Tuesday, December 30, 2003

Too many tourists spoil the beach...

I tried to go and see Lord Of The Rings yesterday. Didn't see it mind. First of all we spent 3 hours on a local bus that should take 45 mins. The roads were completely jammed with cars. Every few hours the number of tourists here doubles! We are now officially trapped here until after new year, as I dont think we could get out even if we tried! So anyway, we spent 3 hours on the bus, with only one amusing moment when we got stuck at an awkward junction for 20 mins, and when a gap in the traffic finally appeared, everyone on the bus who had previously been sitting and biting their lips suddenly starting screaming "Go! Go!!" and then burst into spontaneous cheers when we finally managed to pull out into the traffic! The bus journey back was a bit more exciting when after 3 mins of sitting in my seat I was showered in a waterfall of glass! The guy in front of me tried to push the window open or something like that, and it just shattered into a milion pieces and fell on his (and my) head. The driver came over to see what all the fuss was about, and then got a broom and started sweeping the glass onto the floor. At first i think he was planning on using the bus anyway, but then at the last minute they decided to put us on a new bus and the journey became pretty boring...

Well, Hobo hasn't been back, which just adds to my theory that he never existed in the first place but was in fact jesus or an engineer from Burnley. I wouldn't be surprised if I recieve a knock at the door in the next few days and open it just in time to catch a glimpse of a burly Northern man named Daniel running away down the road and a bag of dog shit on the doorstep. Look Daniel, I'm sorry alright, but you didn't really make much of an effort. You could have written something on the tiles with your paw! Ahhh, didn't think of that did you you daft bugger! So anyway, as far as I'm concerned the whole affair is over and I'd as soon forget it if it's all the same to you.

Today I have not really left the house except to come here, and I only really came here because I started thinking of the ice cream buffet they have down here. You take as much ice cream, nuts, chocolate sauce, 100's and 1000's, smarties etc etc as you want, and then you pay by weight. Bloody marvelous!

Well I finished my book about victorian criminal lesbians, and I have to say it was a damn good read. It's called "Fingersmith", out on "Virago", by "whatsername". I am now attempting to read "Life of Pi", despite Joanna telling me that it's crap. I think she just didn't "get it", and I will undoubtedly "get it" and become extremely enlightened as a result. I've only read the first few pages and I practically believe in God already! No, seriously, I normally hate these kind of books that outline incredibly simple concepts in patronising parables for people who need someone to point out to them that life is great, but I really have no other english language book to read, so I have no choice. I'll let you know how it goes....

ok, I've run out of drivel. till next time! :)

Sunday, December 28, 2003


Merry Xmas again. I had a funny experience the other night. Me and Joanna were walking back to the house and we passed a very cute little dog. The Dog looked at us and we looked back and said hi, so he started to follow us. After a few minutes we reached the house but the dog carried on walking ahead and i figured he obviously wasn't following us after all but lived somewhere nearby. So we went in the house, and a few minutes later came out to sit on the veranda. Well there was our little dog sat right outside the door staring up at us. I decided to name him Hobo, after The Littlest Hobo in that old US tv series, and sat down to have a reefer. Hobo came over and put his front feet on my lap and stared into my eyes. Now most dogs can only hold your gaze for a couple of seconds before they suddenly get agitated and look away, or start getting excited and barking at you, but hobo just stayed perfectly still and stared right back at me for ages. At first i thought he was quite cute, in a dopey kind of way... then i got stoned. After a joint, Hobo started to seem staranger and stranger. He was just too chilled. It just wasn't right! He'd come up and sit obediantly next to my foot and stare into my eyes, and then if I said "Go and sit over there!", he'd wander casually over to where I pointed and jump up into one of the chairs and stare at me from there.

Now I think part of his strangeness in my eyes can be attributed to the fact that I just finished reading "Pet Semetary" by Stephen King, in which a guys cat gets run over, but comes back to life after it is buried in an old indian burial ground (what IS it about these old indian burial grounds!!). But after it comes back to lfe it is clumsy and seems doped all the time, kinda like a zombie. I guess Hobo was a bit like that, but I have a better theory. I think he was actually a man that had been turned into a dog by a brazilian witch doctor. At first he kept coming up and staring at me, obviously screaming inside his head "Hello!!! Can you hear me?! I'm not a dog! My name is Daniel Smith! I'm an engineer from Burnly!!! You have to help me!", and then when I didn't understand he went and sat on the chair and stared at me, thinking, "It's no use! They don't understand a thing!! Damn that stupid witch! What am I going to do?! Maybe they'll let me sleep in their house?! If I sleep out here I'm not gonna last five minutes with all these other big dogs on the loose!".

