One way ticket

Joined July 2017Living in: Basel, Switzerland
  • Day39

    The people I met

    February 22 in Mexico ⋅ ⛅ 27 °C

    I‘m waiting for my flight to Mexico City and Guatemala and I’m reflecting about my experiences in this country. The first thought that crosses my mind is the sheer size, the beauty both off mountains and beach, the big differences in culture, customs, traditions, food, art, architecture from one state to another, and the diversity of people and their kindness and love.
    I tried to reflect upon in my post’s and now I’m wrapping up.
    Being me I always prefer to listen to people stories rather than talking about landmarks.

    ANGEL, Architeckt who’s last name is the same as his GGGG grandfather’s owner.

    HECTOR, networker, fundraiser, an Architect who promotes art in order to empower prisoners and wants to tell the world how amazing the Art in Mexiko is. In March 2020 the first Arts Institute opens in Yucatan. He has been one of the main drivers.

    IGOR, a gifted Artist, a graduate from a New Work Art school, a sensitive and beautiful soul which is very much concerned about his fellow citizens and the world. He advises Hector on his journey.
    I hope he makes it to Basel ART this year. At least he has a place to stay.

    ALBERTO, a psychologist, convicted of 16 years in prison because of a rash decision to kidnap his two children but then brought them back shortly after. In Prison he writes not one but 4 books about his experiences in prison, gets a online degree in counseling and counsels fellow prisoners. Now back in the circle of not-in-confined-spaces-locked-up-people and working. But aren’t we all somehow locked up in thoughts, emotions, patterns, situation, spirit? I think we are.

    ARIANA, lawyer, poet, feminist, traveler, lover of life and Toastmaster addict. Intense, demanding, proud, self reliant, strong, don’t takes shit. Loved her!

    BETO, this crazy multitalented, funny, energetic individual. Soon you will download his App and learn how to play an instrument in very short time! He wants to date my daughter Federica. No chance!!!!!!

    MILENA, digital nomad (Serbia, digital marketing). She has her own business with 26 years, fights for woman’s right and the environment. Avid hiker and nature girl.
    If back in the days the digital nomadism existed - I most certainly would have been one! But in my 20ties Computer for people just became available.

    JONATHAN, A jew from New York City how he likes to calls himself. SO I CAN CALL HIM AS WELL, CAN? Passionate musician/singer and not so passionate programmer. He is this non-judge mental, no-nonsense survivor of the sixties. Amazing individual with endless first hand experienced knowledge about any topic you name.
    He travels alone because his wife does not like to travel. His travel stories are funny and inspiring. But I realized - I’m his age in ten years🤭😳. If I’m lucky I have ten more years to travel. IT IS NOT ENOUGH!!!!!

    Bubbly, energetic SOFIA fromMonterrey, Mexico and her boyfriend Erick.... yes that seems to be a Mexican name.
    Sofia spoke about the problematic situation of her town. It’s on the route of drug trafficking. The point; She, her boyfriend, their families, their friends and friends of friends. She doesn’t know a single soul who has NOT lost somebody very close to them.
    But she also whispered secret stories in my ear, whilst Jonathan and Erick were discussing..... what men discuss.

    And then of course there are my friends MIKE (Russian/Israeli) and OXANNA (Mongolian) . A friendship of likeminded souls. This was only our third encounter, but the first was enough to establish a bond. Digital Nomads (programmer) with 7-year old Alan. They let me generously stay at their place and did not throw me out of the house, even after 15 days! They let me settle into traveling mode, adjust to climate and people, show me around. We could all sit at the dining table in perfect silence, mistreating our computer’s - until we had a dinner cooked by Oxanna. For example Borscht!

    I’m literally in awe of all of you. Passion, courage, determination, inspiration, self-consciousness, bravery, patience and much more defines you. You made trip letting me glimpse into your lives. Thank you for your stories, To trust me with your stories.
    I take with me all of it, they are now part of my own being.
    Claudia
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  • Day39

    Flughafen Transfer à la Claudia

    February 22 in Mexico ⋅ ⛅ 22 °C

    Echt.Jetzt.Mal. Das Claudia-soll-ein-Flugzeug-besteigen Abenteuer beginnt so.
    Ich werde abgeholt. Unterwegs merkt der Chauffeur dass er Zuwenig Platz hat also muss er das Auto wechseln. Dazu muss er offenbar über die schlechtesten und diejenigen mit den meisten Speedbumps ausgestattete Strass fahren.
    Mir ist noch übel von Herrn Montezuma‘s Rache welche mich drei Tage in die Horizontale gezwungen hat. Mit dabei eine Amerikanerin mit 4-jährigem quengelndem Sohn und ihr Vater sowie ein mexikanisches älteres Paar. Der ältere Herr sass vorne. Zeitverlust ca. 30 Minuten.

