RUFF RUFF RUFF!

It’s 6:30am on a Saturday morning, and you are snug in your bed, sleeping off the imbibitions of the previous night.The distant sounds of the ocean are soothing your slightly pressurized skull. You’re dreaming of dancing salsa in the arms of a hot chico in the rain. And then this sound blasts you out of your happy oblivion:

“RUFF RUFF RUFF! RUFF RUFF RUFF! RUFF RUFF RUFF RUFF RUFF!”

What you are listening to, my friend, is a cover of the song “Jingle Bells”, apparently made witty by the fact that is being sung by a man imitating a dog. This charming holiday rendition is being blared from a series of horrible quality speakers on poles that are  interspersed throughout the town. Think yard speaker systems from Shawshank Redemption or Schindler’s List, or any movie with a prison/camp.

If you’ve spent any length of time in Montañita, Manglaralto, or many other villages in Continue reading

A Bit of Patriotism

I realize recently that I may have given the impression from some of my past posts that I have a critical eye when viewing my homeland, namely, my criticism of the American isolationist culture, and my personal illumination concerning the upper middle class suburban New Yorker in the context of rural South America. Yes, we may fall behind pretty much every other western developed country in terms of health, schools, environmentalism, and basic human rights, but I would like to remind all my non-estandounidense friends, who like poke fun at me and my country, of all the ways that we totally rock. Being that it is the fourth of July, I’m feeling patriotic, and I’d like to assuage any fears, and reassure all my readers that I truly am proud to be an American, as cheesy as that phrase may sound due to its overuse by country singers and politicians.

Point of Pride #1: Our music kicks ass. Continue reading

Different Worlds

I arrive at the hotel and am greeted with a big fat stereotype. Actually a group of them standing around in a lux open air lobby, looking eager but slightly frightened with their cameras in hand. I don’t have to hear them talk to know they are American. The clothes are the give away. Germans also send a lot of older plump tourists, pockets swollen with cash, sunburnt noses, gawking with both appreciation of their surroundings, and with the judgmental lenses of a people who see the world as being centered on them. But the Americans just look so American. Continue reading