sábado, noviembre 13, 2010

To my irish girlfriend traveling through third world countries

Ay linda amiga irlandesa, quieres morir de Dengue, Cólera, u otra enfermedad terrible y tercermundista. Tomaste seis meses de vacaciones, a break, de tu trabajo en la BBC, y los pasarás viajando por centro y suramérica. El itinerario incluye Bolivia, Nicaragua, Guatemala, El Salvador y Paraguay.

Quieres tratar en otro hemisferio. Ya has sobrevivido varias veces a la India. Una tarde, mirando los cuervos volar sobre Madrás, sentiste que era tu tierra, y trataste de ser adoptada por una familia de apellido Chowdhury. Deseaste ser una niña de grandes ojos marrones con las manos tatuadas, engalanada con un sari amarillo en una boda donde por fin verías la cara asombrada de un esposo niño ya viudo.

La razón de esta odisea es aprender español, me dijiste. Ay estos suicidas latentes, inventando excusas para no tener que hacer el trabajo ellos mismos.

Mami, traveling by boat keep your feet out of the water.
Do not trust any politician, right, center or left.
Do not trust any man of religion, evangelical, catholic or mayan.
Do not eat strange dishes, remember Wilde: "Strange dishes produce the strangest diseases."
When awaking in the middle of the night with a snake in your bed, do not panic. Just jump and pray.
Always check your boots for spiders and scorpions.
Always keep venom antidotes at hand.
Always wear a straw hat.
Look at the lonely moon, it is your mirror, according to a blind old man.
Try to not fall in love with the natives. Soon you would become one. Soon you would find out that exotic words sometimes have nothing but ugly meanings.
Walk looking ahead, back, and sideways, avoid dark streets and always carry an umbrella.
Have in your pockets loose pesos, or soles, or whatever the name of the currency is. Remember that bribing the police is not a crime in a third world country.
Whenever possible, avoid mudslides, accidents on rivers, and get attention in time for simple illnesses.
Boil the drinking water at least for half an hour.
Be filthy, do not bathe everyday. A dirty woman makes a very unattractive rape victim.
Sleeping on a beach, remember Li Po: "...with the sand for a pillow, and a blanket made of heaven."
Enjoy the stars.
In a funeral for the last victims of a volcano, hurricane or earthquake, do not think that the sad way mourners shrug their shoulders is in any way dignified.
Stop for a while in San Pedro La Laguna, enjoy that beautiful spot filled with avocado and papaya trees, coffee bushes and yellow flowers.
Read Roald Dahl.
Befriend a llama.
Ride a donkey.
Do not kiss a turtle.
Dance with a monkey.
Learn to say "I love you" in guaraní.
And please, please, please come back to me.

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