can start traveling again.

right after I wrote this, a pal emailed me about seeing Bob Schneider playing at SXSW. I threw him on as I went to sleep and this track came on – not only one of my favorites, but summed up my mood perfectly; so I hit ‘repeat’ and fell asleep to it.

‘Long Way To Get’

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I’ve got a mountain to climb before I get over this hill
I’ve got the world to unwind before I ever sit still
I’ve got a hard row to hoe before my seed is sown
I’ve got a long way to get before I get back home

I’ve got so much to put down before that’s all she wrote
I’ve got so much to give for my heart ain’t so broke
I’ve got to find myself where I can never be alone
I’ve got a long way to get before I get back home

There’s an ocean of reason that I cannot explain
There’s the weight of the world like a ball and a chain
There’s a black hole inside that I fill up with stones
I’ve got a long way to get before I get back home
I’ve got a long way to get before I get back home

There’s a man I’ve never met before who looks a lot like me
There’s a little place called heaven that I’ll probably never see
There’s a thing called peace of mind that I have never known
I’ve got a long way to get before I get back home
I’ve got a long way to get before I get back home
I’ve got a long way to get before I get back home

[end]

the f-word. and stuff like that.


dear mom.

dear nephew.

I didn’t know if I was going to tell you about this new site or not – but with all the happenings with the recent National Geographic stuff, it looks as if it’ll be hard to stay hidden.

when I first started this, I was all about the ‘raw’ and the ‘grit’ – the real life on the road and stuff… meaning I was quite verbal about some things you all probably don’t want to read or hear. drugs, bad words and stuff.

so I went back and cleaned up what I could, but also left a lot of it in.

you can see there on the main page, I had ‘the f-word’ crossed out, as I’m working hard at not using it anymore.

per the drugs, I kept all of that in ’cause I thought it was important. and this won’t work if I can’t be honest in my writings.

so – from now on, the bad words will be used only if they really need to be, and I’ll try and give you a heads-up for the stuff you don’t want or need to.

if that makes sense.

hope this makes you [both] proud, I worked really hard at it.

I love you. both of you.

aric

this is it. here we go. and other things you say whilst holding your breath.

see that? that’s my bank account right there. that’s all the money I got. in the whole world. no other accounts. no credit cards. no trust fund. nothin’. that’s it. even as I sit here in the most beautiful of all places – Buenos Aires, I’m asking friends for where to buy snacks, as I can’t even afford to sit down for a proper meal anymore. I did last night – treated myself, but that was it. there’ve been a lot of jamon con queso sandwiches lately and that’s okay. this isn’t a post about ‘look at how much money I don’t have’, but it is an admittance to the fact that I’m worried. that money has to last for a few more weeks and then hopefully, the few smalltime writing gigs I have will have remembered to pay me so I can at least eat. they seem to forget a lot. not NatGeo, but the other ones. so yeah, I need to make this site work and if you’re reading this, then that means you’re helping me. and I can’t thank you enough for that. and in times like these, I remind myself of something that I always remind myself of when I find myself in a strange new city, with not much money left in my pocket – something you’ll find that happens quite often.

having too much money for an adventure doesn’t exactly make it an adventure, does it?

wish me luck. and thanks again. I mean that.

[update]

two hours after posting this, I get an email from one of the ladies at National Geographic. ‘congrats on making the HP!’

I emailed back saying ‘thanks. but what’s a HP?’

turns out that’s short for home page. and her congrats were about my 2nd story for them… being so popular that it made their home page. National Geographic’s home page. with my article on it. National effing Geographic. 

