Monthly Archives: September 2008

Zentraveler experiences bloggers electronic procrastination!

There I was all packed and heading for South America for the travel experience of a lifetime. I have my new digital camera with extra memory cards, one extra lithium battery, plus my electric charger— and my one travel bag carefully packed. My intention was certainly not to carry a laptop around, adding extra weight and the burden of finding wifi hookups or have it stolen outright. No, I will simply stop in at Internet cafes— write my blog, incorporate my photos, and move on. Now that’s a plan!

I know what you are thinking— lots of people have done that no problema. The problema I was constantly having was getting a computer that would actually load up on the Internet and dealing with the screaming kids playing video games and bumping into me when you were trying to write something— and just then there would be a electronic blackout and you were screwed for the time being. “No electric senor come back later.”

I had one Internet owner who could speak a few words of English burn a CD copy of my first series of photos directly from my camera. I then logged into my FLICKR account, plugged in my camera to the computer and after one and one half hours I had uploaded four photos. I told the Internet Cafe owner that I needed to walk around the block, get a cup of coffee and I would be back. After sitting down another one half hour without any photos being up loaded I basically gave up. If the CD survived the trip I have at least a backup CD and my original memory cards. Things could be a hell of lot worse! I could have just kept procrastinating and maybe took that job in Africa tagging white Rhinos. But here I am back on the blogsphere and jumping at the bit to see what kind of words come out.

Trying to get my Gmail was another challenge. Of course everything was in Spanish, but I didn’t and still don’t know all of the variables you need to get the dam @ symbol. Sometimes you simply hit ctrl in the right hand near the spacing bar and simultaneously hit the asterisk and maybe you get it and maybe not. Other times you must hit ctrl on the left side plus keyboard numbers 6 and 4 on the right of your computer simultaneously while hitting the @ and then maybe you have properly entered your email address so you can get your email.

Often times I would be on a waiting list while the kids played Grand Theft Auto games and jeered and cheered as they raced between computers –making more noise than the old Pennsylvania Train Station and then a computer would open up and I would sit down— only to be told: ” not enough electric for the internet.” And I would say: “every other computer is working.” “Oh yea Senor there is enough electric for games.”

So after trying to write my travel blog while traveling, I finally gave up and resorted to the hand written notebook, where I tried to record things of interest and will now begin to assemble some current blogs on my two month trip to Venezuela. I also took quite a lot of pictures and I hope at least some of them will be of interest.

Until about my 56 day I watched less than 50 seconds of television and did not have the burden or the luxury of our recently invented extension you might call— the cell phone. I just paid the boat Captain 25 Bolivars which is about $12.50 us money for a boat trip to one of the islands in the Mochima National park when three travelers from Spain piped up and said: “they just gave the American diplomat 72 hours to exit the country.” My stomach got a sick feeling and I inquired: “what about the American tourists?” The Spanish travelers muttered with a slight grin: “there aren’t any.”  That’s when I immediately became known as Vancouver Van.  I told anyone who asked I was getting disenchanted with the states so I moved to Vancouver, Canada.  You could call it writer’s embellishment I never liked the sound of little white lie.

So as I begin to piece the trip in blog form I can basically have the view that this blogger may have been one of last Americans to write about travel in Venezuela— especially if George Bush and Chavez go head to head with a nice nuclear or missile battle to settle their differences. I know it’s true! Bush is chomping at the bit to take on Russia, North Korea, Iran, and maybe throw in Venezuela and Cuba and a few he hasn’t decided on yet.

It is quite a joy to sit down at my imac computer and listen to the classic jazz station as I pluck away on my new self inflicted blogging assignment. It’s seems all I needed was a fast connection, no screaming kids playing outrageous video games, and enough elbow room to type. I might even add a touch of brandy to my coffee this morning and really kick the electronic procrastination button for good.

So there you have it! If you ever have these types of experiences— maybe the best thing to do is to do nothing. Think what your parents and grandparents lived through— everything from deep depressions to soup kitchen lines, and people everywhere out of work. We haven ‘t even scratched the surface on the latest Wall Street scandal and by the time this all unwinds— we will be fortunate to have food on the table. We were once foragers and we may well be foragers in the future.

QUOTE: “I go from exasperation to a state of collapse, then I recover and go from procrastination to fury, so that my average state is one of being annoyed.” —Gustave Flaubert

THINGS YOU MAY NOT KNOW: The poison-arrow frog contains enough poison to kill 2,200 people! —–

THINGS YOU MAY WANT TO SAVE: The Poison-Arrow Frog! Because they is way cool and could come in handy someday! Poison arrow frogs are in the class of amphibians. This frog can be found in the rain forests, but only in Central and South America. They are extremely small. Most are 1/2 inch in length. They also have brilliant and various colors. For example, they can be green or blue with black patches. They also have flash colors, which are exposed when the animal jumps. These colors warn other animals that the frog is not fit to eat. These animals also have a nail like plate on each toe. The poison arrow frog does not migrate or hibernate.

