Thursday, 19 March 2009

South America & Iron Maiden

I went to the screening of Iron Maiden: Flight 666 tonight in London. Produced by Banger productions (of Metal: A Headbangers journey Sam Dunn fame!! - Ello Sam!) The film follows the band on their ambitious tour on their own plane from Mumbai, India down to Australia to Japan, USA then South America - Mexico, Costa Rica, Columbia, Brazil and Argentina.

Mr Dickinson VIP (and pilot!) said in the movie that the first part of the tour was like a holiday, then when it came to South America it was the adventure - the bit they were more nervous about "Cause you're always on the edge of an explosion in South America" (or something similar)

Iron Maiden are actually due to play Argentina at a festival on 24th March. The posters were all over Buenos Aires last week. Radiohead were headlining one night, then Iron Maiden the next. Some of my friends from Buenos Aires are going to be at that festival.

Having just seen what South American audiences are like, i wish i'd seen Iron Maiden in South America. Watching the movie was like seeing Iron Maiden live, totally thrilling. I have been known to shed a tear watching Iron Maiden. I believe i did last year at Wacken festival, Germany.

This is me getting super excited singing Run to the Hills.

Weirdly, there were clips of the South American audiences singing Ruuun too the hilllls -
I think that's an interesting choice of song
Looking at this photo it looks like i'm having a religious experience. Like the fans in Brazil, and the Priest with 126 Iron Maiden tattoos in the film!

Argentina went mad for Iron Maiden in the film. The band stayed at a hotel i walked past in the sun last week.

I know what Bruce meant when he said you're always on the edge of an explosion in South America. I understand that feeling. I started writing a blog in the back of the cab on the way to the airport in Buenos Aires, after the incident in the street, but never sent it.

It started:
"Different people hold on to different things in order to muddle their way through life. Gauchito Gill, San la muerte, Roseary beads hanging from the taxi drivers rearview mirror. Cigarettes, alcohol, rules, paper, tradtion, regiment. In Tibet they have monks to protect them from the weather, statues of Buddha. Here, the rain isn't the problem, I think its the edge, the contrast, the interaction between those who have and those who have not. And its just the line before the chaos. In th UK the chaos that is life is burried deeper than in South America. Every big city is chaos. (My thoughts are chaos) - but here it feels like you're on the edge of something else"

It wasn't so much the incident itself that left a bad impression on me, and i do intend to return to Argentina and South America - it hasn't put me off. But it's the divide, and the way you can avert your gaze by living in other spheres and be blinkered about what else is going on.
But also the total malicious intent. That's always like a whip to the face.

The metal public is from all different walks of life. And especially in South America metal is religion. Iron Maiden, San La Muerte. Passion is a great thing. You always hear about "Latin passion" its nice to see it in context with a very british band.

Now i can't wait to see Maiden again!

Sunday, 15 March 2009

Have you heard the one about the 2 guys on a scooter in BA?

So before i tell you how i'm home safe and what a good trip i had let me tell you what happened 2 hours before i was due to leave.

Yesterday was a hot day in BA, the kind of hot that comes right before a rain storm. Humidity it seems makes me feel queasy, or it could have been whatever that ferreret drink was that i had at another party on a roof top, anyway, i awoke on my last day in BA not feeling too good.

Chloe had to get to work, so i had a Saturday alone, but then i met up with Ryan for lunch, still feeling a bit sick, and decided to take a slow walk back to the flat as i wasn't feeling too good and the heat was getting to me.

I realised i needed to take a detour to the bank as i only had 126pesos left and i needed to pay the taxi, and the airport tax. I got a bit confused about which was it was to the bank, and went on a detour via a street named French, took a photo of it, got my map out to check where i was and headed back to Chloe's thinking i would check where the bank was, get a cuppa tea, and pop out again to get money... as i was thinking these thoughts a scooter pulled up on the pavement and kinda puttered along (i assumed looking for a place to park) we were coming up to a florist, so i thought maybe he's picking up a delivery, but i thought it was strange as he was getting in my way, and you would think he would let me pass, it occured to me something wasn't right, he lifted the visor of his helmet and gave me a look that was so vicious i won't forget it then all of a sudden i was being grabbed from behind. I couldn't run forward because the scooter was blocking me. A guy in a red tshirt (i honestly could tell you no more about him) had ran up behind me kinda slammed into me, tried to knock me on the head and take my back. He was yanking and yanking at my bag. But i would not let him have it. It was just a little shopping bag over my arm and under my armpit, but my arm went through it and i had a firm grip. Although i was alone and blonde i am not an idiot. I held on tight and i screamed. FUCK YOU FUCK OFF YOU'RE NOT GETTING MY BAG ARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH ARRRRRRRRRSEHOOLLLLLLLLLLLLLES!!!!

