If you look at the counter at the bottom of this page, you’ll see I’ve been down here for over a month. Some thoughts:
1. The game is a little different. Height and light skin color plays big while style and dancing ability doesn’t, but things are not as linear and predictable as a pick-up stateside. It’s happened to every guy that he dances with a native for an hour or so, thinks he’s making progress, and then she thanks him for the dance and disappears. Cute girls are much more fearless and will approach you to grab your hand and dance.
2. A large percentage of girls staying in hostels are butch-like in appearance with short hair and boyish builds. The cuter ones have their boyfriend in tow. None of them pack clubbing clothes to look good at night—instead they wear trekking pants, hiking boots, and North Face fleece jackets.
3. The living-out-of-a-bag lifestyle is more glamorous when you think about it from home. After a couple weeks my instinct is to find a place of comfort with hot showers and wireless internet and stay still, but I’ve gotten used to the routine of long bus ride, taxi, disappointment, long bus ride, taxi, upset stomach, long bus ride, taxi, nothing to do, and so on.
4. I keep fucking up. I got my pocket picked going into a crowd, I dropped my digital camera, I lost a disposable camera with two dozen photos (including one of a male turtle raping a female turtle), I lost a credit card, and I ate a ground beef and hard-boiled egg empanada when my stomach was upset. That last mistake led to full-blown ass eruptions and a diet of bread and bananas for five days. It smelled like a homeless man died in my stomach.
5. A condom here is called a preservativo.
Even on days when things don’t turn out great, like when I spend most of it on the toilet and have to throw liquid shit coated toilet paper in a little wastebasket, or when I can’t sleep since the girl in the bed next to me has a cough that sounds like she is dying from tuberculosis, I am extremely grateful for being able to do this.