Saturday, April 17, 2010

Honey, I am not a camel

**If you don't read spanish, you just have to roll down and you will find an english version of this post + extra photos!**

.*.*.*.*.*.*.*.*.*.*.*.*. E S P A Ñ O L .*.*.*.*.*.*.*.*.*.*.*.*.

Hace algunos meses, cuando empecé a evaluar posibles inconvenientes en my plan logístico para mudarme a Holanda, me di cuenta de que el límite de equipaje gratuito de la clase Económica de la mayoría de las aerolíneas no iba a ser suficientes para llevarme de una sola vez todo lo que tengo aquí en Buenos Aires. Siempre podés pagar multas por exceso de equipaje -lo sé-, pero yo no quería considerar esa posibilidad desde el comienzo.
La solución era entonces conseguir expacio extra (extra kilos) libres de cargo. Pero cómo y dónde conseguirlos?

"Acabo de tener la mejor idea del mundo, Amor!!!" -le dije a Onno un día- "Vos me vas a venir a visitar a Argentina en Marzo (Marzo 2010), ¿no?. Si te llevás CON VOS parte de mi equipaje cuando volvés a Holanda, entonces no van a quedar tantas cosas remanentes para mi movida definitiva!!" -en este punto mi sonrisa era amplia de satisfacción. Me dirigió una mirada vacía y contestó: "Tesoro, ya te dije que yo no soy tu camello"...

Puedo ser realmente insistente a veces (quizás muchas veces), especialmente cuando se refiere a pedirle a Onno que lleve peso extra para mí. Y me viene ahora a la memoria un muy buen ejemplo de esto que quiero compartir con Uds: sucedió en India y es sobre cómo conseguimos nuestro Dancing Shiva.


:::
* La historia de como Onno y Leti llevaron un souvenir de 17 kg alrededor de India durante 15 días*
Era Enero 2010, Onno y yo estábamos viajando de mochileros en el Desierto de Rajasthan (oeste de la India) y se enamoró un día de una impresionante escultura de bronce que estaba en la vereda en frente de un negocio de artesanías en Jodhpur. Ese día nos enteramos de que estábamos admirando un auténtico Dancing Shiva, una escultura india muy famosa. Era magnífico, enorme, gigante, y demasiado grande para caber en nuestras mochilas o para llevarlo con nosotros...

- "Llevémoslo, puedo ver que REALMENTE te gusta" -dijo Leti.
- "Es imposiblemente pesado, no podemos arrastrar esa cosa de 17 kilos por todo India. Todavía nos quedan 15 días y varios trenes que tomar! " -respondió, enfatizando la parte de los "17 kilos".
- "Sí podemos, lo podemos empaquetar bien y hacer 2 manijitas para llevarlo entre los 2" -contestó Leti.
- "Es una locura, Cielo, No quiero ser un camello y llevar esa cosa en mi espalda todo el camino" -dijo él.
- "Eso nunca va a pasar, YO TE VOY A AYUDAR!!!"


Y lo compramos, y desde ese momento pasamos por los siguientes sucesos:

1.- Bowling con los conductores de Tuk-Tuks: Hicimos las manijas con soga como sugerí. Pero tratar de mover juntos al Shiva al tomar trenes (viajamos principalmente de esta manera) era ridículamente incómodo, por lo que Onno se lo terminó poniendo sobre la cabeza e hizo todos los trasbordos con 17 kg extra (durante lo que restaba de viaje).
Al llegar a una nueva estación temprano en las mañanas era especialmente "gezellig" (recuerdan la palabra en holandés para compañerismo y comfort?). En cada arribo, una pila de conductores de tuk-tuk saltaban sobre nosotros ofreciéndonos sus servicios, persiguiendo a Onno mientras subía las escaleras de la estación con el Shiva sobre su cabeza. Y cada vez yo temía que fuera a lanzarles el Shiva a los conductores (como si fuera una bola de bowling) en un infructuoso intento por hacerlos desaparecer (los choferes de tuk tuk indios son bien conocidos por -digamos- sus persistentes habilidades para las ventas... muy muy persistentes)!