Around this time Hobo slipped unnoticed into the living room. I went in and found him curled up in the corner behind the door. He stared at me. He was trying to say something, but i just couldn't tell what. So we left him there for a while, but then he started scratching his fleas and we decided that even though he was cute, and even though he may well be a transmogrified human desperately in need of assitance, it was time to put the dog out. So, with some sly coaxing and promises of strokes and cuddles, i managed to entice Hobo back onto the veranda, and then ruashed back inside and clpsed the door. I turned around to say something to joanna, and there was Hobo, stood in the middle of the living room! He walked straight back over to his spot by the door and resumed scratching his fleas! The second attempt to put him out was a bit better, but just as I went to slam the door in his face, I stopped. Looking through the crack of open door I could see him staring up at me with his puppy dog eyes. "Why don't you love me?" he seemed to be saying (or it could have been "My name is Daniel! You have to believe me!! - I'm still not discounting that idea). He wasn't demanding, or frantic, or whining, or anything like that, he just stood there and stared into my eyes. Five minutes later he was lying in his spot by the door scratching his fleas again.

The third time we put him out, I shut the door quickly so I wouldn't have to see his face, but 10 minutes later, there came a polite little scratch at the door. Just once, as if to say "Hello? You forgot to let me back in...", and then nothing. Once more a few hours later, i heard him from my bed, giving just one more polite little scratch on the door. Am I a bad person? Should I have given him a roof over his head? What if he was actually Jesus in a dogs body? That would explain why he was so chilled.... Maybe it was jesus doing one of his little Xmas tests of peoples goodwill, and I just failed it miserably! Damn! Sorry J! I can make up for it! Honest!

Ok, I'm kind of getting a little carried away here I know, but all the other stories I have involve failed attempts to go out and enjoy the nightlife here with 5 million rich brazilian kids in brand new hatch-backs clogging up the streets for miles in every direction! So no, Hobo is much more worthy!

Have a good new year!!

Saturday, December 27, 2003

Dear Friends and Family,

I regret to inform you that Billy Salisbury will be unavailable for christmas greetings this year as he is presently occupied with getting a tan, drinking beer, smoking weed, and lying in a hammock reading a book about victorian lesbians. I would also like to inform you that Billy is not, as you have suggested, in Argentina, but is actually in Brasil, in a place called florianopolis, where he has rented an apartment on the beach for the whole of the xmas and new year period. He will be staying there until he has found out whether Sue will have to stay in the madhouse or whether Maud will manage to escape the clutches of Mrs Suckesby and rescue her so that they can live together happily ever after. Or until his weed runs out. Either way, he has asked me to wish you all a very merry xmas and a happy new year, and wishes he was with you all at this festive season.


Wanita (Billy's newly appointed "secretary")

Thursday, December 25, 2003

Merry Xmas!!!!!

I hope your all well and having a good xmas wherever you are. I'm doing pretty good. Yesterday we ended up at the house of some young brazilians who live over the road from us, drinking beer and smoking. In Brazil they do all the celebrating on xmas eve rather than xmas day, so today feels quite ordinary really. But we're going to have a proper xmas dinner at a hostel run by some ozzies in a while. The cheeky bastards are overcharging like mad for it, but they know we can't resist the possibilty of turky and roast spuds! So far I haven't recieved any gifts and I haven't given any gifts, and quite frankly, I haven't really missed it! I think it's much better to just focus all your energies on drinking and eating without the stress of trying to buy presents... perhaps i should suggest this back home... ha! right, i'm starting to get hungry, so I'm gonna head off in search of potatoes. Drink a beer for me everyone! I'll toast each of you individually I promise!

lots of xmas love,


Tuesday, December 23, 2003

At Last!!!!!!!!

My blog has been broken for the last week, and hasn't wanted to post anything! Technology has been my enemy of late. I have also lost all my photos since arriving in s america due to a corrupt Sony Memory Stick. Corruption is a big problem in digital photography, and I obviously didn't grease the right palms at the right moments, hence my loss of data. Anyway, back to the business at hand. Iguazu Falls is by far the most incredible, mind blowing, fantastic, unbelievable thing in the world, full stop, no contest. I cannot recommend this place enough, and I can't really describe it. Imagine taking something really spectacular, like say the grand canyon, or Niagra Falls, and then multiply it by 100, and place 50 of them in the same sopt, one on top of the other. That's something like Iguazu. If the world was really flat, this is what the edge would look like. If my Camera lets me, i shall post some pretty amazing photos up. It actually pissed it down with rain both times I visited the falls, and yet I'm still saying it's amazing! Now if that's not impressive I don't know what is!

