HoboTraveler.com Travel Tips Newsletter
And Updates on Around The World Trip

ISSUE:  057
DATE:  February 01, 2002
TITLE:  Hobo TRAVEL TIPS - Amazon Sunrise - Look into their eyes.
TIP:  Look into their eyes.
LOCATION:  Iquitos, Peru

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Hobo TRAVEL TIPS - Amazon Sunrise - Look into their eyes.
Issue 57 - Hobotraveler.com - February 1, 2002
A Hobo trip around the world. Year 4
Hobotraveler.com

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~   HOBO STEW (A Dish of Meat and Vegetables)
~   Hoboguide.com GO THIS WAY
~   TODAY’S TIP - Look into their eyes
~   TODAY’S TIP FROM THE - “Peanut Gallery”
~   HOBO QUESTIONS FOR READERS

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~   HOBO STEW (A Dish of Meat and Vegetables)

MADNESS IN IQUITOS PERU

I remember a book I read a long time ago called
“Cannery Row” by John Steinbeck.
It was one of those books that make you feel,
I felt a little better after I read the book.

The book started out with a quote of sorts.
Of looking through a peephole in a tall wood fence, and what you
would see on the other side if you took a gander at Cannery Row.


QUOTE FROM THE BOOK CANNERY ROW
Cannery Row in Monterey in California is a poem, a stink,
a grating noise, a quality of light, a tone, a habit, a nostalgia,
a dream. Cannery Row is the gathered and scattered, tin and iron
and rust and splintered wood, chipped pavement and weedy lots
and junk heaps, sardine canneries of corrugated iron, honky tonks,
restaurants and whore houses, and little crowded groceries, and
laboratories and flophouses. Its inhabitants are, as the man once said,
"whores, pimps, gamblers, and sons of bitches,
by which he meant Everybody.
Had the man looked through another peephole he might have said,
"Saints and angels and martyrs and holy men,"
and he would have meant the same thing.

John Steinbeck, Cannery Row, Chapter 1, (page 1). Viking Press, Inc.

Cannery row is a place in California USA.
Where they package or put in fish in “Cans”.
Life was difficult and easy.
Just another day in Paradise.
a.k.a. The life of a hobo.

I am a great fan of Steinbeck and it would be nice
to have a few of his book to read right now.

That quote from Steinbecks book very aptly describes
Iquitos, Peru. I feel like I got something on me and I need
to wipe it off, but am afraid to wipe it off for fear I will lose
something of value.


EXPATRIATES

I do NOT like to be called an Expatriate, but this word
is fondly used by many. I consider it a little treasonous.
Most of us, including me feel a certain delight in being
a little naughty. This I supposed started when we were children
and stole that first cookie of the table that our Mom strictly
forbid.

Iquitos is full of expatriates from all over the world.
But mostly England here. Sort of a combination of old
hippies, drug dealers, and millionaires. Either people that worked
all their life to make a fortune and came here to spend it in leisure.
Or people that spent their whole life refusing to work and
came here to make their fortune. Or drug dealers and tax evaders.
(And tons of tourist oblivious to all.)
Peru is cheap for people from the more developed nations.
And either way you get a lot of bang for the buck and the
expatriates have a place to be naughty.


POLICE SHAKEDOWN
This week was exciting, and started with the police coming to
my hotel. A Canadian acquaintance had decided to pass a few
Canadian American Express travelers checks here. These travelers
checks are for dollars, what he knew and the street money
changer did not know, is they were CANADIAN DOLLARS.

The street vendors gave him the exchange rate of USA dollars
and he effectively made about 50-70 dollars USA extra.
But... the money exchangers came for him.
The first time the came, they were polite and ask him to give
back their money. He refused. Saying they was crooks.
And they left

He passed off some Canadian Dollars as USA dollars.
This is a scam... Yes, correct. You are right.

The stupid part is they also cheated him 100 soles on the exchange.
When he returned back to the hotel. He checked his money
and he was short 100 soles. Another friend was short 80 soles.
So this situation just got more stupid.

He was living in my Hotel, and I thought.
This guy is trouble, and told him straight up.
You are a crook, and I do not need this headache.
Who wants to look around all the time for money changers
that want to kill you.
He said,
“but they are crooks”
I said,
“yes they are, and so are you”.
So we argued and parted company. The owner of the Hotel notice
I was not talking with him, and wondered why.

The police came to my hotel.
He had already left and moved on to the next city.
They decided they was going to take me to the police station
and do something. Of course one of the money changers
came over and said,
“All we want is the money”
You pay us and we will leave.
I said,
“Go... $@$# yourself”
(Something anatomically impossible)
I knew it was a police orchestrated shakedown.
The money changers had paid the cop to come scare me.
Thinking that somehow I was with him, and helping him.
It did not work.
But the good part.
The owner of the Hotel Anna became very angry and
started wagging her finger at them in the Latino fashion
and hollering.
“El esta tranquilo, el no esta la problem”.
Basically in English,
“He is a good guy, he is not the problem”.
She starts to pack here purse and says to them.
“I am going with you”.