… life sure can be funny sometimes.

street snacks – k’alaphurka [bolivia]

brother, I love me some soup. in fact, in finding this photo, I ran into about 10 other street snacks that I hadn’t written about yet – a large majority of them being soup. I love soup… and they do a good soup down here in South America.

that was all said to say this:

what you’re looking at is the best soup I ever had. to the point where I walked out and down a few blocks before turning right around and ordering a second one. by that time, it had all sold out [no tourists – all locals] and I was sad. because it was the perfect soup.

when I first heard about this – Volcano Rock Soup – I did think it to be something for the gringos. like snake blood in Thailand or what have you. but – loving soup as much as I do, I made the trek to the outskirts of Potosi, Bolivia to try it.

a waiter brings over what you’re seeing now, but cold. he tells you to wait and disappears into the kitchen, coming right back out with a smoldering rock held with tongs. you’re asked to scoot back in your seat and he drops it in. the soup immediately comes to a boil and smells of all things good and delicious.

and tastes even better.

inside the lava is chicharron [fried pork] and k’alaphurka – a yellow hearty soup. some corn is thrown in, a few more spices, a handful of pork crackling and there you go.

served with a dark brown beer.

and the best part? it’s for breakfast.

it meant so much to me, I even got you the business card, should you ever be in the area… and by ‘area’, I mean within 200 miles.

prison break-in. san pedro.

 

‘you going to try to sneak into the prison?’ asked the guy at the pub a few months back in Colombia. I had no idea what he was talking about. ‘you’ve not read Marching Powder yet?!’ he asked, as if it was something required to know before going. I had not, but after his short description of this place – a city-within-a-city, no guards, a place where you have to buy your own cell, can set up any type of shop, restaurant or cocaine production team – I decided that yes, I would indeed sneak in. I had time on my hands and from the sounds of it, Bolivia was a pretty affordable place to do so. from the research I could find – it was split. half the people claimed that ever since Brad Pitt’s film company picked up the rights to the book, the Bolivian government has completely shut down a tour of San Pedro. the other half said ‘you can, but it will be tricky’. I decided to get involved with the tricky – if it was bribing a few policemen, then I’d do it. if it was finding some of the old inmates that hung around the park and snuck you in – claiming to be a family member of someone on the inside, then I’d do that. time – as stated – I had.

day 01

I obviously wasn’t the only one with a plan and the fact that there were more than 3 groups of obviously non-Bolivians hanging around with their Jansport backpacks told me that this couldn’t be a good thing. how in the world these dumb Australians thought they could pass off as family members in their group of 5 was beyond me – but then again, Aussie’s are well know for not planning much of anything. I saw another group huddled around a man talking quite animatedly and decided to eavesdrop:

‘he says he’ll call me back, but I know know…’ he was explaining with one hand, the other on a cheap mobile phone.

‘you getting people in?’ I asked, with an air of I’m-alone-and-have-money.

‘we’re trying’ came the strong South African accent, ‘but it’s hard. there was a big raid yesterday and the police aren’t letting anyone through today… maybe check back tomorrow, yeah?’

‘what about New York Dave?’ I asked, pleased with my own online research, finding out about a former inmate who also gave tours.

‘New York Dave?!’ he laughed. ‘what do you know about him?’

‘he can get people in’.

‘no. he’ll say so, and then run off around the corner with your money, yeah? he’s a fucker, this guy.’

crap.

‘I should check back tomorrow, then?’ I asked him.

‘yes, bro. come see me same time tomorrow and we’ll make sure you get inside.’

day 02

it rained heavily all day, so I didn’t go.

day 03

‘my friend, I’m so sorry I didn’t come yesterday!’ said the South African, who’s name was Daniel. ‘you know, I live a long ways away, and the rain was too much for the bus. but this is for you’.

I was handed an empty pack of gum, with an ounce of cocaine in the bottom.

nice guy.

I chose not to tell him I hadn’t shown up either.

‘let’s go around the back – I have a friend who owes me a favor and he’ll tell the guards to open up the door on the side of the jail.’

and so we did. on the way he told me to not say a word, even if spoken to. he would do the talking. not a word, he kept emphasizing. we got to the gate and it was opened for him, I tried to walk in as well and it was slammed shut. a few minutes later, he came back out.

‘that woman is a bitch, she hates everyone. let’s try again tomorrow when she’s not working.’

day 04

Daniel wasn’t in the park – I checked back every few hours. on the last visit, I did see a short, bald, heavily-tattooed and barefoot man… New York Dave.

‘NEW YORK!’ I shouted in my best borrowed Brooklyn accent.

‘yo, man!’ he said, giving me a hug. ‘when was the last time I saw you?’

ummm – never.

the glaze in his eyes told me all I needed to. he was a junkie, and now was a parasite. but he was my only lead and I was getting tired of coming back to this park everyday.