So anyway, I'm now in Brasil, on a little island staying in a bungalow by a beach. Merrrrry Xmasss! It's tourist central, but mainly brasilian tourists, and it's pretty damn chilled out. I'll probably hang out here for xmas and new year.... it really doesn't feel very xmasy tho, I have to admit....

I'd like to write loads of amusing anecdotes, but there's some people waiting for me so I'll have to come back another time to do that.... I'm just glad my blog is finally working again!!! hooray!

ok, Merrrrry Xmas guys!!!!! Eat an extra roast potato for me! love Billy.

Saturday, December 20, 2003

Back into the fire....

Oh my god help me, i think my eyeballs are melting. I´ve just arived, after 24 hours of bus travel, in the town of Puerto iguazu, in the north east of argentina. My reason for being here? To see the mighty Iguazu Falls, probably the most impressive set of waterfalls in the world. Or so i´m told. They looked good in the postcard! But yeah, it´s kinda warm here, and all the aircon got blown up by a thunderstorm apparantly, so the rooms are all like ovens. I´m not complaining tho, this hostel is the dogs bollox. It has a huge reception/communal area with pool tables, sofas, hammocks, free internet, bar etc etc, and a big ass swimming pool out front....

It´s funny you know, but as soon as i stepped off the bus and felt those 95 degrees of humidy start to extract every last drop of moisture from my body, I thought "At last, I´m in a foreign country again!". It seems I need to be uncomfortably hot to appreciate the fact that i´m travelling. When the weather is cold, or even pleasantly hot, it feels like it could be england, and quite frankly, I didn´t come halfway across the world to feel like I´m in england! So bring it on! Another thing that was refreshingly foriegn was the touts that approached me as I got off the bus and tried to blag me into going to their hostels, and then lied about the adress of the hostel i had already booked. God bless thier little cotton socks! I´ve been kind of missing those guys ever since I arrived in australia, as ever since then the countries I have been to have been full of honest, courteous, genuinely helpful people, and lets face it, where´s the fun in that!!! I´ve decided to maybe head to Brazil for New year, as the brazilians have a bit of a reputation for throwing the best parties, and i´m basically on the border now anyway... not sure about xmas, but i´m sure something will pop up.

I need to start writing some interesting "article like" posts, as I´ve discovered a cool site called www.thetravelrag.com and I want to submit some stuff to it. Anyone got any suggestions of anything I wrote before that might be worthy of sending?

Also, if anyone has at any point stumbled across the answer to the following question, please post it up: What should Billy do with his life when the travels are over? Answers on a postcard to the usual adress. The best entry will get to see their idea immortalised through me actually using it to live the rest of my otherwise rather directionless life. :)

Life is like a box of chocolates: smooth on the ouside, sticky on the inside, and sometimes quite nutty in the middle. oh, and yeah, u never know what you´re gonna get (God Damn those Orange Creams!!!!!).

Monday, December 15, 2003

Ola Chicos!

man am i tired! It's been a long couple of days. It all started on saturday evening....

I was starting to feel a little recovered from my flu and I decided that I would go out and party. At about 11pm we headed out for dinner and a few bottles of red wine, before heading back to the hostel for a snooze. At 2am somebody shook me awake. "Billy! It's time to go out!". What could they possibly mean? It was the middle of the night, I was sleeping nicely, and now I was awake with stinging eyes, a throbbing sore throat, and being told that it was time to go out?! Then I remembered that I had actually volunteered for this, and after a few more prodded reminders I got up and got dressed. We headed out into the street, where everything was continuing as if it was still early evening, and flagged down a couple of cabs. The party we wanted to go to was out in the countryside somewhere, and all we had was a small flyer with a rather dubious map, so it took quite a while to find a taxi driver who knew where we wanted to go.

