Monthly Archives: January 2013

Merry belated Christmas & Happy New Year – Part Three

Dear all

To finish off and celebrate Minas de Oro being the most macho place on Earth, I want to boast about doing something quite macho myself. In the bright lights of Minas de Oro town centre, there were a few fair stalls, when you could win the odd teddy bear or water pistol or whatever. On the rifle shots, you had to hit little army figurines. It took me a few shots to get used to it, but Oh My God, did I nail it! With one shot, I have n0 idea how, breaking the rules of science I presume, I managed to shoot two figurines with one shot. And fuck yes. Especially because there was a greasy little wretch of a teenager joking with with greasy little wretch friends that, “El gringo no puede.” The gringo can’t do it. I turned around and put my full energy into giving him the biggest eat shit grin that I could muster. It seems that Minas de Oro is a place where bizarre things happen, like ghosts, strange parades of men dressed as ladies in horror costumes, me turning into a fire cracking and gun wielding cowboy. It’s odd. But it was enjoyable.

To celebrate the New Year and my time in Minas de Oro, I suppose I must include a true ranchero song, and who better than Vicente Fernandez? I choose this video especially because I love his trashy little butterfly tattoo. I reminds me that life is butter and all that!

Anyway, I hope 2013 is great for you all. Enjoy!


Merry Christmas & Happy New Year – Part Two

Dear all

For both Christmas and New Year, I was in Minas de Oro in the Honduras province of Comayagua. It was my first Christmas away from the British Isles and away from family, so going to a village in Central America was always going to be a bit different.

The town is between three and four hours from Tegucigalpa, but it feels a bit more as part of the journey is on dirty roads, which with all the banging from side to side, leaves you with bruises on your head and it gives you an ache in your arse. That’s right, it’s royal arse ache. There were three families in all, 15 people in all, if my maths is right, who came and went in the 10 days we were there, in a nice old home belonging to Pamela’s mother’s family.

It is a campesino town, quite traditional and macho. I remember walking around town with Pamela and the family, getting funny stares from everyone. I felt many hadn’t seen a gringo before, but also, the men felt that I might steal their women away. I wouldn’t call it hostility, but the locals certainly didn’t seem as friendly as people in Pespire or other towns I’ve been to.

It was nice lazing around, doing nothing, exploring and visiting different places, drinking strong egg nog, loads of beer and whiskey, a feeling a slight intoxication, while being fed food, hecho con cariño, which almost translates as, made with love, of Pam’s caring granny, who insists that I call her Mami Mina. I’ve been told not to call her Abuela, granny, because she might chop me open or wrap me into a tamal and feed me to dogs, so I am only to call her Mami Mina.

During the whole time, Pamela’s cousins, Santiago and Moises, as well as her uncle, and her brother, Juanjo, set off fire crackers. I chose not to until the last night because the fuses to these mini little bombs looked too short for comfort. But the last night, New Years Eve, I gave in and started experimenting by putting fire crackers in cans and bottles, as well as tying three or four together to see how much of a bang I could make. I was like a little boy with a new toy and trying to make sure EVERYONE knew about it.

We went on a couple of walks, one which was to see old people play football, and then to a grave yard, strangely. But then on Christmas Eve, men dressed as zombies or creatures from the horror genre, also wearing with bras and pretending to be ladies, with strange hair and make up, parading around town, dancing with the villagers, collecting money and setting off fireworks. Celebrating the dead, or something like it. It’s the type of thing that could only happen here, in Minas de Oro, but I have heard about this fascination with the dead throughout Latin America, especially Honduras.

Strange Minas de Oro customs

Strange Minas de Oro customs

 

 

 

 

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Happy Birthday sis, and Honduras News (from Washington Post)

Hi all

I finished the last update talking about books. I’m going to start this update by asking if anyone knows any great novels about a kidnapping, because I’m looking to write a novel on that very matter. Strange, but I need inspiration and information on the topic.

