Praya blanca. A daily trip from Cartagena

I was hanging in Cartagena from some days already and I thought it was a good idea to have a look around. My last attempts to go in a beach in Cartagena were packed of bad experiences and assholes following me to tell me I’m “beautiful” in all kind of languages or dialects and even when in a spot with few people around I had to be touched by pushy massage girls that wanted to sell their services. Sick of been touched or followed I asked some suggestions at the hostel. That day ended up in what I would call the most unfunny day ever. But at least it ended!!!

First of all I needed to deal with public service which includes little private taxi motor bikes. The bus got me in more than half of hour waiting and been honked by all the motorbikes passing by the bus stop, and one hour trip that left me at Passacaballo. That was the cheapest option. The edges of Cartagena looked messy but at least real, with several favelas. The bus driver stopped for food or coffee at all corners. That was a nice delay.

When in Passacaballo I was left alone with a crowd of motorbiker assaulting me, who knows if it was for getting money for their “business” or to hook me up. That line was always too blurred for me to be confortable. On the end a guy put a helmet on my head and drove me through the bridge till the very beginning of the reserve. When I left I told him to not come back cause I was already in the mood to ask for a Lancha (boat for turist) to bring me straight in the harbour before the sunset instead of dealing with all this “compliments” around. The beach was certainly beautiful but packed and it was impossible to find a spot far from the noise of waterscooters. It is pretty common there that drivers hang like bees on the beachfront to show their service and on the end, the noise and smoke that they produce drove me crazy. I moved on the very end of the beach in a rocky and shady part. Best think you can do there is to sleep and chill, also because there are all kind of people trying to sell you massage, snorkelgoogles, fruit. I mean, it sounded like Mondello beach in Palermo, but way more intrusive. The other tourists seem to enjoy this madness so I might be too used to desolate rocky places like the ones I find where I come from. I thought I wasn’t ready for this and in a certain way a mix of bad impressions might have polluted the whole idea of Cartagena surroundings. The lancha passage was my last option… Pay a bit of more money but avoid to deal with marriage offers from all the biker had no price. I tried to fit even if most of the lancha

were packed of people already settled for a return trip from the harbour. That made sense cause everybody else was coming over by boat. It is not that common still, to go through the bridge, cause it is quite a new thing. Many people in town infact were telling that this bridge was not welcomed especially for those who were living a quite life in the reserve. I was freezing sailing back to Cartagena. We stopped in an other island to drop some customers and kids were swimming and climbing the boat hoping for some pesos from the tourists.

I thought that couldn’t be the Colombia I was hoping to find. Infact I had to change opinion very soon, but for sure, those big contraddictions of money chasing of a rising caribbean coast and the pushy adventures made me wonder a lot on how I could turn my trip into something less disappointing and made me wonder on how this beautiful pieces of world are turning from a simple living to a poor living.

At that time I didn’t know that my instinct of not following suggestions about where to go or what is worth to see was absolutely correct. After that, I never betraied myself anymore. And everything turned out better.

Sometimes we have to be brave and face ourselves. My problem wasn’t the beauty around which I could see, my problem was to be truth to my self and never accept sugestions. That was the first and last time having something that couldn’t fit my personality and my idea of travelling.

Weeks later I would have paied for the mistake of having somebody putting a dirty helmet (with lices) on my head.

First time in an other continent

First time I went to an other continent I thought it would have been by boat or with anything that I could enjoy and that could make me feel the time and climate changing in a smooth and natural way. I couldn’t: there was a terrible delay on my phd discussion in Torino. The big “Palazzo Nuovo” was closed due to a very bad asbestos contamination chance. My beloved tutor died of cancer two days after my phd discussion. He couldn’t even be there due to his sickness.

My plan of crossing the Atlantic Ocean blew up, and my saddness never actually touched that low level I was aspected from such a rough time. Probably this happened because I just went off: From my duties, my dreams, my businesses, my relationships and my everything: I just quitted!

I know it could sounds like many other stories but for many friends who could see me growing up in rules and obligations while having an anarchist spirit it was just a very aspected coming out for the good of everybody around. Most of the people that love me closer would agree that I’m much better away. Let’s say I was just holding my breath pretending to fit for something like 25 years.

