As the end of San Pedro Approaches. There was just enough time to change my life. To cross the threshold from just another tourist traveling backpacker, to grow new eyes, and see it ALL from an alternate reality.
It started with me being a possession and image driven girl, buying bracelets, and what not. I had the intention of giving them as gifts of course, but mostly wanted to keep it all for my greedy little self!
I was invited to party with Selbean and his friend Nada, who he originally met in Costa Rica, who randomly showed up in San Pedro La Laguna that very day and was selling her jewelry beside him. Their was also a Russian girl named Natalia who I met later, and another jewelry seller, whose name escapes me so we'll call him "Grande Bohemian Senior". Natalia does nothing, she just chills out and parties at night. I don't think she sells anything for an income. She might not need one for all I know. She had some really dope ninja boots she got from a friend in Japan. I say ninja boots because they half the 1 slit in the middle like ninja shoes do. I'm sure you get the reference. So she just hangs and learns Spanish all day. All of them are coincidentally staying in the hostel next to mine, mine is about 30Q a night (per person so about 60Q a room) Theirs is 15Q a room. But all you're getting is a single bed and a table on a concrete floor. I went over just before 6, wearing all my new tourist buys. I had just bought a long skirt, and had a matching shirt. BLUE , light blue. I looked like the biggest tourist their was.. and felt like a FOOOL. I even had on my new head band I bought from Nada, and all my new bracelets and necklaces. Like... I was full-on loaded.. WOW. with a scarf shall.. COME ON.. looked like such a princess. hahah. I felt horribly uncomfortable. Here I was surrounded by ppl literally wearing all the clothes they own pretty much. Just selling enough to keep on keeping on. They have the money they made that day in their pockets. Which they used to cook me dinner for my last night their. It was one of the best meals I've ever had too. The fish had bones (I got the jaw!)
[There was a moment looking back. I see myself as "Dian Fossey" living with the Gorillas. I have to learn how to mimic their behaviour and customs. Understand and become them. Transform my mind from this Societal structured thinking and throw out every thing I once knew and start over. but I didn't see that that was what I was doing at the time. I had all these fish bones I was spitting out. I didn't know what to do with them. I had started by placing them on the side of my plate, then saw "Grande Bohemian Senior" chucking them to the side, so I did that for a while. But then noticed others were putting them on their plates, so I went back to that... The bread was stale, but the potatoes were unlike any potato I'd ever eaten before. Seasoning goes a long way. And it was all cooked on an open top stove with grill bars on it, in pots and pans of course tho. The kitchen was an outdoor kitchen. It was beautiful there and the kitchen had a roof over it so whats there to complain about. And a massive fresh lime tree right beside it. The limes were orange inside...very strange. But delicious!
Going back a step, I mention how ridiculous I looked. Well I was laying on a hammock and I spilt wine on my shirt. so I used that as an out to go change, but they kept saying "nonooo you look fine, don't change" I was just like, "COME ON!" in my head hahah. I snuck away before dinner. It was getting cold anyway. But still I put shorts on.. (Dope) and a T-shirt (double dope) and didn't take a sweater..(TRIPLE Dope) I'm such a dumb dumb...
[I have a lot of identity issues. If you know me you'd know why.. But I find it very difficult to dress "myself" I find the concept of "Who I am" daunting, and impossible to know. I find it hard to feel comfortable with a new group sometimes. Especially if I don't dress like them. I like to be a sheep in the crowd. Appearance wise. And then Stand out for my personality. I remember often what this girl who lives down the hall from my once said. "As soon as you're with someone new, you close right up instantly". So I thought about this.. A lot..throughout the night. Also thought about this group of people I'd stumbled into. So free. and Barbaric almost. Living for the now, tomorrow is tomorrow, nothing we can do about it today. Selbean completely got me. Despite our language barrier it was no problem. ]
This moment was outstanding..It happened right after dinner. Me, Natalia and "Grande Bohemian Senior" were all laying on hammocks swinging side to side. (It was night by this time and the stars were shining and the crickets were singing) We all just started swinging to the beat of the crickets, around the same time.. just swaying to the song of the night. Bohemian Senior started drumming on a tree next to him and singing. (His second performance of of the evening actually) Totally sureal, and for most other people who were in my shoes would have probably thought. "Is this guy for real", ( which I too thought of course a couple times, seriously, who was this guy) but I idolized him immediatly after. What reason did I have to think these thoughts and judge him, for doing something so beautiful, that I myself too wished I could unleash from within. I could feel it coursing within me, this uncontrollable desire to free the sounds from the cage I held them in, but was unable to... Its seemed impossible for me to let my guard down so much so soon, I have a general period in which new friends are "eased" into the personality that IS "Sarah Barbary" as to not scare people off, but really that's my own insecurity speaking and fears of rejection stemming from a few too many new school experiences.