To be honest, i have no idea how i managed to hold on, it seems like i was holding on forever but at the same time i know it was only an instant. I was screaming so loud people stopped in the street (it was maybe 5pm) and people came out their flats/shops and the guy in the red tshirt jumped on the scooter and sped off, without getting anything out of me. Fuck those arseholes!

I was in shock and burst into tears as soon as they'd gone of course! A nice lady came and helped me and a guy sat me down and gave me a glass of water all tutting what had happened and saying how terrible it was.

The way they set up this attempted robbery - with one of them on a scooter, was clearly planned and something they do a lot.

SO beware as that guy parking a scooter may be blocking your escape!

I realise that i was out alone, and wandering. Which is not the best idea. I should have been going straight from A to B with purpose. I realise i look like a tourist, being so white i'm almost translucent and freckley and blonde. But i didn't think i was going to be alone all day, and i was just filling the last couple of hours before i left.

I was lucky, so very lucky. I don't know if i did the right thing - don't they tell you to just give them your stuff so you don't get hurt? But i was not going to give him my bag! My Blackberry, my camera with all my holiday photos and my purse (with card) NO! NO NO NO NO NO! NOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!

And i guess because i held on and i screamed like a banshee they didn't get anything.
But i was lucky i didn't get anything worse than a shock and a little bruise.

What arseholes!

Anyway, i'm safe back in the UK now. And this hasn't put me off Argentina or Buenos Aires. Shit happens. I think if i was aware i was going to be by myself, i may have been better prepared, but in actual fact this kind of stuff can't be stopped, and you just gotta think i had a great time, apart from that!

I'm sure San La Muerte is coming for them.

Saturday, 14 March 2009

Uruguay for a day, Golfcart for 3 hours and almost a dog for life

I'm sitting on Chloe's sofa, just out the shower and half ready for a "big party". I leave BA tomorrow night :-( Back to the big smoke from the good air (where everyone smokes)

I left BA this morning, and Argentina infact on a boat for Uruguay. It was a fast Catamaran, and totally packed with all sorts, holiday makers, business men,

Ok Chloe came back and I had to party! Ill update the rest at another time, suffice to say Hello Bristol, feliz compleanos Pierre and
I leave tomorrow :-(

In cab home from
PART. Y? Cause its Buenos Aires

Sorry Uruguay dog!


Going to Uruguay for the day was a great decision. Not only was it SO HOT and it's nice to get out the city, but there was a beach! And a dog! And a golf cart!

So Ryan ( and i had decided to go to Uruguay together, and after Thursday's rain Friday turned out perfect weather. We had to get a seacat from the Buquebus terminal in BA. The journey takes an hour but you have to arrive earlier than that to get your papers sorted and go through immigration. (Which was a bit confusing - remember to check in first?!)

We got to Colonia at noon - there's an hour difference between Argentina and Uruguay - and mooched about in the sun. I was desperate to get to the beach, cause it was so hot, and i like to think a holiday in the sun should have a beach.

We hired a golf cart for $10 an hour, i found it totally hilarious. It went about 5mph. I was laughing all the way.

We found a little beach and sat in the hot hot sun. A dog (who i named Herbert) attached himself to me. He had a lot of fleas but he was so cute.

There was a bar by the beach Ryan and i went and sat there to have a drink, the dog came with us, and when i went to the loo, he whined. Poor doggie.

