Monthly Archives: February 2004

acquiessence

once a backpacker, always a backpacker.
right.
back in the day, when my travels were more limited by bank account rather than time, i would do anything and everything in a quest for the cheapest price. if not to save money, or protect the budget path for future travellers, it was to retain some sort of street cred amongst the more hardcore backpackers i would meet along the way. to get an israeli’s appreciative nod or even have them push me for more details on my hard-won bargain was a bit of an acheivment.
leaving bariloche to head back into chile down to puerto natales, i was faced with 40 hours of bus priced at $45…OR, i could fly to puerto mont and then punta arnenas within 3 hours at a cost of $250. the internal conflict i tortured myself will elicit no sympathy whatsoever from most of my friends, but it was probably the most well-considered choice i’ve made on this trip. in short, yes, i took the flight, but the dominoes have started to fall and i find myself jonesing over the more complex opiates: full meals in restaurants, private hotels rooms at a significant increase in price, location in the dead center of town for optimal convenience… i’m getting soft… how do i rehabilitate myself? do i even want to? obviously i do or i wouldn’t be whining about it here.
the fact is, i can afford a bit of luxury and have discovered i no longer have a cavalier tolerance for dormitory accomodation and the wide disparity of personal habits it introduces me to. wine, bread, cheese and olives can be had for a pittance, but really, its sometimes nice to have proper meals in fine restaurants watching soccer with the locals. (chilean and arentinian restaurants, as in most south american countries, have wisely resigned themselves to installing televisions in the complete understanding that a soccer game would otherwise deprive them of clientele.)
the other day, an israeli i’ve continued to run into while travelling, expressed his disproval in my luxury rather candidly, saying “i just don’t respect how much you spend…”. its been hanging with me… obviously. and i have fabricated a great rationale, but that doesn’t help. i’m no longer one of THEM…
so be it…