Monday, September 17, 2012

170912 BLOK


170912 BLOK 
I've been in Chile for four months, and been 'ripped off' for a total of 110,000CLP / $220 U.S. now.  
At Camp Comprestre (in San Pedro) one evening someone lifted 80K / $160U.S. cash out of my wallet.  But Alvaro, the manager, felt so badly he 'compensated' by giving me the rest of my nights there (almost 2 weeks). 
And just now at the Plamira Hotel (Calama), they mis-accounted and said I hadn't paid for one night (15,000KCLP / $30U.S.  I'm very good at keeping track, and knew I had.  But, I wasn't careful enough as I hadn't asked for receipts (to prove).  I was in the bad habit as at Camp Campestre, they hardly knew who, what and why -- they would have laughed about giving receipts (so disorganized)?  Chilean businesses don't like giving receipts because it's how the Gov. collects taxes.  But, from now on I will want a daily receipt from hotels.
This kind of petty thievery is a by-product of Capitalism, where desires (for things) is whetted to a frenzy.  Then those without and cannot get (for whatever reason) resort to taking it.  And they don't steal from wealthy corporations (that need it), but the nearest, easiest source, some poor person who's gotten careless.  Of course, they think I'm $ rich from the U.S., having an exotic bicycle, alone, with no family to support.  If I'm traveling the world, I must be $ rich.
Here at Palmira, I remember Antonio/night manager (when he was checking me in) was paranoid about 'thieves in the neighborhood.'  Then I began to understand when I  noticed that the building is like a prison (clanging steel doors).  Nobody is allowed a key to the outside doors.  Now, I know why… Takes one to know one.  There's little trust Chileno to Chileno.  
This, lack of trust, is even worse in China, where members of a family don't trust each other.  Then again, there's little trust anywhere in the world!  Why?  What happened to it? It went when money became 'God' in the world!
It's sad to see what capitalism-democracy has beget, really:  80% illusion, 20% truth.  But, humanity doesn't seem to be able to evolve beyond… What to do?
We're the problem!

The Mall
A 'haul' 
What one man is making
Only to want more,
A whore in the process!
Whatever happened to integrity?
To restraint?
To Trust?
Sharing?
Caring?
All 'malled!' 
We are out of control buying things!

I'm sitting on a bench in the old Plaza downtown Calama, listening to a Military Band playing a march.  I'm getting patches sew on two garments, thus having to wait.
I distributed a six-pack of cervesa to the boys on the south side, the ones that hustle for a living (wiping windows of cars stopped for a light, parking, etc.).  The Casa Blanca Hotel (directly across the street) where they must live.  The beer was gone in seconds, and no thanks.  What do I expect?  Better to have none.  The sound of the church bells compensated!
Seems to me the greatest contribution of the Catholic Church (in history) has been the toiling of bells! 
I remember Ajijic, Mexico, so well, as the great cathedral, which we lived right next door to, toiled magnificently!  There were many cultural things that went on in Ajijic, one nights rockets blasting off all night long.
Here in Chile, even though Spanish culture, slightly different.  
I'm eager to discover both Peruvian and Bolivian culture.

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