I thought it was funny because this whole time I was in Brazil I spent all my time with Taiwanese, actually I even think my Chinese improved! Anyway, it was so interesting to see and meet all the different people who immigrated to Brazil from Taiwan. Their community was great and extremely welcoming. I even got a chance to eat my favorite Taiwanese vegetarian instant noodle while some of Francis' friends and girlfriend and I went on a road trip to Paraty. This pic was taken at a Taoist gathering in Sorocaba...or was I really in Taiwan....I can't really be sure ;)
What can I say except the most post card perfect clouds I have ever seen!
This is the view of one of the islands we visited while on a tour boat in Paraty during our road trip there. I swam and swam and swam, even the rain couldn't stop me. And even with the rain it was still a absolute beautiful experience! I was deemed the mermaid of the boat by fellow travelers from Sao Paulo.
Have you ever seen a bigger butterfly, because I haven't! God I can't wait to go to the Amazon!
This was the view of Sao Paulo from my window on the plane... no wonder traffic is a nightmare here...this went on as far as the eye could see in ALL directions from the airport.
One day while I was in Quilmes the place I was staying outside Buenos Aires I looked up at the sky and I saw this circle rainbow around the sun. I have never in my life seen such a sight. It wasn't until weeks later when I was in Sao Paulo talking with a friend about it did I realize that it was a bad sign. My friend said they talked about it on Brazilian news and how it had something to do with the air pollution and the green house effect. interesting...
I have fought with myself as to whether or not I should write this... after lots of consideration I believe it is very important to publish. I do not want everyone who reads my blog to think life is perfect. There are many things that happen behind the scenes and most women keep quiet. I also would like to note that this is a man's world and shit happens when women choose to venture out in it. Here is ONE of my stories...
It was my third day in Buenos Aries and I was staying in a youth hostel in an older side of the city. The night before I had been talking to one of the seven roommates sharing the dormitory room I was in in which I was the only female. I was talking to a Turkish-Canadian about traveling, life, and religion (a conversation that makes traveling worth while). Staying in the same room was also a Canadian co-worker of mine from Taiwan. We all went to bed as usual. The next morning while I was still sleeping a local man who had checked in later the previous evening found it necessary to disturb my personal privacy. I felt his hands on my body and at first I thought it was a dream, until I realized I was conscience but I didn't dare open my eyes. I just laid there in disbelief. Maybe a minute or two or maybe even three had passed before I convinced myself that this was actually happening, here in a room with seven other people less than four meters away. And you know what my first though was.....I didn't want to scream because I was afraid to be rude to wake everyone else up.
Then I felt him and then I felt sick, like throwing up and I couldn't control myself, I opened my eyes looked right and him and started screaming, something along the lines of "Fuck you get off me you mother fucker". He immediately pulled away and started saying "no pasa nada, nada ...." and then started grabbing his stuff. As he went down stairs my roommates stared waking up and asking what had happened. I couldn't figure out what I wanted to do. I really wanted to pick up a wooded chair that had been next to the window, walk down stairs and break it over his fucking head hoping to cause as much pain and damage to his ugly face as possible. But the funny thing as much as I have said that is what I would do...I couldn't, I didn't have it in me.
Then to my surprise he was upstairs again to get the sheets off the bed. Many places in South America require you to turn your sheets in before checking out. Also at this particular hostel the door is locked from both the inside and outside and requires a button behind the front desk to be pushed in order for it to open. So I ran past him down the stairs and told the man at the front desk that there was a man touching me when I woke up. He asked me what room I was in and I said #7 and he said there was nothing he could do about that. I ran back up stairs passing him (the asshole) along the way. When I got to the room the Turkish-Canadian ask what was happening and I told him what the front desk clerk had said. He immediately went down stairs and told the clerk what happened. The clerk thought I told him the "sun was touching me when I woke up". I soon grabbed my knife and went down the stairs again. The clerk looked scared and asked me if I was okay. I responded quickly with "of course not". He called the police and wouldn't push the button to open the front door to let him (the asshole) out. Meanwhile the man was standing at the door about five meters from the front desk where I was standing. He started smoking a cigarette and pacing back and forth. Twenty minutes later while the police were still not there the men went to the upstairs bathroom window to try to get out. All I could think of was how a caged animal acts. With my hand on my knife standing next to the desk with the Turkish-Canadian beside me we waited for more than forty minutes before the police showed up. And when they finally did, their first questions were "where do you come from?" What happened?" and "Were you sleeping nude?".