Tis little collection of stories that nowadays we call blog will tell that it is not a fashionable way to get out of the way while being still around the western society in mind and purposes, but it is a little contribute for those who can still dream.

When money is not involved people rather thing there is no much going on, but I can swear especially coming where I come from, having that specific background, thinking what I’m thinking and fitting nowhere, that people like me can still live a great life just choosing their freedom.

So I was in an airplane, trying to recognize some caribbean islands from above. I travelled around Europe since I turned 18 and I could be able to afford a train ticket. I was a genius of self-orientation when it came about big cities and metros, but I remember I got lost in those clouds looking the America from above. It was a great thing, it was like watching my favourite book, the atlas, there, in my home bed in the closet where I started to dream about the world Back in the days. I was flying into South America, me, that girl that grew up in a room with no windows, and a scarse vision… At that time I was thinking “all of that is far from beeing enough”.

Still now, after four years travelling. I still think “that’s far from being enough”.

I chosed Colombia simply: it was cheap (I couldn’t get any farther with my budget), it was in the middle (good to look for some sailing options) it was in South America (even if I thought my first stop in s.a. it would have been Brazil) it was packed of indigenous beautiful culture, it wasn’t a tourist hotspots. All that sounded great!

I turn 30 and I’m free (some lines I wrote for my birthday, the 25th of November)

The last decade has begun with two mourners that have struck me deeply. I’ve being followed by that cloud of bad feelings during my whole twenties. I can’t say they were horrible; better than the teens, for sure. Many things had happened, including moves, delusions, achievements, and doors slammed in my face. At the beginning of my young life I was a teacher of righteousness. I was good at being in advance in everything, especially in time, in reasoning, in reaching a goal. The ambition that always moved me did not even allow me to be competitive, to look around and compare myself to others: there was no time for these stupid things. I was good at doing many things and I expected the world and its inhabitants to reward me with their graces. This has never happened, especially from its inhabitants, who, despite having studied them long and wide, continue to cause me an immense discomfort and make me feel the need to go to lick my wounds in solitude more often than expected. I remember the times when I used to say that hard work would be rewarded. I have a word for those who still believe in it: “bullshit”. Just bullshit. What is rewarded is when you decide to fuck it all and decide to break through the door that has always been slammed in your face or write on it “Fuck you”, turn and walk away. Those are the finest satisfactions I have ever taken: me, my personal growth and the times when even if the world shows me how unjust it is, I look at him with my glittering eyes and tell him: sooner or later everyone slams the useless baby toe into the useless corner somewhere, somehow. 8d927b37392659.5606670fa529dI grew up in a wonderful place where despite the people I love are always there to wait and show me their affection they often have been the ones to make me suffer the most, with their prejudices and their biases. My mother is the exception. Despite her atavistic negativity, that is the result of ages of watching corruption, bad politics, mafia, and all kind of usurper exploiting us since many centuries, I believe she comes from a parallel universe: her mercy has always misguided me. She can do something I’m trying to do since a longtime now: “Do not bring rancor.” When I was little, except for my closest relatives (which are very special in this) every time I was curious about something, I was answered: “What’s for?” That, translating intonation and Sicilian sarcasm, means “let it go, it’s hard, you’ll probably won’t make it, this is not for you. ” Honestly, I think it is a miracle that I came out as I am from such an ineffective environment, devoted to the impossibility and poor ambition. I am astonished less and less, because in the rest of the world it does not work that way and, since I’ve lived in the rest of the world, I tend to forget the bitterness of an uncle or a relative who “stifles” your abilities. I promise myself that I will smile every time that this will happen in the future rather than get angry. As far as I am concerned, it is ten years that I’m getting all that I want, for terribly contorted and disgraced ways, and I do not think many can say the same. I can, aloud. I have always had very few money and earned with a lot of effort, but this did not stop me from appreciating the slowness of real travels, the struggle for survival and the “barefoot” conquest of what freedom, happiness, knowledge were for me. The difficulties did not stop me from pointing my finger on a globe and saying “I’ll go there” and do it in reality. In my homeland it is always said “no”. It’s an interlayer! Even when we agree with someone we say “no” to intervene. It is amazing how much this attitude for years transmitted makes you become an exile if you do not want to accept it or one of the many “sad” being if you accept it. This mystical impossibility (which in Sicily makes people answer to you questions “no, it can’t be done” and even if you ask why it is not possible to solve that problem, especially bureaucracy related, they answere “because it is so”) made me so angry that I started to denounce my hometown problems with complains that nobody has ever listened to. I started to cure myself with travels, music and moving in a very special city like Turin, which has given me friendships I can swear will last forever. Thos special human beings took me by the hand when my anarchy began to overwhelm the bigots around me, they taught me the beauty of the “blurred edge” while my “sunny” attitude was only admiring the “bright” side of things, they showed me that it is not necessary to hide myself only because I’m a bit different. cropped-fotor_145369593632151Then, It comes about the international friends who have helped me understand that the world is mine, and that love has infinite shapes, apple-shaped, home-shaped, sometimes grave-shaped, sometimes shapeless. Since then, since I only know how to make shabby shapes and chaotic things, I decided that I would have given so much love, free love, row love, fine love, in fact, inform love. Whenever I am tempted to judge a behavior or a choice of life I will ask myself a thousand times if it is not the case to learn again and to accept a new existence shape among my limits. I wish everyone to be free, to love without being “choked”, to be gentle and to send what makes you sufferto the hell, like I did yesterday that I quit my job! I’m going to build new dreams for the next decade, I know already they will be a million …

