(I'm currently on sabbatical.)
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Thursday, June 6, 2013
Day Two in the Magic Bus
Now, let me tell you about this Italian hippie named Georgio. Georgio left Italy and decided to be a nomad for five years in Mexico. He became a true wanderer, parking his magic bus wherever, sleeping in it and eating in it, and then moving camp. To survive, he sells jewelry made of stone and hemp rope.
He was kind to make dinner. But something was off. I would often offer to cut the vegetables and dice the onions. "No," he said to this. I offered to wash the dishes. Fresh water was precious where we were, in the space between the desert and ocean. So - we couldn't wash our dishes with freshwater and soap. Seawater would have to suffice for both. But to my offers to wash the dishes, again he said, "No."
In between the first beach and the second beach, we stopped at a country club for ex-patriot Americans. It was called the Crossroads and the artwork showed comical paintings of death. The patio was stunning, as we sat underneath the veranda that overlooked stretches of the sandy Pacific Coast. Giorgio ordered two beers. I ordered a Michilada (beer and tomato juice with lime) and a beer. I paid for it to thank him for the services.
During our conversation over beer, he asked me something. "Hey man, why do you always use your computer in La Paz?"
"Because, I was doing research. I was reading. I was writing."
"But man, it's better use you paper and pen."
"Not really - anymore." I knew he wouldn't understand the rest of my English - so I went on in Spanish. "Since I was ten, my parents put me on a computer. My life hasn't been the same since. The screen is my canvas. The keyboard my brushes."
"But I think you should change. Pen and paper better for writing."
I would've loved to explain that I lost the skill to write on pen and paper. This lost skill, he understood. But I don't know if it's necessarily better. My handwriting is ugly. I hate editing on pen and paper. It's easier scrolling up and down a page. The advantage is I seem to catch mistakes better when I read my writing on paper. Other than that, it's slower and less efficient.
I didn't bother explaining. Georgio always thinks he's right. Italians do think that.
I went out on the beach and found a fish bone. It looked like a piece of the backbone, but it looked like a skeletal fossil. I thought it would be good for Georgio to have. He could us it in his jewelry.
I showed it to him and said, "It's for you."
He said, "Thank you, but I don't use animal parts in my jewelry."
"Because if everybody did this, there would be no animals in the world. People would kill them. And take their bones."
I thought, are you kidding me? That makes no sense. Your stones, if they ever became precious too, would produce blood diamonds. It doesn't matter the product, if it produces good money, something bad is bound to happen by some overlord. Of course, to be honest, I wish the logic so ingrained in me in law school would just shut off in my mind. It cannot.
I just smiled and said, "I see."
"But thank you, man."
He must have sensed that there was more underneath that smile.
Soon we would be at the next beach.
These differences in thought was just the beginning. I could already feel more to come.