‘you getting me in or what?’ I said.

‘yeah, man – it’ll be tricky, but yeah… first, we got to give the guards on the side entrance some money’.

[right… lemme stop right here and explain something. I knew I was about to be had. after what Daniel told me, I had gone home and looked up his scheme. I knew what was about to happen and I told myself that I would limit my bribes to $20, if for no other reason than to have a story. so I do hope you’re enjoying this…]

anyway.

‘how much?’ I asked.

he told me the equivalent of $5. I handed it over to him and we walked back to the door I had already seen the day before. it opened up and I saw the same horrible women behind a steel desk. New York Dave spoke to her and she shook her head, pointing for him to leave and scowling at me.

‘okay, okay… no problem, man. she just said we need to get a form from the police station first’.

you’re so full of shit, but I’m enjoying this.

‘where’s that?’

‘just around the corner.’

and so we walked, he told me to stay back so the police didn’t see me. I handed him $5 more for the ‘processing fee’ and he disappeared into the police station. 5 seconds later, he came back out:

‘they said we need a stamp, man.’

ha. nice.

‘where do we get that?’

‘the main station – not too far from here.’

and so we walked some more.

‘you’re not gonna fuck me around, right?’ I asked him. ‘you wouldn’t do that to another New York brother, would ya?’

‘no way, man! look, if I don’t get you in, I’ll give your money back.’

I knew he wouldn’t – saliva coming out of his mouth every time he spoke, his feet with their own leathery bottoms. but again – it was fun, simply because I knew it was coming.

‘okay, stay here – don’t follow me’ he said, walking towards a bank. ‘I’ll be right back – just need one more form.’

‘fuck that’ I said, hoping he knew I was onto him. ‘I’m waiting right outside’.

he tried to put up a fight, but I wasn’t having it.

if you’re going to take my money, you’re going to have to work for it.

the guards wouldn’t let him in. why we were at a bank, I had no idea. I guessed that usually – by now – he was already running away.

‘fuck, man. we got to go to the other police station. they’re being assholes today.’

‘where’s that?’

‘it’s like, 10 blocks or so. can we just take a cab?’

‘no.’

‘how about a bus?’

‘sure’.

we waited for a few minutes and then flagged down a collectivo – a van that simply drives around picking people up and dropping them off.

‘I don’t have any change’ I told him. ‘you’re going to have to pay.’

‘no problem, man. no problem.’

15 minutes later, we stopped and got out at a busy intersection. the driver screamed for money when we did and New York Dave just pushed me out and then pulled me along into an alley.

‘did you not pay him?’

‘oh, shit man. no. I forgot. now, you stay right here, the station is on the other side of this wall. give me [$10] and we’ll get everything in order.’

‘I’m not going to see you again, am I?’ I asked. ‘too many people have told me this is exactly what you do.’

‘hey man, I never fucked anyone over in my life. that last time, the police arrested me, so that’s why I never came back.’

‘I’m trusting you’, I said, handing him the money.

‘no problem… no problem. I’ll be back in 5 minutes.’

I lit a cigarette and entertained the idea of how long he was going to keep this up.

after 20 minutes of waiting, I walked back to the hotel, laughing.

Done by New York Dave – am sure there’s a Facebook group for us.

day 05

there was a huge celebration in the park that day – Alasitas – and I couldn’t find Daniel in the crowd.

day 06

Daniel couldn’t stop laughing about my New York Dave story – ‘I told you, bro!’

sitting next to him, dressed in a tie, was an older gentleman. according to Daniel, he was a former decorated officer and had ties to the inside.

‘I brought him to help you get inside, bro. he made a few calls and today is your day!’

this excited me to no end. finally – I had my stories about trying to get in, and today, I would. in a short few minutes, I would pass through those walls, be assigned a bodyguard, and meet some of the most dangerous men in the world. in one of the most bizarre places in the world.

we walked around the side to that same door and it opened to the same lady. she shouted something at Daniel and slammed the door shut again.

‘bro, did you come here the other day with New York Dave?’

fuck.

‘yeah, we were looking for you’ I lied.

‘well, now there’s no way of getting you in, I’m afraid. that was the last chance.’

