Monthly Report: Across the Border
the nearest city is San Marcos Sierras, the north part of the mountains in the middle of the province cordoba.
the tent is a little further away from the river since it has gotten lower since its dry season.
pero el resto sigue igual (habia empezado en ingles porque estaba leyendo tu mail en ingles, pero me acorde y ahora es mas facil, ja!)
yo creo que te puedo conseguir trabajo. pero hay que ver.
me gustaria tambien estar en buenos aires cuando vayan para disfrutar con ustedes, pero no creo que sea posible. in fact, es imposible porque voy a estar trabajando aca en la construccion de la casa de piedra por como 2 meses mas.
pero bueno, tienen lugar para quedarse en la ciudad? podria hablar con algun amigo para que tengan un lugar. y despues para que les expliquen un poco por donde no les comviene ir, por donde esta copado y todo eso.
y bueno, con respecto a mas adelante, SI, estoy re adentro de esta movida para ir al sur. si o si. pense que se habia pinchado ese plan, pèro me alegra mucho ver que sigue en pie. entonces hacemos eso. laburamos por aca unos meses hasta el calor y ahi nos vamos para el sur. genial!!
bueno, me tengo que ir.
Nine months have passed and we’re back in modern, cafe-latte, western civilization. People look in the mirror before they go out. Bathrooms are stocked with toilet paper and soap, faucets have hot water, and kitchens have refrigerators that are plugged in. We can drink tap water again. It feels strange and uncomfortably comfortable.
Funny how much life can change when you cross an imaginary line in the desert.
We’re now in Chile. Our fist venture into the neighborhood food store was a slap in the face. For the first time since we left New York, Alice and I have access to the best, largest, freshest fruits and vegetables while people 50 kilometers away, across the border in Bolivia, go on picking through leftovers, rotting cabbage heads, and whatever else we didn’t feel like consuming last week.
It’s hard. A “Reverse Culture Shock.” It feels like we’re in Europe except everyone’s nice to us. It catches me by surprise every time because few people were nice to us in Bolivia. In general, Bolivians have a very closed culture. They trust few people and I think it’s understandable after 500 years of foreign pillage.
For this reason, and many others, Bolivia was the first failure of the voyage. Ania and I never really got into the culture. We never understood the Bolivian mentality. We just followed the gringo trail, saw pretty landscapes, took pictures and moved on. We completely separated from Bolivian communities and the locals seem to prefer it that way. It was an extremely hollow experience made worse by the fact that most people “see” the world in this way.
I’m still digesting it. Is it better to share and globalize a culture or to stay apart and protect a way of life? It’s a lot to think about and we’re traveling fast now. So fast I barely have time to write these thoughts anymore. I can’t afford to.
Modern civilization has modern costs and we are spending most of our time hitchhiking to save money. I don’t when, but we’ll be in Argentina soon. Maybe we’ll be standing in front of your tent in less time than either of us expects.
When we finally arrive we’ll talk about the heading south. Tierra del Fuego was always part of the plan and it remains that way.
Chañaral, Chile - © Diego Cupolo 2012