Borders, how to survive by car, by boat, by foot

When I started to study Anthropology some years ago, the word Border was passing by everyones notes like a ghost, carrying its historical and sociological meaning of wall, fence, division and exclusion.

In a certain way we were avoiding to use it, because we would have rather to talk about ethnic groups in a cultural relationship instead of using strange words like “identity” that was like a summit rising successfully from the pride of being forever diverse in a corrupted world, while becoming immediately corrupted itself. I must say, I could talk about this concept hours, especially when I see people misusing it and defining things just to divide instead of clarify. For me the word identity has been always dividing and find a substitute to it gives me the same pleasure of chatting about love and relationship in the society: null. That is why I never do that.

But borders are real and political and since I started to travel way out of Europe I had many experiences. I got familiar with some special deals in between countries, that is why even if you go many times in the same place, you can have very different experiences depending on where you are coming from, at that specific time. I got familiar with vaccinations, quarantine and the value that some countries give to the food, to the drugs, to organic products or luxury goods.

Crossing by car is very interesting, even if procedures are more intrusive (checking a whole car can take a lot of time). The behaviour of the frontier forces can tell a lot about the country you are visiting but also yuur own behaviour can compromise your staying in the country.

The most beautiful and sometimes long and boring “check in” is by boat, especially when you have to wait some hours or days before you can actually put your foot on land. The reason why I don’t enjoy this process is obviously related to the sailing itself: sometimes you are just busy to find a proper spot, put the anchor or approaching the deck that the last thing you want is talk with somebody. Sometimes the whole trip has been so rough that the boat is a mess (who wants to receive guests when the house looks like hit by a hurricane?) and the first thing you want to do is put everything in order, clean, have a shower, drink some water and wash the salt out of your clothes, cushions, sails, cabins (sometimes it happens) or just sleep for 12 hours. The reason why I like this procedure is because customs people, even if they seem to not understand how hard it is to arrive from sea, they are normally very relaxed and friendly. They don’t deal with millions of people per day and they come ready with all the papers you need. All they ask for is documents, passports and some signatures. In the end, is not a big deal and after that you can enjoy your sleeping time for many many days. It’s actually quite awesome the freedom you can access once you get all this paper sorted. Just try to smile, even if you and your crew know how many times you have been puking or messing around, even if you know how much effort it takes to stay on route and get the boat safe in a harbour. Just try to take it easy, smile and be always polite. People don’t know what you have been going through and neither do you about them.