I can't spend that long in the sun. I was on the beach for 2 hours, maybe more. But i burn so quick and the sun was so hot. The water at Colonia in Uruguay is brown, the colour of mud, because it's not the sea, it's actually an estuary

3 hours after we hired the golf cart ($10 an hour) we decided to drive them back. We got in the cart and started driving up the hill and Herbert (the dog) followed us. We sped up (6 mph) and got to the top of the hill, i looked back and Herbert was still following us. Whilst waiting to pull out into the road, Herbert caught up with us and tried to get in the cart, he was whining and looking at me, and i burst into tears, he was so cute and wanted to stay, and i just wanted to cuddle him but he was so full of fleas.

We pulled out into the road and he ran along the pavement - he only had 3 good legs! - and he kept running - and i kept looking back and he was still there - running! :-(

I felt terrible leaving him. Really terrible!

We spent our last Uruguayan pesos in a cafe near the port on a coke and a bottle of water then we went to get the ferry. As we were queuing up to get on the boat i realised i'd left my Cauldron t-shirt at the cafe and i ran back as fast i could to go and find it.

"Donde esta my tshirt?" I said (or similar)

And she said "oh this? (in spanish)" holding my soggy white metal tshirt with a pinch - yes yes yes Si si si i said grabbing it GRACIAS i shouted and ran back in time just to make the ferry with a beautiful sunset:

Friday, 13 March 2009

Metaaal! Buenos Aires! Dead fingers!

So I may have mentioned I've been on the look out for South American metal culture since I got here, and today I found it! Success! I haven't been lucky enough to get to a show, but I found "Metal mania" in the Luxor mall in the centre of BA and I achieved a 5 thick pyramid belt and an Anal Vomit tshirt for French which I think is possibly the most rad South American Black metal tshirt I've ever seen. It has the whole package, boobs, decapitation, angry south american, gore, spikes... Everything.
Anyway, I skipped the fact the I met up with Ryan (the American from Chicago) at the Buquebus terminal (for ferries to Uruguay) and we got our tickets for tomorrow (exciting) then we went and got lunch in a posh restaurant, I had a proper big steak and it was yum.
Then we went and I had a HUGE ice cream and as we were walking down the really busy hot street I saw LUXOR.
You may remember this is what the guy in La Boca with the Guns n Roses tattoos recommended me for metal stuff and I couldn't find it on any map.
Well I found it now! Yes! 5 row pyramid belt! Yes! Anal Vomit tshirt! I nearly bought a Nuclear Assault tshirt, but they weren't that cheap so I didn't. Success BA metal public! I had a discussion with the dude in the shop about South American black metal, and he told me (in spanish) that I don't look like I should like this music.
I said Gracias.
I left the metal massive (no gigs on whilst I'm here, Morbid Angel were here on the 5th March and I wasn't here yet, and Iron Maiden play on 24th here when I'm gone)
And it began to pour down... For about 20minutes. Then Ryan left to go and rehearse for his arty gig and I walked from the Obelisk all along the Avenue Corrientes for maybe 2/3hours I walked. Stopping in shops, getting sore feet, drinking water and walking. Through the posh part the poor part, back into the posh bit, and then I came across SantaMaria shop with Tarot reading. That place was calling to me from across the street, I had to go in. It was stocked full of idols, Mary, Jesus, Buddha, Oxior(sp?), Germaniat (sp?), Gauchito (sp?) And Muerte!!!
The dude in the shop was a bit suspicious of me at first, then I asked about Tarot reading and he told me it has to be booked in advance (in spanish) then I picked up some Muerte stuff, and he asked me in Spanish "why muerte? Its dangerous!" And I couldn't explain in spanish. Then he said come with me (and let me tell you this shop is reminiscent of the shop where the Gremlins were bought from) and he goes to this cabinet and crouches down and points to some skeleton carvings that look quite expensive, then tells me they're human bones. This is a femur bone he says, this is a shoulder, and these are fingers. How awesome! I didn't know if I was allowed to transport human bones home though, so I didn't spend my money on human bones. But I still think that's abit fucking cool.

Metal, muerte and dead people's fingers. Great!
And it was sunny! Bonus!

~ I'm on the move - this was sent from my GooseBerry® ~

Thursday, 12 March 2009

I don't speak spanish

I find it really embarrasing I don't speak spanish.

