Friday, February 27, 2009

Not travelers

It might have been because it was Salvador, or maybe because I'm in Brazil, but I think it was probably because it was Carnaval. The people in my hostel this past week were different than those I had come across earlier in my travels.

I think the lure of the greatest party on earth combined with beach and sun invites a different kind of person than those who are genuinely traveling to experiece something different. I felt like some of the people whom I met this week were there to temporarily party like animals and then get out.

Because of that difference in traveling philosophy, I didn't get along that well with many of the people who were here this week. It's the difference between people who are out to "vacation" and those that are "traveling." I felt that the problem stemmed from the people who were out here on the mindset of "spring break."

Because Salvador is a beach city and Brazil is known for it's lack of clothing, the people who show up, especially the girls, are higher than average on the physical attractiveness scale. After all, if you don't look good in a bikini, it's tough to survive a whole week of lack of clothing as a westerner. Locals have no problem sharing their non perfect bodies off.

There were a couple girls that knew that they were "pretty" and were complete attention whores with extremely low self esteem, demanding attention from every male they could come into contact with (let's call them poison) without the intention of actually liking any of them. On top of that, a lot of the guys in the hostel were immature enough to fall for their ploy, aka the "spring-breakers" and so we had a group of people who were constantly unable to make real decisions because they were too busy trying to get attention from the opposite sex or trying to inebriate as much as possible as often as possible.

This affected me because we were all told by multiple sources that Carnaval is not the best time for a foreigner to walk around alone in dark city streets and other less wholesome places, so were trying to roam around together as a group, at least to start. That didn't last long for me. Once I realized the problem with the people I started splitting off with a person or two at a time doing our own thing. That made it more enjoyable for me.

Back in the hostel though, it was difficult to avoid the poison and it's victims. I would walk into a room sometimes and just roll my eyes repeatedly while staring at a wall trying not to listen to the immature conversations going on. The poison acted like snobby princesses, as I heard later that they were also unwilling to accept other opinions and also rude to the other women who presented competition.

Some people would take forever to get ready or decide to postpone going out, other people would follow, and it would delay the whole group. In the beginning I waited, after we saw the pattern we just left with whoever was ready, even if it was just 2 people.

I guess I'm just too hyper-aware of social situations now that I've been watching them closely for so long (in an attempt to improve myself). I could see what was going on immediately. I tried to convert people to the dark side but the hostel was so small that it was tough to get a private conversation in without everyone hearing about it. I gave up after a while and decided to just enjoy myself whle completing ingoring the poison. I think the poison got the point because they stopped trying to get attention from me. This was a very welcome change for me.

Even the sheep that followed the poison annoyed me because they were so unaware of the uselessness of their efforts to attention from the poison. Near the very end, when the sheep had finally figured some things out and the poison began losing its power, the poison started getting very frustrated because they knew their reign of terror was coming to an end. Unhappiness could be smelled off them which brought me a slim amount of contentment just to watch it.

When I spent NYE in Barcelona we had a random group of about 15 people from different countries that were in Barc specifically to celebrate NYE, but I thought the situation was better. I felt like everyone got along and was responsible in their behavior and their conversations. I think that positive experience helped me to understand the situation this week and to expect more from travelers than chasing skin around.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with you, Jim.

The world TVs broadcast the carnival and the dancers like something great for their own purpose. Some brainleee people become crazy to see it.

If you have noting to show in your brain, you have to show something by body.

February 28, 2009 at 1:12 PM  
Blogger Jimmy said...


March 4, 2009 at 8:01 PM  

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