Eventually we found some cabbies who claimed to know the way, and we set off. We thought it was 8km out of town. After about 10 mins the cab driver told us it was 50km. Mmmmm. Oh well, we had started now, so we were going to get there no matter what. After about 1 hour and about 3 stops at garages to ask directions, we finally arrived in the middle of nowhere. We pulled over at the side of the road to confer once more, and then another car pulled up next to us. "Are you looking for the party?" they asked in spanish. "Yes!" we replied greatfully. "So are we!" they said, "We cant find it anywhere!". Bugger. So we carried on driving and pretty quickly realised that all the cars going in both directions on this road were lost people trying to find the party. Then we saw a 6 foot rabbit by the side of the road and decided to ask him for directions. The man in the rabbit suit told us that we had come to the right place, and that the party was a few more ks down a dirt track behind him. After about 2 miles of dirt road we came to a que of traffic, and a guy told us we should get out and walk from here, so we did. down a hill, over a stream, up a wall, and into the party. It was actually a campsite in the middle of no where with 3 sound systems set up and a couple of bars.

I headed up to the first bar and asked for a beer. The lady produced a litre bottle of beer and then proceeded to pour it into a litre sized plastic cup! Not exactly the most practical drink to dance with! So after drinking that rather large beer, I followed it with a littlun, and went to have a dance.

It�s a rather strange experience arriving at a party just before the sun comes up. Usually the sun coming up signals the winding down of the party, but here it's just the beginning! I danced and danced, and soon the sun started getting hot, so i decided to join the rest of my friends in going bare chested. I'd just bought a beer, so I put my beer and my t-shirt down next a tree stump just beside me and carried on dancing. 5 mins later I went to take a swig of beer only to find that both beer and t-shirt had vanished! It was around this time that I started to realise that I didn't have any way of getting home, and that I was in the middle of nowhere in argentina, with barely enough energy left to stand, barely enough spanish to buy a beer, and of course, a bare chest. Most of my friends had left about an hour before, and the 2 friends remained had both been popping class A's left right and centre. One of them, Nadav, had spent the last 2 hours sat under a tree discussing with an imaginary friend the possibilty that one of his other imaginary friends may in fact be imaginary. If only he'd asked them if they had a car and were driving back to cordoba....

After another few hours, the music suddenly stopped, and within minutes everyone was flooding to the carpark. I suggested we'd better head to the carpark and try to get a lift before everyone left. Nadav agreed, but his friend, whos name a forget, wasn't willing to give up so easily. "It's just a power failure!" he said, "they'll fix it in a minute and we can dance more!". "But they'll be no one here to dance with, they're all leaving" I reasoned. In the end he agreed to come just to catch up with Nadav, who had wandered off on his own, and convince him to stay. At last we made it to the carpark and set about trying to get a lift from people quite clearly not fit to drive a go-kart. Unfortunately the best response we got was for people to laugh at us, which was a little demoralising. Then one argentinian guy, (who had actually told us we could have a lift with him earlier but then taken the girls we were chatting up instead), called over a guy with a green shirt, who was one of the guys working at the party, and asked him if he could sort us out. The guy with the green shirt said it would be no problem, but we'd have to wait around for a little while for him to help pack up. Greatful for the lift we walked back to the party to find somewhere to chill.

We ended up sat at the side of a small river having a few beers and joints with a very friendly local drug dealer and his mates. To my great relief he wasn't wearing his top either, so I could kind of get away with prtending that i was deliberately topless despite the cold wind that was picking up. Mind you, his torso was completely covered in tatoos, including one of a naked woman squatting, which I'm sure I've seen on the wall of more than one public toilet cubical, so he wasn't quite as naked as me...

After another hour or so, the guy with the green shirt came over. Nadav asked him if it was still ok to get that lift. He looked at us as if we'd just asked him if we could gang bang his siter. He went off on a little rant in spanish, which was along the lines of "What are you talking about?! Why would I want to give you a lift anywhere, the only place I'm going is to bed!! Cheeky bloody gringos!". I guess the drugs had worn off.....

So we were stuck. The dealer suggested we'd better start walking, so we all headed off up the dirt track towards the main road. The sun had come out again and was beating down. The track just seemed to go on forever, and I could feel my skin begiining to sizzle. Every time we arrived at what I had thought was the end, another km would stretch out before me, promising an even redder shade of skin at the end of it, maybe with actual blistering! Bear in mind that no one had had any sleep and we'd been dancing the whole night! In the end we reached the main road, which wasn't really a main road at all, but hey, at least it had tarmac! We sat at the side of the road and pondered how we were going to get anywhere with about 7 people and only one car going past every 20 mins. Then god smiled, and a bus passed. We all piled on the bus, which promised it would take us to a town. By now even Mr Dealer had put on his t-shirt, and I was starting to feel a little concious of my by now lobster red naked torso. Dealer's wife leaned over and asked me "You lose your top?". Not knowing the spanish for "stolen", i just smiled and shrugged in a "You know how it is!" kind of gesture, which quite clearly she didn't.