Ooooops... That was not what the policeman wanted.
The wanted money.
They decided that I should come down later and talk
to them. and, and, and ... blah blah blah.
So this all passed.
But just another day in Paradise.

This is a normal attempt in lots of countries to get money
for nothing from anyone available. I have heard of other
Canadians doing this while traveling across the USA.
I think to myself.
Why does American Express sell Travelers Check
in Canadian Dollars?
And who would want them?

MAD MICKS SATURDAY BOAT TRIP
I have went on a couple of Saturday boat trips now
with Mike from Mad Micks Trading Post.
The are good fun, and I got the pleasure last week
of meeting three guys from the England Embassy in Lima.
They paid for a boat to go fishing and I got invited to go
along for the ride. It was a good time, and life is very good.
I told them I really liked that “Tony Blair” guy their Prime Minister
and they followed up with all their complaints about the USA.
A small price to pay.

I have been doing lots of nothings, and lots of everything.

There was a strike or protest in Iquitos, Peru for the last
couple of days. I have been in lots of countries when they have
strikes. All the taxis, cars, and business took the day off.
Then proceed to walk around carrying signs, and chanting.

But why?
I wish I knew.

This strike was suppose to be because all the tax money
sent to Lima and does not return to help Iquitos.
In reality these are more likely orchestrated power struggles
by the local city or state leaders. The leaders use the ignorance
of the public and get them all excited about some just and moral
issue. But in reality they just want more money.
If you know the history of the leaders of Peru you will know that
they are good at milking the public coffers and lining their pockets.
There are wanted poster on the walls here for their last president
Fujimori. He left the country and went to Japan to hide.

Salinas the ex-president of Mexico is hiding in Ireland after
stealing a billion dollars.

It sounds dangerous, but it is not. Providing you stay out of the
middle and do not interfere with their little Mafia war.
The protest can be dangerous though, but not because of moral
issue. The protester can get extremely drunk, and a group
of extremely drunk people is not a safe situation.
So they walked around and destroyed their home yesterday.

This country is a “Soap Opera”.
Just a normal country.
Like any other country in the world.
Different actors and different sets.

I suppose I am voyeur. I like to watch the
world at it best and its worst. There is a lot of
very beautiful and wonderful people in the world.
But as Steinbeck helped me to understand.
There is a very small difference between
a Saint and the Devil.

I am going to be serious for a second.
There are social injustices, good things, and bad
things. Plenty of charities that want money for who
knows what, and for the most part I do not trust any of them.
There are missionary here smuggling drugs,
and politicians buying themselves a new car and house.
But I am not totally jaded. Yet...?

I am concerned about two things that could be changed.
The poorer people here have lice and parasites.
I think they have enough food, and they seem happy.
But the government is needed to get involved to eradicate
lice or parasites. Everyone in the whole area needs to receive
the treatments at the same time, and repeated doses until
these problems are put in remission. If the whole village is
not done at the same time, everyone will just become re-infected.

I would like to adopt a village and clean it up.
For a few thousand dollars you could clean up a village
and embarrass the rich people and politicians into
behaving and doing their job, and helping their own people.
A small jungle village along the river has only few people
and could be cleaned of lice and parasites.
I see a lots of stuff that a normal person would think
is terrible, and I think is just normal people living their
lives.

I had some expatriates make fun of me because I explained
how sad it was to look at people with lice. I was horrified
by this crass and insensitive behavior. It is easy to take from
a country and try to hide from these things, but these are real people.
I almost got banned from a very famous restaurant and bar here
for bringing up the subject ... Like I care!

You will see a young girl or boy laying down with their head
resting in the lap of their friends or mother. They will sit for
what seems hours, picking, or plucking lice from the hair
of the person. I get nervous and shake just thinking about this.
I do not like the idea that anything is crawling around in my hair
or inside my body. It is easy to look the other way, and keep
walking, but this is real. For 8.40 Soles or about 3 dollars USA
I could buy the soap to kill these critters.... yuck.

When you give money to a person, you teach them to beg.
When begging for money is easier than working. People will beg.

I have no answers, and nothing is clear and simple.

But I could buy a bottle of soap to kill lice.
and some parasite medicine.

And I will probably get banned from the restaurant.

Besos y Abrazos

Andy the hobo

Maybe it will help you to...
PLAN YOUR ESCAPE...
Be a Hobo, and leave your mark.

X     Hobotraveler.com was HERE!

