Uh…yeah. The web poll is jacked. I blame Florida, how ´bout you? Really though, I *crosses fingers* will try really hard to resist further urges to hack and mutilate stolen code. Not that it mattered anyway. In this version of “Chose Your Sol Adventure” (speaking of…Bring back those books!), every scenario ends with solbeam capturing the flag and saving the world. *huh?* I mean….that I´m doing all three of those things…it´s just a matter of what ORDER to do them in!
And that, my friends, was decided, last night.
I scream, you scream…we all scream, for scuba-diving!
Isla de Utilla. Ya see it up there in the Caribbean water? Hey, if nothing else…Solbeam promises a small geography lesson, huh?
And speaking of geography lesson….I have at least a blog or two on “THE UGLY AMERICAN“. Why the big, bold, cap letters? Funny, this may be a shocker to a lot of you *it was to me*, but traveling, in general, is a most shameful, head-hanging, red-faced, dust-kicking experience for Americans. The plain fact is, we are ignorant people. And, everyone knows it….except for us. A favorite game of many un-Americans is “Quiz The Dumb American”. It goes a little like this:
“What´s the difference between Amsterdam, The Netherlands and Holland?”
“Who´s the Prime Minister of France?”
“Name one significant issue of your neighbor Canada?”
“On what continent is Bolivia?”
“Can you say anything besides “beer” in another language?”
Always followed by the stinging, “Wait….silly me. Sometimes we too forget that a world exists outside of the States”. Yeah. Ouch. The people of Central America have even more founded bitterness. I´ve quickly learned, that many simple, hasty (and almost always completely self-motivated) decisions on the part of OUR government have, for instance, thrown Guatemala and San Salvador into YEARS of civil war and social unrest. It´s ugly peoples. Displaying a red-white-blue flag on your body or baggage is pretty much an open invitation to scowls and spit. You can spot a Canadian from a state away, with their flag patches and body tattoos screaming out in declaration, “I may look like an American, but I´m NOT, NOT, NOT!”
I have been humbled. Now I just play the game, take the punches, and try my damndest to break the stereotype. I consider every, “hey…you´re the first American I´ve met that…” a small conquest in repairing the bad name. It´s an important warning to other travelers though. When we´re on the road, we represent everything that is the “USA”. Also, as a “American Traveler”, we have to do everything possible to break that pretty image of the frat boy in his “Tommy” t-shirt, passed out, in his own puke, on the street. Which, I´m so sad to report, I have seen on the road…more than once.
Whoa! Did I run on, or what?
As for the camera. Um. Yeah. *rolls eyes* I´ve gone to pick it up at least 10 times, and have been quoted on taxes I have to pay ranging from $200 bucks to $20. At one point they re-valued the camera at $3,000 US. Freakin joke. Of course, Guate runs on bribes, and I got a guy trying to pull a string or two. I refuse to let myself get excited anymore (a lesson learned after the fifth trip to pick up the package, unsuccessfully). I CAN appreciate the States, for the fact that it is both standard AND efficient. Words that haven´t any place in the dictionary here.
Just got someone to fill in for me at work tonight. Ditchin´the bar and going DANCING! And by the way….I´m getting this salsa-thang down.
*gets pen ready to cross off one of the bullet-points on her “Before-I´m-25” list*