Rambling Robert's Travels

This blog chronicals the travels of myself, Rambling Robert, on my next adventure to South America.

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I am a world traveller. I do not work as such. I have been homeless and unemployed since 1October 2003. I worked as a chef for 30 years in America.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

last travel update from Rosario

Greetings from Rosario,
Rosario Argentina is a city of perhaps one million people. It is a good clean city and I feel very safe here. It feels like North America or Europe. I know there are poverty and crime here but it is well hidden and segregated away from the "normal people" of the city. You would have to go looking for it too find it or have incredibly bad luck to stumble into it. I have been here 2 weeks and I havent found the "bad part of town" yet.
A few streets from my hostel is a very fine micro-brew pub. I went over there for the happy hour deal. You get two pints of brew for the price of one. I tried the Cream Stout and the Imperial Stout. They were both very good.
I am tempted to go back and have a menu degustation, in which you get 6 small servings of the brews of your choice. Hardly anything sensuous is as good the second time. Its just this needy "I want more its never enough" feeling that Makes me want to go back. I have "been there and done that" and had a good time. Why go back? Maybe I will keep the good memory and leave it at that!
I have been drinking a little more here in Rosario than usual. I respect this powerful drug. I dance with the devil but wont let him take me home and have his way with me! Still it is fun to dance some times!
I have also been sampling the national cocktail of Argentina which is Fernet Branca and Coca Cola. About 3 parts coke to one part fernet. Fernet is a black bitter aperatif or digestivo from Milan Italy. It is meant as an aparatif to be taken before meals. It is 45% alcohol, so just a little stronger than whisky.
Here it is a very popular anytime or place drink! Remarkable that although Fernet is Italian, the Argentines out pace the Italians in Fernet sales 7 to 1. In Italy Campari is more popular. The cocktail is served well iced and it tastes like bitter coca cola and gets you drunk! What more can you ask for?
Argentina makes fabulous empanadas. These are like little calzones. Little half circle shaped pizza dough envelopes with various fillings. Chopped Chicken or Beef and Ham and Cheese are most common. There are also plenty of vegetarian versions.
There are many shops called Rotiseria. These shops all have empanadas and tortas. The tortas are like large quiche, or a big round empanada. A bottom and side of pastry and then a savory filling and some are covered with pastry and some not.
Tortas are Mostly meat fillings or chicken with cheeses, but really countless varietys are around. Including Tuna which seems popular but i have not tryed one. My favorite is green stuff and egg. Sometimes the green stuff is spinach, sometimes kale, sometimes acelga, but it is always excellent. The egg is hard cooked egg sliced and added to the filling before it is baked. Never had a bad one. They are sold whole or in Portions.
I have found a couple of art museums. The museum of "Belle Artes", is at the far end of Oroño street and the museum of contemporary art is at the other end. Oroño is the cool street that has a little peatonal in the center of ñthe street dividing the traffic, there is a pathway down the center and in the evening people stroll with joggers and skaters and dog walkers.Both museums cost 4 pesos (one USdollar) to enter and both are air conditioned. It is about 35 degrees here in the daytime (95 American)
I liked the pictures and exhibits better at the fine arts museum. Lots of oil on canvas, some modern stuff and a nice mixture of baroque colonial portraits and landscapes as well as some impressionist stuff and a mix of Argentine and international artists. It is only two stories and not a very big collection but well worth the entrance fee.
The contemporaty museum on the other hand is a really cool place! It is on the parana river and it is an old Grain silo. Really 4 silos connected to one another, and a lift to off load and in load the grain. Now each silo is painted a bright color. Red Orange, blue and yellow. There. I am done. that is the best part of the museum. all the exhibits sucked.
There is also a very nice monument and park in town on the Parana river at the end of Cordoba street. It is a huge and beautiful monument. Interesting sculpture and well worth visiting. It is of course a monument to the fallen soldiers of Argentina and to war.
I think this is Weird, because the army here has taken over the country (conquered Argentina) 9 times and they have killed (murdered) well in excess of 100,000 of Argentinas citizens in the 20th century.
The last military dictators were finally expelled about 10 years ago after wrecking the greatest economy in South America and the "disappearance" of 30,000 citizens and the stealling and selling of thousands of babies. They killed (disappeared) the "dissident or subversive communist" parents of these babies and then the babies disappeard. After the fall of the junta, after amnesty was declared for the murdering kidnappers, Records were uncovered that the children were sold to rich parents in North America and Europe who wanted, but were incapable of conceiving, white babies... The records are of course incomplete and the parents names not revealed.
