domingo, 17 de octubre de 2010

This is what I´ve been waiting for

I´m still a little taken aback I guess. I´m finally getting a real looking into Chile, its identity. Away from my fellow extranjeros and my party hostel house and a look into the real lives of Chile.
Here in Valdivia there´s a varied view of the country and Santiago, as the principal city. One couple spoke of the centralization and she spoke of trying to force some decentralization by moving out of Santiago. It´s true, that more than 1/3 of the entire country lives in this one city.
I spoke to a guy early on who told me there´s a saying, ¨Santiago isn´t Chile¨. And living there I´ve grown to understand that. It´s quite obvious at least in downtown center, where it´s basically like any other consumerist, materialist society. Mall after mall, people walking to work and school and nowhere else. Where is the damn culture?!
I have found it, venturing out of the center, to barrio Brasil, Maipu, and I´m starting to meet some genuine people who give me an idea of the place. I´m still looking to see more and with time I suppose I´ll understand this city, this country more, as I´ve only been here 3 months. That´s nothing really, I didn´t quite identify with SF until a good year and 1/2.
Today I had a really affecting encounter with a man. He stayed in the house I am couchsurfing at and he accompanied me to a movie. We began talking about Chile and how it doesn´t really work as a whole or separate. (the other guy mentioned that each province really has no legitimate representation and that everything is feeding to and from Santiago). But I was interested in this guy because he´s from Valparaíso, lived in Santiago for 4 years and now lives in Ricavilla, near Pucon and right in the mountains, very close to Argentina. He´s obviously lived a good part of the country.
But now I´m still dazed because I thought I understood where he was coming from. It seemed he had a positive outlook on Santiago versus the more pesimistic attitud of others. He spoke of how there´s an immense history in the city (that of the dictatorship) and how there are barrios like Brasil, like Yungay, where you do find an identity. He spoke of a synthesis, and I thought I knew what that meant (I go to research on Wikipedia), okay I think I did understand. But he seemed so positive, that Santiago is very fragmented as I suggested, but there´s also a synthesis of the people of Chile. That seems positive right?
But then when I brought up the idea of positive thinking, that I need time to appreciate Santiago. He asks me what I mean and I say, because of what you said, to think more positively. And he says, no, I was being negative, synthesis is negative. What?
And this is the last thing we talk about as he says ¨You can see it. The people of Chile are sick. Their culture, their people.¨this isn´t word for word but basically what I got from our conversation.

I´ll have to give this more thought.

sábado, 16 de octubre de 2010

Writing more

Who knew I´d write so much.
Here´s a few a let go the other day mid-walk after yoga. It comes most naturally then probably because the of the clear mind and all.

Quién sabía que escribiera tanto.
Aquí son un pocos que salieron el otro día en medio camino después de la yoga. Viene más naturalmente por la mente clara y todo.

What is a mid-life crisis?
Well it´s between life and death
Is it an identity crisis?
But what is that? What is identity
It´s already there and
forcing it, seeking it
looking for it in others.
It´s nonsense

¿Que es una crisis de la media vida?
Pués está entre la vida y la muerte
¿Es una crisis de identidad?
¿Pero qué es eso? Qué es la identidad
Ya está y
forzarlo, procurarlo
buscarlo en otros.
Es una tontería

Creativity is nothing but taking, taking action
We all have ideas floating around
but when we let them out
onto paper, canvas, film
out of mouth, hands, heart
That´s when you can call yourself creative.

La creatividad es nada sino tomar, tomar acción
Todos tenemos ideas flotando alredador
pero cuando las dejamos salir
sobre el papel, el lienzo, la película
fuera de la boca, las manos, el corazon
Ahí es cuando puedas llamar a sí mismo creativo.

Hesitation, does it mean
stop, change, or breathe?
Something natural pauses
But it´s not asking to cease

Hesitación, ¿qué significa
pare, cambie, o respire?
Algo natural pausa
Pero no está pidiendo cesar

Things that bring me joy: yoga, putitos, cooking, music, dancing, writing, escaping, spontaneity, reading, movies, experiencing other´s creative ideas, learning, adventures, exploring new things, internal silence, expression! (it´s hard), real people, being honest, loss of time, happy people, eating and soothing hunger.

Cosas que me da alegría: yoga, putitos, cocinar, música, bailar, escribir, escapar, espontaneidad, leer, películas, experimentar la ideas creativas de otros, aprender, aventuras, explorar cosas nuevas, silencio interior, expresión! (es difícil), la gente real, ser honesto, pérdida del tiempo, la gente feliz, comer y calmar el hambre.

Festival Loco!