After another hour of the same three questions the stood there for five minutes looking at me and then asked what I wanted to do. I returned the question with "What can I do?" They told me I can go down to the police station and file a report. So I did. Accompanied by coworker we rode to the police station to wait for another three hours. Then interviewed me in the waiting room in front of everyone, with a man interpreter and a male officer. The questions included, how did he touch you? did you feel anything, like a sexual feel of arousal (I am not kidding), what were you wearing, where were the other people sleeping in the room, why was I the only one awake? which hand did he use? what did I say to him? was I awake when he first started?
After they got my statement. They told me that I need to wait for the department who handles this kind of case to have a consolation with me. They told me they just contacted them and they are on their way. Less than ten minutes later two women walked into the station the policemen introduced us and they immediately brought me into a private room gave me a glass of water and asked to tell them anything I wanted whenever I feel comfortable to talk. I told them everything. They asked if I have seen the doctor yet. I said "no" and told them that I had just been in the waiting room for the last 5 hours. Within five minutes we were in a car on our way to the doctor in the Department of sexual violence and abuse.
After all the necessary check ups and required tests I was free to go. They took me back to the hostel and I took a shower and when I went downstairs the police were there again. They wanted to get some statements. They wanted to question my coworker who had been waiting in the station with me earlier that morning for a total of 6 hours doing nothing. The front desk staff had already changed and gone home and they wanted to interview the other people sleeping in the room. The incident happened at about 5:30 am, Check out being 11 am, and that current time was about 3 p.m. the only one possibly available for questioning was my coworker from Taiwan a good friend of mine and who had already wasted 6 hours of his vacation at the police station. The police then so politely informed me that it would be difficult to make a strong case without any witnesses. Well I appreciate their honesty. ASSHOLES!
The positive thing: I couldn't bare staying in a hostel again so I tried for the first time this website thing called Couch Surfing.com. I had been in touch with some guys in Quimes (near Buenos Aires) about a place to stay for about a month and knew their friend from the internet as well. So I thought what the hell...what is the worst thing that can happen....I get raped??
So I called them, they came to pick me up and by 4:30 I was in the car of what I would later find to be some of the coolest guys and best friends of my life on our way to Quimes. I stayed with them for the rest of the duration of my stay in Argentina and I think there wasn't a moment I didn't smile. They taught me about real love, real happiness and real peace.
I absolutly LOVE the following quote. I think Albert really summed it all up with this one! However, please excuse his exclusive use of the pronoun ´he´. As smart and enlightended as HE was ....HE was still and MAN and thus doomed to error. So ladies just imagine that every ´he´, ´his´and ús´ACTUALLY includes you as we women have always had to do. Anyway, enjoy the quote!
"A human being is a part of the whole called by us the universe. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a prison restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons close to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from our prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all humanity and the whole of nature and its beauty."
Every moment of every day is a treasure. One that cannot be replaced, relived or reproduced. It is original and yet.....it is just what everything has always been and what will always be, all is the same it is constant.
So as some of you know I have a US passport and that gives me exclusive voting rights in that oh so capitalist country. So I decided to exercise those rights of mine and head to the mainland to vote for change. I registered in Colorado back in the beggining of the year as I heard it was going to be a swing state. So I arrived a couple days before the election and signed up to do what ever I could to help "that one" elected. I was even able to see Michelle Obama speak and boy was that a blast! On election night I headed to a party of a local politition, who also won, to celebrate what I knew was going to be a day for the history books. I cried oh did I cry. I cried the first time I ever heard him speak, about a year ago. I couldn´t believe it. I knew then what I know now, that he President Elect Barack Obama is a very special human!! I am soooooo pround of America, but she has a long way to go to get back any sense of a decent reputation. This is the first step on to a very long but very essential road. Good Luck and may Barack bless ALL the WORLD!!!