We soon arrived in a town, and no sooner had we stepped of the bus than we saw one of those oh so blessed vehicles: a taxi. We jumped in and told the driver to take us home! At last! We finally arrived back at the hostel at 4pm, and I walked into reception, only to be told by the receptionist "Hey! You're not allowed to walk around with no top on in here!". I just looked at him and laughed before staggering up to my bed and sleeping till 11pm.

I'm still recovering now actually, but I'm finally leaving cordoba and getting a bus to Buenas Aires this evening. Gotta keep moving!

Friday, December 12, 2003

Man I�m bored.

I�m so sick of being sick!!! I�m trying so hard to not do anything so that I can recover in time for the weekend, but now it�s friday and I�m still sick as a dog! Bollox! And I know I�ll probably end up having a couple of beers tonight and then be even more sick tomorrow... anyway, enough moaning, let me try to continue from where I left off last post....

So we arrived in San Juan and checked into a rather dubious looking hotel with an excess of mirrors in the otherwise dingy foyer. The young guy on reception as very helpful tho, and eventually we found a suitable room and I set about my ninja style mosquito extermination routine. The next day we headed into town to try and find a bit of breakfast, but the whole city seemed to be deserted. It felt like some wierd zombie movie. This feeling became even stronger when we started walking down one street and heard music playing, seeminly to no one. I tried to pinpoint the source of the music and eventually found a strange object coming out of the ground under one of the trees set into the pedestrian walkway. It looked like a chimney from the roof of a gypsy trailer.. you know the ones with the uptuned dish on top to keep the rain out and the grills around the sides to let the smoke out but stop the animals coming in.... So I figured it must be a vent for an underground garage or something where they were playing music while they worked. The we walked on for about 10 metres and realized that every flowerbed had one of these strange chimneys and each was blasting music at the same volume. W soon figured out that they were actually weatherproof outdoor speakers, that seemed to play music to the street regardless of whether or not anyone was there to listen! Cool huh?

We soon figured out that everything was closed becasue it was sunday, and after hours of wndering the streets we eventually found the whole population of the town in .... no, not church.... the park!! So we joined the masses and plonked ourselves down for some cheese and crackers. Pretty soon very plainly dressed but very cute girls came over to make sure I loved Jesus. After I explained to them that me and J went way back, they decided to bring the rest of their god bothering posse over to have a look at us. I drew the line at reciting a rather long prayer with them and they left promising to prey for my soul all the same. It�s good to know someone is!

Later that evening we made a decision of where to go and decided tht we�d better call ahead and find out if there was a room and if we could visit the national parks we wanted from there. Being as my spanish was marginally less useless than Nicole�s, I was nominated to do the talking. The phone was answered by a man called Antonio, who proceeded to talk gibberish.. I mean spanish.. to me at an astonishing speed. I somehow manged to tell him we wanted a room and that our bus would arrive at 11pm. Then he started saying something about searching... did he mean we should search for him? or that he would search for us? or maybe that he couldn�t pick us up as he was involved in a nationwide search for the presidents missing spaniel? I obviously wasn�t meant to know, as the money ran out just as I was asking him to repeat it one more time, and we had no more change. We decided it would probably be alright anyway, and jumped on the bus.

We drove thru desert and scrubland for quite some time before finally arriving in St Augustine 4 hours later. Anotnio was there to meet us after all, and he drove us back to our new home and made us dinner... awwwww. The next day we got up early and set off on a day trip to the valle de Luna (vally of the moon) with Antonio and manuel (one of his relations). The Valle de Luna was really spectacular. It�s a bit hard to describe it without making it sound like a bunch of rocks, which is essentially what it is, so I won�t bother. After arriving back in the evening we headed into "town" to try and find some info. Once again everything was closed. It�s amazing, but everything is almost always closed in that area. Apparantly it was closed today because it was a monday, and their weekends seem to change on a rotor system of ome kind! When you look at the calender, the red squares marking the weekend dont always fall on the sat and sun, sometimes they come on modays, sometimes just randomly scattered about. It�s most confusing. Add to this the fact that everything shuts for siesta from about 11am to about 6pm and it makes finding open shops a bit tricky.

We did however find a man behind a table in an empty room, which according to the sign outside was the tourist information centre. He didn�t speak any english, but through a combination of bad spanish and sign language we managed to discover that all our plans involving buses were completely useless as there were only 2 buses a week and they left at 3am. We decided to go and ask antonio if he fancied taking us to the second national park, Talampaya, the next day. Of course he did, as we were paying far to much for the service, and he said that although he didn�t actually have a car (the previous one was not his and had been taken) he would find one before the morning, no problemo.

