Friday, November 30, 2007

The passport is lost... part 1.

There are days in life that are more remarkable than others.
Of course, every day that life is allowed to be lived is a phenomenal event not to be taken for granted.
But in that collection of days and nights making the extraordinary experience of being alive, a day can happen that will be remembered for the time to come or that is so exceptional that it becomes the subject of a posting on this blog.

Yesterday was a day standing out.
Arranging luggage in the Fuso Szulc after the trip from Mexico to the USA it was noticed that the passport and the Mexican residence permit were missing.
This created an Antarctic around the heart.
A disaster of unprecedented dimensions was envisioned.

Life used to be in a rather big house in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
A two-floor 19th century building with seven rooms and two bathrooms.
One of the aspects of a big house is that it makes the people who live in it accumulate things.
There is so much storage available that easily things are acquired and kept.
Hardly ever the things in the house are qualifying to be considered for keeping or not keeping.
Eventually, in the house is so much stuff that the persons living there have no more idea what exactly they have.
This is not necessarily a problem except when one suddenly thinks of a specific object, believing it might be in the house.
The tremendous problem is then where it is.
How to find its location?

In the house in Amsterdam in the Netherlands a lot of time has been spent simply looking for things.
It might differ from person to person but in this case the looking for things was always experienced as very frustrating and ridiculous.

When moving from the Netherlands to live in Spain a lot of the things in the Amsterdam house were not coming along in the large pantechnicon.
The start in the house in Spain was therefore good.
But the problem was that the house in Spain was huge as well with its 8 rooms.
Within a few years a lot of things had again accumulated.
And the same problem was often occurring of not being able to find things.
Loosing time and suffering of aggravation.

The eventual conclusion was that we have a tendency to surround ourselves with a lot of unnecessary stuff.
Spending our money for nothing and confusing ourselves.

Based on this conclusion the nomad-life was started without many things.
Literally, Spain was left with a half empty suitcase.
The serious intention was to live with a minimum of things.

This has actually been achieved.
The amount of things in the Fuso Szulc is very limited.
And the smart thing has been done of putting the few things in transparent boxes having a label describing what exactly is in it.

Therefore, most of the time things that are looked for are found.

Another trick used is to put things always in the same place.
For example, very often in the past the glasses couldn’t be found anymore.
There would be activities and the glasses were taken off and when the activity was finished it was not remembered anymore where the glasses were put.
Sometimes a long time was spent to find the glasses again.

Nowadays, always, the glasses, when taken off, are put in one particular spot and no more time is lost and no more aggravation is felt.
In spite of all those precautions and strategies, nevertheless the dramatic situation arose of having lost essential travel documents.

Tomorrow’s posting will tell the story of the lost passport.


Thursday, November 29, 2007

Back in the USSA.

Tijuana, the vast disaster of a city on the border with the USA just south of San Diego, is considered one of the most dangerous places in Mexico.
Many murders, robberies and any crime imaginable happening every minute of the day.
It is a city out of control in many ways.
Traffic jams, heavy pollution, serious poverty, corrupt police and more decay everywhere.

It is an understatement to say that it was a challenge to enter this version of hell with the Fuso Szulc trying to reach the Consulate of the Republic of China.
So, Tijuana had to be outsmarted.
No way the Fuso Szulc was going to enter the city asking people directions how to get in that complex, hectic and dangerous metropolis to the Chinese Consulate.

Near the city centre the highway was exited and within a few minutes a waiting taxi in front of a hotel was spotted.
The driver was flagged over and instructed to guide the Fuso Szulc to the exact place of the Chinese Consulate.
The man was happy to get the job: he charged $ 10. (6,77 Euros).
It took more than 45 minutes to get there.
It was like a sightseeing tour of the city.
With the slow driving taxi in front, it was an excellent way to get a good impression of this hell on earth.

The Chinese Consulate is in a diplomatic part of town where the more wealthy people hide in beautiful houses behind fences and electrical wires.
The Fuso Szulc was parked in front of the impressive building of the Chinese Consulate that opened 15 minutes later.
All the necessary documents were handed over to a kind Chinese person and the visa to be able to enter China was ready 3,5 hours later.
Costing $ 60 (40 Euros)

Next stage in the expedition was to cross the border into the USA.
In former postings of this blog the border crossing between Tijuana and San Diego has already been described.
Fervent and loyal blog readers therefore know it is a total mess there.
The traffic jam of cars trying to get into the USA starts already on the Avenida de los Heroes right in the centre of Tijuana.
It was taking more than one hour to reach a boot with an Immigration Officer.

It had been observed already that the Immigration Officer of the line in which the Fuso Szulc was moving like a turtle had been having problems with border crossing people.
Sending their cars back because they were too close to his boot and making everybody wait for no good reason as a very unhealthy demonstration of unnecessary machismo.
An obese man walking like a duck obviously having psychological problems.

He refused the driver of the Fuso Szulc entrance to the USA after a short interrogation.
Shouting and ordering like he was a prison ward dealing with some mass murderer.
His reason for refusing entry was that too many times the USA had been visited without having been back to the Netherlands.
He claimed that one could come from Europe to the USA but one had to go back to Europe before being able to visit the USA again.

