Crashing cars

Time to leave Chile! I said goodbye to the little kitten in the hostel. I’m sorry there are no better pictures of him, because he was moving the whole time! The hostel was OK. Good

Time to leave Chile! I said goodbye to the little kitten in the hostel. I’m sorry there are no better pictures of him, because he was moving the whole time!

The hostel was OK. Good if you’re 18 and drinking beer. If you’re 39 and sober … then it’s at least close to the bus station.

You just sneak through these houses and you’re there in a second!

We hadn’t gone for many minutes until we hit a stone. The bus stopped and people more or less fled outside. I was the last to leave and asked where the stone was. Here:

We crashed a small car! As I understood the story, the car was moving left, but the bus driver was too busy drinking tea so he didn’t see it and just crashed right into it. The car driver survived and could walk etc, although a bit shocked. They told us (with the help of our awesome translator from Curitiba!) that we could wait and see if we could continue with the same bus, or if we wanted to go back to San Pedro de Atacama and take another bus tomorrow. All foreigners decided to wait, while the Chileans all disappeared. There were the Brazilian from Curitiba, two Austrians, one Bolivian and then these two Norwegians:

Nordic countries have some stereotypes about each other. Swedes are gay and rule-abundant. If you see a long line of pink shirts queuing for a gay club without drinking or talking, then that is Swedes. Finns are drunk and silent. Danes are drunk and happy and don’t follow rules. Norwegians are kind and sporty, especially skiing. I think there are grains of truth in all these stereotypes. In Norway, they show skiing on TV 24/7. There is always a ski contest somewhere. “How’s your skiing?” is a typical secret recipe for how to get friendly with a Norwegian. Unfortunately, you then have to listen to their skiing life. Anyway, here we have two sporty Norwegians playing tennis in the desert while waiting for the carabineros.

The carabineros came and interviewed everyone. It was over in like 15 min.

Then we could continue! Here we are, all the happy foreigners, from Brazil, Norway x 2, Austria x 2 and Bolivia.

We stopped in the city of Calama and got a load of new passengers.

This area is extremely fucking salty. You can’t believe how salty it is! They even have salt tours here, where you go to the saltiest areas ever. And the salt even somehow salted the windows so you couldn’t take pictures anymore. Salty desert at like 3000 meters up.

Then it was time to leave Chile! Goodbye 🙁 Maybe never see you again. I loved Santiago. The rest is for people who loves the … eh … nature. And I love your politics, as bad as it can be. The 30.000 Chileans we got in the 1970s has made an impression on Swedish politics. Mauricio Rojas is a very interesting economist, who went from left to right, was even fired for being too “controversial”, but is now popular again but fuck that, as he is having a much more interesting time in Chile these days. I met him in Lund. He had one lecture, and the day after, we got another – conflicting – lecture by another Chilean economist who was still on the left side. And we have plenty of leftist politicians, movie makers etc. As bad as Pinochet was to tons of people, he was “good” for Sweden.

Let us out, let us out.

Long trains.

I got so bored on the bus that I took a sneak photo of these two Celts from Western England, as they’re here sitting enjoying a fashion show, not knowing that they’re secretly supervised by a weird Swede. Eventually I started talking to them. They were super-nice. But the problem was that I understood like 20% of what they said. I tried to explain to them that I’m speaking International English, which is some kind of Hollywood-German-Indian mix of English sounds, and that every single person who speaks International English understand each other, but that very few of us understand people from places like Scotland, New Zealand or Western England.

Like, in Japan, I was studying with people from the whole world, and we all got friends with each other. Austrians, Koreans, Americans, Swedes, drinking beer and having the best time ever. And then there were two Englishmen that were not really accepted into the community because no one understood a word they said. Although once, I heard one of them – I forgot his name – say that “Widdershins collywobbles wii invanted dis lenguage you snickersee flibbertigibbets!”

Or like a New Zealander I met in Taiwan, who complained about not getting a job there. He was like “MadusSqsxxh xasxsHX XSUH for one month now xashxashx asxas sxd not getting a job”. I was like: “Maybe it’s just because no one understands New Zealand English in Taiwan so that they simply don’t hear what you said?” And he went like “Skhs ddwec cdcg ahwuqdh dasxchw heuhd!!!”

Or, in Sweden, people born there understand 99% of dialects, with a few Gutnish exceptions. But immigrants don’t! Immigrants learn the dialect where they live, plus the slightly Stockholmish TV Swedish. But if you lived in Stockholm for ten years and speak fluent Stockholmish, it could be hard to understand people from Skåne, Örebro or Norrland. Or like in Norway. I didn’t understand many words when I was there, although everyone understood the TV Swedish I got in my suburb.

So I tried to tell these Celts from Western England to somehow learn to speak International English so that people like me could understand them. But they were like “Hujs wjdwqd xhuh saxqh xhweh I do speak English hsuwhsqu huwh!”

But I loved them anyway, because they were vegans! And not the lazy half-vegans like me, who go like “oh, there is only meat in Argentina anyway”, no they had downloaded Happy Cow to their Google Maps, so that they could find vegan restaurants without internet! You should be like these two Celts. Be nice to animals, be nice to our planet. But first learn to speak International English and keep your weird dialects for when calling your family back home!

So, I avoided the Celts and the Norwegians, since I get such a headache trying to understand their sounds, and instead hung out with these two lovely Austrians, because we understood each other perfectly with our clear and simple English. I got a lovely room in a hotel near theirs, for 10 euros, with my own shower and everything.

Look at the picture above. It is a 100% Austrian picture! Swedes would not drink beers on the street like this, because Swedes like people to think that they are not alcoholics at all. Southern Italians would if they felt like, and when done, they’d throw the can. Austrians – in the middle – love drinking beer, but only next to a trash can so that they can put their waste there. And Bolivia is not really packed with trash cans, but here we have one! Stinking like hell. But we had good conversations 🙂 And then some tequila shots in a disco 🙂 🙂

Welcome to Bolivia!

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