We got up in the morning and saw manuel in the drive wiping down a vintage Peugeot that must have been a classic car for sure. It had the tail lights on fins, fins over the headlights, chrome hub caps.. the works. It wasn�t however in the best condition, especially for driving down a dirt road into the middle of the desert. We got in anyway and were almost choked immediately by the petrol and exhaust fumes. After a few scary moments parked by the side of the road with the hood up and almost continuous backfiring, we eventually arrived at the talampaya national park. As we drove up to the park we saw 2 ppl hiding in the shade of a small shrub at the side of the road. One of them jumped out and started waving her arms. They turned out to be Cecillia and Ben, and argentine girl and an american boy, who had been dropped at the main road and had decided to walk the final 13k�s to the park in the baking midday sun along an infinitely straight road thru the desert! They�d got about 3 k�s before they decided to hide under the shrub...

After a few more hours of waiting at the ranger�s station, we eventually headed into the park. It was awesome. Just like the arizona you see in the movies... huge towering red cliffs and massive tottering red pillars of rock that seem to defy gravity. We were the only people there and it was really something.

I discovered that Cecillia and Ben were driving to Cordoba the next day with Cecillias boss, and I asked for a lift, and got one, which is why i am now in Cordoba bitching about my flu and wishing I could go out drinking. Oh well, maybe a bit of the fizzy yellow medicine will make me feel better....

Thursday, December 11, 2003

Hello there,

I�m sick. It�s been so long since I last had a proper cold/flu type thing that I�d forgotten how shit it is. Anyway, sickness aside, I�ve been having a pretty interesting time....

After my last post I decided that I needed to move to get myself back on track, and later that afternnon I discovered a note on my bed that I�d obviously missed before. It was from Nicole and it said that she was heading off that evening for San Juan if I was still up for it. So I packed up my stuff and at 6pm we headed for the bus station. Soon after, we were on a bus headed north, and I settled myself down to watch what promised to be a spectacular sunset.... I woke up an hour later just in time to see that it had indeed been a spectactular sunset and I had missed it. But there was still some beatiful coloured clouds and they were framing perfectly a full moon which was sitting unusually low on the horizon. It was a perfect photograph. Suddenly waking up I groped for my bag and clumsily rummaged thru it for my camera. After what seemed like an age I finally had my camera in my hands, and I switched it on. After another age the lens emerged and the lcd moitor came on. I pointed it and clicked the shutter, and was presented with a picture of some grey clouds completely obscuring what I knew to be a full moon. Bugger.

Oh well, nevermind, I thought, and leant back into my really rather comfortable seat to doze back off to sleep. That was when the kicking began. At first it was fairly intermittent. Whoever was sat behind me abviously thought it was pretty funny to give the back of my seat a good kick every now and then. Then it became pretty regular and I started to hear a child�s voice behind me talking in spanish, no doubt saying "Look mummy, I kicked the gringo�s seat!". "Why can�t these parents control their bloody children?!" I thought to myself. After another hour of kicking I finally decided to take action and turned around in my seat, only to be confronted by the face of a 4 year old boy grinning insanely, his face only inches from mine. He was leaning over my headrest and his face must have been just above my head the whole time. Then the hissing started. I say hissing, but that�s not really what it was, it was more guttural, from the back of the throat, and gave him the look and sound of a possessed child from a stephen king movie. The hissing was accompanied by clawing gestures with his hands, and I imagine in his 4 year old brain he had probably decided he was a dinousaur or something, but through my 26 year old eyes he looked very much like an extra from The Exorcist. This monster routine went on for a good few hours, and I couldn�t really ignore it, because every time I tried to sit back down and face front, I�d hear him hissing and spitting just above my head, and I�d imagine the string of drool that was slowly working its way down towards my hair, and I�d be forced to turn back around and face my enemy.

Nicole thought the whole thing was hilarious, even encouraging him to pull my hair, that was until he decided that pulling off the shoulder strap of her top was even more fun than spitting in my hair. Every now and then we�d look at the mother, sometimes with a pleading "Can�t you do something?" look, and other times with a "Why the fuck don�t you do something?!" look, but always she replied with her "what can I do? I�m just his mother!" look. I can�t say i blame her tho, she was obviously enjoying the brief respite we were providing from her obviously very hyperactive devil child.