2.- Rescate a bordo: Cuando íbamos a Amritsar para visitar el Templo Dorado (el templo más sagrado del sijismo) nos equivocamos de tren. El guardia que controlaba los boletos nos lo hizo saber mientras el tren estaba todavía en la plataforma y nos urgió a que nos apuráramos y saliéramos (nuestro tren era el que venía después).
Decidimos salir del tren rápido y agarramos nuestras cosas. Como el pasillo es tan angosto, una vez que te ponés tu mochila no hay posibilidad de mirar atrás. Fue por eso que Onno saltó fuera del tren con su mochila pequeña y mi mochila grande, sin notar que yo me había demorado repentinamente.
Yo estaba aún adentro, perpleja que "MI" mochila era de pronto tan grande y pesada (sin darme cuenta de que era la de él), y el guardia me oprimió para que abandonara el tren también. Pero no estaba de acuerdo en dejar atrás parte de nuestro equipaje, así que le dije enojada "No voy a dejar a mi Shiva acá!!" Acto seguido, agarré una manija y empezé a arrastrarlo a lo largo del corredor...
Mientras tanto, Onno esperaba en la plataforma que yo saliera, confundido de que no estaba ahí con él. De repente el tren comenzó a moverse y él tuvo que empezar a caminar junto a él.. porque yo seguía adentro! Los hombres del tren bloqueaban la puerta de entrada y le dijeron que se quedara ahí, que iba a estar todo bien: "ella ya viene". Explicándoles gentilmente al grito de "No voy a dejar a mi novia ahí!", saltó nuevamente adentro con su mochila, mi mochilota y sus 2 metros de estatura (mi héroe!). Cuando sus ojos finalmente encontraron los míos le sonreí y le dije: "Tengo al Shiva, Mi Amor, no te preocupes"... Si bien es cierto que golpeé a algunas personas en el tren cuando arrastraba la estatua detrás mío, Onno diría que en este caso podríamos llamarlo "daños colaterales".
Resolvimos el problema del tren equivocado en la siguiente estación, cuando nos bajamos y esperamos que viniera el nuestro. Pero nunca olvidaríamos esa historia, y Shiva estaba fuera de peligro.
3.- Sobrevivir el proceso de embalaje. Al final del viaje compramos algunos materiales (cartón, cinta de embalar, etc) para hacerle al Shiva un paquete decente así Onno podía despacharlo en el aeropuerto junto con su otra mochila. Descubrimos que "empaquetar" no está incluida en la larga lista de cosas que nos gusta hacer juntos: casi nos matamos. Los 2 queríamos decidir y ejecutar todo y nos llevó algún tiempo restauran la paz en nuestra habitación, mientras el Shiva nos observaba divertido desde una esquina.
4.- Intentos fallidos. Llevar el Shiva de aquí para allá no fue lo único relacionado con sobrecarga que yo hice en ese viaje. Varias veces intenté deslizar subrepticiamente pequeños souvenirs en la mochila de Onno (un Ganesha de 500 gr o telas), pero no tuve demasiada suerte en esos intentos...


:::
Luego de compartir estos recuerdos, debo admitir que mi querido "Gigante" tiene derecho a desconfiar cuando sugiero que él cargue algo de peso para mi. No quiere ser mi camello, completamente comprensible. Pero es un hombre gentil (o yo soy demasiado buena para insistir) y al final aceptó llevar parte de mi equipaje con él a Holanda. Y no te preocupes para nada, Cielo. Por hacer eso nunca te compararía con un camello!!


Me olvidaba, el Dancing Shiva está ahora en Holanda, sentado en el frente de nuestro bow-window, como la pieza central de la sala de estar. Disfruta de la Primavera y silencionamente mira hacia la calle mientras espera que yo vuelva a casa.




.*.*.*.*.*.*.*.*.*.*.*.*. E N G L I S H .*.*.*.*.*.*.*.*.*.*.*.*.

A couple of months ago, when I started to evaluate possible issues in my logistic plan for my moving to Holland, I realized that the economy class free baggage allowance of most airlines was not going to be enough to take in one shot everything I have here in Buenos Aires. You can always pay excess luggage fees, I know, but I didn't want to consider that option from the very beginning.
Then the solution was to gather some extra room (extra kilos) free of charge. But how and where to get them?

"I just had the best idea in the world, Hon!!!" -i told Onno one day- "You are going to visit me in Argentina in March (March 2010), right? If you take WITH YOU part of my luggage when you return to Holland, then it is not going to be that much left for my final move!!" -my smile was wide of satisfaction at this point.He stared at me with a blank look and replied: "Honey, I have told you that I'm not your camel"...

