I apologize for the tardy entrance onto the Summer Voice blog scene, I trust you have all managed without it. Now that the sun is gently setting on Summer 2010 and becoming just blur of facebook pictures and quickly-diminishing suntans, I figured it would be a good time to begin my deposition. I’ve never written a blog about myself before. If you’re worried that I’m not properly qualified for the position, you can consult my Livejournal for a writing sample… it’s out there somewhere. I think my username had something to do with Pearl Jam (some shit like Betterman10).
I must say that I’m a bit unsure how to approach writing for a blog. I feel uncomfortable updating you—my precocious summer readers—with minute details of my life, because I think it’s self-indulgent and boring. Not only that, my current lifestyle is fairly depressing. I work 9-6 and eat meals alone. I’ve watched three Shia LaBeouf movies. But it’s mad chill, so…you know…it’s straight. Let’s change the subject.
I guess I should start by saying that I have grown a beard, and it’s a mistake. In the aesthetic sense of course, the actual growing of the beard was a planned move on my part (they don’t exactly sneak up on those with a robust Anglo-Saxon genetic makeup). But I’m currently summering in Quito, Ecuador, where ratty gringo beards are something to write home about (I have). Ratty, squirrelly, rodent-like for sure, the gringo beard is a badge of honor, a testament of a long haul on the Andean backpacker circuit. I saw a mousey Israeli with only the wispy whisperings of a goatee sporting a solid three-quarter-incher, and he had just climbed Chimborazo, Ecuador’s tallest mountain, after a harrowing journey up from Chile. As he told his story, I watched his tuft bob up and down as he talked, and I couldn’t help but nod in silent respect and admiration. Enough about facial hair. Sorry.
I don’t want to make it seem like I’m one of those rugged, deeply-tanned backpackers, or that I’m completely liberated now that I’m outside the bubble. As much as I would love to live on $5 a day and roam the developing world, I wasn’t cut out for it. Traveling to me has always been perceived and usually experienced as a stressful experience. This is how I’d sum it up:
1. Arrive at the station way too early, so that by the time I board the bus/train/plane I’m already stiff from sitting for so long (both punctuality and muscle stiffness are a patrilineal genetic thing).
2. Sit next to girl on bus listening to iPod loud enough so that I can hear she’s listening to that David Guetta song that I hate.
3. Simmer in righteous indignation, ponder asking her to turn it down, but lose my nerve (a matrilineal genetic thing).
4. Ponder why they put mayonnaise on everything here.
5. Ponder whether or not I’m constipated.
(A detailed account of my bowel movements from the last two months is forthcoming unless my editor has any shred of integrity. Do I even have an editor?)
Although it may end up sounding a bit like it, I don’t want to write a travel blog either, which, incidentally, is part of what I’m doing for my internship. I intern for Viva Travel Guides, a Quito-based company that writes travel books and runs a blog about all things Latin America. I’ve been adding and updating content on the website, and, like many unpaid interns, developing a pretty serious caffeine dependency. I won’t go into details.
I actually won’t go anywhere else with this entry, I got nothing. Stay tuned, precocious prep-schoolers.