    Dann gehts los mit wunderschöner Aussicht. Nach etwa 10 Minuten stirbt das Auto langsam...., geht nicht mehr an, ein neues wird bestellt. Zum Glück sind wir noch nicht soweit von San Cristobal entfernt. Auto kommt es wird umgeladen. Zeitverlust ca. 40 Minuten.
    Weiterhin wunderbare Aussicht. Sohn wird immer quengelnder, Mutter immer genervter. Dafür sitze ich jetzt vorne weil ich mich einmal ergeben musste.

    Als nächstes werden wir von grimmig aussehenden Zapatista mit Gewehren angehalten. Strassenblockade, Wegzoll. Ich habe mich nicht getraut ein Foto zu machen. Der Chauffer meinte ich solle NICHT fragen ob ich ein Foto machen kann, aber es sei alles kein Problem. Die Zapatistas kriegen ihr Geld und wir fahren weiter. Zeitverlust ca. 15 Minuten.

    Unterwegs werden wir dann von der federalen Polizei angehalten (??? Die sollten sich besser um die Zapatistas kümmern welche 25 km vorher standen!!), angeschaut, nach Destination gefragt. Zeitverlust 5 min. Alles gut.

    Die Amerikanerin ist beinahe hysterisch und muss beruhigt werden von ihrem Vater der aber auch schon ganz blass ist. Insgesamt haben wir für die Strecke doppelt solange gebraucht.
    Wir kommen am Flughafen an - wir kriegen den Flug.
    Hätten ich nicht schon vorher über die Praxis der Zapatisten erfahren wäre ich auch tief erblasst.

    Seit dem Rwanda Flug Debakel rechne gebe ich immer grosszügig Zeit für einen Transfer.
    Es muss ein spezifisches ich-fliege-mit-dem-Flugzeug Karma geben. Meines ist GANZ schlecht!
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  • Day38

    Bremsrampe für Vehikel ohne Bremsen????

    February 21 in Mexico ⋅ ⛅ 20 °C

    Das ist eine Bildstrecke. Das erste der gelben Strassensignale besagte: “Bremsrampe für Vehikel ohne Bremsen. Folgen Sie der roten Linie“.
    Als ich das sah gingen gleichzeitig 1000 und 1 Frage durch den Kopf. Gehen hier die Bremsen so oft kaputt dass man extra Bremsrampen baut? Sparen die Mexikaner, kaufen es ohne Bremsen und hoffen das Beste? Ist das ein neuer Trendsport? Ist das Bremsmaterial knapp? Wie weiss ich denn ob ein Auto ohne Bremsen hinter mir ist, sodass ich den Weg frei gebe? Ich merke es frühestens im Jenseits!
    Ich war so überrascht dass ich nicht schnell genug war um ein Bild zu machen. Danach habe ich die unten Bilder unten gemacht.
    Starte mit dem 1. Bild von links nach rechts.
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  • Day34

    San Cristobal - Step Aerobic on sidewalk

    February 17 in Mexico ⋅ ☀️ 21 °C

    The streets and sidewalks are all in cobble stones, not always flat and very, very uneven.
    There is the height of the sidewalks, you could easily have a step aerobic class jumping up and down. There is the part of sidewalks in front of houses. The car is parked in the courtyard of the house. In front of the house they make the sidewalk a steep slope (at an angle) because they are to high for the car to get on the street. And then there are plain wholes on the sidewalks.
    It’’s very uncomfortable for the pedestrian! Every 10 meters you have to watch your step and either get off the sidewalk and then back again or you have to cross the slope with very awkward steps.
    Also the city is very hilly, up and down, like Lausanne.
    I actually have hard time to walk.
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  • Day33

    Sumydero Canyon y los Zapatistas

    February 16 in Mexico ⋅ ☀️ 25 °C

    The Canyon https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sumidero_Canyon is 35 years old. Same as the Grand Canyon and Colorado River. 30 km long.
    The highest point of on the Canyons steep wall is 1000 meters. 1 kilometer! Impressive.
    Jonathan and Milena (CS from Merida now working in San Cristobal) came a long.

