A Travellerspoint blog



Posted by mark92 15:16 Comments (1)

Swedish High School

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Posted by mark92 11:17 Comments (11)

damned and double damned

Life without skateboarding is very tough indeed. WH Auden said we need some "outlet for our foiled creative fire", and i couldnt agree more. so hard to replace it. tried a wee kickflip outside yesterday and winced in pain. not ready yet. physio tomorrow and the usual swim, which has been neglected of late after 2 days stomach craziness.

Channeling energy instead into swimming and reading; physical and mental. Nothing, however, can long replace skateboarding for me. It such an integral part of everything.

Skeetz (a friend in scotland) and I have been talking about this of late; discussing the oddity that is our addiction. He has months and months away at sea then gets back into it with avengance. I am only ever out with injury, and that´s never for long; i heal fast (descartes was wrong about the mind and the body working as two entities...willpower surmounts all).

I guess, at this stage, we will always worry if this is the slam that puts us down for ever....restricted to afternoon longboard cruises and freaking out at every corner in case the ankle folds in. Not me. I refuse to admit the possibility, but i guess my subconscious is making contigency plans as i type.

I have been skating for a long time. So long, in fact, that it has been woven into the fabric of who i am. Skating does that...it revises your identity and exposes you to feelings and perspectives that are otherwise roadside. When you look at your environment differently, as we do, everything changes.

Humans have a primal need for collective identification; something which seals us off as forever different from others. we need to feel somehow special, to give us purpose. Nobody wants to be a Beta in this Brave New World.

Who am I without it? Of course I have other vices, other outlets in abundance, but nothing has yet compared. Surfing is incredible, and snowboarding is bliss, but I am a skater....that´s just who I am.

So I guess I¨m trapped here. The fire is long from out, and I insist on this inimitable brand of fuel to fan it further still.

Posted by mark92 14:45 Comments (0)

my kingdom for a tendon

Had a wee skate at the basketball courts yesterday. Planned to be there for an hour,then a quick swim before work. Rolled over on this daft little trick and ripped a tendon in my ankle. thrashed about on the ground like a snagged fish and felt my stomach tighten so much with the pain that I actually spewed!! Ha ha, i have never , ever had that before, and i have killed my ankle many many times.
now on crutches, can´t go very far, getting a bit stressed (even read proust last night) but it should heal in a few weeks for walking better, and then a bit longer for a skate. going to do my usual though, and try everything possible to avoid a long-term injury. Got some physio arranged, and some exercises i intend to do asap, so nae botha!

Posted by mark92 11:43 Comments (0)

a typical day in baños

DSC021491.JPGwake up not too early, but not too late. It all depends on the activity of the canine orchestra outside, and how vociferous the delivery drivers are.

If there´s not early classes to teach or spanish lessons, it´s straight to the fridge, but not before opening the blinds to reveal a view that takes my breath away each and every morning.

The fridge contains all manner of goodness. Dice up some starfruit, mangitos (small mangos!), tomate dulce, bananas and whatever type of melon there is available. Blend some guava seeds, strawberry and natural yoghurt in the mixer and apply to the fruits. top with granola and all bran.

Perhaps throw in a poached egg afterwards (on a different plate, dufus). If the milk lady has been to sell milk from her metal container (straight from the cow), then there will be cream for the croissants too. The milk has to be boiled as soon as you get it, and you can skim the cream off at the end.

Then it´s a shower and a wee seat in the hammock outside, just to take everything in before the day kicks into gear.

The weather is very changeable, so it all depends what mood the clouds are in. If there´s grey skies, it´ll be sunny later and vice versa. like the scottish highlands, the light and clouds play in an ever changing and never symetrical formation, breathing new perspective into the landscape every moment. If you don´t look up for half an hour, you get a shock when you do at how different things are. The 30 metre waterfall up the road from the flat, which plunges down a sheer cliff face into a platform for taking éxtreme´showers, gets an inordinate amount of sunshine. I´m not complaining.

If it´s nice, a wander around town will be had. have a coffee on the plaza and watch the street dogs playing with the shoe-shine kids and generally enjoying themselves. Maybe up to casa Hood to swap a book, or maybe into the school to see what´s up and plan some lessons for later.

Otherwise, there are a million hikes around here, as well as hot springs, hydrotherapy pools and run-of-the-mill swimming pools. Quite an aquatic theme emerging here.

The basketball court is the local skate spot. Sometimes you get a game of basketball, a game of football and a skate session all at once and on the same court. The ledges have been dutifully waxed by yours truly, and sealant has been procured to fix the cracks. There is a rail to skate, but is at the edge of the grass, so no transfers. A friend of mine, Pepe, is going halfs with me on wood this friday. we´re building a fly off and grind box for starters, and the local basketball rental guy says we can store them in his hut. The skaters are about 20 in number, but have the collective motivation of a sloth on heroine.

They have all skated for around 4 years on average, and have never sought to better their situation. they are all at the same level, flipping the board but making no attempt to land it, and generally missing the point of skating. they hang out, carry their boards for show, get a wee bit competitive on occassion, but NEVER look like they´re enjoying it! Pepe and I (he´s an old school skater from the coast, and has just designed and helped build the best park in th country there.) have vowed to get them off their arses.

Anyway, it´s time for work by then, so it´s off to the school. the students are usually a few minutes late, and so am i. we get a lot done, and they are progressing well. They go upstairs to the roof after class, where we chat, play games, listen to music, meet travellers etc in our social club.

tired now. altitude does that to you. go next door to casa hood and grab a seat with whoever´s around to watch the nightly movie. Order a chai tea or a beer and a super-cookie and settle down. Game of cards then zzzzzz

not too shabby, on the whole.

Posted by mark92 10:34 Comments (0)

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