I have conversations like this:
(Pointing to a packet of crisps through the iron grill that comes down over grocers shop fronts after 10pm)
"Y du leche" I ask
(Guys laughing at me looking at the big packet of crisps and milk)
"Its not todas para moi" I say
They laugh
"Muy malo my Espangol!" I say
They laugh more
"Mierde! Buenos noches" I say laughing

Or maybe like this with a taxi driver:
"Avenue de Mayo por favor"
(* please note my understanding of spanish is reasonably good because of french, but I can't find the words to respond)
Taxi driver (in spanish): where are you from?
Me: Londres
Taxi D in Sp: you like Buenos Aires
Me: Si me gusta bien
Taxi D: Are you on holiday?
Me: Si
Taxi D: Do you have a boyfriend?
Me: Non
TD: Do you like Argentinian men?
Me: Si... They're nice. Errrr...
TD: Why don't you have a novio?
Me: Errrrrr nada novio errrr
TD: what do you do for sex? (I think that's what he said in spanish)
Me: No comprendo

Please note: these conversations actually happened.
~ I'm on the move - this was sent from my GooseBerry® ~

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Sightseeing the dead

Today I went to the Cematario de la Recoleta in what was once (and kinda still is) the poshest area of BA (Recoleta). Eva Peron is entombed there, and whilst that's interesting what's more interesting is all the other tons of tombs, black, white, art deco, crosses, menorahs, anubis (?!), pyramids, jesus', marys, stripes, broken, neglected, new, (mostly) 19thC, eerie, unkempt and clean - all sorts. But mainly morbid and containing dead people (and maybe some undead?). Sounds great.
Definatley highlights an interesting layer and period of Argentinian society.
Then I went to the Plaza de Mayo and the Casa Rosada (pink palace).
I must have spent 3hours in that cemetary! Awesome!

Its currently raining sheets. Tropical rain! South American rain!
I'm meant to be going out with Pablo in half an hour. I think he has a car.
Rain like this means death for any electronics! And hair. And feet.

Sights of Talita:

1. My 19 mosquito bites
2. My stripey feet from sandal sunburn
3. My sunburn from yesterday in the shape of South America where I could reach to put cream
4. My 4 new cds:

Cds are like 20pesos which is £4 so its cheap. I came across a cd store on Av de Mayo, and had a look in and found Horcas cds (this was the band on the guys tshirt on Sunday at the train station - I recognised the logo) so after trying to talk to the girl with the nose ring in the shop i bought:
HORCAS (2 albums)
And cJs (mainly because of the artwork)
I have no idea what these bands are like! Hahaha
But its a start!

I would really like to discover the black metal and death metal kids here, but so far the only rock/metal tshirted kids I've seen have been Rhapsody/ Judas Priest/ Guns n Roses

So now I'm planning to go to Uruguay Friday as I met some dude in the cemetary from some USA label - can't remember the name of it - but Bear Claw are one of his bands
So seeing as he was going Friday I thought I would postpone a day, as its nicer not to go alone - even though there's apparently a HUGE party Friday night. I'm sure ill be back in time, parties here start at 1am!

...Still raining.

Mum! I'm glad I've got a brolly!


