Monday, June 30, 2014

the world we don't know

i have been in madagascar for almost a month now and i think that i have experienced just about every emotion that is possible for a human being to feel.  there are times when i am so overwhelmed by the beauty of the nature around me and other times when i'm lost for words to describe the conditions of which people around me are living in.  there is poverty all around and it is often very difficult to cope.  when i was growing up i lived in a suburb of metro detroit and i always assumed that this is actually how most of the world is.  foolishly of course i thought that in every corner of the world were middle class families with middle class problems and i always thought that we were all born under the same basic principles of life.  after traveling for so many years i have learned that the world is not at all like the world i once called home and actually most of the world sadly is like the one which i am traveling through today.  it is hard sometimes to deal with and i don't even know what i believe anymore about people and the  world we live in and at times i am quite the pessimist.

sometimes it is a nice treat to get to a nearby village and stop by a hotel or internet cafe for a few hours before going back to the jungle.  it kind of makes me appreciate it more to be in nature actually, often times these places are rough.  there is an irony in things here that i did not see coming in that everybody automatically assumes i'm french and it takes with it all of the preconcieved ideas about the french that come with madagascar.  sometimes people walk by and very sarcastically bark to me 'bonjour' or '├ža va' and while usually it is friendly you can understand that at times it is not.  they look at me and see a colonist or a privileged white european which perhaps i am.  why it is that white people have enjoyed some ten thousand years of undeserved prosperity is beyond me yet it is a true movement of humility to be in africa.  i write this slowly as i have never in eight years of this blog touched on racism but i do truly feel like a black person must have felt in the late fifties in parts of my own country.  people shout at me sometimes and sometimes they are really really cool but more often than not they bark this word 'vazah' which is a very racially charged word towards white people.  i'm sad about it.  i catch myself walking around sometimes at night with my hood up and my sleeves down to conceal my skin color in the crowds of people and i cannot tell you enough how i wish this sensation to be felt by all white people at least once in their lives.  what have we done to this world to become so seperated?  do i deserve this?  i have never been one of those who participate in the jokes about black people or the sentiments of racism towards anybody. 

as you read this know that i am of course well and happy, at least when i'm in nature where i usually reside about 90 percent of this voyage.  the people are much cooler and they see us all as equal.  our differences are brought with smiles and shy giggle whereas in the city there is no doubt the existence of a sting brought deeply and painfully by the people of my race for some 400 years.  god damn did we fuck up the world.  i hope you feel it too and know that your middle class life was built by the years of abuse to your brother man, there i said it. 

that is the last i will write like this in my blog, for i am a traveler and a learner and an overall well-wisher to the world i live in.  on a happy note i've been spending some great quality time with a species of animal that has come to be perhaps my favorite breathing creature on the planet.  this is of course the lemur and all of her many varieties i have come across. 

i set up camp in a beautiful spot by a waterfall and paid a local hotel to let me lock my personal belongings in a safe with a key so i could wander freely about the jungle.  at the moment the cafe which i write in this blog does not support my photos but i will journey about town for a few more hours and with some luck i will find another place later today that can handle them.  i have met some incredible people here and that sounds not only cliche however similar to every post i've written from every country.  perhaps that is because there are truly incredible people still existing in the world.  i will get some phone calls and emails about what i have written in previous paragraphs but i hope it is known that i have not wandered the world in vain, i have indeed found the hope i so earnestly set out to find and it came in the form of late night candle light conversation and cold beers with a new malagasy friend of mine who shared his birthday celebration last night in front of a television playing mexico vs netherlands.  i taught him to love mexico and he was sold when he saw the beauty of the red white and green face painted women in the audience.  it took me the better part of a half hour to explain where i come from.  i am a mix-european white american living in turkey traveling in madagascar, try explaining that in french.. although i'm pretty sure i heard him tell his friend that he met his first mexican friend today. 

i love you.  i just love you and you and all of you.  all people of the world and all the animals and plants and ideas and rain drops and stones and fish and all of you.  maybe i've seen too much.  sometimes i think that some of you haven't seen enough.  if you're not upset than you aren't paying attention.. true but if you're not shaking the person next to you and showering them with love than the same is also true, you're not paying attention


  1. You have no idea how you affect the many people who are reading this, I'll tell you why. I think everybody dreams to travel and see the world with their own ees, go places no one has been to before, breathe the air of every inch of our beautiful planet, but most of us, we don't go ahead and actually do it, because we get caught up in other things in life and forget our biggest dreams and aspirations. But you actually did it and that's what makes me believe, it makes me hope that someday I'll be able to do it too.

  2. The thing is, people are different everywhere, some people that you will come across will not always be nice to you, but just because of those selected few you shouldn't let yourself down, shouldn't feel low, I know it's easier said than done but all I'm saying is don't let other peoples behaviour or attitude ever make you stop enjoying the place that you have a chance to so wholly explore.

  3. I appreciate this. Feel it all.

    I love you and you and all of you too.