Thursday, August 9th, 2007
My passport (and visa) arrived with a delay. One more day and there would be no trip. But fortunately everything worked out this time. You can achieve quite a lot with some patience and politeness. So tomorrow, with God’s help, I will be far, far away. Alone with my backpack in a strange land. Still had no time to read the guidebook. Will do that on a plane. On a very last moment. And then, shall the adventure begin. Just another dream coming true. So easily. I was looking for a nice self-portrait for facebook (narcism, hell yes) and found this one (crop from a bigger picture):
in Sandra’s glasses (Mexico’2007)
Wish me luck!
Tuesday, May 29th, 2007
(yet another hostel)
(this is my cow)
on the road:
San Juan Chamula – the only town in Mexico where the Maya’s beliefs are mixed with catholig religion:
(I had no idea into what I had stepped into by taking a picture of this girl. You can already see it in her grin. She followed me for the next 10 minutes asking for money for this picture. And when I wanted to buy something from her instead of giving money she just refused. Left her with nothing.)
(Shoes shopping/kid feeding.)
(ready to fight… for a customer)
Friday, May 18th, 2007
So I am back to Warsaw. Timezone changes make me feel confused.The tax officers at the airport controlled me. For the first time in my life. The guy said that my eyes looked as I had smoked a joint and asked me if I had. Then he asked me to empty my pockets. Checked my wallet. Then he asked to unpack my hand-luggage. Then he asked to unpack my big backpack. So I showed him all the presents I bought myself in Mexico including the cowboy hat, hammock, poncho, blouse, bottle of natural flavoured tequila (which was leaking into the poncho). He asked me what is this for, what is that for, he went through my electronic junk, he asked where I was working, if and when I took or smoked drugs. So it was one of these nice conversations you have with strangers from time to time about life, sex and drugs. I had been so relaxed so he finally bought my story that I was not high but just happy after having great vacation. Really nice guys. So I said goodbye and left the guys the leaflet of a strip club I got from a guy on a street when I was in Veracruz. I really enjoyed that. Always happy to meet people who like their job and do it with a smile. And controls like that are a piece of cake when you are used to military checkpoints in the middle of the night and everybody-out-of-the-bus soldiers with long weapon looking into your bag (as it happened to me once in Mexico and a few times in the Eastern Turkey). Just got used to these nice men making sure that I don’t carry with me any toys that I could hurt myself (or society) with.On the plane(s) I met nice people – Mexican guy who is a cave diving instructor and was flying to Poland to give some courses of it (he does that for 22 years, owns not much more than his gear and seems to be HAPPY). He invited me to do some diving with him in Cuba. Took his email address and the phone number. And then the Polish actress in her 40-50s living in Paris and going to Poland for an audition to another Polish crappy soap opera. Had a really great conversation with her about the world were living in, Poland in this world and young Polish people like me who are gonna rule it soon.
I am so fucking optimistic you can’t imagine. I had a really great trip and made it safe home. Met the old friends and made some new friends. I went away from all the crappy problems, so far away that when I looked back at them I couldn’t see them anymore. I hope I will keep this positive energy for at least a few days. But tomorrow I have to face the so called “real life”. Have to start preparing for my weekend studies (one exam on Saturday and some case analysis I need to do some reading for). And I have to check my corporate mail to see what kind of surprises they had prepared for me when I was gone. Shitty i-wanna-kill-myself-project in Germany or a cool face-the-unknown project in Paris or wherever. It’s gonna be hard, so please don’t come to me with any bullshit or any problem that doesn’t really exist. It’s gonna be hard enough without it.
One more thing. I was walking down the streets of Veracruz with my big backpack and my camera bag wearing my new cowboy hat. Let’s make it clear – people in Veracruz don’t wear such hats. Maybe village people coming to Veracruz – yes, but the others not. So people were pretending not to see me – fucking white guy with his stupid hat. Some were smiling discretely. Only the homeless people were cool. They were the only ones looking into my eyes and saying hello and smiling to me (not at me) honestly. Then it came into my mind that the thing that I love to do so much – facing the unknown, traveling, not knowing where you will spend your next night, where and what you will eat… All those little things I love – it’s their everyday life. And I think they feel the same about me. What is this stranger doing here all alone so far from wherever he is from. And why the fuck is he wearing this hat? :-)
More photos will come.