~ I'm on the move - this was sent from my GooseBerry® ~

Do little in the sun

I love animals. (Apart from mosquitos, bedbugs and wasps). And I love the zoo. I think you can tell a lot about a city by its zoo. And don't think I don't feel compassion for animals in cages - I do believe animals shouldn't be caged. But mostly these days animals are bred in captivity and the enclosures are getting better - and the chance of hanging out with a white lion is too awesome to miss.
I always try to visit the zoo wherever I go. I really enjoy it, and also as I was alone today (Chloe was at work for the new Coca cola campaign) I wanted to make some new friends (of the 4 legged kind)
So, Buenos Aires zoo. As its hot, more of the animals were out and active than in the UK. Apart from the polar bear ?!!!? Who was one of the only few unhappy looking inhabitants. I made friends, notably with a herd of antelope, a herd of deer, a load of goats, numerous monk jack deer and a llama. Mainly because you can feed the animals in this zoo, and I bought a 10pesos bucket to feed them with and instantly had new friends.
I also made friends with a one-eyed chicken. Who didn't like me for my food but just hung out with me on a step in the shade for half an hour. Passers by found us quite amusing as I think I was talking a lot to the chicken and she was nodding and strutting and sitting and looking at me with one eye and her head cocked. I think we were an odd pair. But it was hot, and it was nice to be in the shade.
I also made friends with a donkey who liked me for my ear scratching skills.
My favourites though were the HUGE hippos. I mean HUGE!!!! The Himylayan snow leopards, the white lions, the coyotes and the skunk.
Its really a very well kept zoo, apart from the poor Polar bear who looked way too hot and the ocelot who had cage rage it was a great zoo. (Apart from surly staff and bad food)
I like the fact you could feed the animals and there were loads just wondering around like the monk jacks.

I stayed at the zoo for about 6 hours, maybe more and that was pretty much my whole day.
I am no longer sun burn free.

Tomorrow I'm doing sight seeing - La Prensa, Recolta, etc.
Then Thursday I'm planning on going to Uruguay.

Chloe and I have just got in from a Chinese restaurant. I didn't eat chicken there I ate beef.

In the words of my new chicken friend
Bocboc booocbocboc cluck cluck cluck

~ I'm on the move - this was sent from my GooseBerry® ~

Monday, 9 March 2009

White legs and red and yellow houses

Kenzo is Chloe's old friend from school. He's french, and is spending a month in Argentina and left tonight for a 20hr coach trip to Salta. We spent the day hanging out, first going to Catedral on the tube which was packed and hot, like all metro I think. Where I encountered a singing mad man who thought he was in a hareem I think. Most camp mad man I've ever seen.
We spent maybe nearly an hour queuing up to change money as they only seem to change pounds in the centre of town at the moment. Every bank's queue was out the door.
Argentina is a weird mix of races and faces. There's almost no black people here. All different types of South American. Then mixes of Europeans and S americans and all sorts of heights, eyes, faces - its interesting. What you don't get very often here though, and it causes people to stare, is people with skin as white as mine.
We went from the train station where Kenzo bought his coach ticket to Boca. Home of Boca Juniors. Home of the brightly coloured houses (tourist attraction) and a "poor" area of BA. My white legs were a cause of mucho interest. And I'm not sure it was complimentary! Hahaha
Boca is home of Maradona and the huge yellow and blue stadium I was amazed by. It feels so alive there, I've heard stories of Boca Juniors vs. River being insane matches, and you can kind of feel it in the air.
I ate a steak, as that's the thing to do in Argentina. And I had an ice cream, as that's also a good thing to do in Argentina.
It was very sunny today and we walked deep into La Boca, my white legs I'm sure reflecting the sun like ivory mirrors - nice!
There are a lot of stray dogs and a lot of corragated iron, and a lot of really interesting buildings. Better than those on the main tourist drag all brightly coloured, although those are great too.
Nearly bought my brother a "greatest goal in the world 1986 maradona" baseball cap. "Argentina 2, England 1"
But I didn't dare.

Buenos Aires seems to be so full of colour and contrast. I love it.

We went to the Jardin Botanico and the famous BA 1970's Planetarium too.

Still no sun burn. Bonus.



~ I'm on the move - this was sent from my GooseBerry® ~


After jumping into a roof top pool at 3am (pretty much fully clothed) and getting in at 4am I was up at 10.30am on the search for tea with milk which I happily supped in the sunshine this morning for a few hours until everyone was ready to get the train. Chloe, Kenzo and I went to Tigre the river delta today to visit Felicity (the handbag designer) and her sister Chelsea's parents house and to go on a little boat trip.
Its been fabulous weather, I dutifully applied sunblock and hung out by the pool at this palacial Tigre mansion with 3dogs and 2cats and 2 zebra skins on the floor. I can't remember ever being at a house like it that someone I knew lived in. Maybe Broughton Castle. Although it wasn't as big as that.
I am progressing with understanding Spanish I think as I made out some conversation today about credit, and Mozart.
I'm not used to this type of crowd.
After hanging out by the pool, chloe, kenzo and I got on a boat (round trip) up past all the houses on the Tigre. Its a bit like Henley on thames or something. But not at all.
I loved it though. Even when I got soaked to the skin when a motor boat went past. ( After all this was the second time in 24hrs my clothes had been soaked although the first was my choice and because of some honey drink they have here here called Mariposa - having said that if you have a pool on your roof and you're having a party by it, someone - chloe and I in this instance - has to get in it! )
Anyway Tigre was amazing a really good day. I got some freckles but didn't burn - bonus.
I ate a huge hot dog, then did a degustation of different Argentine chocolate on the train back to BA. Then we went to China town on the way home.

