Wednesday, April 25, 2007

use it or lose it, the blogging chromosome

sean says that if i only post once a week, i'd better make each post darn good, but as i watch these words tumble from my mind to blogger's posting page, the rust is palpable. it's been nearly a month since i updated this site regularly, and i fear that the blogging cortex of my brain has been attacked by some unseemly parasite.

in the context of the 17 point scale, i'm not sure what that means. it's not like i have a history of poetic profundity on this blog, but something is dying. i suddenly find myself at a loss for words. yes, this mysterious parasite has cast an odd spell on me. as it steals away the anecdotes and observations that (to me) define this blog, it leaves me feeling oddly happy. during the week i live a bright and sunny psychosis, glad that i don't have to ponder the days events looking for rare insight or colorful metaphors to anchor my midnight musings. i can be lazy again.

and consequently i go blind. i fill my world with baseball scores and second round NFL draft predictions. i rekindle my addiction to and i forget how to process the world for web content.

of course, this tug and pull is the way of life: i blog and thus i sleep less; i travel, and my piano fingers wither; i fall in love, get married, and have two dozen kids, and my closest friends fade into the forgettable periphery. gain and loss, x and y chromosomes that follow each other everywhere they go. it's odd, i just can't escape the nostalgia for that loss. i long for the days when my blog rocked (okay, long is a bit overdoing it there), i long for the days when i was great friends with this person and that person. i even long for what might have been.

okay, my sentences are beginning to seesaw--that's a clue that i'm becoming overly sentimental, so i'll close. here's the prayer of today's blog: Lord, hasten the day when the laws of nature implode and leave us lossless in your arms. amen.

andrew david. "17 points of light pass behind a dark cloud" belize.

ps. perhaps my blog is back to normal, because that is totally not what i intended to blog about!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

belize travel tips (a drinking lesson)

for the past few days i've been a bit ill. most likely, it's just an extended visit by our fiesty friend, traveler's diarrhea (TD). i'll spare you the gory details of my present acquaintance with the fellow, but if you're considering a trip to belize, you may want to know a few things about TD--you know, stuff like who are his friends? where's he hang out on friday nights?

well, since you asked, TD is a party animal compared to his tropical peers. malaria, typhoid fever, yellow fever, and the cureless dengue fever buzz about in mosquitos and noseums, but TD spends his times in bars, restaurants, and your refrigerator. he's a colorful fellow, that TD, but rumor has it, he has a rather sordid past. the internet tells me that TD first arrived on the scene in the form of fecal matter and that he now makes his home in our food or drinking water. yummmmm.

now, if you travel to belize, your doctors will probably warn you about TD. they'll say "don't drink the water" or "don't eat uncooked vegetables or peeled fruits," but perhaps it'd be more effective to say "don't drink the fecal water" or "avoid those fecal fruits." still, despite my current bout with something rather similar to TD,
i recommend ignoring those doctors and drinking that crisp belizean agua. once you arrive in belize, you'll find that nearly all the major restaurants, hotels, and tour agencies claim that their water and ice is purefied, so unless you drink from a bucket, gargle sea water, or wander into roadside shack, you'll probably be fine.

moreover, at some point in your travel through belize, you may experience what i like to call a
brazen drinking moment. i first experienced something like this during my visit to gimmewald, switzerland.

after spending the night in an overbooked hostel, i strapped on my 50 pound pack and started up a trail. i was heading for that small dot on my rick steve's map of the alps. the dot appeared to be near the top of a mountain, and as i climbed up and up into the sun, i realized belatedly that i only packed one bottle of water. after several miles, the bottle was empty and i was parched. my climb became secondary to the search for water. but there were no sparkling streams or cool mountain rivers, just cow troughs. i passed one and then another. the third trough was fed by a wooden pipe that vanished into the hillside above my trail. clear liquid cascaded from the pipe into the metal receptacle below. i was panting. i loosened my pack and pulled the empty bottle from an outside pocket. i glanced side to side, ensuring that no
incredulous hikers, angry farmers, or jealous cattle were witness to my unsanitary behavior, and then positioned the bottle under the pipe. i waited a moment and took a great swig of cattle water. and for the next few days, life was glorious. i marched from mountain to mountain and never worried about water: there were plenty of cattle troughs in the alps.

the moral of the story is that there may come a time in belize when you're thirsty enough to risk a refreshing glass of well-disguised fecal water. in my case, it was ice. belize is like an outdoor microwave, everything gets warm rather quickly, and that includes bottled water and red fanta. thus, ice is a necessity, and by the end of the trip i didn't bother to ask "is this ice purified?" because their answer was invariably "yes." of course, that may very well explain my present condition.

andrew david. "good looking water" san ignacio town, belize.

Monday, April 16, 2007

you may not like this but....

i'm back in the USA, but instead of posting regularly for the next few weeks, i'm considering posting only once a week for the next month or so. i know this may be painful for the most devoted of my followers, but you've gone without the 17 point scale for at least two weeks now, so perhaps a weekly dose of 17 point goodness may now be sufficient. i'm thinking that wednesday nights might be a good time for the weekly posts or perhaps i could write posts when i take my malaria pill each week (saturdays); i'll let you know once i arrive at a final decision. also, if i find time to wade through my photographs, i may post some textless picture entries. in any case, i'll be attempting to use the extra free time of unblogginess to draft a travel essay or two about my adventures in belize. if the writing gods smile upon me, i'll be sure to post the results of this labor here on the 17 point scale.


andrew david. "at present, there are 2 major influences on my worldview, the s.o. and this horse" somewhere in guatemala.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

greetings from belize

hi, everyone.

we have internet access at our house here in san pedro, so i figured i'd say hello. i don't tend to use the 17 point scale as a diary or travelogue, so i'm not sure what more to say. perhaps a list will do. belize is warm; humid; lush; sandy; formerly british; trilingual; friendly (yet a thousand years removed from those violent mayans a la gibson); well populated by meat dishes like pork chops and shrimp; regulated by "sleeping policemen" (i.e., speed bumps); and rather colourful. it's also a great place for relaxing (e.g., beach and poolside lounging) and adventuring (e.g., summiting mayan ruins, spelunking, evading backcountry armed robbers). maybe if i get ambitious, i'll try my hand at another travel essay, but i doubt it. in the meantime, here's a trio of pictures from DAY 1:

andrew david "freshly squeezed ojay" and "three chairs" cahal pech resort, san ignacio town, belize.

andrew david. "the steps to death" cahal pech ruins, san ignacio town, belize.