Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Baton Rouge along with some changes to the plan

So Friday came, the day before my birthday and it was time for me to leave the farm. I worked a little bit in the morning as kind of a fuck you to the guy who owned it. Just to show him that he just lost a very good worker by being a dick. After that I headed to baton rouge. The ride started off alright. The day eventually turned into a headwind and it was slower going. None the less I made it by 5 o'clock in the evening. I checked my email but no one had written me back on couchsurfing. I tried contacting more people but I kind of felt like it was useless. Sure enough no one ended up writing me back that night. At about 8 I rolled over to highland coffee which is right on campus to just hang out. I ran into a couple of people playing music out front, one guy on a violin and another playing guitar. Turns out the guitar player was a traveler also from Spokane Washington. The violin player lived in baton rouge, we all played music for a bit and then we all went over to a bar. The guy who played the violin then proceeded to buy both Bob and I beer, he was a super nice guy. He didnt even know it was my birthday or anything, just wanted to buy us beer. He reminded me a lot of Sylvester Stallone in his looks and speech.
Any way at the end of the night I was still homefree and so Bob showed me a field we could crash in where no one cared. I guess it is a well known field for travelers. It was perfectly fine place to crash for the night under the stars. The next day I hung out with Bob, he introduced me to this guy Travis who let both of us stay at his house. He was not a couchsurfing host or anything, just a nice guy. We hung out the whole day for my birthday and celebrated the best way we could without any money. It was good, really good.
Sunday wasn't the most eventful day, it being Easter most places were closed, I ended up cooking some delicious curry for Easter dinner, it was good. Monday nigh was the drum circle and vegan potluck so I took Bob and Travis to that since neither one had heard of it. It was great to see all those people again and relax.
On Monday I also got some interesting news... My buddy who was planning on joining me on part if the trip just found out he is going to be a father! No worries he is married and loves his wife so it's not some terrible one night stand with a crazy Christian woman. So now that changes my plans again... I am thinking it might be time to head back to AZ soon to make some money and such... I might go to Florida anyway to get to the east coast, I realize this is cheating slightly but that is how it is working out. Then I will head back to Arizona through the middle of the country, or something like that. We will see. Anyway that is all I have got for now... We will see where I go from here! Much love and alohas everyone.

Monday, April 18, 2011

New Orleans and then WTF mate?

So this past weekend I decided to cruise down to new Orleans to do a little busking. I have to admit it was a little tough, there are quite a few people doing the same and it is tough to compete being just one guy playing the ukulele. Do I ended up just messing around mostly, randomly following people, especially couples and playing music behind them. This proved to be pretty successful and I ended up making a couple of dollars that way. I also spent a good deal of time talking to people as I usually do.
When it started to get late I still needed a place to stay. I was sitting in a little stoop using the Internet of a cafe next to me when a girl walking with her bike walked past me. She stopped and started to talk to me. We chatted for a brief minute and i told her my predicament. She then offered me a place to stay so I followed her home. On the walk home we were chatting and some how got on the subject of San Francisco. At this point I asked her if she knew one of my friends Julie. I don't normally do that, San Francisco being such a large city, it is very unlikely someone would know the same person but for whatever reason this time I did ask. Sure enough she did know her! It was such a crazy surprise. It is amazing how small this world is.
The next day I toured around the city a minute then headed back to the farm. When I got back the gentleman who owns the farm told me that he was allergic to my smell and that I needed to find a new place to stay. I really don't know what to think about this, I try to take a shower if not daily every other day, I don't smell that bad, though I have been eating a lot of meat since coming here. Still though, allergic to my smell??? All I can say is WTF? I guess I am just so awesomely manly and strong that even my stench can take down men! Haha!
Anyway if you want my personal opinion I think he just did not like me. He is a man who is afraid of a lot and likes to try and make other people afraid of those things as well. For instance I like to explore but he was not fond of me going into the swamp because he is afraid of snakes. While I have a healthy respect for them I do not fear them. He also mentioned that there are coyotes... Like I am supposed to be afraid of them too? He didn't like the fact that I walked barefoot. He had a weird obsession with eating every meal together like a family, he hated spicy food and gave me a pretty mean face when I put cayenne pepper on my food (I accidentally made the mistake of leaving it on the table once and I haven't seen it since, I think he threw it away). He treated me like a child and was a way over protective parent. Whatever, it is probably for the best that I am leaving here I do not think I could have made it till the end of April anyway.
I wasn't learning much on the farm, just how not to do everything. I did learn a bit about aquaponics but that all came from a video he had me watch. I am not going to bitch anymore though I have a lot more I could say.
So now I have to figure out where to go now. I am not sure I might head to new Orleans for a minute longer and see if I cannot make a little more money... Then from there start going to Tennessee? Who knows, I have some time to enjoy. My birthday is this weekend so I would like to stay somewhere but we will see. Anywho I will write more later. Much love and alohas