I accosted some poor young kid in the station cause he has a tshirt of somee thrash band I'd never heard of. Hacamidos? Or something like that? He didn't speak english, and as we know I don't speak spanish - he got very embarressed and then his pregnant girlfriend came along, and I got embarressed for asking him, then Kenzo came along and translated and turns out they're an Argentinian thrash band. I will find out more I think. If I could just remember their name.

Anyway I'm exhausted!

Lots of love

P.s. Sorry about the bad grammar and spelling Dad I'm tapping this out on my phone.

~ I'm on the move - this was sent from my GooseBerry® ~

Saturday, 7 March 2009


I arrived at Chloe's about 11pm last night and I was so glad to see her. She hasn't changed at all and seems really happy here. Its pretty chilled out and everyone eats late and hangs out and chats. And everyone smokes! :-S
So I arrived late and stinking but Chloe had friends out and had arranged for us to have dinner out. People eat very late here, like we got there at half midnight after I'd had a shower, to think amazing appartment that was so spot on, with an open courtyard full of south american flora. I was feeling bone tired and a bit weird and couldn't eat anything but it was such a crazy place with a huge picture of the virgin mary surrounded by big flowers. A girl who designs handbags and her boyfriend live there.
Anyway I left "early" at 0130 and went to bed. And I woke up feeling really pretty rough so I stayed in bed until 2pm which is 5pm UK time and then felt a lot better. I blame aeroplane food.
I'm now at Chloe's boyfriend's house with her and her friends. Its rained a bit this afternoon, but it was so hot before the rain that its actually quite pleasant.
We're going to the Tigre river delta tomorrow so we're gonna get a train then a boat to get there. Sounds like fun to me.
And we're meant to be going to someone's house then to a club tonight.

The taxi driver from Chloes to here said to me "its a beautiful place" and I said "Buenos Aires?" And he said "no, you.L
Then told me to call him.
Ha. Errr. No.

I haven't seen a lot of the city yet, ill explore more when Chloe has to work during the week. I want to get the ferry to Uraguay for the day, that's sounds like fun.

Hasta luego!

~ I'm on the move - this was sent from my GooseBerry® ~

Arrived safe in Buenos Aires!

I'm in the back of a taxi in hot Buenos Aires. Its breezy and night time and looks clean and fresh. Unlike me. After 14 hour flight from Frankfurt you can imagine I'm pretty stinky!
There's a sweet smell in the air from the taxi drivers window though and I'm excited to see Chloe.
Dad, you would love the stars here, they're so clear.
I got chatting to a guy called Pablo on the flight who is some kind of Argentinian diplomat and he helped me through the airport and to sort out a taxi. I owe him a drink.
The air hostess on the flight was concerned about my health, but only 2 antibiotics to go now. There's a very modern cathedral I'm going past I forgot I'm in a catholic country.

Well I'm glad to have arrived safe and sound! That plane journey is REALLY long! I watched Australia (ok), The Women (rubbish) and The Rocker (actually quite funny)
ooo! Motorbike accident up ahead!....
Oh the guys ok.
Trying to talk to my taxi driver about it. Spanish failing. What's the word for leg?

Beeep! Beeep! Toll booth

I better finish up I'm seeing the beggining of blocks of flats and want to enjoy the view


~ I'm on the move - this was sent from my GooseBerry® ~

Friday, 6 March 2009

Early morning airports

My sleepy 5am assessments of stuff from the departure lounge:

You can't get Argentinian pesos anywhere! Apart from Argentina it seems!

