South America was an eye opener. I didn’t fully grasp the poverty around me. It’s hard to grasp wester conveniences costing three times as much – and then factor in that the average person in that country makes a third of what we do — if they’re brilliant.
Mexico… Mexico was different. They don’t sugar coat their poverty. I saw a man in the subway, begging for change with his intestines wrapped in saran-wrap, bound to his chest. People that would cut themselves with glass for money. Child prostitution in open view of the police. In a city where the average income is $40,000 USD per year.
There’s no fresh culture in Mexico. Diego Rivera may be the end of culture in Central America. While you can find many of his murals spread across the country, the revolution may have died with him. Mexico city is a modern, bustling city, but an hour in any direction will have you confused as to whether you’re at a camp site or in a town. Argentina has eclipsed Mexico in terms of prosperity.
I might be done visiting developing countries for a while.
I hear France is nice this time of year. My buddy invited me to stay with him for the first week of June in London. There are worse places to start off a trip. I’d like to visit Gothenburg, in Sweden – as far back as I can trace my dad’s ancestry. Moldova is on the list as well. Perhaps the furthest apart points one could pick to visit in Europe.
I’ve been watching this TV show called Californication. It’s about a guy who does reasonably well while squandering his own abilities. I’m not one to toot his own horn, but this resonates with me on some level. At one point the love of his life points out why they would never ultimately be together. She points out in brutal clarity – “You never gave me anything to look forward to”. Is that a sign of impending adulthood, at age 27? Looking forward to things, instead of simply savoring the moment?
Oh right, a story of a friend of a friend – a girl complaining that their maid always got her necklaces tangled up when she was cleaning the house – to which the friend replied, “first world problems”.