New York Dave. I’m going to kill him if I ever see him again… and I doubted anyone would care.

I walked away, dejected. but then had an idea… if I couldn’t get inside, I could at least sit down with Daniel to talk about what life there was like…

day 07

we did just that. click here for the fascinating interview. 

[end]

the danger of the coca

I’m sitting here, on a boat through Patagonia, my second to last thermos full of coca tea and I think it’s finally time I admit what might be already obvious to some.

but, first, some back history.

I enjoy drugs. not the thing I should be admitting with my parents reading this, and a nephew who I hope doesn’t go down that route, but I do.

– we’ve already covered cocaine.

– my love of opium has already been written about, and even documented.

– there’s a reason so many people are hooked on Vicodon/Percocet/Oxycotin – because they’re great.

– or maybe a few friend out camping under the stars of an Arizona sky and a handful of mushrooms to take it all in with. in fact, if I had constant access to mushrooms, I’d smoke and drink less.

all that to say that yes – I enjoy them. I’m fascinated by them. but it has to be in a perfect situation, they can never be mixed, and – above all – must be done in moderation.

I’m not addicted to any of them. and I can’t tell you how thankful I am about that. trust me that if I was, I’d have been in serious trouble in Bolivia, but – as I wrote – the Good Lord gave me that moment of clarity when I looked around me, saw what an evil nasty drug cocaine was and I walked out.

so no, I’ll take it when the situation is right and I’ll be excited about that. but I don’t need it.

[wine is a different story, but that’s for another writing]

but coca tea… I’ll be totally straight with you right now – I’m addicted.

if you don’t believe me, ask a gal named Taryn about my grumpiness in the morning without it, not to mention the 4-hour trek around every crevice in town to find it.

I have a problem with the coca tea.

I am addicted to the coca tea.

the site that you’re looking at right now was built because of the coca tea.

for days on days on days, I would wake up, throw a large handful of the dried leaves into my thermos, add hot water, let it steep while I showered and would then sit it next to me while I would work non-stop on this new project. on an average day, I wouldn’t leave the hotel room until around 4pm where I would get a snack, take some photos, have a drink somewhere, then the pub, then home to watch a movie and have a bottle of wine.

but note the first part of that sentence – not leaving my room until 4pm. that means no eating – at all. and it wasn’t as if I was forcing myself not to…. it was the coca tea.

and here’s why I’m addicted:

– it wakes you up immediately, but not like a slap-in-the-face kind of way, but like Shannyn Sossaman kissing your forehead kind of way. the kisses get you out of your sleep, and when you realize it’s Shannyn Sossaman kissing you, your entire body feels a nice warm electric charge.

– no coffee jitters, and no crash. easy up, and easy down. no sugar, cream, milk, chocolate, caramel, whipped cream needed. leaves and hot water. and you can refill your thermos up two more times and still get a nice little kick – no, not a kick, but a boost. but a nice boost.

– it’s not acidic like so many teas can be – it’s nice to your tummy.

– it’s ridiculously cheap. I mean… I bought a bag the size of a basketball and it cost me $7. that bag has lasted me almost a month. and I’m making three [new] batches a day.

– your productivity – this is one of the biggest things. I have never in my life been as productive as I am on the coca. I mean, let’s face it – the entire Mayan Empire was built with this holy plant being chewed, and – having hiked up to Machu Picchu in only a small backpack, and barely making it up, I can only imagine what it was like getting those stones up there. and can promise you it couldn’t have been done without the leaves.

… so yes, I sit here, with my second-to-last batch cooling on the window sill of the boat I’m on and I’m already going through withdrawals. for some reason, I could buy it up in Northern Chile, but nowhere else. and if Chile doesn’t sell it, then I’m guessing that Argentina and Brazil won’t either.

and I can’t tell you how depressed that makes me.

this thermos and I have been through a lot, you see.

in my life of a new bed, city, sites and food each day, this was my constant – my buddy.

and now – much like the good people I had to leave in Valparaiso, I have to say goodbye.

but don’t think for a second that if I could, I’d sell them all for one more bag of the coca.

you laugh. and I laugh. but I’m serious…

this is going to be a problem.

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