I was freazing and had no idea what time it was at this point, which was freaky, but freeing at the same time. But Selbean got us all up out of our daze and we headed to get some beers. I ran back to grab a sweater, but Karen had the only key to our room with her, and who knows where she was having dinner. So Selbean lent me a plead shirt. which helped a lot. So we made our way to the bars and restaurant area. We stopped in a nice garden restaurant first to hear a japanese man play the drum and sing in portuguese haha. We sat on the ground on a matt with pillows and shared a Big Gallo.(beer) I saw the whole stove group come in while we were waiting for the beer. I didn't want to be seen. [Mainly because, I really just wanted a night away from the group. I love the group. And everyone in it. But I need to feed the freedom beast in order for it to transform into a free "adult" beast. Tho I'm 23, on the verge of 24. I've only started feeling like an adult recently. School extends your naivity and innocence I think, and puts off the inevitable adulthood in many ways. but I had been working a good job for the past year, I was on my own in a bachelor apt now, I was FINALLY paying for my car insurance and I seemed to have a handle on my "shit" so to speak. But still I felt like I had to make this move, I had to have this grand transitional moment I could see. Where I can say, " That was when I become an adult", and I wasn't gunna wait for it anymore. I was going to create it myself. It's the only way anything seems real, is if I personally make an effort to conciously act on it and understand it.]
[I'm often at constant war inside of myself. Trying to weed thru the bullshit and get to what's real. If their IS anything real to find. But if you're constantly changing and adapting and growing within your mind, then I'll just constantly be looking. I'm scared of never feeling at peace or at one within myself. Will I always just bounce from persona to persona? Will this be how I'll learn? or find my answers? Just constantly in the changing room? I thought I was starting to get a grip on all this back home. But I was just slinking back into my old patterns perhaps, and the only reason why it felt right was because it felt familiar.. Slinking back into old patterns I didn't think was a bad thing, Because it was familiar I clung to the idea that maybe that's who I was. But then why is there a fight at all at this if it was right? If it actually is who I am then why do I fight to not be that so bad?]
We went and saw "The clown", which was just a jewish magician. Pretty funny act. He pulled me up on stage too! RIGHT after Selbean told me I was gunna be next... he tried a bunch of other girls before me and they just would NOT budge. I think we've all seen those ppl who just REFUSE to be a part of the show, and it gets uncomfortable to watch the struggle for a while.. I went up with only the hesitation of holding my drink, which he helped me with by taking it and giving it to someone haha. I ended up whipping him in the ass with a mini deck of cards that were hand cuffed to my thumb (with those mini handcuffs we used to get in gumball machines). I really had no idea if that's what he wanted me to do because he was only speaking spanish haha. So it's a good thing I really like ass slapping already. At the end of his show he took off all his clothes leaving his boxers, lowered this HUGE ballon down from the ceiling, like..HUGE about a metre and a half high balloon haha. He CLIMBED INSIDE(it reminded me of of that Rhino scene in "Ace Ventura: When nature calls"hahha) and managed to get completely in it. Then he jumped around for a while hahah and inevitably weasled his way out almost losing his undies haha.
[At this show I had a very specific moment, where I feel like I "crossed" over, so to speak. Or "Passed through the veil" saw through the "Looking glass" I can go on.. I saw these two tourist girls who spoke no spanish go up on stage. They had these matching parachute pants on, (made for tourists) and they sorta had this ignorance and arrogance to them, They seemed to only be there to chill out on their "Vacay" time, they made jokes about knowing no spanish, and the "clown" Spoke no english on purpose for learning I feel. We're in a country where the majority language is Spanish, you should make an effort to see that and try, which I didn't really see from these two female westerners. I glanced over at Natalia, Nada, and the guys... They had brought me there because I was tourist. I saw it. They dont go to these shows, prolly cuz they're always the same, EVERYONE in the room was a tourist. EVERYONE. minus staff. When I first met Selbean and Nada they joked about taking me Salsa dancing. I thought they were serious..hahah(hence the dress...) and at the moment I saw the reality of it being all a joke. Coming here, going to free salsa classes, looking like a doof. Its this whole fake world created for ppl like me. None of it was real... And I honestly didn't see that.. It was a hard fact to swallow how stupid I felt for my naivity. How obvious it all was, and we were all fooled. I took it a little harsher then I should have. But that is understandable when worlds collapse infront of you. I kept my composure and thinking critically from that point on.]
