A couple interesting things about Columbia in this regard: (1) supposedly the highest per capita rate of plastic surgery of any country in the world – though Venezuela also claims that distinction, (2) I saw a lot of prostitutes in Panama as well and almost all of them were Columbian, according to the locals I was hanging with, and (3) apparently there is much less societal stigma about prostitution here – according to Scott, a good number of the prostitutes are just university students who do it occasionally for a little side money.
After I took an afternoon to go see the Copan Ruins in Honduras, I decided to make the long haul all the way to Roatan Island in the Caribbean. I bought my bus ticket from Copan to La Ceiba (the port town where I would have to catch a ferry to the island) the night before – the person selling the ticket to me spoke a little bit of English. I thought they told me that the bus made two stops on the way to La Ceiba and that I would have to change buses one time. Since the ferry from La Ceiba to the island left at 4 p.m., I had to take a bus leaving at 5 a.m. to make it to the ferry.
I am writing this in a hostel in the old district in town. A place called Luna’s Castle, which is a great, large hostel full of lots of very friendly travelers, all much younger than me. As I write this, I am looking at a map of the world that is covering one of the walls in one of the community rooms on the main floor. I realize, looking at this map, that I have finally made it as east as Orlando. By the way – the map has lines on it for various sea-crossings: it is either 3,591 miles or kilometers from Buenos Aires to Capetown. That is a pretty good sea-crossing coming up.
Border crossings make me nervous. Although I’m not doing anything wrong or carrying anything illegal, I feel trepidation as I approach every single one of them. Even when I traveled to Europe, I felt the same things as I got off the plane, got my luggage and went to the customs area to cross into whatever country where I was arriving.
I got on the bus, which, unlike the nicely painted chicken buses I took pictures of in Antigua, was just a plain old school bus, still painted its original yellow. There were a couple other gringos, actually a gringo and a gringa, sitting on one of the benches and asked them if this was the bus to Leon. They assured me that it was and I prepared for my first chicken bus experience of the trip.
There are some words that only seem appropriate in certain parts of the world. I’m going to have to keep a list of them, as I think of them on this route, but two of them came to mind in the last few days on Roatan Island: torpid and languor. Even if you have an extended high humidity heat wave in some location like Chicago or Boston, those two words just don’t feel like they would ever apply.