Friday, December 10, 2004

Off to St. John, USVI

Yay! Finally going back to the caribbean! St. John for a week then off to the BVIs for Christmas and New Years.

We sail on Friday and it will take about 5 days to arrive in St. John. While there our charters will be to Jost Van Dyke, Tortola, Virgin Gorda and some smaller islands along the way. I can't wait!

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Back home in Rhode Island

Back in Rhode Island. Yay. I met a really nice South African dude on the flight back from Argentina. We talked to entire flight back. It's so great when you can meet people like that. I may never see him again. How sad is that? You wait your whole life to find someone you can connect with and then circumstances tear you apart. Oh well...

I have updated my website but no pictures of Argentina yet. I actually only took two. One of Evita's grave and the other one of the Iguazu falls. Really, I don't even know or care about Evita. I just like Madonna.

Monday, October 11, 2004

Stupid things I do in other countries

I was walking around this little town and this guy standing outside a supermarket or store or something starts talking to me in Spanish. I have no idea what he was saying. Four years of Spanish in school for what? Anyway, these guys are constantly saying something about wanting to kiss you or that you are from heaven or something. So I´m walking really fast because I try to get away from them. But he pointed to my arm. I guess he was pointing at my watch. Not really sure. All I could make out was that he said...ahora. So I was thinking about what he could have possibly said for about two blocks after that. Then I decided that he was asking for the time. So I walked all the way back and he was still standing I walked up to him, pointed at my watch and said ocho treinta (8:30). In really bad spanish. He looked at me like I was crazy and started laughing hystarically. Then I realized I was I am crazy. So I ran away. Really, really fast. Why do I do stupid things like that? Does anyone else do that?

Saturday, October 09, 2004

What they think of us in Buenos Aires

So, since I have been here, I haven't met one person who likes the US or has anything good to say about us. In fact, where it used to be "I like Americans just not their government," it has now become, "I hate Bush. I hate the US. And what is wrong with Americans? They're fat and lazy and have no idea what is going on in the world." I can detect a huge shift in opinion. And this coming from Australians and English as a mutual consensus. The only person I met that didn't seem to care was this French guy. But I don't think he could understand what we were saying. These people are supposed to be our allies. I've always defended my country and even at times defended Bush. I have done so here as well. But now, people aren't so willing to understand or to listen anymore. But I'm not so worried about what the world things, I'm worried about what Americans aren't doing. I just want people to vote. I want people my age to get involved and understand that a lot of things are impacting us in this election and it's essential that we take a more active stance. Most of all, poverty is a huge issue. With poverty, comes lack of education and health care. I work for incredibly wealthy people and all I can tell you is that it is true...the rich are running the United States and as long as they are, the poor and middle class will continue to have less opportunities and less freedom.

Anyway, last night I watched the second debate from my hotel room. I thought Bush did a much better job this time. He was more forceful and articulate. The debate really helped in that I have decided not to vote for Nader as I was planning to do in protest. I guess that's it. I'm ranting and I know people hate rants on politics. I do. I don't want to choose sides anymore. I just want to make things better. I don't want my friends and family to have to work two or three jobs to just get by. The ones that do, they are just too smart for that. So, I guess I'm just trying to say that, I don't know what I'm trying to say. I hope I've alread said it.

Friday, October 08, 2004

Buenos Aires, Argentina

Right now, I am in Buenos Aires Argentina. I've been here for a week now. I got here on Sunday and went to this incredible market called "Feira de San Telmo" with vendors set up on cobblestone streets selling what in the United States would be considered crap. Fake antiques and little items you would find at your gramma's house like porcelein cats and tiny teacups.

But somehow, I found it charming and interesting. Best of all there were performers doing the Tango and musicians with amazing talent playing their instruments and these scruffy, truly bohemian artists selling their creations on the street. I loved it. I felt like it was the kind of place you could really be a part of while being yourself and you could be embraced for it.

The next day I went to Iguazu Falls on the border of Paraguay, Brazil and Argentina. The falls are the fourth largest in the world. The only words I can think of for this place are magnificent and spiritual. The place is still not a spot on the map where many tourists go so it doesn't have the trashy themepark feel. But it did kinda feel like Jurassic Park. I wanted to stay there forever, but decided I couldn't live without my MTV (in English).

I've met some really great, fun people here at my hostel but they are friendships that last only for a few days and then we all move on. Then, once again, I am left alone to wander the streets of Buenos Aires in anonymity. I recommend it to everyone-traveling alone that is. You are lonely, sad, and thrilled all at the same time.

I also got to visit Evita's grave. I have decided that Evita is the Hilary Clinton of Argentina. People love her and hate her all at the same time. I wonder if Madonna would play in a movie about Hilary? I learned about Che Guevera from a Cuban and an Argentinian and defended my country-as usual- to a group of people where no one was on my side. This is what I love about traveling. Now, I'm going to go continue my exploration of Argentina cause it is my last day. Adios!

Monday, October 04, 2004

Letter to dad from Buenos Aires

I love it here dad. Just love it. I went to a market yesterday in an area, San Telmo, that could best be compared to what Greenwich used to be (so I hear). Very bohemian and artsy but nice. There were professional tango dancers and street performers.
One thing that really has made an impression on me is yerba mate. Last night at the hostel I met a few new friends and we shared some mate. It´s a tea that is drunk among friends. It´s kinda like a peace pipe sort of thing. Anyway, I want to bring some back but I´m afraid customs is going to think I have drugs!!! Gotta go for now wasting time
when I could be exploring!

Monday, March 15, 2004

St. Martin

When I moved to St. Maarten after graduating from college in the US, I had never been to an island before and had no idea what to expect. I assumed that everyone lived in homes thatched with palm leaves. I was quite pleasantly surprised as I took the bus that wound through the hills of Dutch St. Maarten from Princess Juliana Airport to Philipsburg. What surprised me most overlooking P'berg from atop the high road leading into the town was the number of white houses with red roofs clustered in the land outside of the town. From there, everything looked pristine and beautiful.
As I disembarked from the taxi bus, paid the driver my $1, and made my way from Back Street to Front Street, I noticed that the roads were littered with trash, potholed, and narrow. I saw very few people as I walked toward the main road through alleys and side streets. I reached Front Street and that’s when I felt like I was in another world. Loads of camera-toting tourists immediately closed in on me, and I quickly understood that most of them were from the cruise ships. The street was lined with jewelry stores and souvenir shops.

If one walks from Front Street toward the bay, they will reach the boardwalk, which really isn't made of boards. No matter. It's a very nice stretch of restaurants and shops. At night, locals gather to sit out on the boardwalk and visit while their children play on the beach. My favorite restaurants are Taloula Mango's, which has happy hour every night from 5-7pm with free tapas. I also like Oualichi's across the Sint Rose Arcade. They have a very cute boutique of women's clothing. Of jewelry stores, I recommend Shiva's. As I have been living in St. Maarten, I have come to know the owners. They are very respectable and sincerely are concerned about the happiness of their customers with their purchases.

Also, don't miss Old Street. There is a lovely French bakery with great sandwiches and pastries. Overall, Philipsburg is a place that looks a little rough around the edges, but underneath it is quite a jewel.