Slick & Twisted Trails

DSC_0405 by bani amor
Check out my new piece on Slick & Twisted trails about Cajas National Park in Ecuador. OK? Thanks. Here’s some lavender. Happy weekend!
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Lost in Quito

Got lost in the Centro Historico – the Old Town – riding past crumbly colored houses stacked on hillsides, smushed breathlessly with a million other Quitenos on the bus. Accepting that I had no idea where I was, I tried to get off, but the doors shut sooner than I could finish climbing my way through the forest of thick sweaty limbs tangled together in the limbo between stops, reaching for steel poles and gasping for air. I got out at the next stop and walked who-knows-where – along a busy road strangling a vacant mountain – no people around except for in cars. Reminded me of long stretches of roads all over the U.S. with sidewalks unwalked on for ages – 15 miles to the next stoplight, islands of forest breaking up the homes from the roads – except that walking along the road in Quito I saw some abandoned building in the valley to my right; nothing really keeping me from the fall. About three walls survived whatever destroyed everything else – reddish, sandy pillars cascading in linear ruins overgrown with a wild green, hugged by a frothy river. The road curved to a bus stop and I waited there in the sun. Tons of buses passed by, men swinging by their open doors shouting destinations like superfast spoken word poems –Chillogallo Quitumbe Eugenio Espejo La Mayorista El Trebol todo el Colon; they stop and start with the coming and going of clients leaving great black clouds and whirlwinds of dust in their wake, all of Quito a terminal, the following stops all foreign; titles of books not yet read.

Neither Here Nor There

After being admitted to the hospital twice in two days for my fourth intestinal infection in Life, I ate three cloves of garlic and smoked a cigarette, which is what you should do if you come down with this abroad*.
Last night, instead of editing or pitching I left my fate up to the internet and so began searching for meaning in my astrological birth chart. Here are some fucked up/funny insights.
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You have a serious view of the world as being a difficult place to be in.
It is so completely natural for you to accept that there is more to the world than what is before your eyes, that you tend to presume everyone must be spiritually-inclined. Of course, you come to realize that this is not the case at some early point in your life.
You are not much scared of anything.
You have a taste for splendor.
Delights in exposing what she deems biases in others’ way of thinking.
You enjoy shocking others with your offbeat, original thoughts.
You seem to go out of your way to form relationships with those who are weak, sick, injured, addicted or troubled in some way or other.
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In other news, the Zine page is up, so you have no excuse not to buy a bazillion copies of the first issue.
*not entirely true.

Words Are Like Icebergs

This town is called La Libertad or ‘Freedom’, where my grandmother was born.

Word of the week is Blue.

3927927942_9d08429a2c_z by bani amor

I’m ’bout to start a Zine page where you could see the progress of the Everywhere All The Time project in a more accessible way. But for now, pre-order and get *free shipping* ’cause as of January I will be selling those fuckers for $10, since they cost a lot to make and ship from Ecuador, and I’m making zero profit ’cause it’s what I love to do! Like every other zinester and artist.

My heart’s going into this thing I’ve been meaning to make for years, after that time all my writing got lost on a USB in a Louisiana field, after all my writing was stolen off a Georgia-bound Greyhound, and after all the excuses I made thereafter. I scrambled up the table of contents I posted the other day to diversify the writing, and I’m playing with using contact paper instead of vellum to get the best effect of typewritten words right onto photos.
So there’s that. I’ll leave ya with a piece of Frank Bures’ latest artice that’s been up on WorldHum called Words Are Like Icebergs.

“Words in other languages are like icebergs: The basic meaning is visible above the surface, but we can only guess at the shape of the vast chambers of meaning below. And every language has particularly hard-to-translate terms, such as the Portuguese saudade, meaning “the feeling of missing someone or something that is gone,” or the Japanese ichigo-ichie, meaning “the practice of treasuring each moment and trying to make it perfect.” Linguists refer to the distance between these words and their rough translations as a lacuna, which comes from the Latin word for “pool” or “lake.” There’s a space we need to swim across to reach the other side.”

Anti-Travel Writing: A Thing

“Tourism is about the consumption of place. Like every other form of consumption, it is dependent upon brands. As Naomi Klein has pointed out, we live in the golden age of branding, and Majorca and Amsterdam and Hawaii and New Zealand are brands, as much as Levis or Calvin Klein.”
“Tourism today may be widespread, but it is subject to certain constraints. We may be able fly to a distant location for a holiday, but we are often able to spend only a brief period – a few days or a couple of weeks – there, before returning to dreary jobs and mechanical day to day routines. Travel has become the ‘other’ of work. Because we are often so busy at work, we choose to be indolent on holiday – to switch off cell phones and brains and lie on a beach. If we are obsequious at work, trying to impress or placate workmates or customers, then we can be selfish and demanding on holiday. Our interactions with the people and places we are visiting are often carefully mediated and commercialised. The inhabitants of the places we visit are more likely to be pouring us drinks than sitting talking to us over a drink. Life on a typical package holiday is as unbalanced, in its own way, as life in a modern workplace often is.”
– Scott Hamilton. Read the whole thing here

decolonizing travel culture

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