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Ponchetula strawberry festival and my first week of work

Alohas everyone so it has been a few days since I last wrote. My apologies, once you get into settling in mode it is hard to remember to update a blog at least for me. I start enjoying living too much and get caught up in it. Can you blame me?
Anywho last weekend was the strawberry festival, a weekend of everything strawberry, beer wine cake anything glutinous was there. It also brought out the stereotypes, of both white and black. There were ladies with their hair all did and cars completely pimped out with rims and sound systems blasting canned rap. As well you had the slow redneck good old boy types driving their pickup trucks and blasting country. And last of course the average good christian family, slightly to morbidly obese, in their midsize cars listening to modest christian friendly music. To finish off this strawberry sunday were the bikers who were out in force, all dressed the same sporting their logos and creedos on their leather vests. Oh it was a sight to see!
The only unfortunate thing about the festival was how expensive everything was, but that also meant people were in the money spending mood. So I decided to try my hand at busking. It was my first time really trying it, I had played music on the street but never with my case out trying to make money. Within a few hours I had already pulled in forty dollars! I was feelin great, I figured it was a good time to take a break so I went to the bar and grabbed a couple of beers. Afterwards I figured I should at least make the money I spent on beer back so I went back out, I pulled in another $35! I was feeling high at this point, I couldnt believe it! Why hadn't I done this before? It was beyond me. So now I have an idea to just hit small town festivals and busk. I think I might be able to fund my whole trip that way... We will see.
The next day was my first full day of work on the farm. Though at least I wasn't alone on Sunday a French gentleman came to the farm as well. He is a super nice guy and goofy. Something aboutfarms and French people for me. Everytime I go to one there is one there! Haha. The work was good, I installed a taro field with Jean Baptiste, then the rest if the time we have been building. The guy who owns the farm is really nice, but my only thing is he is not exactly friendly. It is hard to talk to him, he is scared of a lot and in many ways he is a little weird. We are provided with three meals a day cooked by the guys mother, which are quite good... Except he doesn't like spicy food. So in a place with thousands of Mosquitos there is no garlic in any of the food... Not to mention there is meat in every meal, so I have been eating a lot of meat and that is making me smell! Haha even after I shower it is just a few hours before I smell again. Last the way the farm is is a complete mess. He doesnot take care of his tools many of them are broken or breaking, and the place is covered with trash. He is like Bob in hassium if any of you have heard my stories about him. He doesn't throw anything away, so the place is riddled with junk that he expects to use... The only problem is much of it probably wouldn't last long if he did use it. I feel like most of what I am learning here is what not to do... But that isn't entirely bad.again he and his family are very nice and I am so appreciative of the place to stay and the food, and the work is good honest work. Just a few things that I have issues with, but it is all good in the end. Today I will be headed to New Orleans to busk. We will see how I do! Much love and alohas everyone.

Friday, April 8, 2011

From Baton Rouge to the farm

So like I said before I made it to baton rouge. The first night I stayed with a sweet girl, but she was busy with school so I did not want to be a bother to her. The next night and for the rest of my stay in baton rouge I stayed with what is the core of the "good vibe tribe". This was a house of amazingly kind and like minded woman. On Monday night they host a drum circle and vegan pot luck, it was exactly what I needed to experience. Up until then baton rouge just seemed like just another college town with nothing but Hipsters and alcoholics. The folks who came to the drum circle were all wonderful genuine people. It made time fly by unfortunately and before I knew it I needed to get to the farm.
Of course as always the farm isn't quite what I expected. In fact it is a touch of a disappointment... They do have aquaponics set up and the guy who is running it definitely knows what he is doing... However the current state of the farm is in dissaray. There is trash everywhere, nothing is organized, and it really makes me wary on what work is going to be like. Oh well I am going to give it a try and see how it ends up. The guy seems very nice... We will see. I don't have too much to report at the moment... I have just been enjoying all that I can. Anyway I will update more later alohas.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Baton Rouge, oh yes I made it to the Mississippi river