Soon he became bored of just leaning over the seat, and started actually climbing over on top of us. By now we had discovered the secret weapon of tickling and were using it to some effect, but always he returned even more detemined than before...

Eventually we arrived in San Juan, said goodbye to our unwanted child and checked into a hotel.

I�ve got loads more to tell you but my headache is coming back with a vengence! Time to go and find some more ibuprofen.... Why?! Why do I have to be ill now?! I�m currently in Cordoba, the biggest University city in Argentina, the highest concentration of attractive young women anywhere in the world, the most non stop party scene this side of Rio, and I have to be ill! And to top it off I�ve just finished my book and have nothing to read! Ok, time to lie down again.....

Saturday, December 06, 2003

Ohhhhhhhh my head....

I went out to a club last night for the first time in ages. Going out clubbing here is so different from clubbing at home. At home you go out to the club at about 10pm and it closes at about 3am. Here you go out to the club at 3am, and it closes at about 10am!!! Anyway, the club was completely packed wall to wall with beautiful girls.. in fact I think it was about 3 to 1 in favour of girls and i didn�t see one that wasn�t attractive... and yet somehow i managed to completely fail to get anywhere with any of them. I remember when I was about 13 years old desperately trying to pluck up the courage to make a move on a girl and thinking to myself "I can�t wait until i�m older and I become full of confidence like adults", and now here I am, 26 years old, and still completely incapable of chatting up a girl without feeling like a clumsy 13 year old doofus. In fact, come to think of it, I can just about stumble my way thru the "chatting" bit, it�s just the next bit that still gives me trouble. It doesn�t help that the only spanish phrases i know are all along the lines of "Fuck me harder", "Touch me here", "I�m sorry i can�t get it up" and "Don�t worry I�ll do it myself"! Thankyou "Lonely Planet Spanish Phrasebook" for equipping me so well to get a kick in the bollocks. (All the above are genuine phrases from the LP phrasebook!)

As well as feeling like a romantic cripple today, I am also having one of those mornings where I can�t help thinking about how soon I am going to have to fly home. I�ll be honest here, I�m absolutely shitting myself. I haven�t the faintest idea what I�m going to do when i get back. My latest plan is to become a famous musicion, but being as i can�t even spell "musicion", I think that plan has a long way to go. In fact come to think of it, that�s not a new plan at all, it�s probably the oldest plan I have, formulated by a hopeful 11 year old me whislt belting out Roxette in my bedroom.

Anyway, I know there�s no point looking for sympathy from you guys, I mean after all, I�m here in Argentina and the sun is shining, and you�re all at work or college or at home signing on and playing playstation. So yes, you have every right to say "Shut the fuck up billy you lazy whinging bastard, when you get home you�ll just have to get a job like the rest of us!", and you�re probably right. Ok, thankyou for listening to me moan, it�s been a most thraputic experience! :)

I watched possibly the worst movie ever made last night. It�s called "Ghost Dog: the way of the samurai" and it stars Forrest Whittaker (fat black guy with the squinty eye) as a black gangster samurai working for the mafia. The best part of the character is that whenever he re-holsters his silenced pistol, first he waves it around a bit like it�s a samuri sword and then sticks it back in the holster. It is quite frankly the most pathetic looking move I�ve ever seen. Anyway, if you do get a chance to watch this movie, don�t.

Right, i think I�ve hidden in this internet cafe for long enough. It�s time to face the world! I think I�m going to go and buy a dice to help me make my descions. 1: go north, 2: go south, 3: go east, 4: go west, 5&6: go to bed.
The mullet is coming back.... what, it went away??

Aregentina is officially the capital of beatiful women and men with mullets. It's amazing. 8 out of 10 women are fit, and 8 out of 10 men have mullets. It's almost like argentina never quite moved on from the mexico 86 footbal world cup. Think back if you can to that time and you will remember that every team in that world cup had mullets... now think forward to the next world cup... most teams had cut of their mullets, except for the argentinians and the germans, and now, 17 years on, only the argentinians have retained there obsession with the worlds worst haircut. Mind you, it means I fit in perfectly! Hooray!

Thursday, December 04, 2003

Check out this news story from today�s Independant. Fucked up!

"Meiwes said he grabbed a kitchen knife, switched on a video camera and severed the organ. Brandes was bleeding profusely. But Meiwes bound the wound, cut the penis in two and fried it. The two ate it with salt, pepper and garlic. Meiwes told Stern that it tasted "tough and unpalatable"."

read the full story here

Wednesday, December 03, 2003

eating and being eaten...