    The Mexican government had long planned to build a direct road from San Cristobal to Palenque (two hours drive) as well as a train throughout the southeast of Mexico. The Canyon is on the way to Palenque.
    The zapatistas would not let them. So it took us much longer. The road is protected by Federal Police because of possible assaults. Yet the zapatistas put in place road blocks and ask for toll.
    The police does not intervene. The bigger problem than the toll are the road blocks which can hold up your journey for hours, sometimes for days.
    One gentleman in the boss described the Zapatista movement as follows.

    „They get substantial funds and help from the Mexican government (to the Mayan community in the region) yet they still complain about the goverment“.😂

    I‘m going to Palenque on Wednesday and will take to even longer route to not get held up on my way. That will be 8 hours instead of 4-5. It‘s overnight so I thing it is ok.

    The article below is an informative and easy read.

    https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2018/feb/17/mexico-zapatistas-rebels-24-years-mountain-strongholds
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  • Day32

    S.J. Chamula und die geopferten Hühner

    February 15 in Mexico ⋅ ☀️ 19 °C

    Im nächsten Dorf besuchen wir die Kirche und erleben erstaunliches. Viele Kirchen sind katholisch und heidisch. Für die Mayas sind die Sonne, der Mond und das Wasser die wichtigsten Götter.
    Ich finde es immer beeindruckend wenn Religionen so friedlich coexistieren.
    Hier der ans Kreuz genagelte Christus, da die heiligen Symbole der Maya. Die Berge sind der heilige Ort für die Mayas. Wenn sie Probleme haben gehen sie in die Berge, zünden eine Kerze an, machen ein Ritual und versuchen ihr Problem zu lösen.
    In Zinacantan und San Juan Chamula gehen die Leute in der Regel nicht zum Doktor sondern suchen den Heiler auf. Eine häufige Praxis ist ein Huhn über den Körper zu reiben und ihm dann denn Hals umdrehen und die entsprechende Rituale abhalten. Dazu gehört Cocaola trinken weil während dem Ritual gegorpst werden muss.... Singen, Kerzen anzünden und anderes.
    In der Kirche sehen wir genau dieses Ritual eine Mutter mit Ihrer Tochter. Fotografieren war nicht erlaubt.
    Das Problem ist das Frauen auf Grund der Lebensumstände (viel Gewalt gegen Frauen, Tötungsdelikte, vielen Geburten) häufiger erkranken. Frauen mit Krebs z.B. werden auch so „behandelt“ und sterben dann.
    Das Bild dem Friedhof; Die schwarzen Kreuze stehen für beerdigte Frauen, die blauen für Männer.
    Sehe selbst wie das Verhältnis von Schwarz zu Blau ist.
    Der junge Mann macht es auch nicht mehr lange.

    Ich denke den Dörfern werden bald die Frauen ausgehen

    Es macht mich traurig, es entsetzt mich. Ich komme in solchen Situationen immer an den Punkt wo ich mich frage; Wieviel eigene Kultur darf sein, wieviel nicht. Machen die allgemeine Menschenrechte vor dem Recht auf eigene Traditionen, Werte und Normen halt?

    Die Gewalt, der emotionale, körperliche und sexuelle Missbrauch von und an Frauen ist erheblich in Mexiko. Aber es wird versucht etwas dagegen zu tun. Aufklärung, Sensibilisierung, etc.
    Seit einiger Zeit gibt es das Delikt „Femizid“. Wenn eine Frau getötet wird bekommt die Täter ca. 20% mehr Gefängniszeit als wenn ein Mann getötet wird.
    Ich finde die Wortgebung „Femizid“ genial. Was findest du Mara?
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  • Day32

    San Cristobal

    February 15 in Mexico ⋅ ⛅ 17 °C

    The city is in the state of Chiappas is in a valley on 2200 meters rounded by mountains.
    Since I’m not fond of heat anymore temperatures around 20 degree are just fine!
    Thy city has 250‘000 inhabitants, it‘s just the size I likes city to be. A human size.
    My first tip from the taxi driver who took me to the my AirBNB was; Whenever you take a cab, take a picture of the Cab number (on the doors), fake a phone call and tell „them“ in which cab number you sit. Good advice but also; WHAT KIND OF PLACE IS THIS?? Scary....