Over the last couple months I have been planning and plotting a trip. I have realized lately that I need a change, a dramatic one. And I know what some of my friends are thinking because I travel to quite interesting places many times a year already but, I need a shock to wake me up and what better place to find that shock then in the three continents I have yet to go. I have set out on my journey, as many would say of a lifetime but I say 'of a usually Tuesday in the life of Kristina'. So this is the plan: South America, Africa, and India starting out with a trip down memory lane to Hawaii. Originally I was going to try and meet my father here in the beautiful islands but life doesn't always work out the way you want so I am here solo and my dad is ALWAYS with me in spirt. I had a hell of a time with my ticket changing sometimes three times a day but alas I am finally here and been here since the 8th. Now, what have I done....beach... nothing....watch MTV (OMG) ....beach.....eat chocolate....met interesting people.....nothing....had some great smiles with my GREAT sista Diva......swimming....chocolate.... That about updates me to this point as I am currently waiting for my Brazilian and Indian visas. If any of you have any suggestions for how to pass my time here I would love to hear them.
So okay I had that horrible experience and no matter how much I hated a person I would not wish that upon, not even Bush... so you can imagine the pain. Anyway, after I came back and I told one of my friends the story the next day it happened to a women in the South of Taiwan who was sleeping on the floor. She described the pain as worse than child birth!!! WORSE than child birth mind you and according to the international pain chart, child birth is one of the most painful human experiences. Alright!! Some justification for crying like a baby and screaming like a girl all the while snot coming from my nose and blood from my ear. So I just wanted to share with you all this amazing story!
Okay so it all started on a Friday morning. I have a wonderful night and woke up early to do some yoga I had just learned. After my morning exercises I took a lovely shower and was able to wash my hair oh so clean for the first time in three days (dirty hair, the downside to backpacking). Any way I get a knock on my door from Free (my friend) wondering if I am ready to go down town for breakfast as we are both starving from not yet having breakfast. So I finishing getting my stuff together and head to the main bungalow to where Free had parked the motorcycle. He was there waiting patiently as his, and my stomach were both screaming at this point. My hair was wet and I really didn't want to put on the helmet but as Free and I had argued about the safety of a plastic styrofoam cap on my head before but still I reluctantly put it on. We got on the motorcycle and were finally off to a beautiful organic Thai meal when about one minute down the road I felt something crawl across my ear...I tried to brush it away and as soon as I realized that it not only didn't brush away but crawled directly into my ear, I started screaming. Now I consider myself a pretty strong person, I mean not to brag but I have been through some crazy situations including a civil war in Lebanon just four months ago, but this was a yet to be experienced pain until of course that moment. I immediately started screaming and practically fell off the side of the motorcycle. Free keep saying "what's wrong, what's wrong" and in between my screaming I managed to get a "a .....ahhhhhh oh ......MY GOD.......a ...........ahhhhhhh.......bug......OH GOD .......in my EAR....AHHHHHHH!!!" All I could focus on was the scratching in what seemed like the middle of my head. Again in between my screaming I told Free to take me to get my tweezers to pull it out. I jumped back on the motorcycle and as soon as it accelerated the wind must have freaked the little critter out because I felt this INTENSE push for the finish line type action DEEPER into my ear and in my head so needless to say I sort of fell off the side of the motorcycle again and told my friend I would walk. This is where it gets a little hazy for me. I remember walking a few steps and then feeling this ridiculous pain that inhibited me to take another step, then it would subside for a second or two and I tried to start again this time faster, then the pain came back even greater. So great in fact it made me drop to my knees. This time no continuing no getting back up. Next thing I knew I was on the ground tossing and turning like a hysteric drunkard or something. All the while screaming like I have NEVER screamed before and I mean this is scream that you could only hear in the worst of horror movies. And all I could focus on was the scratching sound and I suppose the screaming was my was of trying to drowned it out. At this point there were other standing around me flipping and flopping in the middle of a back road in the small town of Pai in Northern Thailand. All I could say was "Please AHHHHHHHH...help ........ahhhhhhhh ME.....get it out get it out...AHHHHHHHHHHHHH". Next thing I hear is one of the onlookers ask my friend what drugs I was on, after my friend so politely answered that I wasn't ON ANY DRUGS, they then decided to pour water in my ear. Without hesitation I disagreed. First of all I am enough of a nature girl to know that water does not kill bugs very well, and two if I were in some place and something that I don't like is coming from one direction...well I am going to go the other way. In the state I was in I had no chance of wining