Monday, August 21, 2006

Visa para un sueño

From 2007 a large number of countries will require Bolivians to have a visa before arriving. Gone are the days of easy traveling. Only eleven countries in the world will not ask me for a visa. Sigh.

Why is this happening? Easy, because of migration. Many people in Bolivia pack up and away they go to make some "tourism". Only in Spain it is said that 200 incoming Bolivians are detected per day. They come from several regions of Bolivia, such as La Paz, Cochabamba, Santa Cruz, Ecuador, Peru and China.


Ecuador, Peru and China!?

Yup. That's what you read. Right until the end of this year it is going to be popular to be Bolivian, because by having a fake passport you can enter Spain somewhat unmolested. So, from those 200 that enter per day, sixty per cent are in fact non-Bolivians.

Update: Sergio's comment just made me realize that I quoted the La Razon article wrong. The sixty percent number for non-Bolivian people with a Bolivian passport is more like eighty percent!

Oh, and in the case you didn't notice it, I named this post after the famous song by Juan Luis Guerra.

Monday, August 14, 2006

The immortalization of everydayness

It's funny how sometimes a trivial evening or day can become memorable. Of course, the requirement is that after it becomes memorable that evening still conserves some element of "everydayness". One very usual device is to use some drinks to boost the sense of humor of the meeting with your friends. This is of course what happened today :).

In any case, while returning from such a nice dinner (plus drinks) I started to listen to some old songs that I haven't payed attention to for a while. Then it struck me. I could articulate one quality that attracts me from (let's call it like this for now) alternative music and films. I say let's call alternative for now because some so-called alternative crusaders would be disgusted of my choices if I would tell them. I pay no heed to them! Let me explain to you what attracts me from these alternative media. In two words: everyday life. Yes, that's what I wrote, no super heroes, or conspiracies or some other weird stuff. It is the immortalization of everyday things that holds a special appeal to me (well, the other stuff too but this one has a grip on me). It could be a movie that follows a person in his/her daily routine, even if it is somewhat boring or uneventful. I especially love awkward conversations. Like when you have the husband or some far away relative entering the kitchen and not being able to exchange one funny sentence of conversation, that is just so great to see! :) Also, songs that sing about everyday, ordinary stuff are great, the descriptions of such situations can make them very special. Oh well, sometimes I wish i had the skills of a songwriter or player to write down my everyday stuff.

I think for next time I should make a listing of everyday stuff movies. I should be sincere, there should be some degree of specialness to make them interesting, only songs can be about monotone stuff and be interesting, movies last for one hour so you better come up with something good! So these everyday movies should have some variation. Not too wild though, just some not too strange characters searching for a way, or even better accidentally changing their routines. Yes, the immortalization of trivialness is pretty cool.

Haha, I think this will be the first post that I will not thoroughly check for spelling or stupid errors. It is easier to write them like this, with several glasses of wine on my head and not caring too much about the readership. Well, actually I care a bit. Please like it! Ha ha. Whatever, see you in the next post (or rant).

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Seis de agosto

I am rather sleepy now. But I couldn't let pass the occasion. Indeed, today is August the sixth, it is Bolivia's national holidays, we celebrate independence days with many parades back at home. I celebrated it today in a completely different way but still a pretty cool celebration. I met with a Bolivian friend (amongst others) and had many, many drinks consisting of Rosé and white wine. We chatted a bit about basically everything and we listened to the groups that floated across town. Yes, floated. Today it was one of the many cultural Sundays that are celebrated in Utrecht, the town where I live. There were a couple of groups that I really liked, I wrote down the names to hear them again.

So that was it for my celebration, a decent amount of drinking and lots of fun in conversations. I spoke with my father yesterday and he reminded me of the usual way to celebrate this date back at home. Loads and loads of parades. There must something about it that we like. Maybe it makes life more interesting in a little town like Oruro, or it is just a blind respect for tradition. A tradition that can be annoying when you are standing for hours under the sun. Anyway, I don't mean to rant too much, that is a usual thing when you become old. I wouldn't participate in those parades anymore, more likely I would just spend my time being lazy at home or something else. Pretty much like today actually, Being with friends and drinking one glass of wine too many. Oh well, it was fun at least. In fact, this is the way I am celebrating all these serious holidays from now on. Drinks, friends and a good time. Congrats to all my Bolivian friends and the ones that I don't know too. Now take your time to refill your glasses and sing cheeeeeeers! (and put the "Viva mi patria Bolivia" cueca in the background)

Oh, by the way, I am back. I might be blogging more often now.