Friday, January 20, 2012

Asuncion, Paraguay

Finally made to the sunny and oh so fucking hot country of Paraguay. Famous for insane wars against much bigger neighbours, vicious dictators and very little else.

Got a night bus from Campo Grande and bid my farewells to Brazil. On the bus I immediately enjoyed being able to converse with people. I also thoroughly enjoyed Brazilans having trouble getting themselves understood by Paragauyans. Welcome to my world. Being on the move and changing countries perked up my spirits hugely. Getting in was easy formality wise although I did not check out of Brazil so I have sort of burnt my bridges for that country. Oh well.

Now in Asuncion I can relax and enjoy the many sights that this fair city offers. Or not. The heat here is insane and to be fair there is not much to see. I still like it. It's a properly lazy South American city. People do nap in the streets and you get a few mule carts kicking about. It's also wonderfully cheap unless you forget to buy beer in the day and end up at the petrol station. I am in a backpacky hostel and I can swap stories and get info. For some reason there is a large contingent of German online poker gamblers here . It's good to be back on the trail.

One sight of note is their pantheon. I will do more on Paraguay's fondness for a fight later. Their pantheon is what you would expect by day. It's a pretty, useless building topped with cross and with an honour guards consisting of 2 poor souls in full dress uniform trying not to faint from the heat. By night it gets a bit weird as the place is lit up with changing disco hues, the guards piss off and get replaced by Asuncion's finest break dancers. Beside watching that time is spent out of the sun drinkng terere. Terere is a herbal tea drank chilled in a cup with a silver straw. Half the people here walk around with a funky thermos full of ice water, a bag of herbs and a decorated cup and straw

Asuncion is fun in the detail. There are buildings so ugly they put Rio to shame but also some exquisite Beaux Arts jobs. The place is littered with statues of notable Paraguayans (oxymoron?) but what is interesting is the graffiti calling for human rights for the indigenous peoples. There are many swanky shop for the rich fuckers of this city and just in front there will be street vendors selling cheap knockoffs of the same goods. The city centre is full of cops so you feel quite safe except for drunks walking around waving tasers.

Anyhoo I'm back in traveller mode now. I will have to return here but for the moment I am going to take a bus to a place nicknamed "the green hell" to watch the amazing sight of German religious nuts making cheese. Will expain.

Take care,



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