Archive for November, 2006
But today I’m kind of inspired about writing about Paraguay, the weather here in Seattle starts to get really lousy with a lot of rain, day after day, and that remind me of the sunny and hot days we have in Paraguay this time of year, I guess all my friends are enjoying the nice weather, but as I know then so well, the are probably complaining about the heat, the unbearable heat, meanwhile I’m freezing my thoughts out here, well, that’s life!
The whole festivity environment starts around this time of year, people drinking terere on streets just to make the heat more bearable, that is some how funny that some things bring the social classes together, although there is a very deep difference between the wealthy and the poor their interaction somehow seems pretty frequent, people even from different classes talk and frequented the same places, or is in politics and work together for a cause.
Well, with barely 6 million people there we are not just numbers, we are human and we count, unfortunately there is a lot of corruption going so there are people with certain “privileges” because they may be the “cousin of the friend of the uncle of the girlfriend of the stepbrother” of some famous politician or judge or even the President who has access or the power of decision. (more…)
Obviosly and Fortunately the whole city doens’t look this way but this is the most popular face of Ciudad del Este. Images speak more than words.
Taxi moto, it’s like a cab but on a motorcycle, it is basically to cross the Bridge towards Brazil (Iguazu Falls) and to avoid the car and bus traffic on el Puente de la Amistad.
Those pictures were taken while I was waiting in line to cross the bridge on my way of leaving Ciudad del Este.
More photos and a post coming soon!
One of my best friends and neighbor owned a beatle 1980 model, very old, it was in very poor condition, sometimes it wouldn’t even start, other times it would stop in the middle of the road, but most of the time it was dead…but we were happy because for a while it was our only transportation way and we all were so glad
We just hoped arrive to our destination when we traveled on that car.
The car was literally falling apart, the seat were lose and everything inside was lose, rusty, dirty and broken, it even had a bee colony inside it (believe it), somehow my friend bought honey and it spilled it on the inside’s ground and a bee colony was growing there and as you imagine was super sticky
It didn’t even have windows and no locks.
I can’t think about anyone thinking about steeling this car anyway, would have been stupid to steel it.
My friend got that car very cheap but it was mostly at the garage anyway…..
So, that night my friend picked me up to go with a group of friends to Britannia Pub, a really cool place where we use to hang out a lot. So I sat there in the passenger sit and asked him where the seat belt was…he laugh at me and said, well, we are very lucky that this even has a motor.
It was around 1.20 am and we were on our way home and suddenly the car just stopped in the middle of the road…just like that! I said wow, what happened?, and then my friend told me that we ran out of gas, that was very typical with him because the fuel indicator was always broken. (more…)
In the past traveling by train were among the traveling options in Paraguay, well, that’s part of history now, but the good news is that from now on, there is a trip from Asuncion to Aregua we all can enjoy on Sunday’s, starting this Sunday.
It’s a great way to spend the whole day with your family
The “tren del Lago” (Expreso Tata Piriri), leaves from the Botanical Garden Station (Asuncion) on Sunday’s at 10am to Aregua (a very beautiful city on Ypacarai Lake), and comes back to Asuncion at 16.30, the price for the tour is 20$ a person.
The nice thing about the trip is that a play goes on inside the train, with actors representing old time travelers. It’s also interesting how they interact with passenger..
There is also soda and typical Paraguayan food that you can buy on the train.
I never had the chance to ride on that train yet but next time I go to Paraguay I will try it, it seems to be great experience.
I’m pretty sure I will love the trip, the play, the food, the environment, the people and the view (I will make sure to take some friends and my camera with me)
Today’s post it’s going to be very short, I just came home from the movies and I’m too tired to write but I found these really great Paraguay pictures that I want to share. I specially love the chipas once’s, check it out =)
My last days in china were fantastic.
China is like the “Non Plus Ultra” for shopping, the ultimate shopping place in the world, a paradise for any shopping girl.
I couldn’t speak any Chinese and most of them didn’t speak any English ( I assumed they would though).
When I realized that in china I could not use the oral language to communicate, I got very creative, and I was fun discovering that sometimes words are just sounds and there is a bigger and universal communication that goes beyond language, this trip changed my mind and my point of view in many ways.
So, In some stores we just communicate with the calculator or the cellular phone to write the prices and start to bargain, they always start with their prices very high but at the end they sell the item to you for what you want to pay.
I have learned to bargain with Ivy, my chinese friend which I met at the Canton fair, we hit it off instantly, she was very nice took me out a lot, we even met at Shenzhen when the fair was over, she taught me really nice things and we became really good friends.
I still remember that I wanted to buy some really cute bags and the sales person couldnâ€™t even understand the how much is that? question, so I had my friend Ivy to teach me how to say how much is that? in Chinese, that is Duo shao qian?