Friday, May 18th, 2007
This will be my last night in Mexico. I took an overnight bus to Veracruz. What you get is quite a typical touristic resort. But that’s okey – I decided to come here just because it has very god connections to Mexico City where I have a flight to catch tomorrow. Sandra was to join me here to see me before I leave but she used some cheap excuse and cancelled. ;-) I have spent 5 hours on a beach reading a book, swimming… Got sunburned. And I decided to use up a free night at the Holiday Inn in the center. Got a nice room. :-) Being a corporate bitch sometimes pays off. :PLast 4 days I have spent in San Cristobal. Really liked it. Quite a small city with many attractions around. I took tours to Palenque (Indian pyramids in the jungle), Canyon del Sumidero (boat trip – pretty relaxing), religious villages (very, very impressive, villagers claiming to be Christians keeping Mayas traditions and practicing them in the church in front of the figures of catholic saints, saying traditions I mean rituals like taking away the illnesses by sacrificing a chicken, etc.). I also met a nice German chick (Tina), too nice to be German :D and we were hanging around together during the last day. Hope to stay in touch.
Did some shopping. Before in Puebla I bought a poncho and a Mexican style pullover with a hood (this one I’m gonna wear for sure). Yesterday I bought a super-cool cowboy’s hat. One of those that you enter the shop and you see it and you know this is THE ONE. So happy. Well spent 7 euros. :D And of course I bought many little things.
Tomorrow flying back home from Mexico city. Don’t wanna go back home.
Have tons of unprocessed pictures. I think I will have to work on them back at home (or on the airport if I have some time).
Here is a photo of me sitting on my bed in my modest room in Veracruz, crying to be leaving Mexico.
Monday, May 14th, 2007
Mexico City – just as a proof that i was there (was i?):
Teotihuacan – big pyramids, sellers hunting on tourists and one Mexican revolutionist … we also made pink idiots there with Sandra (details soon):
Oaxaca – the way there and some street photos from a local festival and the photo of Miguel visiting Ivan:
Around Oaxaca – a fucking big tree, Agua de Something – one of three formations like that, another one is in Pamukkale in Turkey and the last one is in Argentina… so if i go to Argentina I am done with those things, and finally – a booze factory:
Monte Alban – yet another pyramids and a nice car with a cactus:
I am in San Cristobal in Chiapas – the region in the central part of Mexico. Staying here for one more night and then going to Veracruz for a night (free night in a nice hotel) and then Mexico City and hop to Warsaw.
I am tired of taking pics. Not much satisfaction. Spent the last two days with the nature – just to catch a breath. Tomorrow going to see some villages that developed some crazy mix of religions.
Thursday, May 10th, 2007
I am in Oaxaca visiting around. Tomorrow taking a 12 hours ride to San Cristobal de Las Casas. Want to visit Palenque. Tired of the heat and sun. But so far going good.
Wednesday, May 9th, 2007
Finally started traveling on my own. Spending time with Sandra and Jaime was fun but time to move on. Especially that being for too long with a happy couple is not fun anymore after some time (sweet kisses every 30 seconds… damn!). Sandra scared me a little with all the stories how dangerous traveling in Mexico can be. But now being on my own I don’t feel that. Just always look as you knew where you where going (even if you have no freaking idea).
Had some doubts if I still like this kind of traveling. But after today I am sure that there is nothing I like more.
Pick-up trucks filled up with dark-skin guys in cowboy’s hats, colorful buildings, street food, kids working on the streets, tacos, beer with lemon juice (mecholade), policemen with long guns, big trucks, road through steps with cactuses, women with Indian faces selling colorful textiles… Mexico, baby, hell yeah!
(I have a little lag with the pictures but will try to work on that).
Wednesday, May 9th, 2007
Some pics from Tepoztlan:
Wednesday, May 9th, 2007
Sandra introduced me to the side of Mexico City I haven’t expected to see. Big big houses, big big cars, private garden birthday parties with open bar, dj and mariachis… Tequila with coke, vodka with tonic, tequila shots… Fortunately Polish people NEVER get drunk. And I am telling you – it’s a hard job to be the only blond guy on the dance floor. ;-)
Sandra and Jaime were so so so nice. They really took good care of me. The right balance between partying and visiting.