I am now going to include a couple of stories, published in the Washington Post, about Honduras. The first one is about Tegucigalpa. It describes the situation many people are living in at this moment in time, about keeping your head low, taxi drivers paying impuesto de guerra etc. I felt it was a slightly scare-mongering report on the situation here, not great for the tourist guide, but there you go. http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/ap-honduras-correspondent-chronicles-stories-of-violence-every-day-everywhere-from-everyone/2012/12/30/33dc1554-5296-11e2-abc4-3d33329b6128_story.html

The second report is about the Honduran Ambassador Carlos Humberto Rodríguez Andino, in Colombia, who seemed to have had a lively Christmas party, which involved computers being nicked and two prostitutes, all in the name of the birth of God’s Holy Son, Jesus. Maybe I should write a scandalous little erotic thriller about the saucy goings on in this office party. http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/the_americas/colombia-police-probe-report-computers-stolen-during-party-at-honduran-embassy/2013/01/04/ef6982ae-56db-11e2-8a12-5dfdfa9ea795_story.html

My sister’s birthday was on Thursday so I thought I would celebrate it for her by playing her favourite song ever. My sister, Elizabeth Layla Rogers, has been very busy planning her wedding, so she should now chill out by listening to, no other than, the BACKSTREET BOYS!!! Plus, she was born in the year which bears the same name of the book I’m reading, 1984.

I also heard that Britain is in a triple dip recession. To celebrate it, why don’t I include a picture which I found on Facebook portraying a Tory politician doing what they do best: hypocrisy!

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2012 in review

Dear all

WordPress put this together, based on stats to do with this blog. I found it interesting. You probably won’t, but I don’t care.

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 4,200 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 7 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.


Merry belated Christmas & A Happy New Year from Honduras – Part One

Dear everyone

Merry belated Christmas and Happy New Year first off. It’s been great for myself, very different to what I am used to, I must say. It’s also a few days away to the two year anniversary of doing this blog. I’ve enjoyed writing it. It’s quite emotional going back over the last two years and looking at updates, remembering happy and sad times, but also seeing ways I’ve progressed or made mistakes or whatever. A bit like a journal or personal diary, and it’s touching getting nice comments about it. I will try to continue it more often in 2013. Here’s a song by someone who you know that I love (if you’ve read my blog enough) to kind of celebrate two years of Nick “EL CATRACHO” Rogers. Noel Gallagher – The Dying of the Light.

It was nice having the time off work from Academia Europea. I have spent the time with Pamela and her family in Minas de Oro, translating my friend Nacho’s website, a tour operator for Central America (http://www.nwtrips.com/), having job interviews, immigration stuff and playing Tetris a lot. I have had a few days break from Tetris and I have overcome the cold turkey. I think I’m in the clear.

First of all, I thought I would include this little conversation I had with one of my students a couple of weeks ago at the Academia Europea. Many people liked it on facebook, because it is f–king hilarious.

Student: How much is a cock in the UK?
Me: Er….what?
Student: A cock.
Me: A cock? I, er, really don’t know.
Student: Oh. A cock costs 14 lempiras here.
Me: Eh?
Student: You can buy them in pulperias. I prefer diet cock.
Me: (laughing)
Student: Why you laugh?
Me: Yeah, you pronounce it coke.
Student: Why? What did I say?
Me: Haha. Never mind.

Another strange thing I noticed when standing on the roof of Academia Europea (don’t worry mum, it’s safe to do. It’s a roof and a classroom!), which looks out over Tegucigalpa, you can see the American School. Strangely enough, the slogan of American School is “The Eagle’s Nest”, which I’m pretty sure is what Hitler called his little luxury home when he wasn’t doing (or maybe he was still doing there) bad things in Salzbergwerk Berchtesgaden. Very bizarre to name an American school this, especially as Americans played a big part in liberating Europe from the very man. But there you go. Welcome to the Eagle’s Nest. It makes you wonder what they teach there. Is this a Hitler shrine?

Welcome to the Eagle's Nest - American School

Welcome to the Eagle’s Nest – American School

 

I have just realised that it is a little late and I am a bit tired so I will continue this update at the weekend. I will finish with a little literature. Just before Christmas, I went to see The Hobbit (I haven’t read the book, which is shameful considering Tolkien grew up just down the road from where I did – different decades, mind), which was touching, especially seeing the Shire. It reminded me of Sarehole Mill and Shire Park. Pam gave me Life of Pi, along with a journal and a t-shirt, which I am very grateful for, for Christmas. But what I really went to finish off with is a documentary about George Orwell. I am reading 1984 at the moment, which is one of the most astonishing books I have ever read. This might not be any great feat for many people reading this, because it is well known. I saw this documentary a few weeks ago and it moved me. It is a drama-documentary to an extent, which Orwell brilliantly acted by Chris Langham. While looking for jobs, which is chief aim of course (hopefully, fingers cross, something may come from the interview I had over Christmas), it is also to start a new book this year. That’s my New Year’s Resolution. That’s my 2013. To write more. This documentary is a great inspiration.