I can be really pushy sometimes (may be many times), specially when it involves asking Onno to carry extra weight for me. And now comes to my memory a very good example of this that I want to share with you: it happened in India and it's about how we got our Dancing Shiva.

:::
* The story of how Onno and Leti carried a 17 kg souvenir all around India for 15 days*
It was January 2010, Onno and I were backpacking in Rajasthan Desert (west part of India) and he fell in love on day with an impressive bronze sculpture that was on the sidewalk in front of a handicraft shop in Jodhpur. As we learnt that day, we were looking at an authentic Dancing Shiva, a very famous indian sculpture. It was magnificent, huge, massive, and way to big to fit in our backpacks or to take it with us...
- "Let's take it, I can see that you REALLY like it" -said Leti.
- "It's impossibly heavy, we can not drag that 17-kilo-thing around India. We still have 15 days left and a couple of trains to catch! " -he answered, emphasizing the "17 kilo" part of his statement.
- "Yes we can, we can pack it properly and make 2 handles to carry it together" -replied Leti.
- "That's insane, Honey, I don't want to be a camel and carry that thing on my back all the way" -he said.
- "That's not going to happen, I WILL HELP YOU!!!"


So we bought it, and from that moment on we went through these events:

1.- Bowling with Tuk-Tuk drivers: We made the handles with rope as I suggested. But trying to move the Shiva together when taking our trains (we travelled mainly in that way) was ridiculously uncomfortable, thus Onno put it over his head and did all the commuting with 17 kg extra (for the rest of the trip).
Arriving at a new train station early in the morning was especially "gezellig" (remember the dutch word for togetherness and comfort?). Upon each arrival a pile of tuk-tuk drivers jumped over us offering their services, persuing Onno while he was walking uphill the stairs at the station with the Shiva on top of his head. And each time I was afraid that he was going to throw the Shiva towards the drivers (like if it was a bowling ball) in an unlucky attempt to make them go away (indian tuk tuk drivers are well known for -let´s say- their persistent sales skills... very very persistent)!

2.- Rescue on board: While going to Amritsar to visit the Golden Temple (the Sikhs' holiest temple) we mistook our train. The ticket collector made us notice this while the train was still on the platform and urged us to hurry up and get out (our train was the following one).
We decided to leave the train quickly and we took all our stuff. Because the path was so narrow once you put on your backpack, there was no looking back. That’s why it happened that Onno jumped out of it with his bag and my backpack, not noticing that I was delayed.
I was still inside, perplexed that "MY" backpack was suddenly so big and heavy (without realising, that it was his), and the ticket collector pushed me to abandon the train too. But I did not agree to leave behind part of our luggage, so I angrily said to him "I won't leave my Shiva here!!" And I grabbed one handle and started to drag it along the corridor...
Meanwhile, Onno was waiting on the platform for me to come out, confused that I was not there. All of a sudden, the train started moving and he had to start walking next to the it.. Cause I was still inside! The guys from the train were blocking the entrance door and told him to stay there, that it would be fine: "she is coming". Explaining to them gently by yelling "I won't leave my girl there!", he jumped back in with his bag, my backpack and his 2-meter-height (my hero!). When his eyes finally found mines I smiled at him and said: "I have the Shiva, My Love, no worries"... Though it's true that I did bruise some people in the train while dragging the statue after me, Onno would say that it in this case we could call it "collateral damage".
We solved the problem about the wrong train in the next station, where we got off and waited for ours to come. But we would never forget that story, and Shiva was safe from harm.

3.- Survive the packaging process. At the end of the trip we bought some materials (cartoon, tape, etc) to make a decent pack for the Shiva so Onno could check it at the airport with his other bag. We discovered that "packing" in not included in the long list of things we like to do together: we almost killed each other. The 2 of us wanted to decide and execute everything and it took us some time to restore the peace at our room while Shiva was looking at us from a corner and having fun.

4.- Failed attempts. Carrying the Shiva around was not the only action related to overload that I did in that trip. I tried several times to surreptitiously slide some small souvenirs into Onno's backpack (500 gr Ganesha statues or fabrics), but I was not really lucky in those attempts...