Alohas everyone! So last I wrote I was in lake Charles having to stop to visit a doctor. After I left there I rode to Kinder which was not far but again I found myself locked in conversations with people. Many if them were people talking to me about Jesus. I find myself in bible country in the south and many people still hold their beliefs. Having my own religious views I could do little but smile and nod. While traveling one of the best things you can learn to do is hold your tongue. There will be many times when you find yourself in conversation with folks who do not exactly hold the same views as yourself and will not do you any good to get into an argument over it. Everyone had the right to their own opinions and beliefs and it is not always your place to speak up against them. If you are asked your opinion that is another story and I always recommend telling the truth because people appreciate honesty even if it upsets them a little. For me religion is one topic I stay away from it is something many people feel very strongly about and can be the one thing that people are unwilling to hear any other view on. So I have found it best to just keep your tongue holstered.
Anyway back to the travels. When I left lake Charles I had all intention of making it further than kinder but my bike had other plans. While I was riding my rear rack came loose and before I knew it I was dragging me back panyards behind me. I had no idea what had happened... Luckily for me I was in the south and that meant I was in the land of southern hospitality. Before I knew it two cars had already pulled over to help me. We all took a look at the bike and figured out that it was merely that a couple of bolts had come loose and all we needed to do was tighten them back on. So they held the rack up while I gave them a good tightening... Though it still seemed to met that it was quite right yet but it was holding alright so I continued on my way. I made it to kinder a little while later, mind you I had been again fighting with my back tire to stay inflated so most of the day was spent riding on a low tire. This slows you down quite a bit especially with so much weight on the bike.
Once I made it to Kinder I stopped
At the grocery store to buy some food. Upon walking out I ran into a couple who was walking with their two dogs to washington for the rainbow gathering. They definitely looked the part of rainbow goers... A little dirty and unkept but they were nice people. I talked with them a bit and they told me of a place to camp.
I would like to hear plug another traveling tip I have picked up. Always keep yourself looking presentable. This is something that I found to be very helpful when it comes to gaining peoples trust and acceptance. When you look dirty and unruly people will merely think of you ad a bum and transient. Which in w a way you are but above all you are a traveler, an explorer and you cannot present yourself as any less. Do you think Christopher Colombus would have had so much respect over the Indians if he looked like a dirty bum? No. Your appearance becomes your selling point to people, as terrible as that may sound and you must maintain a certain amount of presentability.
Again back to my travels. The next day I started out early with intentions of making it to baton rouge. But again my bike had other plans. My tire would not stay inflated longer than a few miles so eventually I had to patch the tube. Right after I got my tire put back together a woman pulled over and asked if I would like a ride. I said yes, because I said I would never deny a ride. She was a real southern woman, a little over weight, a little brash and rough around the edges but a sweetheart none the less. She asked if she could trust me, I assured her she could, however she did still make mention that she carried a gun with her just in case I was not good intentioned. I reassured her that I could be trusted. She was traveling with who I assumed was her nephew or grandson Scotty. They were both flabbergasted over what I was doing and why I was doing it. They only took me down the road a few miles but it was appreciated all the same.
After that I stayed and talked a bit then headed on my way. Eventually my suspicions rang true about my back rack and sure enough it popped off again. This time I decided to not risk it and used my belt to hold it up. Io didn't make it the hundred miles to Baton Rouge, I only managed 50 but it was okay because I found a field of flowers to set my tent up in. It was too good to pass up. The next day my body was not feeling up to riding much so I rode about 15 or 20 miles and then before I got to the narrow bridges I was going to have cross I decided to stick out my thumb. I got a ride from a young guy named Phil who was extraordinarily nice. We had a good talk about touring and traveling. Eventually he took me to a little farmers market and bought me vegetables. It wad awfully kind of him. When we got into Baton Rouge he gave me a quick tour around and bought me lunch at Cains. I thanked him as much as I could, being low on money it was a huge help and very much appreciated. I stayed with a young girl and her roommate that night and then the next I found another place to stay. Both girls were in school and I did not want to be a bother to them. However they were both extraordinarily sweet and hospitable. The south so far has proven to it's reputation. Anyway this is mighty long already so I will leave it there. I will write more later much love and aloha.