Mexico City really paralyzed me. It is just huuuuuge. Oversized streets, oversized traffic, oversized billboards. And hills with nice closed districts of nice villas. And streets full of Audis, Jeeps, Land Rovers with one guy/woman and his/her mobile. Thousands or maybe millions. And green cabs. Glad I made it out of there. 20 million people. Too huge for me.
Wednesday, May 9th, 2007
The funny thing is that when you are starting your day with the first morning coffee at work I am finishing the battle of brandy with some Mexican cabrones with a special dedication to cuba libra.
Friday, May 4th, 2007
Some nature and stupid-tourists pictures from Africam Safari Park.
Thursday, May 3rd, 2007
Mexico stroke me with colors, sounds, tastes, music, food, alcohol, weather, traditions. When we finally find a moment just to sit and drink and relax it finally comes to me where I am and what I am doing. So freaking far away from home. But the distance is not so important. If countries that have nothing in common like Poland and Germany are neighbours it could easily be Poland and Mexico. The bright side of the story is delicious food, mariachi, beer (tried beer with salsa… yhhhh), sunshine, music. The sad side is poverty, kids working on the streets. But also here – you can see some smiles and happiness. Sandra is a true sweetheart. She and her family tries to make me feel like at home. We went visiting around Puebla. Seen a church built on a top of a pyramid. Triumph of the new religion over the old traditions (from the Spanish conquers times). And I ate a bug. Two actually. What’s more – I bought them. Thought it would be more disgusting. Actually was quite ok (spicy) till the moment there is just a crunchy cover left in your mouth. Had to split. Once in the lifetime (twice actually).
Catholic church built after the Spanish invasion on top of the ancient pyramid. And nowadays guys performing an ancient dance next to it.
In the evening we went visiting the center of Puebla. Ended up in a nice bar with beer, tequila and mariachi. Muchos fun.
(this story is a mess but just wanted to explain the pictures a little)
Thursday, May 3rd, 2007
Mexico city welcomed me with heavy gray sky and wet streets. It looked very impressive from the air, after the dusk, with all the orange lights on. Huuuuge city. One tip regarding the travel – never take Air France. The food they server on the plane… damn, what the hell is that? :-)Sandra came with her boyfriend to pick me up from the airport. Then just 2 of us took a bus to Puebla. Then parents picked us up from the bus station, went to buy the first meal (tacos) and then stayed in the kitchen till 2 am (9 am for me) talking. The good news is that with Sandra we started up right where we finished in Turkey. 3 years passed and we are still very good friends – right away. Really great. And you know her… she’s such a sweetheart. :-) I expect lots of fun. Problems are local. All I have been living with and worrying about – here it doesn’t exist. Ok, maybe my bank account might be the (dis)connector. Nevertheless for these 3 weeks I am OFF.
the first meal in Mexico
Sunday, April 29th, 2007
It’s been a good week. The big mess I had I have managed to clean up in the best possible way. Had a good lesson of what I am and what I want (or don’t want). The most important thing is that I was okay with myself first and then with all the people around me. And today I have noticed that it’s been a very long time since I have laughed so much and so honestly as I did this week. :-)
So having all the disturbing things closed I am about to start my vacation. I had no time to read any of the guidebook I got. Fortunately Sandra will take care of me when I get off the plane. We will meet in the airport restaurant called Freedom. No kidding! :-) And this is another thing I am very happy about: when we had seen each other for the last time 3 years ago, I’ve told her: this is not goodbye – this is just see you later, cause for sure we will meet each other again. And now it seems like I have kept the promise. Still can’t imagine that so soon I will be so far away.
Sunday, April 22nd, 2007
Ladies and Gentlemen!
I have an announcement to make. Attention, cause this is big.
You know they say that a journey starts with the first step. Forget about it. This is bullshit. A journey starts when it gets a codename.
After the spectacular success of Operation What’s Underneath (Turkey, 2004) and Operation Camel Kebab (Iran 2005), I am pleased to announce the codename of my next trip.
So, the codename of the 2007 trip to Mexico is: Caribbean Gay Cruise!
My old bones need some sunshine. And my brain needs some tequila.