August 22nd, 2004


@ Manolo

I´m not really sure if I should be posting this. I do anyway. I change the name for the sake of security though. Somehow I am not entirely confident using his real name. Yet he runs a nice place to stay, where plenty of travellers enjoy their time, while exploring the city and its surroundings.

His staff is brilliant as well. Two of the three girls seemd to be constantly there while I stayed at their place and no effort was too big for them, apart from that, they were extremely friendly.

The thing is: I couldn´t stand him or his family. Looking back I already noticed the spoilt little girl at the busterminal, where they pick up travellers as soon as they get of the bus. While I went on the taxi with one of the staff, she had to stay with mom and didn´t want to.

My first impression of him wasn´t too bad: he just seemed a bit grumpy, but it isn´t fair to judge people on appearance. Then at breakfast the next day somebody mentioned the Pinochet picture. Okay, one can mistakes in your life. But actually putting up a picture of someone who is widely recognised as a mass murderer? The only reason Pinochet hasn´t been on trial is his health. And even that can be doubted.

From there I saw only negative signs. Another portrait on the wall drew my eye. It was himself. For the few people back home: he looked like Charlie Da Silva, famous through his interview with Peter R. de Vries, as the former bodyguard of Klaas Bruinsma. I wouldn´t say spitting image, yet they could have been brothers. For all I know they are.

Apparently he was in the military. In a conversation with some other travellers his wife slacks of a big group of their countrymen. They both complain about people begging and accuse them of being poor through their own fault. They obviously think they are better than most of the people in this country. Their little girl is shouting every time she doesn´t get her own way. She even shouts at the staff. Not really a nice treat.

Worst of all I was there when Chile won their first ever gold medal in Olympic history. When he saw Massu with a flag, he shouted "That´s a real patriot". Now I´m not worried if people cheer for their countrymen, yet when it is only because of patriotism, I do mind. So none of them watch while the happy tennis players cheering after their come from behind victory, but they are both watching when they play the national anthem. Nope, not my kind of people.

When I left they still owed me nearly 2 dollars, yet when we shared a taxi to the busterminal, she still made me pay half of the amount. I was glad to leave the place. Yet when walking to the taxi he asked me to recommend their place with the travel guides like Lonely Planet. Hmm, I wonder what I will write to them.