We went to a restaurant last night that was recomended for its all you can eat buffet. I was expecting a cheapie little place, but when we arrived it turned out to be a huge posh restaurant with just about every food imaginable, from massive steaks flame grilled over a huge barbecue, freshly made ravioli, pizzas, starters, deserts, you name it they had it, and all for 12 pesos, which is us$4, or UK2.40!!!!! Even the wine was only a pound a bottle! I have to admit i overate tho, and had trouble walking back to the hostel. Then I spent the whole night being eaten by mosquitos. bastards. I still say we eradicate them forever thru genetic meddling... it must be possible Im sure...

One interesting thing Ive noticed in S America so far is that the buskers/beggers are much more imaginative than back home. In Vi�a Del Mar, next to Valpo, the town was overrun by clowns. They jumped up on the bus while you were on your way to the beach, and launched into a comedy routine normally involving rude jokes and oversized sunglasses. The most fascinating thing for me was seeing them on their fag breaks! It was just like something out of a monty python sketch: 10 clowns all stood around a park bench smoking fags and arguing loudly. As well as the clowns I also saw guys performing in front of cars stopped at red lights: robot man painted silver being bitten by street dog and incorporating it into his act, man juggling clubs, man spinning fire (take my money, just get that flame away from my petrol tank!).....

By the way, argentinean girls are hot. just thought Id mention that.....

ok, bye for now.

Tuesday, December 02, 2003

A shit memory and rizla chess...

Man my memory sucks. First I left my fleece in santiago (which I have decided will make a great song title: I left my fleeeece in saaaannnnntiiiiagooooo...). Then I decided that seeing as I had to go back to santiago to get it before heading north, I�d make a stop at a little place an american guy recomended to me called Isla Negra. Then I could head straight off to santiago from there, collect my fleece, and jump on the bus up north. That is if I hadn�t then left my money belt in Valparaiso! So there I was in Isla Negra, with my passport and money in Valparaiso, and my fleece in Santiago! I decided the best course of action would be to hang around in Isla Negra for a couple of days and get stoned and eat barbecue. The hostel I was in, the casa azul, was run by this lovely chilean guy called bruno, who kept me supplied with huge chunks of roasted animal and cheeky little bifters the whole time! On the second night all the other gusts left except for me and this canadian girl, who promptly fell asleep on the sofa. So what can 2 guys do alone in a house in the middle of no where? Play "Rizla Chess" of course! You too can play this amazing game! The rules are as follows:

Take a chess board, and arrange some pieces on the board in an approximation of a maze/obstacle course (you�ll learn to modify it as you go along for the most exciting games), then take a rizla (a cigarette rolling paper), and place it face down on the edge of the board in front of you. The idea is to get the rizla off the other side of the board without it falling off the sides. The catch is that you cant touch the rizla or blow it! You have to move it using air movement generated by your hands. The idea is to use bruce lee style hand movements and get it over in the least number of moves possible. Try it, i think you�ll like it.....

Anyway, moving on, after my night of rizla chess, i failed to get up at 7am, and instead woke at 9am and managed to make it to the main road by 10:30am, and caught a bus to Santiago. My plan was to get my fleece, get a bus to valpo (valparaiso), and then catch a bus to la serena in the north. By 5pm I was still on the bus to valpo. It wasn�t looking to promising. Then I read in my book that bolivia is in the middle of it�s rainy season, and my whole plan of heading north started seeming less than appealing... So what to do??!! I was starting to get a bit confused. I�d been in S America for 2 weeks and so far had only moved in a very small circle between santiago and valpo and isla negra. While I was sitting at the table back at the hostel in valpo and reading by book, trying to decide whether to go north or south, I heard the girls at the table mention mendoza. "Are you going to mendoza?" I asked. "Yeah! Do you wanna come? Oh go on!" they replied enthusiastically. Mmm, sounds promising, but where the fuck is it? I thought to myself. Then I found out it was in Argentina! And it was to the east! Perfect! I coudln�t decide whether to go north or south, so go east!!!

So, after a long bus ride thru the rugged and stunning Andes, I am now in Mendoza. It�s a pretty town, lots of big squares and parks with fountains and trees and people snogging in public. So anyway, I�d better be off now cos we�re gonna go try some argentine steak, which is supposed to be the best in the world.... mmmmmmm.

by the way, loads of new photos up at http://community.webshots.com/user/undercoverhippy thanks to my wonderful ex girlfriend Selene!! Hooray for Selene!