that argument will my only response as "no please no AHHHHHHHHHHHHH oh GOD it hurts PLEASE AHHHHAHAHAHAHHA!" So the water was poured and the bug was crawling into what was I felt the side of my throat. Finally, after rolling around for maybe 5 or 10 minutes on the street and scratching up my legs and arms, the owner of the bungalows can down the hill because he heard the screaming. My friend told him to get the car to take me to the hospital. This part also a little hazy, NO not because I was on drugs but that I was crying so intensely and my head in such a state of shock that my eyes were swollen. I remember (sort of) Free shoving me in the car and closing the door. I was going from one side of the car to the other kicking screaming, pulling and hitting my head (actually no wonder why everyone thought I was on drugs). Jae, the owner and who was driving at this time just kept telling me "you be okay, just one minute". Boy that was THE LONGEST ONE MINUTE OF MY LIFE!!! The car finally stops I open the door and fall out...I haded realized it was a HUGE hammy truck that you needed to step out of. The ER attendant was there bed ready I was pulled onto it and that is where it really gets fuzzy. Time passes and then I feel intense clawing and the sound like you just wouldn't wish on your WORST enemy. Then I hear a suction sound and the immense clawing that followed, and I knew this thing was going to fight as hard as it could for its life. The suction stops, with maybe it was four people holding me down then start cutting off pieces. At first my friend was expecting you know like a "regular" size bug, but the pieces kept coming, a leg a wing. Then the suction again... they went back in with tweezers and pulled half of it out including the guts. At this point my friend secretly thought "is that her ear??" Meanwhile, me, still screaming loud enough and strong enough mind you to grab the attention of the ENTIRE hospital. I felt like this would never end. Cutting, scratching, sucking, screaming, clawing, screaming, cutting, sucking, scratching, bleeding, screaming, clawing, screaming, screaming, screaming, then all of a sudden the pressure holding down my body was gone, but that feeling and sound still remained. They had pulled out a little over two centimeter bloody thing that could only be physically described as a FUCKING HUGE FLYING COCKROACH of some sort. My friend said when they pulled it out it was still living and started crawling back towards me, guess it liked my ear-lucky me! He finally smashed it and they took it away. I kept screaming. I tell you I still felt something there some thing crawling something inside. My friend said it was over and I kept crying kept telling him to check again. "Please God just let them check again oh plllllleeeeeeaaaaseahhhhhh I can feel it oh please ahhhh." After about 10 minutes he FINALLY got them to check again and nothing. Both he and the nurse checked so you think that I could finally feel at ease... Oh no, ease came about hmmm lets see that happen on Friday the 22nd of August and today is September 1st well I guess you could say I still don't completely feel at ease but at least the headache, ear pain and feeling of an intruder deep in my ear went away after about five or so days. But that sound, that sound of scratching 10 times worse than nails on a chalk board, that immense clawing at what only felt like the middle of my brain...well I still hear that from time to time and it intensifies every time I see a large multi-legged little creature around. But I will get over it, one day!
So the moral of the story (multiple choice): a) Don't go outside without earplugs. b) Don't go to Northern Thailand in HUGE Flying Cockroach season. c) Always check your helmet before putting it on. d) Don't piss off the HUGE Flying Cockroach Gods. e) Fuck it, shit like this is hard to prevent and I should chalk it up as a good "Guess what happened to me in Thailand story!"
Chillin' here eating dragon fruit and taking pure raw shots of wheatgrass in Pai, northern Thailand with my friend Free. We went on this couple day amazing rafting trip followed by a river bath with an elephant.
I am taking a short trip to see my wonderful friend Free in Pai northern Thailand. I really need a good cleansing vacation so I am looking forward to it. I would also like to mention a wonderful gathering I attended at another very good friend of mine yesterday. 我認識新的朋友. 太好笑我新朋友(台灣人)教我一個英文字...太利害 (我有一點丟臉) . Francis gracias por compartir la casa del Coco conmigo! Mi casa es su casa tambien!
I have decided to start recording my thoughts for my fellow humans to read at liberty. I have had an interesting life thus far and would like to share some of my experiences and observations. I welcome people to disagree with me. I don't pretend to know everything in the world I only think I know what I do based on my experiences and observations. If you differ in any way shape or form than me well thank goddess that globalization hasn't gone that far.
A worldwide survey was conducted by the UN. The only question asked was: "Would you please give your honest opinion about solutions to the food shortage in the rest of the world?" The survey was a huge failure... In Africa they didn't know what "food" meant. In Eastern Europe they didn't know what "honest" meant. In Western Europe they didn't know what "shortage" meant. In China they didn't know what "opinion" meant. In the Middle East they didn't know what "solution" meant. In South America they didn't know what "please" meant. And in the USA they didn't know what "the rest of the world" meant.