We went to a bar that Selbean worked at called "Freedom Bar". Sometimes He didn't get paid, but instead he'd just get a bottle of rum and would party and drink and share his rum around. It all came around y'know. So I had some free rum all night. the music was very ravey, wasn't no salsa club haha. But It was just what I needed. I recognized some of the people from the Buddha bar a few nights earlier. We jungle rave danced for a few hours until the 11 o'clock curfew. and we all cleared out. The bar owner told us all to come back in an hour. Me thinks that cops only do one round of checks then let it all start up again, prolly with bribes. I dunno.
After that we all headed over to "Yo Momma's Casa" hahah,Which I believe was a hostel but we had the afterparty in the courtyard their. I bought a couple big bottles of gallo. Me and Selbean shared one and the others shared one(Selbean opened it with his teeth!! hahah crazy). All the tourists were there too, playing some weird spoon drinking game, I didn't get it. I just thought it was weird how they all came to this country to hang out with eachother and play games they prolly learned back home. Me and Selbean just chatted up and away for the rest of the night. After that we went back to the hostel. I knew karen would be waiting up so I couldn't stay too much longer. I knew it musta been 12 or something by now. I went and hung out with selbean for another drink before calling it a night. His belongings consisted of some clothes and his unsold jewelry, and a bible. We talked about his life and up bringing, how he's been on the road like this for a number of years, and how his parents sorta dishowned him. His dad did over his tattoo's (he has 4) and his mother for his lifestyle. He said he has 15 brothers and sisters and that his dad had 16000Q in the bank for him and he took it away when he got a tattoo. ALSO he was shot at on a bus once when it was hijacked. Simply for saying to the gunmen something along the lines of.." What are you doing man? Stop all this nonsense, you don't have to do this" and he was shot at, and his friend next to him jumped in front of the bullet and got shot in the hand. He spoke very highly of this friend (I believe that) I've never had to place myself in that sorta situation. Would you or anyone you know do that? Selbean's lead a hard life. He grew up in Guatemala City, doesn't get much rougher then the bad zona's their. And to not be fazed by it and to still just have the life he wants. He knows its breaking his mother's heart that he's not living a typical life.
But at Some point everyone will have to do this in order for the shit to stop. For people to actually start living a life of their own, and not one forced on them, and not just surviving. That's what I want. I don't want to live typically. I want to be more open, freeing and not just working to fill the gap. I have no idea how I can do this. My life in Canada is so planned out. and straight'n narrow. I put on movies to numb the silence. Today I spent the whole day in a daze. Seeing these tourists go by on these poor horses, I almost couldn't take it anymore. So I just said nothing. I didn't wanna talk about my life, what I was doing. It didn't matter what I thought about it. It only mattered that it was being done. Silence is often how I've coped with my frustrations. No one deserves to have to be pulled in. But inevitably I do explode with word vomit on someone. Which invariably places WAY too much of my emotional baggage on them. I want to just get rid of everything and sail away. With no end date. No responsibilities and debt. No bills and no worries. Each of these things MAY be a key to life on Earth at this time. But each key also holds with it a piece of you, and is a bar on your prison cell.
I've never felt more lost..
Selbean gave me one of two original 50centavo bills that he kept in his bible. To remember him so to speak. Guatemala was the last place I ever expected to meet such a forward thinking person as him and his friends. It was certainly exactly what I needed in my life. Often things happen at exactly the moment I didn't know I needed them too. And they bring to light new awareness. This has certainly helped me take a giant leap forward in personal comfort with relationship I have with myself
Today I got to our new volunteer project. We were staying a group house with the "Oneness Project". There was also a Christian Evangelical group operating in the house. One of the members made a comment to me, " Is that a metal rod through your lip?" idk how I could not feel judgement from a statement like that. Foreshadowing of the days to come in what were my last days in Guatemala..