The frog probably has one of the most unique mating styles. Before the two frogs mate they jump around on each other and play. Another unique thing about their mating style is that after the eggs are hatched, the father takes care of the babies until the babies are old enough to be independent.The poison arrow frog has special skin, it secrets poisons which can kill humans and other animals. ——cyberzoo/poison arrow frog

ZENTRAVELER SAYS: Be careful who you play leap frog with— especially in the Frog world.

From here to Infinity is a relatively short ride! The next leg takes eons and eons as you fly through the Barycentric Dynamical Time Zone! and on and on and on.

Follow the Zentraveler Blog often for Travel, Health and Zen-like stories and such. Where else can you get a three in one blog for the price of free?

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Filed under Blogging, travel, Uncategorized, writing

Zentraveler on Flu Travel Soup!

  1. So there you are in a foreign country and fresh out of drugstores, pharmacies, doctor clinics and even the helpful neighbor or relatives. It takes me back to Jordan Rubin’s response after visiting over 100 doctors and 7 countries and finally was able to save his life by eating hefty portions of his grandmother´s chicken soup. He has a very good book out entitled: “Patient Heal Thyself by Jordan Rubin.” So don’t think your 17 years of health study and medical expertise are going to save you. Your grandmother was right all along—- so admit it and begin to pay attention to some of the things your parents and grandparents handed down through the ages.

Your very first defense against any nasty travel disease should be to eat a clove of fresh garlic. If you can’t really eat raw garlic you can add it too your meals and receive most of the benefits. I like to make a Garlic butter sandwich— it makes it more tolerable that way. One of my fellow travelers recently was amazed when I reached in my right pocket and unwrapped what looked like the crown jewel only to see a perfect clove of garlic. I broke off a few pieces and he immediately added it to his evening meal and thanked me for the gesture. I laughed and said: “I always have some garlic secretly hidden on my person to ward off vampires and such.”

After recently arriving on Margarita Island, Venezuela I was staying at a friends condo when another friend came in coughing and sneezing all over the place. Twenty four hours later I had a full blown case of a nasty flu bug and so did almost every person in the condo if not the entire island.

I headed to the local market where I purchased packets of Chicken Soup and bought fresh white and red onions, fresh carrots, fresh celery, several limes, and several whole cloves of fresh garlic. I then proceeded to the condo where I added several quarts of water which came to a boil and I started with about 5 strong shakes of cayenne pepper (which aids in breaking up mucus and clearing your bronchial tubes) I then added the chicken soup mix with rice and turned the heat back to a rolling slow boil. I cut up one whole white onion and threw it in the soup, added one half red onion, and then began slicing up several whole medium sized carrots, I then added a few pieces of green celery cut in small pieces and proceeded to peel the fresh garlic and cut it in pieces. I turned the heat back and let simmer for approximately 20 minutes while I continually added a few shakes of cayenne pepper. After then covering the Flu Travel Soup I left it stand a few minutes and then proceeded to squeeze one half of a fresh lime into the soup.

Serve piping hot and make Flu Travel Soup every night until you are back to normal. Even the country doctor will tell you take a few aspirin, eats lots of your grandma’s favorite chicken soup, drink lots of liquids and get plenty of rest— that is if he isn’t already on the take with Merck for the antibiotic kickback game.

On a side note I walked across the street to the 24 hour Pharmatodo where I witnessed over 35 people standing in line to receive antibiotics for their newly acquired flu. I wish I had a grant to do a blind study using my chicken soup recipe versus the fancy antibiotics cure. I already know the answer— our homemade Chicken Flu Travel Soup comes out the big winner and only costs a few cents per serving.

So there you have it if you get caught on your travels anywhere in the world— prepare your Travel Flu Soup and send the flu a packing never to return. Them green flu bugs think cayenne pepper and garlic mix is enough to send them packing mas pronto, but they love to hang around and try an outsmart a new antibiotic concoction and laugh all the way to the bank.

QUOTE: ” The art of medicine consists in amusing the patient while nature cures the disease. ” ~Voltaire

Flu Travel Soup ingredients:

one packet of chicken soup (adding fresh chicken optional)

one whole garlic clove peeled and cut in pieces

one medium size white onion outer layer peeled and cut in large pieces

one half medium red onion outer layer peeled and cut in large pieces

three medium sizes carrots cut in thin slices

one large piece of celery cut in medium slices

cayenne pepper at least six to ten hefty shakes or about one half of a teaspoon

one half of a fresh lime

THINGS YOU MAY NOT KNOW: Your Grandmother’s Chicken Soup can save your life!

THINGS YOU MAY WANT TO SAVE: Your Grandmother’s secret recipe for chicken soup.

ZENTRAVELER SAYS: Eat you Flu Travel Soup so’s you can keep on traveling.

From here to Infinity is a relatively short ride! The next leg takes eons and eons as you fly through the Barycentric Dynamical Time Zone! and on and on and on.

Follow the Zentraveler Blog often for Travel, Health and Zen-like stories and such. Where else can you get a three in one blog for the price of free?

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Filed under health, Uncategorized