I have had a bit of free time and the people of the Czech Republic don’t want to talk to me.
I am drinking copious amounts of strong, sweet coffee and looking out onto Tabor square which is monochrome like it has been for the last 3 days. There are few people around and those that are look like shadows wrapped in layers of clothes with their heads bowed walking into pressing wind and rain.
I want to get out of this town. I am trying to fight back the continuous demon thought that the weather will never pass and I will be stuck here in hibernation until next spring. To entertain myself I have been reading some of my old emails home from a previous trip to Central America.
It is illuminating to see the evolution from the email to the online journal, and how diabolical my grammar and spelling is. Some old memories are making me smile. Like I am doing now, I will look forward to reading this account when I am too am monochrome.
My three favourite sections:
The 1st time I was in Guatemala I met a very crazy German guy who frankly scared the sh1t out of me. I think if Id consented he would have chopped me into small pieces and eaten me for breakfast.
Anyway he was quite interesting and part of our conversation went something like this (in a very strong German accent)
“Why is it that the first question anyone asks me is “where am I from?”as if it matters. I say German and you automatically bracket me and you don´t even know my fcuking name do you? What does it matter where I am from, you have a view of me and you don´t even know me. Everyone loves you fcuking Brits, you open your mouths and everyone wants to put their c0cks in them…”
OK a little bit aggressive but I vaguely see his point and to appease the guy I tell him that in future I will endeavor to find out a person’s name before their origin.
I never still have not learnt from this lesson.
San Pedro has some of the best Spanish schools in Latin America and is also the cocaine and weed capital of Guatemala (hardly conducive!).
As I step off the boat kids of 12 with sharp business minds hustle for business, but at only $5 for a gram of coke I can hardly see the point. It has a bohemian atmosphere and obviously a few gringos have absorbed too much of the culture and have set up residency.
To mention one of many is Gandalf or Space Cake Dave or Santa Claus depending on how you look at him. Hes a 51 year old Canadian who is clearly insane but very interesting. He lives hand to mouth dealing dope and anything else that comes his way. One night we get chatting in a local bar. He suddenly shouts “You wanna see me blow myself up?” Never one to turn down a ridiculous offer I bet him a beer he can’t. Without question he whips out a homemade firework from his pocket and lights it. I hit the deck and this thing blows up in his hand. OK, he didn’t quite blow himself up but it deserved a beer to at least cool down his singed hand.
I am still waiting to find someone as crazy as Space Cake Dave
I have received some emails about the aparent dangers in El Salvador. Yes, it does have a few, but no more so than many parts of England- Brixton high street springs to mind.
The biggest danger here is myself and the risk I am willing to take. Whilst traversing Honduras I hit a low momnet. Having barely slept, hungover and alone I arrived in a frenetic unknown town after dark. I climbed into the chaos of the chicken bus to be welcomed by hoards of people hustling for every type of business. I did not feel safe with my inability to communicate and virtually all my worldly possessions on my back. Quickly I make my appologies and head straight over the road and book myself into an overpriced hotel. The room was clean and quiet and most importantly had a TV – the perfect antidote to my feeling of solitary confinement. Unfortunalely, however, the TV had no on/off switch and an empty hole occupied the space. Desperate for some company I inserted a finger in through the hole looking for the switch. Having no joy I reached for the nearest available poker- my steel pen and proceeded to try where my finger had failed………time dissapeared for a moment……. I find myself in a heap on the floor, a dul ache down my right side, bump on the back of my head and aching jaw.
My best guess is that I had banged my head on the edge of the bed after the shock from the TV. Very quickly I pulled myself together and ventured straight out into the streets for some food and a beer. I didnt quite intend to use the TV in this way to cure my malady but it had worked!
I now always think twice before inserting metal objects into electrical items.