This blog's for ME

Almost 25 years old, asking my parents if I can sleep in their bed with them. I had thought I was going to be the 25th Prime Minister of Canada. Things had changed. 10 years later, I was still a scared little boy. The time had come to slap myself awake. One Saturday morning, November 19th, 2009, I declared to the world I would be riding my 10 year-old motorcycle from Vancouver, BC Canada to Rio de Janeiro, Brasil, and back.

The official departure was August 28th, 2010. A group of well-wishers saw me off at 8:03 am.

I arrived in Rio de Janeiro around 6 pm March 1st, 2011.



My return to Vancouver came on July 5th, 2011 about 2:00 pm.

Drug & alcohol abuse, ADD, social anxiety, health, chronic pain, night terrors.

So many concerns. But I am far more interested in this question: Do I have the capacity to make this trip despite all my shortcomings?

My mission: To inspire myself to face my fears, enlighten myself on how all living things can peacefully co-exist, enjoy every moment, and see the world as plentiful and generous.

Go ahead. Call me crazy. Call me anything you like.

I'm out to save my world.



I LOVE YOU ALL



Questions, comments, concerns, threats? Contact me: jason.chapman99@gmail.com


Karaoke

Raul and I got to talking while we were on the Salina (salt ponds) tour, and he invited me to his bar at the Los Caricoles Hotel. I asked him if it was the best place to be in Guererro Negro on a Friday night, and he adamantly agreed. It was a later arrival that night, and I walked into the upstairs bar about 10 pm. It was modern and well taken care of. I sat down at the horseshoe-shaped bar, where people were sitting and singing the words on the TV at the front of the bar. I had put out a facebook query as to what Canadian song would be the most popular down here. In fact my exact words were "to bring some Canadian kick-ass". I ended up befriending Eduardo, who was sitting beside me, and a pretty bonita who had a great voice. They told me there was a competition the next night on Saturday. I thought it would be much the same. No.

Saturday night, I entered another modern room in the back of the with a large dance floor, and round tables filled with over 150 people. I was the only white guy there. Every one seemed not as much affluent, but very well-dressed - this was a big deal. I asked around in my poor Spanish about how to get in on the contest. They told me to go to the bar, and within minutes I was singing "Sweet Caroline" by Neil Diamond. I nailed it. People were singing along and clapping and I'm thinking I've got this one in the bag. I finish the song to a round of applause. The DJ asks me to sing her favourite English song "Winds of Change" by The Scorpions. I had never sang it before, and told the guy behind the bar it's pretty high for me, but what the hell. Well to my surprise, it turned out really well. I finished the song, and was feeling pretty proud of myself. The organizer dude comes over right away and starts saying things quickly in spanish. I didn't understand. He takes my jacket and stuff and motions for me to follow him. I thought "oh, i'm going to get an award". Turns out the real competition was starting, and only competitors were allowed. Ah, pride.

8 people had been selected from the week before, and the crowd had their favourites. This was a racous affair, and I was overwhelmed with the people's passion for their favourite singer. The loudest fans were for Melita, a beautiful young woman with a beige dress adorned with painted peacock feathers on the bottom fringes. They were really into it, chanting her name at regular intervals and waving the signs that they made. I was touched by how the community came together that night - no TV, no drugs, not a lot of beer (there was one drunk guy who sobered up later) and a mix of young and old. I realized how much I missed a bunch of people getting together and laughing, talking, and sharing an experience together. The competition lasted until 2:30 in the morning, with each singer going at least 3 times, with a final song being drawn out of a jar. Melita was the winner, and she clasped her hands over her mouth just like a beauty queen. The prize: $4000 pesos, or about $350 but nothing compared to the adoration of her friends, and family. A very intense experience indeed

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