I have been thinking about Ignorance fear.and conscious labor and intentional suffering.
Ignorance is the most expensive thing you have. There is nothing you will pay a higher price for, over the course of your life than ignorance. There is nothing that costs so much and provides so little in return than ignorance.
Ignorance provides us with false hope, and a false sense of security. We need/want hope and security because of fear. Fear and ignorance are compatible. you can not have one without the other.
The first fear is Fear of being alone. When the baby leaves the womb he first experiences fear. He is alone in a cold world. Psychiatrists talk about "seperation anxiety". when the baby is seperated from the mother. They say It is the most primal fear. He is only comforted by being placed with his mother. He may be distracted, by giving him a shiny red toy or a bottle of milk, but his fear is not abated, it is only forgotten temporaraily. Here is where we learn to forget.
Ignorance, causes the baby to believe that he can be re-connected with his mother, that he can be safe and warm again. When ignorance is overcome, we understand that no matter what we do in our lives, the fact is you were born alone, you wake up each morning alone, and you are going to die alone.
If this bothers you it is because you are a big baby! Grow up and deal with the facts of life that Momma cant protect you. Daddy cant protect you. Big Brother cant protect you If you let others protect and provide for you you will never overcome your fear.You only become more needy more dependent more afraid. Being dependent (the baby is dependent on the mother) is what prolongs fear.
For adults, conformity is the chief thing we use to combat this seperation anxiety. Because we do not want to be alone, we do not want to "stand out from the crowd". No one wants to be the zebra who is standing 20 meters from the herd. We think of being in a group as being safe. Like a herd of zebras. The safest zebra, the zebra least likely to be lion lunch is the one in the middle of the herd, the least outstanding member of the group.
We want to be part of a group,we want to belong to a group, we want to be a member of a group, a club, the cheerleading squad, the marine corps., the church choir, a family, a race, a tribe, a country, a religion.We want to belong.
We want to be in the group of people who have a uiversity degree, that have a swiss watch, a german car, nike athletic shoes, a the new this or that, dread locks, a tatoo. What we do not want is to be alone. to be an outsider. that is seperation anxiety all over again.
But to be a member of a group we have to follow rules. we have to conform. Men do not wear pink shirts. We do not wear polka dot pants. We must fit in. this means we have to give up our freedom. We pay for our membership with our freedom. To belong is to be owned. To belong to the group is to be owned by the group. A slave?
What is a slave? To be a slave means to belong to or a person or a group. We have to do that which is expected of us. We must perform. We must be "up to par". Our safety, and comfort depends upon it.
What a great life experience to travel alone. It is a little scary. To be free one must confront ones fears. To be free one must first of all be free from fear. It is fear which makes us want to cling to authority. fear of being cast out into the wilderness. Fear of being shunned. Inprisoned. Fear of being alone.
A long time ago, I was told one of the cosmic secrets. I will share it with you, dear readers. Now normally when you share a secret it is no longer a secret! Once the secret is diluted and people understand it or know about it, it is not a secret anymore To share a cosmic secret is not to dilute it because it takes great depth of wisdom to understand the magic and to be able to use it.
The secret I learned back in the year 1977 was that "transformation (personal evolution) only takes place through intentional suffering and conscious labor".
What does this mean? Shhhahh well, go figure! I sure dont know It is one thing to know the secret and another to understand it. To know a secret is like to own a secret. Big differnce between owning a pair of ice skates and knowing how to skate!
Only through conscious labor and intentional suffering can we overcome our fears and only the fearless are free.
Peace and love,
Rambling Robert
"There's only one basic human right, the right to do as you damn well please. And with it comes the only basic human duty, the duty to take the consequences." P.J. O'Rourke
"What's money? A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and goes to bed at night and in between does what he wants to do." Bob Dylan
"I had crossed the line. I was free; but there was no one to welcome me to the land of freedom. I was a stranger in a strange land." Harriet Tubman


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