I´m here in Valdivia and it´s finally picking up. The first day was chaotic as is any day in festival, but mainly for me because I arrived without any real plan. It helps that I speak English, so they´re trying to use me for translating but at times that becomes awkward. Yesterday I dined with some of the English speakers, but it was mainly a chance to eat some great food! I also chatted with Juan Pablo, the main translator of the festival and a charming British woman. Very interesting to speak with her as she runs an "alternative" film festival in Barcelona. Connections all around! although I didn´t get her card before she ran off, but I´ll get it next time!
After this I went over to the festival offices, a way cool old wooden house, to help out the runner. This turned out to be a lot more fun, as in I had something to do more than sitting around. The runner drives the film prints all over town to and from theatres, so I acted as his assistant. Good times, Diego is really friendly and so it really wasn´t much work.
Today I help him out in the morning and today is yet another job. There´s a convention of "pitches" from 3-7 and I´ll be there to help out anyone who lacks Castellano. I´m not sure how much help I´ll be or exactly what I´ll be doing, but it bodes to be extremely interesting nonetheless. The idea is that each person has 7 minutes to pitch their project and 7 minutes of feedback. I believe this is in order to get funding, so I´ll be seeing films at their very birth!! Fascinating.
Afterwards I plan to catch the latest Pal D´Or winner at Cannes this year, the Thai film Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives. I tried for it last night but arrived with little time to spair and as it´s possible I´ll have to arrive early tonight!
Anywho I´m very glad I made the jump to call the festival. As you can imagine I´m basically just the handy volunteer and do what´s needed. Which make for an interesting week. I´d say much more than another week stuck in Santiago reading about political geography.

miércoles, 13 de octubre de 2010

Moving? Film Festivals!

What's more?
well there's been a saga of moving. I've been feeling less comfortable in this house of mine, not because of the house, it's still great, not because of my roomies up on my level, but because of the constant partying and the bad vibe I get from several of the Chileans, namely the homophobic ones.
I'm not one to let these things bother me so deeply, but If I have a chance to get out of the situation I will. I had a chance, an awesome one, a place with a good friend, in a better neighborhood for $140 (!) less a month, but yesterday, he regrettably informed me that the room is no longer available! So what am I to do. I was prepared to move, messaging dozens of people trying to replace myself, but there we go.
So I spoke to Edys yesterday and it seems I'll stay. It just makes more sense what with there only being 2 more months. I could save a lot of money moving but It's difficult when it's not a friend and a place you're familiar with. I'm still not completely satisfied with the vibe and I may get the guts to approach some of the twirps I live with, but I can also live contently with my fellow extranjeros, be more solitary and not socialize with people I don't like, easy enough, right?


Tonight I'm leaving for a good week to volunteer in a film festival! Yay! The Festival Internacional de Cine de Validivia. It's a 12 hours bus ride away, so I leave tonight, arrive tomorrow. I'm very excited already, reading up on the program it has an incredible selection. It'll be a good escape and really good to add another festival to the resume. And plus I'm going alone which is what I've been itching for. People keep asking me, who are you going with? and I proudly say, NO ONE! =)

Yoga's moving along. I'm consistently going 2-3 times a week and I feel amazing every time. No pictures as of know as I'm waiting to here back if the camera can be fixed! I hope I can get it before I leave today so I can share my Valdivia trip with you all.
And the Zen book is still keeping me focused, I through up some more quotes soon. This book is really guiding my growth as everytime I collect quotes they mirror my current stage, imagine that!

It's Ralphie's birthday tomorrow. I am still eternally grateful for silence he's giving me. I've probably learned more about myself from his lesson as I feel as though I'm the most clear minded I've ever been. Discipline is wise. Since I can't physically send him a gift I'll enjoy the gift he's given me.

Other than that, I'm doing really well on my own, more and more. Focusing on just being myself! Not worrying about how I appear to others or following my own silly rules. Just being. I've still got a long ways to go, and much more time to isolate myself in Chile. good thing I won't be bored!

So whats new

Many things.
First my mother's request is my encounter with gypsies. I great day in general, tough as in great and challenging yoga session and so my emotions were raw and I was happy. I'd just picked up my camera from the repair shop and was walking down the main drag of Santiago when I came upon a rooming asking for "monedas", coins. I gave her a few and continued on, but she grabs my hand muttering something, asking me to come and sit down.
Now in my Zen mode I though, why not? She starts reading my hands and muttering some more, my Spanish is still improving but also not at a level to understand everything. I did get the gist though.
She asks, "Do you have faith?" and I say, yes, but what do you mean. She asks me to pull out my wallet and show her the money and I did that. Then she asked for a $10 and, very hesitantly, I let her have it as I was sitting in public and she didn't seem like she would run off. Next her accomplice comes over and overs some weird plant and they have me hold it as this first gypsy (who happens to be holding a newborn as well) proceeds to wet my bill and destroy it.
But I saw something before which I believe was an already wet clump of paper along with my bill in her hand. After "destroying" my money completely and discussing how this was to show that money doesn't hold importance especially considering where I'm from (all true) she must have assumed I'd be satisfied. But I knew she ripped me off and so I brought this up.
"You just robbed me, I know the money is up your sleeve", "How am I to have faith if having faith got me robbed" "I'm not going to give money to another Gypsy or have faith in anything related so what good does this do?"
Of course they have responses, but nothing of any substance. Just a bunch of wahooey. So as I didn't looked convinced (maybe not as stupid as I seemed even though I had just handed over nearly $20), another came over and tried to explain to me their religion showing me a doll of their sacred one or something. And I'm not sure if she was cursing me or what, but then in a matter of seconds, out comes her breast, Squirt! and she sprays her milk at me.
At this I was just getting more weirded out and I basically told them thanks for robbing me, what good are you doing really? The other tried to comfort me by telling me my money would return within 2 hours and they basically told me they had to leave, assumedly to rob more idiots like me!