There is a certain type of long green felt coat that only Austrians wear.

This is the wrong 5am. I only like the 5am at the end of the night, not the beginning of the day.

I can't complain I'm going to Buenos Aires!

I'm going to stay with my friend Chloe. I haven't seen her for about 5 years. And I only just found her before Xmas on facebook. I think she works on films now. I don't really know. I guess ill find out soon enough.
I forgot to pack a comb. And my address book. And Boots isn't open at 5am.

I see weather warnings on the TV in the departure lounge here. I believe its 27degrees in BA. Hopefully the heat will clear my cough.

So I'm off to Frankfurt, and then to BA. I arrive in BA 21h00. What's new? Buneos Aires?


Free LTL!!

~ I'm on the move - this was sent from my GooseBerry® ~

Monday, 2 March 2009

The September/October plans

As i may have mentioned 2009 is the year of adventure. It said so in my London Paper year's horroscope. And as that is surely the bible of predictions. So i'm planning on travelling to Tibet. I've dreamt of going there for well over 10 years now. So if not now, then when?
Getting into Tibet isn't simple. You pretty much have to go with a tour operator, and you have to get 2 permits, one for Tibet, and one for travelling outside Lhasa. Which is the opposite to Heinrich Harrer who was trying to get to the forbidden city from the mountains and provinces outside of Lhasa on his flight from India (in Seven years in Tibet)
Anyway, I plan to be in Lhasa on October 9th 2009 - my birthday - and to turn 29 in the Himalayas.
I close my eyes at night and dream of seeing them, and of going there. I own about 30 books on Tibet and i need to finish reading them all before i go, but suffice to say i'm very excited.

However, my ambitious travel plans don't end there. Well, infact they kind of do, but only in that we're actually starting in Moscow. The current plan is to arrive in Moscow on 20th Sept, take the trans-siberian train on 23rd Sept 09 to Ulaanbataar, where we currently plan to meet Badmaa (merci Stephanie!) and then go off on horses into the wilds of Mongolia where we're gonna live with a family of nomads in a Yourte, before leaving Mongolia on the 4th October for Beijing, then leaving Beijing on 9th October for Lhasa, Tibet.

This is an extensive, expensive, ambitious plan.... and my good friend Birgit (of fame) and i intend to embark on this journey together. At first i thought i would have to do it alone, but then i found someone who also feels that its time to travel, and is up for this kind of adventure. Hopefully, Insh'allah, we shall do this. I realise we have a long way to go with planning and saving, and getting the time off work (surely i can get work Municipal Waste to nomads you know that market is just waiting to be tapped)
But its a dream i'm following. And why not. Why the fuck not eh?
Single, without kids, turning 29... it seems a good time for it? no?
So anyway, i need to save up (at last estimate) about £2500 by the beginning of September! Hahahaha
Also there's shit loads of planning to do.
BUT watch this space.

gong-da, I just thought i would clue you in on the plan.
ka-lee pay!


Preparations for BA!

I made a resolution that in 2009 - the year i turn 29 - i would get out on adventures and stay positive. The world is huge and full of such interesting stuff. Its easy to get bogged down with work and London, the music scene is kinda insular and blinkered sometimes and the truth is that there is a lot more to the world than heavy metal!!! Although every time i'm away from the rock scene i find myself impatient to jump back into the grit and the dirt sometimes you need to see the opposites in order to appreciate it truely.
Its also exciting to see what the music culture is like in different countries and different cities. In my job i'm always trying to understand what bands work in different countries and why. Why is there this demographic? why is there this interest in this certain type of music/style/politics in this particular place? Its like a puzzle where i try to put everything together and compare it with the metal scene in the UK, and generally not come to any particular conclusions - but it's fun for a while anyway!
So i'm 3 days away from my first trip out of Europe this year, where i'm going to visit my old friend Chloe in Buenos Aires. I've prepared by watching Evita. Travel insurance, check.
Unfortuately i'm on antibiotics, but that's not gonna stop the fun. I need to work out what to pack. And i've sorted out this blog so i should be able to post updates from my phone on my travels. Hopefully.
So hasta luego! South America here i come!