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balance (2): nowhere

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


i always always end up in the wrong season, in the wrong place, by myself. i don't enjoy it. hotel esmeralda is nice enough- but here's the thing: it has a gorgeous sauna which is closed for the season. it has a pool which is too cold to swim in this season. it has a barbeque area but i cant barbeque alone. it has a pool table, foosball tables, and dart boards but i can not play alone (though i did mess around with the darts a bit). it has an outdoor bar which is closed for the season. it has extensive gardens which are being worked on and thus can not be walked through. next door is a horse ranch but i can't go riding without a group. it has taxi service to the surrounding areas but they won't take a solo person. it is about 20 minutes' walk to town but there are numerous warnings not to walk alone as there have been rapes and robberies and dog attacks here (besides it's raining). on top of that the staff is completely unhelpful, tries to overcharge for every little thing, and have advertised falsely that they offer high speed, wifi internet and cable tv (still irked about that). so much for my attempt to chill out in a cool place with other travellers. the only redeeming quality here is that the views are amazing and the buffet meals ok. 'god' knows how i can get the hell out of here tomorrow on the now flooded roads, back to some semblance of civilization in la paz. i suppose until then i will just do yoga!

but again, i come back around to the realization that even when i get closer to "civilization" i don't care about poor, stupid countries any longer. they don't have much to offer in the way of comfort and the stimulation is only of a novel sort. i just don't get it- what is so great about trekking into the middle of nowhere (or riding a crappy bus for 15 hours) to observe people who live in squalor? who aren't even smart enough to build fireplaces in their houses to keep warm, or proper beds to sleep in? sure they can weave with pretty colors. sure they can grow their own food and build with mud bricks- such accomplishments! but to be honest, i feel lately like one 3rd world place is not that much different from the other, geography excepted! and because of their lack of education and financial means, they are boring people! they have nothing to offer but a long history of toil and trouble! they don't seem to like us staring at them, there are slurs against capitalist tourists painted all over la paz for instance, there is always an us vs. them thing which is frustrating when you only have a few weeks to see a place and you know you never will really "see" it.... and in fact many of the people here seem to feel travellers are personally responsible for their poverty and should be giving them handouts, and if not they are quite happy to just take them by force. if a young, well intentioned woman can not walk down the street alone at night without being seen as someone to exploit and harm, what is the point of contributing to this sort of society? i have gained nothing by travelling all the way across the world and spending thousands of dollars to witness this.

woah there elocin, what's with all the jadedness of late, this sense of entitlement? i know i know. i guess i have just changed in the past couple of years. travelling is not a priority any longer. or at least, this type of travelling. partly i innately despise indian culture and history as it was shoved down my throat when i was a kid in the west (no offense to the indians really, it is much the same feeling i have against religion as it was also force-fed to me), and i simply chose the wrong places to visit. and partly i suppose it springs from having lived in a 3rd world country for the past 3 years. what i have learned from it is that people trap themselves in these situations. if they want out of them, they should get out of them! it is as simple as changing their mindsets, as swallowing their pride in a lot of cases, being brave, and making more intelligent decisions. i know they don't have the benefit of american optimism and education to motivate them to do so, but some manage to get out anyway! i am only interested in the upper echelons of the world's population, who manage to effect change, make their lives and the lives of those around them better, produce something of worth besides another woolen hat or some god-awful music used to kickstart a square dance of hillbillies drunk on local brew... besides these intelligent few i feel the rest of the world is just a stockyard, and can't be bothered with them, and that goes for all of the fat, dull people living in suburbs with too many kids and depressing office jobs in the US as well, before anyone accuses me of racism. a lot of all this is in a large part thanks to my ex boyfriend ot (of my wanderlust blog), who comes from a vibrant, fun culture, and showed me many valuable things... but was too stupid and lazy to even consider a way to get out of his miserable financial situation other than depending on others to prop him up. i no longer have pity for people like that- i have done everything alone, why can't they?

phew! there you go, i obviously have a lot of anger to express. certainly my attitude has been crap lately, and it is probably unfair to the nice people here. i mystify myself even, not sure why it's coming out now. i guess i am tired of having to do everything alone because everyone else "can't" do it with me. i guess i am a little pissed off at overcoming my own obstacles only to find that it has completely alienated me from everything. and i am seeing that actually, i still have a lot further to go. i am also torn between the desire to just be happy and live a nice simple life (thailand) and the desire to challenge myself and get my fingers into the pie and make/do/see more before i am too old and decrepit (new york). and i am projecting my guilt onto others.

who knows but i think i should get out of bolivia before my brain corrodes.

oh, and my current bad mood wouldn't have anything to do with the fact that the love of my life, x, who i have been trying to see for 3 years, once again has dropped his plans to meet up with me so he could go chase after another girl.



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