    The town is a grid like many towns here. The center is clearly restored and taken care of but off the beaten path the houses immediately start to show signs of age and not being cared for. The further you go the shabbier the houses get.
    It reminded me of St. Petersburg in Russia. There actually the one front of the house (where tourist walk) was splendidly renovated. In the parallel street behind the same house looked like abandoned🤭.
    The houses almost all have the same height (one story, max two) and similar architecture which gives the city a nice, harmonious, cozy feel.
    Vendors are all over the place. Mostly Mayan places. Seeing the desperation of howbadly they want to sell and how many there are I assume poverty must be large.
    I see 5 year old boys selling and I see 7 years old girls with a baby on there back selling.

    I had agreed with my travel buddy Jonathan to meet in S.C. Then we bumped into eachother in a „Chocolateria“. On may way to the center I got distracted by chocolate.... S.C is famous for it.
    We roamed the city, helped the way to a church which must have had a billion steps🥵.
    Dinner in a restaurant/space for Art/textiles. https://la-antigua-restaurante.business.site/
    See the video.
    We learned about a digestive called posh made of corn, cane sugar, and wheat. LECKER!!!
    Great dinner für 10 Sfr.
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  • Day31

    San Cristobal - very basic AirBnB

    February 14 in Mexico ⋅ ⛅ 17 °C

    My AirBnB is very..... basic🤨🤭🧐😀, but everything is clean and toilet/bathroom works. The shower has even hot water! There is no isolation whatsoever in this house, I can hear the guys taking a leak.....very loudly.
    But for 10 Sfr an night I would dream of complaining!
    Host is a young couple with to young kids. Very nice people!Read more

  • Day30

    Zinacatan and the women’s (un)importance

    February 13 in Mexico ⋅ ⛅ 19 °C

    We took a guided tour to a village with indigenes people. Marina, the guide, is from this village.
    The advertisement was they we would go into a typical Mayan household.
    That was not the case. It was shop:-). It is a place where real Mayan embroidering is done.
    The textile are died with plants which they grow themselves in greenhouses.
    The art, color and craft is stunning.

    But Marina had a lot of interesting stories to tell. In this community the laws are very strict. If you don’t follow by the dot, you’ll be kicked out of the community with no coming back.
    It seems that the village has some independence as a Mayan village.

    Girls get married between 12 and 18 years. The parents decide to whom they get married. It is of utter importance that the spouse gives birth to boys. If it is not the case the husband can marry again.... and again.... and again, basically as often he likes to. The wife’s live all together.
    Wife’s have to be submissive, obedient, sweet - they have no say at anything. The husband has to be revered, honored and a command of him is godlike.

    The Mayans here don’t go to school, don’t learn Spanish, reading or writing.
    Women are not allowed to show feelings, so they put their feelings in the embroidery of fabrics. Clothing, shawls, art, etc. All the clothing is so colorful, that actually confuses me. Their lives must be difficult - and still so colorful? Actually I have never seen the color black? Have to inquire.

    Marina did not want to get married and by 13 years old she left for San Cristóbal. No reading or writing skills, no formal education. Once she left she is inexistent for her family. She must be in her early 50ties. She never saw her family again. Nobody of her 20 brothers and 4 sisters. Neither cousins nor uncles.
    She says that for a woman to leave the community she needs self-esteem, courage, a dream, a motivation, a strong will. Very few women do it, she is not aware of a man who did it.

    She made a career, a life. She is unmarried and..... unkissed.

    I tried to ask wether this particular village is being so strict if Mayan culture generally are like that?
    Choosing to resist change and clinging to their customs and traditions?
    I guess that there many different forms of Mayan culture, sub-Mayan cultures? Maybe change is being handled differently? Somehow i could not get an answer.

    Later, writing this lines I ask a gentleman sitting beside me. He explains to me, that indigene Zinacanta are Mayan but they are separatist. At some point they were not in agreement with the Mayan politics so people and families left. Formed their own tribe and language.

    That is what he says...
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