Thanks for all your messages in the past week on Facebook and on the website. It’s a pity to say that I am used to murders here. Not everywhere in Honduras is like this, and I don’t want you to get the idea that Honduras is completely out-of-bounds. As you can see from some of the photos a couple of weeks ago, or earlier in the year when I went to Utila, this country is also paradise. It’s like the el duende and los angeles are stewed into one big confused cauldron, which sometimes prevents this country from developing faster. It’s noteworthy to state that many Hondurans were quite shocked to see the pictures of the looting and riots in England a month or so ago. I found that they didn’t understand why we would get those kind of mindless acts in the UK. There are problems in all corners of this planet. Pepe Lobo and David Cameron belong in the same prison cell, but they never will, and there you have it: it’s not a perfect world, and it’s one we must put up with.
Last weekend was one of frustrations and bad luck and HSBC being crap. I passed the weekend with my friends Marlon and Luz, who are both dentists I should state. On the Friday night, we went to a regular haunt called Había Una Vez. I went there after I went to see Andy and Chris Padgett’s band. Somehow, they ran out of beer. That was the first bit of bad luck. So we left to go somewhere called Prime. It was the first time I’d heard house music in months. It was nice to hear, but the bar closed soon after we got there so we had to leave. Back at Marlon’s, their friend (who I’ve forgotten the name of) fell in love with my English accent, and so she kept making me repeat, “A cup of tea!” She loves Harry Potter, so I told her a story to send her to sleep about Harry’s trip to Honduras, which I will type the transcript to in a later update, and hopefully not be sued by JK Rowling.
The next day was a lazy day. We waited for Stephany to arrive in Tegucigalpa (she’s from San Pedro Sula), as well as a few other friends of Marlon’s. On the night, we went to a place called La Cantin, which is an American rock bar that plays lots of Bon Jovi and Bryan Adams hits (a friend back in England, Keith Bastock, would love it!). We had a few beers and ordered some food. Unfortunately the staff were a bit shite that night, and were extremely late with Marlon’s food, they over charged us, and they were rude to Marlon, so Marlon wasn’t too chuffed. Bad luck number two. We then went to Había Una Vez again but this time they had beer, so that was nice. During the day though, I introduced Luz and Marlon to Kate Nash, an English indie singer to those not in the know. I haven’t listened to all of her music, but I like the song Foundations. It’s quite quirky and has some fantastic lyrics. So here it is.
The next day, I got up early to go to Ojojona by myself. Mainly it was just to get out the city. Ojojona is a town just south of Tegus, going towards Choluteca. I’d read you could buy great artesian gifts for a third of the price that they’re sold in Valle de Angeles, and there are also great views over the South of Honduras. Before I went, I had to get money out in the Parque Central (next to Gallo Gallo, to people in Tegucigalpa who are reading this). I put my card in, got my money, put it my bra (hahaha, not really, but lots of girls do that here) and waited for my card to come out. Waiting….waiting…..waiting. I pressed cancel a few times. Nothing. The ATM had munched it. It was frustrating. I had not credit on my phone, I had no way of calling HSBC, I didn’t have my internet banking details on me to access my account and cancel the card, and I knew that Rossy and Carlos (who I live with) had gone out for the day and they always turn the internet off when they leave the house. What should I do then? F–K it, enjoy the day, even with the thought that someone could be rinsing me of my money. So I went off into Comayaguela to find my bus, right next to the dodgy neighbourhood of Barrio Soto. Thankfully, a little old lady walked me to where I had to go. Without super gran, I would have been lost and undoubtedly mugged. Anyway, I got there. Ojojona that is. The views were splendid. They were absolutely amazing actually. Near Santa Ana. If anyone in Honduras hasn’t been there yet, I recommend that you damn well do. On a clear day, they say you can see the Pacific Ocean. I could just about see it. I knew I would stop off there on the way back, if time permitted.
It was true what they say about Ojojona. The arts are very cheap and I picked up some great xmas gifts. The town itself isn’t really that pretty and there isn’t much to do. I only stayed there for an hour or two, saw what I had to, then caught the bus back to see the views. This is where the shite bus driver came in, and more bad luck. I asked the fat slob of a driver if he could drop me off at a point where there were lots of views over the landscape that I’d seen on the way there. They two conductors looked at me strangely. “With the mountains and stuff?” They still looked at me blankly. I asked them if they were new to the bus route, and they said no. I said I would tell them where to stòp, and they said fine. People were getting off the bus near Santa Ana. They told me to get off there. “But there are no views here,” I replied. They were getting a bit annoyed, as was I, while they let other people off when they asked. Finally the viewpoint arrived and I asked them to stop the bus. They didn’t, laughed and said some rude things about gringos in Spanish. Other people asked them to stop for me but they just continued and laughed. They then drove on a bit further, far from anywhere, and just told me to get off the bus, but holding their hand out to collect my the fare, I then laughed sarcastically and said in English, “F–k off, f–king jokers!” I jumped off the bus before they could grab me and they shouted something angrily at me as the bus pulled away, while I just waved. There were no winners in this, but I wasn’t asking these guys for much. I asked around to see if there were other views nearby, but they said no. I found a few views myself but they weren’t the ones I wanted. There was a really cool little red car parked up on the side of the road I quite liked though, as you can see below.
I then decided to cut my losses and go back home to cancel my card, hoping that Rossy and Carlos would be home. I managed to chat to HSBC and I spoke to a lovely lady who was originally from Portugal and going on a similar project to me, but in Mozambique. She must have been feeling a bit bored because she wanted to tell me all about her life, which I didn’t mind and it kind of made me giggle, but it ate up a bit of my credit on Skype too. I then went on my HSBC online account to transfer some funds to my Honduran BAC account, and I was amazed to see that it didn’t register Honduras as a country where I could do that, as well as many more countries. What makes it more amusing is that I can use my HSBC card in nearly all cash-point machines in Tegus, apart from HSBC ones. I think it’s absolutely hilarious that this bank has the cheek to call itself the World’s Local Bank.
I think not
That night, I received news of the last bit of bad luck for the weekend. Luz and Stephanie were in Luz’s apartment, when they heard a great crash. They went outside to see what happened, only to find three or four drunk policemen had crashed in to their cars. The girls went to assess the damage, but the police became abusive and threatening, stating that they had good positions in the police and they could do what they wanted. The girls then left the apartment in case of any reprisals, but very much in shock. The police here are corrupt beyond belief. Next time you go past the police back home and the pigs and bacon jokes cross your mind, remember they’re not as half as bad as here.
Until next time. Hopefully better luck this week!