It was pretty easy, so I practice it a lot repeating Duo shao qian? Duo shao qian? and went back to the store…and asked the same girl in English again, how much is that? Pointing at a bag, but the girl couldnâ€™t understand what I was saying…and then I proud of my few words in Chinese I asked her: Duo shao qian? …and woala! I noticed that she could actually understand me and was so happy!!…and Then she told me the price…but in CHINESE!! Then I just start laughing because obviously I didn’t learn the numbers in Chinese, that moment was hilarious!!
My china experience was fantastic, as I use to say, everything you think about china, Think again.
Since Iâ€™m back from China Iâ€™m taking Chinese classes! It’s been a year now and I’m doing pretty good. That was a personal challenge to me and I just love it. Zai jian.
This is the place where is spent most of my days in Paraguay, I had an office there, and meet the most amazing people, Diana, Susanna, Jose Manuel, Carlos (with whom I worked)
It was my second home, sometimes my first home since I spent there so many hours, it was like a small community, I had sooo much fun!!
Asuncion Super Centro is located in the heart of downtown Asuncion, its a shopping mall with clothing stores and a food court on the lower level and offices in the 2nd and 3rd level, and parking on the upper level. (It is 1 block big) (Oliva, 15 de Agosto, Azara and 14 de mayo)
Sometimes when we were tired of working we meet at my friend Diana’s design office to drink terere or we went to Susana’s Stone store and ordered cappuccinos, we laugh a lot, everyday was so great, I’m so happy to have such a nice friends.
During lunch we met with friends at the foodcourt to have lunch and to talk. as I said before in Paraguay is very easy to find friends by coincidence and it was that way in Super Centro, where very frequently we found an old friend who always was available to have a coffee.
Mmmm, not I started to wonder, at what time we actually worked with so many social life? well, who cares? the important thing is that we enjoyed every single minute.
This post is dedicated to my Asuncion Super centro friends! Les extraÃ±o muchooooo!!
I was trilled, I never saw a “Rolex” for a few bucks.
It was getting hot and I didn’t have anymore clean summer clothes with me so I went shopping and looking around I found and bought a gorgeous “Versace” t shirt, it was written on it versus and some flames, it looked awesome.
Next day I was ready to wear my Versace shirt (I could never afford buying it here), I put it on and was very happy with my latest fashion acquirement.
I had a really really busy day and I went to sleep with that shirt on, when you are traveling you donâ€™t even thing about putting a pajamas on, well, at least I didnâ€™t, I was way to tired.
It was so funny that next morning when I woke up I realized that I had huge holes all over my new “versace” shirt, not one, but at least 20 holes!!!
Iâ€™m glad that no one saw it…later on I was very upset and told my father about what happened
Dad: And he calmly asked, how much did you pay?
Me: …10RMB (Chinaâ€™s currency) ( I answered with a pissed face)
Dad: mmmmm, that is about 1.5 USD dollars…
Dad: What do you expected to get for that money anyway, my dear?
And he was right, I got what I paid for!!!
Usually lifeâ€™s works that way, you get what you give
Writing this blog means so much to me, I can feel my passion about Paraguay, honestly I always loved it but maybe I was not aware of it as I’m now.
Now, I can see that what really matters for me besides my family and friends is the feeling that I belong to a place, and accept it the way it is.
Writing this blog makes me discover so many feelings, memories about my childhood and the grateful I’ am of have growing up there. In fact I’m discovering so many new things about Paraguay each day, and everytime that happens I think, I should blog about that, I should share what I know, thanks to the Internet, this is possible now!!
I use to go to Paraguay 3 months a year and most of my time I use to spend in Asuncion, until age 12 I used to live in Ciudad Presidente Stroessner, now days Ciudad del Este (about 360 km from Asuncion) that’s a border city, full of malls, shoppings, stores, etc.
Then we moved to the capital where I live until 5 years ago when I moved to Seattle. My life there was very interesting, I went to a German school, Goethe Schule and Aleman Concordia (my mom is German), after graduating from high school I went to Law school where I graduated at 22 years old and opened a legal office with a dear friend with whom I worked until I moved here in 2002, so I mostly lived in these 2 cities but each possible time I liked to travel to the country side, to remote places like Coronel Bogado, General Delgado, Yvytimi, Escobar, Villa Florida and many other little pueblos (towns), that seem to be forgotten in time.
I like to read, to write and to study new languages (I’ve been studying Chinese for 1 year now), blogging in English is somehow hard for me because my main language is Spanish and at home I speak German with my parents, but I’m trying my best to express myself good enough to make this blog somewhat interesting.