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yu-en-me ´a man who leaves home to mend himself and others is a philosopher, .. he who goes from country to country guided by blind impulses of curiosity is .. a vagabond.´ - oliver goldsmith

other people´s lives, other people´s stories

ARGENTINA | Monday, 8 January 2007 | Views [667]

ricardo, pta arenas to rio gallegos. instant mutual liking.

ricardo, pta arenas to rio gallegos. instant mutual liking.

throughout 2006, i´ve sent random emails describing what i´m up to. maybe you´ve enjoyed them, maybe you haven´t.. regardless, i get the feeling that i won´t be sending another groupmail for a while, and thought i´d end this spate with random snippets from other people´s lives, since you´ve only really heard from mine over the last year. i get such a buzz from meeting other people, even if they turn out to be absolute wankers (fortunately, the non-wankers to wankers ratio is about 99:1), and this is only a *tiny* sample of who i´ve met since setting foot on this continent. be good all of you, and don´t do anything i wouldn´t do...

30 years ago, Raúl fell quite ill and was bedridden for a few months. He lived in a small village and lost contact with his then-girlfriend, who unfortunately didn´t have the approval of his family. (She tried to get in touch with him, but his brothers told her that he didn´t want to see her.) Raúl got married, had 4 kids, but throughout the marriage often thought about his childhood sweetheart, sometimes to the point of crying himself to sleep. His wife knew about her, but thought that it was a phase and that Raúl would forget. Eventually though, the marriage disintegrated. 9 months ago, by chance or fate, the childhood sweetheart bumped into Raúl´s mum on the other side of the country, and a week ago, Raúl worked his last working day on this side of the country to go and live with her. They´re in their 50s, they know it´s too late to have a family, but they know that they want to spend the rest of their lives together.

For the most part of his 36 years, Anibal has been the type of guy who´s not scared of anything. 3 years ago, he had a son. 3 weeks ago, the milkbar that he has in the front section of his house got held up. This gave him some food for thought, and now he´s scared of a lot of things, for his kid´s sake.

In their respective youths, Laura, Jorge, and Chango did the whole travelling thing. They´ve done the walking 10km to get to the nearest hostel, they´ve slept under bridges, or in abandonned houses, they´ve gone days without eating. They´ve made friends who they´ve lost contact with as soon as they left them, they´ve made friends who they´re still in contact with, and they´ve met the requisite morons that exist all over the world. They´ve scaled mountains, seen the sights, and have heaps of memories. For various reasons, they´ve stopped the active travelling, and are each doing their own passive travelling: Laura and Chango have a campsite and a youth hostel respectively, and Jorge gives lifts to backpackers whenever he can, and they *all* light up when they start talking about travels and sharing experiences.

Juan´s been globe-trotting for 4 years, and is thinking that at 30yo, maybe he should start thinking about settling down for a more ´standard´ life. His latest conquest, an Argentine girl, wants to stay in Argentina, and he likes her enough to stay with her *if* he was already going to stay in the country. But he´s always thought he´d prefer going to Australia to set up a business there. On the other hand, she´s a good girl, she´d make a good life companion, she´s great in bed.. But he´s not even sure if he *does* want to give up the travelling hat.. what should he do??

A woman in her late 30s, sitting next to me on a cross-country bus, was writing a letter. i couldn´t help but read parts, ´it´s hard to believe that this is the last time i´m going to be making this journey ... i don´t understand why ... i packed your clothes away last night, i can still smell you in the house ... do you remember that time in Salta? ... ´

and then there are those times where you can only guess at what´s happened, like the type of experience which would prompt someone to grafitti in metre-high letters: ´THE ONLY THING THAT MAKES ME HAPPY IS KNOWING THAT YOU´RE GOING TO ROT IN HELL´
(more photos: 'people' gallery)

Tags: People

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