- I’m Riding My Motorcycle to Argentina
- Official Press Release – Traveling Off the Grid, on YouTube
- Preparing the KLR before my Latin America trip
- What to take on a year long motorcycle trip
- My First Day on the Road
- YouTube Video Map
- Blogging Lacking But Video Logging Booming!
- After 40 Days on the Road
- Mexico City’s Killing Me
- The Journey Begins
- Chicago via Denver and St. Louis
- Leaving Chicago Behind
- My First Couch Surfing Experience
- Video of Mexican Police Shaking Me Down
- Interview With Overland Expo
- Entering Into Mexico – Extortion and Inviting Hosts
- News Coverage Over Extortion Video
- Leaving Mexico and Entering Guatemala
- Twisty Roads, City Labyrinth and a Dog Bite
- Unmaintained Motorcycles, Serendipitous Lodging and My Love Affair with Andre
- Lingering Paranoia and Meeting Another Solo Traveler
- Bug Zapper Skills
- Riding Beemers, Replacing Helmet, and Cricket Tacos
- How to be Alone
- Mexican Bus Ride, Riot Police and Church Irony
- Survivor’s Guilt, a Shift in Perspective and the Overrated Mind
- Catching Up: Real De Catorce, Mexico
- Truck Blocking the Road, Guatemala
- The Schizophrenic Bolivian Vagabond [Day 178]
- Couch Surfing in San Jose, Costa Rica [Day 108]
- The Water Filled Vodka Bottle – San Jose, Costa Rica [Day 110]
- Creatures Stirring on Christmas Eve, Playa las Lajas, Panama [Day 125]
- Video Trio: Honduras Traffic, Mayan Temple Climbing, & Nalgene Hack
San Jose, Costa Rica was the first time I had trouble finding places to park. I opted for a bus from Orlando’s, my first time on public transportation alone. I never like public transportation. Not because of the urine smell, but because I’m not familiar with routes and who knows where I will be spat out at. Besides, I like being in the drivers seat.
I walked around downtown San Jose while listening to the movie My Dinner with Andre. Listening to movies had been something I had taken up recently while riding. Tarantino is a favorite of mine for his brilliant dialog. I could imagine the movie as I was riding. In this case My Dinner with Andre was only dialog. Two hours where two men sit and talk over dinner. Andre was a theater director who had recently been traveling around the world in strange places. His dinner companion, Wallace, was a screen writer who had worked with Andre long ago.
Wallace was very much tied up with the day to day challenges of life. Paying the bills, running errands, and looking for work. On the opposite extreme laid Andre, a globe trotting free spirit unconcerned with the problems that occupy most of his friends like Wallace back home. I was becoming more and more like Andre. The movie captured themes that seemed to mirror my own life. Over the course of my journey I would listen to the movie while wandering a new city, probably more than two dozen times. I would see something new about Andre’s story or my own every time I would listen.
It was Saturday night and I returned to Orlando’s house. I made dinner in the kitchen. Rice, pasta or beans along with some seasoning were my staples. Bags of pasta and bland tomato sauce were the household’s staple. I had seen them eat the same thing every evening. Typical of college kids really.
It was the weekend, and the guys had no classes so it was the first opportunity for us to hang out. Orlando offered me a swig of his water from his vodka bottle and I declined, confused why he was offering me water out of his bottle I had seen him drinking day and night for the past three days. Frenchy was in the kitchen but was cooking up something other than pasta this time. He was rubbing his nose and then I noticed the lines of coke he had cut up. “Would zoo like one?” he asked. “Nah I’m good” I replied. Orlando walked by me to take his turn, and I smelled the trail of cheap vodka he left behind. It hadn’t been water at all! My naivety, along with the disbelieve that someone can function after drinking so much had led me to believe he was just staying well hydrated in the heat. He was in fact a highly functioning drunk.
I like to have a good time, but these guys partied a little harder than I liked. They were going out to a club that evening and invited me. I was leaving the early the following day and used that as my excuse to politely decline. Orlando asked me to wake him up when I got up.
The following morning I woke up at 7am to get a jump on the day and try and make my way into Panama. Orlando’s door was open but his room was completely dark. I couldn’t see a thing. I knocked and called his name, “Orlando…Orlando! Wake up!” No answer. I couldn’t find the light switch so I crept into the pitch black to shake his bed. Still no response. “How the hell is this alcoholic coke head going to respond if I shake his leg to wake him up?” I thought. Still unresponsive, with a groan, or maybe with a fist. I got my flashlight instead. He wasn’t even there. Frechy hadn’t come home either. I wondered what had happened to them that night. It was something really good or really bad. Moderation was not a virtue these two possessed. I left a note with my thanks for letting me crash there for the weekend. I rode off towards Panama, my next country that was my gateway to my next continent.