Life is good.
The Hobotraveler.com

<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>
Article written by Andy the Hobotraveler.com
On year 4 of Hobo trip around the world.
Budget Travel, Jobs, and Adventure, etc
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SUNRISE OVER THE AMAZON

I feel lazy, it is hot, and humid.
I fall to sleep early, and wake up early.
Getting a little bored, and nothing to do
at 6:00 in the morning. I go for a walk to see
the hustle and bustle of the city, as the crescendo
of noise rises. The city awakes for another day.

Not ready to be awake or face the reality of a city.
I turn and walk toward the Amazon River.
Breathing the cooler morning air, but still
my head is hung down, and watching my feet.
Choosing each step with care, and sifting through
my mind for clarity. I look up and see the
sun makings it debut. Saying to me,
“Andy, please open your eyes”.

For as far as I can see the river stretches and lying above it are
strips of yellow and red light, intermixed with stringy clouds.
Various degrees of green, and subtle shades of water colors.
My mind takes a photo, and is permanently recorded
in my memory. The sun is my friend, and I today I
will say hello with the proper reverence and respect.
“Hello Sun, Que Onda?”

Just another day in Paradise.
Just another “Sunrise over the Amazon”.

Thank God,
or whoever claims responsibility.

Maybe it will help you to...
PLAN YOUR ESCAPE...
Be a Hobo, and leave your mark.

X     Hobotraveler.com was HERE!

Life is good.
The Hobotraveler.com

<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>
Article written by Andy the Hobotraveler.com
On year 4 of Hobo trip around the world.
Budget Travel, Jobs, and Adventure, etc
Subscribe to Free Newsletter at:
Hobotraveler.com
You may publish this article for Free
on the internet If this box stays attached.
<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>

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~ TODAY’S TRAVEL TIPS

LOOK INTO THEIR EYES

I say to people, “Say Hi, to everyone”.
This is normal advice I give to travelers all the time.
You are alone in the world, and there will be a time
when you need a friend. So by all mean try your best to
be a friend to all people great and small. You may find
that a casual hello can be of great value when you need
a friends help.

There is another thing you need to do.
Maybe even more important.
Look into the eyes of people you meet.

I have traveled for a long time, and not been robbed.
The reasons are not simple. But a mixture of a lot of small
and large things I do, or do not do that protects me each day
in my adventures.

I will say, and continue to say...
“I will one day have everything I own stolen.”
It is what happens when you travel for years.
One day you return home and all your possessions are gone.

But the best way to avoid this
is to....
Look into their eyes!
Look into the eye of friends, and people you meet.
Look at them with the eyes of a lost sheep,
a deep penetrating glare. Like a small child confused and lost,
wondering where his mother is and why she left?
Open your eyes.
Pretend you are Spock on the television show Star Trek
and do a Mind Meld.

MAKE CONTACT

Your first contact is important.
Make a connection with the people you meet.
Look into the people you meet and do not allow them to avoid
you or run away. I can scare people sometimes when
I do this, and maybe they should be scared.
But I am looking to see if I should be scared also.
Am I safe?
Are they with me or against me.
Are they friend of foe.

Make fun, and jest about this, and ignore my advice.
This is not important.
“I stay in nice hotels!”
But all travelers or tourist get robbed.
More rich tourist staying in expensive hotels get robbed then
hobos living in 5 dollar a night places. The tourist are
the ones that should heed this advice the most.
A hobo cannot survive long without learning to see and
feel people. We must and do learn to trust our instincts
and develop a keen sense of who the people around us are.
And what they want.

Try this at home.
Look into the eyes of the person across the aisle from
you at work. What do you see?
Good, bad, or indifference.
Is that person there to help you or take from you.

Make a instant judgement.
Yes, they are on my side and will fight to protect me.
No, they are not on my side and they will not fight to protect me.

Please try to look for the good in their eyes,
but still willing to walk away when you see the bad.
Trust your instincts, and make the judgment.
I know you are told not to judge people, but do it anyway.

If your Hostel or Hotel owner will not protect you.
Why are you living there?
We pay money to be safe, but it is not the money
that make us safe, it is the person behind the eyes
that keeps us safe.

LOOK INTO THEIR EYES

And also.
In their eyes is another adventure.
and another story to be told.

Andy
Hobotraveler.com was here.    X

Hobo’s mark your locations so we remember.
Have fun! Life is Good!

As always, these are suggestions. Please realize I am
giving guidance, and there are always other opinions.
“One mans paradise, is another mans hell”
This way we do not all go to the same place.

<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>
Article written by Andy the Hobotraveler.com
On year 4 of Hobo trip around the world.
Budget Travel, Jobs, and Adventure, etc
Subscribe to Free Newsletter at:
Hobotraveler.com
You may publish this article for Free
on the internet If this box stays attached.
<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>

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TODAY’S TIP FROM THE “Peanut Gallery” Fun tips
Here's a little tip from me, to you, as an experienced traveler.

When you are having a bad day traveling.
Take the day off, and do not go to work.
Remember... You are on vacation

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