Life as Stereotypes.

This is the story of 11 castaways, who braved tortuous seas for the promise of paradise. The crew contains:

The Crazy Capitan — so stereotypical, that he must have spawned the stereotype. Salty and shabby, with legs that barely functioned he still found the strength to down at least 12 beers a day.

First MATE Maria — ‘ol capitan’s flirtatious and fiery 34 year-old mistress. Maria was the designated chef and dance instructor.

Chuck — the insane Vietnam vet. According to Chuck, the United States MUST invade Iran, because Iran is on the verge of obtaining nuclear weapons and WILL use them. They WILL use them because Ahmadinejad and Khomenei are crazy and irrational. Yes, I agree, the best way to deal with crazy and irrational leaders who probably already have nuclear weapons is to send your overstretched and demoralized military into their country. Not to mention, the only mistake the US has made with regards to Iraq was having a state department that didn’t believe in American interests. Chuck never left the boat on our six day adventure. Chuck was fucking crazy.

Johann — an extremely adventurous and upbeat Swede who put even my hunger to shame. That was a first.

Kristoff and Kristina — German siblings who were both super-human. Massive people and both very intelligent. The intriguing aspect was that they are both legitimate socialists, who had the most severely entrenched communist convictions of any one I had ever met. I supremely disagree with the extremity of their beliefs, but was able to restrain myself from challenging them. Interesting people.

Thomas — received a 1st in English from Claire College, Cambridge. Probably the person I could spend the most time with. Thomas is the classic drifter. He grinded it out for a few years in an unsatisfying career as a financial consultant, and is now travelling the wold regaining sanity and self. His dream is to open a delicatessen and wine shop. I hope he follows through with this.

Humberto and Mai-Lynn — I love this couple, or whatever their status is. I asked a few questions, but their relationship, and Mai-Lynn’s background remains very mysterious. Humberto spent five frustrating years in med school, and then followed his passion, by opening a bar in his home-town of Florence, Italy. It sounds like it was the place to go in Florence for about 30 years, and after meeting Humberto, I don’t doubt it. I don’t know much about Mai-Lynn’s background, but she has been drifting for 15 years. Working and travelling on the run for 15 years. She was freakishly athletic and easy-going. She actually reminded me a lot of my mother.

Matthias — this other German lad was pretty introverted and independent. I really don’t know much about him, but enjoyed his company.

 Our two-day voyage from Cartagena to the San Blas was intense. Capitan claimed there were storm swells in excess of 10 meters, and winds above 35 knotts. More than half the crew puked their brains out — including me.

The San Blas were absurdly epic. A 370 island archipelago of tiny, white-sand, palm-tree lined islands with the distant outline of Panama in the background. Some were inhabited by members of the Kuna tribe, and I befriended a couple.

I will attempt to do the setting justice with photos in a few weeks. This internet cafe is closing. Chau.


2 Responses to “Life as Stereotypes.”

  1. Boris Says:

    Yo Shaun.

    Sick adventure. Sounds more like 12 misfits than 12 castaways (kidding). I’m glad you’re meeting interesting people. Your adventures sound a million miles away from Stanford and the excitement of research and problem sets. All is well with me: I just wish I could take a week-long break on the San Blas Islands with you.


  2. slammer Says:

    sounds like a version of the classic Michener book, The Drifters. Interesting how some folks can just move around for years and years with little direction or ambition. Sometimes one can get jealous of such an existence. Got to go. i have to get back to my regimented and programmed life.

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