:::
After sharing these memories, I must admit that my beloved "Giant" has the right to be suspicious when I suggest carrying some weight for me. He does not want to be my camel, fully understandable. But he is a gentle man (or I am too good at insisting) and in the end he agreed to take some luggage with him to Holland. And don't you worry at all, Honey. For doing that I would never compare you with a camel!!

By the way, Dancing Shiva is now in Holland, sitting in front of our bow-window, as a center piece of the living room. He enjoys the Spring and silently looks at the street while he waits for me to come back home.

13 comments:

  1. Onno: what a story, this girl deserves punishment. I was going to suggest to have her cook you every meal during the first month or so, but I think that might be punishment for you as well...

    ReplyDelete
  2. Realmente Guido..., no te parece que hacer cocinar a Leti para Onno "sólo verduritas" va a ser más castigo para él que para ella????

    ReplyDelete
  3. ¡¡¡Me encantó todo!!! La historia, tu forma de relatarla, las fotos y hasta los comentarios de Guido y de Virginia.
    Leti: ya te lo dije una vez (o varias, no recuerdo) vos conseguís absolutamente todo lo que te proponés y seguramente encuentres alguna manera (o aerolínea) para poder llevar todo el equipaje que estás preparando sin pagar sobrepeso... Veremos al final si tuve razón o estuve cerca.
    Miles de besos... ¡Y sí que voy a extrañarte! Gracias por hacer este blog, confío en que va a mantenernos al día a todos los que aquí quedamos.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Leti, you forgot to write about the time I took two suitcases with many of your things to Holland (Which I gladly do by the way). After getting the suitcases back from the belt I went to the exit door..... while apparently, as I discovered later, some 'white powder' was coming from the suitcase creating a track behind me. Luckily nobody noticed, but imagine the officials asking : did you pack your suitcase yourself? eh....yes. 'the heels as well?'. eh .... yes. 'And what is the white powder coming from you suitcase'? well ...eh.... eh....
    That would have been a long day I guess.

    (and by the way, it was baking powder .... from Argentina. but the can broke during the trip)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Oh Leti Leti Leti! What do we do with you! I am looking forward to seeing you Dancing Shiva in July! I am inviting Lambert n myself over to see you and spend a couple of days with you and Ono!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Onno, You are really a very polite and kind person, and let me tell you more, a very "in love man", because going through two airports full of policemen and dogs looking for strange white powders with magical powers, taking with you "Polvo Royal" without even imagine that you had it in your suitcase... means that you are a very in love man or maybe a very trusting man, but be careful, because the removal has not finished yet!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  7. By the way, the Dancing Shiva is really beautiful!!! It's worth the efford of carrying it during 15 days!!!

    ReplyDelete
  8. @Guido & Mum: Thanks for your trust and support in my cooking skills. S-)

    @Sol: sos tan dulce! Te super-quiero.

    @Tanu: sure! See you in July! I will introduce you to our Shiva!

    @Pato: I though you were my friend...

    @Onno: why, honey, but why did you tell that story here? Don't you think it was enough with the bad impression of me that I have created myself in this blog? Did you think I needed some extra help to definitely look like a suitcase-psycho?

    ReplyDelete
  9. qué historia!!! Bueno, creo que ustedes sí! lo pasan muy bien juntos!!!

    ReplyDelete
  10. jajaj!!!! que bueno que cada uno haya encontrado su mitad perfecta para cada uno de los dos, sigo disfrutando de tus historias Let!!! me encanto, lo del tren me encanto, jaja, besos!!!

    ReplyDelete
  11. i would carry this shiva statue also with me:) it is very nice... leti can you contact me on my email: zagar.petra@gmail.com; i will maybe be also diving into life below sea level:) and i would like to ask you some things...i m from slovenia and 34years old.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Natalia (Cali, Colombia)November 18, 2010 at 11:43 PM

    Letty..yo te seguia por medio de viajeros y llevo casi un año esperandoq eu continuaras tu historia de adas...solo hasta hoy vveo que la historia siguio por este medio. Me emociona mucho poder ser testigo de tu proceso en ese cuento. Ahora tengo mucho por leerte.
    Es chistoso sentir que te extrañaba y ni te conozco.
    Igual te mando un abrazo

    ReplyDelete
  13. Jajaja que padre historia, definitivo que aventura, será muy grato contarlo cada vez que elogien la figura en su casa :)...

    ReplyDelete