Two weeks in Orlando FL – turtle penis rum

 In FrontBlog

While writing I sit in a worn out fake leather sofa, the fabrics are covered with grease from the oil stains on the backside of my friends dungarees. It’s under 20 degrees celsius now, everybody wears their jackets but me. The local commute train passes by, the sound drowns the spanish talking, happy-yelling three men conversing about Colombia and what the men on the country side does to the donkeys while their wives are out-of-town. We are sharing a bottle of Dominican Republic rum, Mamajuana. It’s singing on its last verse.

Last year, while cycling to Nepal, I wrote four articles for a news paper in Sweden.  I had to pull the brakes on my writing. This time, I won’t. So what I put in here is what happens around me and all I write is the detailed truth. Do not judge what I write, do, or the people I meet, just enjoy it. Another thing is that I use commas followed by “and’s”. It makes for a better flow in the text. So while reading, just make a pause while at the commas, screw grammatic rules.)

The area, as big as a football field, is full of cars, trucks and compressors. The light shining down on me and the happy men is a cold flourescent light, distinguishing everybody truthfully, in difference from what the warmth of the now set sun did. As I taste the rum, made out of hand-picked roots and turtle penis, which is imported from the Caribbean, I hear a notification from my phone. It’s the application Duolingo telling me to practice my spanish, the green owl makes a sudden disappearance as I shut the phone in to silent mode.

I’ve been here for two weeks. What have I done?
I have:
* Eaten cow stomach, pig feet and turkey neck at wonderful parties.
* Met some of the friendliest people ever.
* Tried for hours to understand machine-gun-spanish.
* Jumped in a too-cool-pool which gave me a cold.
* Wired and installed a security camera. (No Homeland security, I didn’t get paid).
* Tasted a turtle penis flavoured rum.
* Helped to move a 7 ton washing machine.
* A bunch of cycling around town.
* Worked on my future content and overall look, a lot.

What has this given you Marcus?
Everything! The philosophical talks I’ve had in Manny’s RV in the evenings have gone deep inside my roots as a jante-swede. I’ve gotten to know a person who changed me.

Every morning the sun painfully breaks through the broken blinds, I wake up at 6:15 AM, every day. For a couple of minutes I try to fall back asleep, it never works, I enjoy the feeling of my sleeping bag hugging me since I’m on my own now. Manny taught me something; “count one hundred breaths before rising up and while counting, feel how thankful you are over the different things that has happened to you and that will happen today, if you dedicate to your dreams.”

I’ve gotten to know a big family in Orlando, with many lovely people taking good care of me. They’ve shown me how South American families take care of each other and how they value conversations over television. I have a second family here and they have a small apartment in Sweden with an always open door.

Another thing I learned from Manny is that if I ever have a problem with something or someone, that problem lays within me, not the person or the something. Thinking this way made me realise that I reflect upon my experiences rather than emotionally, impulsively, react like chemicals getting mixed, which many times have been the case. It works the other way around; don’t take anything personal, because if someone else has a problem with me, that problem is within that person, as long as I act, and think, reasonable.

Since there are very few people like Manny, life-thirsty, mystery seeking people, I cherish my stay here. I asked him why he is as happy as he is; “Man, I just fucking love life!”. And as I spoke with my grandmother two days ago I realised they are much alike so I told her about Manny, she said: “Yeah Marcus, you get what you deserve, it seems like there are more people with their neurons in their brain dancing and smiling instead of just connecting”.

Many things learned, one of them being:

When I meet people from other cultures they always want to teach me words from their specific part of their country. This time, Colombia. Stiven (who works with Manny) uses the STD/I-word as a word to express feelings of joy, anger, thankfulness and anxiety, basically every feeling there is. First time I heard it, yes I laughed, after 500 times, yes it is still funny..

Not in the sense of feeling alone but being alone. I like it.
I’m still in the bright on the edges, dark in the middle, oily sofa. The temperature is down below 15 degrees celsius now, too cold for my friends, they’ve all went inside, perfect for me. As I finnish my text I take a deep breath.

– Thank you, for this experience.
When will I be on the road? I do not know, I have to wait for my delayed cycling bags. In the mean time, I enjoy myself.

Another thing that happened while I did some SEO for the website the other day was that Mattesvanslös was online on Discord. What? Yeah! You read it right, people are starting to drop in to Discord. A chat application where we will decide on what to do, see and talk about in the vlogs!

“Wow Marcus, that is really interesting!”
– If you are interested please check it out, it costs you nothing! It only takes two minutes to create an account and then we can chat, live!

While on the topic of linking to other stuff, if you enjoy what I do, check out my Patreon page Here. You can donate $1-> to me which will make me be able to create even more stuff, and to binge what I’m already doing. Big shout out to the people supporting me already:

Jonathan Peterson, Annika Perfjell, Carina Schullström, Filip Axelsson, Torbjörn Schullström, Jakob Frisk, Jesper Nyborg and Karen Jackson! Thank you so much for supporting me 😍

Until next sunday; keep it real and count to 100 to start your day with a smile.




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