Wednesday, June 25, 2014


i think one of the best travel decisions ive ever made was to cover much of my visible body with bold tattoos and walk around with a sleeveless shirt bearing the colors of rastafarianism.  sorry for being so blunt but in africa one must face the fact that he is white and there is no possible way he could blend in with the locals.  it doesnt matter where you go but when you are alone you stand out and it is nice to bring with you a sense of uniqueness.  if im going to be a stranger then i choose to be a strange stranger.  nobody really messes with the tattooed guy.  sometimes you catch people staring at your arm and after they make eye contact you offer a wink and suddenly you are accepted in a very simple way.  sometimes the tougher of street people offer a folded fist to the sky and shout to me 'rastafari!' or 'jah!' with a large toothy smile like somehow im one of the people who have come to understand africa and im not just a tourist who comes to steal souls through photography and senseless bartering.  just an observation.

what a lucky turn of events this early morning.  i took a small local shared taxi outside of my jungle encampment and wandered to the nearby village of Moramanga to find that i have arrived on independence day of madagaskar.  the streets are alive and colorful with parades of children and painted faces.  there is loud hip hop and raggae music mixing in the street with the sounds of siga (a type of raggatone originating in madagaskar).  its early morning but i found a cheap hotel with the boasting of a hot shower.  ive heard many such boasts and im yet skeptical however today might finally be the day i wash my nasty hair.  simple pleasures that are taken for granted otherwise.

Andasibe was a blessing yet the photos will have to wait, i doubt this tiny internet connection could handle my photos and i want to take the time to sift through the beautiful lemurs ive chanced upon.  these little furry mammals are absolutely stunning.  they seem to take no notice to the humans below and they carry on their businesses as if they were not being watched.  they are magical even when you cannot see them as their hautingly beautiful calls can be heard from far away and they live up to their name which originally meant 'ghost'.  one could imagine what the people thought before they actually saw the lemur and only heard their ghastly calls in the night.

the dreams i have here are otherworldly (perhaps brought on by the doxycycline for malaria prevention).  so i dont forget i would like to make a short list of some of the stranger ones ive had lately.

-being the leader of a japanese villager revolution
-waking up in my parents basement with a shark on my computer screen
-a hippy girl spitting LSD in my mouth and forcing me to buy her bracelets
-demons and ghosts... lots of those.. not scary though for some reason
-a girl giving birth through her foot (this dream wasnt mine but i heard it from a friend)
-a massive fist fight at oakland mall
-perhaps the strangest of all are the dreams where i can't quite wake up.. i know that im dreaming and as i come to conciousness i suddenly realiwe that im actually in another dream.  this happes about 6 times in a row on average every night and as i finally come to for real i question everything all the way up until im eating breakfast and drinking coffee.  the caffine seems to pull my senses together

as im unable to upload photos from my camera at this point ive taken to stealing pictures of Moramanga from the internet.  no worries.

the story continues from here.  ill be back in the jungle soon to explore more of the beauty ive come to find.  yesterday i encountered four species of lemur each equally mysterious and beautiful.  as i conclude this entry i hear the music of the streets turn to hard drumming and people calling off loud songs of celebration.  i dont think i mind spending the night here before returning to the nothingness of things.

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