How to argue with such an idiot?
Impossible and potentially dangerous.
The consequences of starting a debate can be very serious.

The Fuso Szulc received shouted orders to go to Secondary Inspection.
There a most friendly Immigration Officer was met who was prepared to listen to the situation of the visitor.
And without a problem a visa was issued to visit the USA.
A most pleasant experience because of the politeness and expertise of the Immigration Officer.

Now life is in the USA until the flight to China on December 7th.
Surrounded by good and dear friends.
Fixing the current issues of the Fuso Szulc:
  • the blown up solar charge controller,
  • the faulty water pump,
  • the failing back up lights and camera.

And to have a Café Latte with a chocolate chip cookie in a Starbucks Café reading the Los Angeles Times.



Wednesday, November 28, 2007

57 minutes near Tijuana.

Usually the text of a posting for this popular blog is written after breakfast in the morning.
While enjoying a cup of strong Irish Breakfast tea.
Before the text is written, a process of thinking has been taking place that often was in the head for at least one day.
Hence, first there is a general idea.
Next, it is simply a matter of writing it down.
But often, while writing down the result of the process of thinking, unexpected twists and turns occur.
Like little discoveries and inventions sneaking into the text.
Or surprising ways the text likes to be written.
And often conclusions that were not foreseen but cook up in the end.

To write a posting takes about 1 hours and 30 minutes.
Three cups of tea.
It is an elaborative job, mainly because writer has learned English later in life.
Combined with the ambition to write in correct English, this results in a serious approach to the job.
The text is first written with the software program Microsoft Word.
Once it is finished it is re-read a few times and often corrections are made.
Next, the spelling and grammar tool of Microsoft Word is used to find and correct any spelling mistakes.
Another tool used is the word count.
The ambition is to have postings of more or less 500 words.
Based on the philosophy that blog readers have a limited amount of time available to read.
Once the text seems to be OK, it is published on the blog.
But often re-reading it as the posting on the blog, it is edited once or twice again because only a perfect posting can pass.

Tomorrow morning very early the Fuso Szulc will drive into Tijuana.
In that dangerous city is the Consulate of China where a visa can be obtained.
It will be quite a challenge to find the consulate in the hustling and bustling town.
This is why, by exception, this time the new posting is written in the evening the day before.
Not a preferred time of day to write.
Because of driving the Fuso Szulc the whole day followed by running, a certain brilliance of the mind is missing that is absolutely needed to write a good posting.

Meanwhile a new obsession has been given free reign.
Every day at about 4 pm a nice location is chosen to spend the night in the Fuso Szulc.
A location is ideal if it offers the opportunity to do a late afternoon running.
Having been driving in the car for 7 hours in one day, the body wants to move and release energy and feel muscles and breath deep and hard and sweat.
Like today, north of Rosarito, a closed resort has been found where a kind lady gave permission to park and spend the night right next to the Pacific beach.
Great opportunity to do another run.
Like the days before, not just a little run.
But a serious run of 57 minutes.
On the beach while the sun was going down.
And the mood was going up.


Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Malaysian magic.

As most fervent and loyal blog readers very well know, the Fuso Szulc is equipped with a Datastorm Internet connection.
With this system websites can be visited and e-mail send and received.

Recently, after buying a plug-in for the MacBook Pro making it possible to see programs in Windows Media Player format, the programs from the Dutch television are watched.

But the most exciting option of the Datastorm Internet System is the VOIP.
Voice Over Internet Protocol making it possible to use the computer as a telephone.
Even a sophisticated telephone because in many cases it comes with an image of the other person.
You can actually see the other person talking when equipped with a computer with a small camera.
Like the MacBook Pro.

For this the services of SKYPE are used.
Basically this is for free when used from computer to computer.
By paying little money one can have a phone number, an answering machine and one can make phone calls to any number in the world of a real phone for a small fee.

Having SKYPE and a phone number, anybody anywhere can call.
If the computer is not on, the call will go to the answering machine and one can leave a message.
Later, when the computer is switched on it is indicated a message has been received and this can be listened to.
When the computer is on and a call comes in, it sounds like the phone rings and the call can be answered using the microphone and the loudspeakers of the MacBook Pro.

This is mind blowing because being solar powered and linked to a satellite conversations are held no matter where the Fuso Szulc is.

Yesterday, a phone call came in.
It was Jay, one of the many fervent and loyal blog readers.

His reason to call was yesterday’s posting where it was explained that while writing that sometimes it hurts never being needed as an artist-photographer, that very moment an e-mail came in with a request to go and do an assignment in Malaysia.

Jay believed that was too much.
“I like to read your blog every day but sometimes you go too far”.
What to say to Jay?

Because the absolute fact is that what was described happened exactly like that.
That feeling of always to have to show initiative when an artist, had been around during the day and it was decided to make it the subject of a posting.
During the writing of this posting the sound of an incoming e-mail was heard and it was the message with the assignment in Malaysia.
This is the one and only truth.

Absolute magic.
Deeply enjoyed.
By Jay too now.


To learn more about SKYPE, click on:


Monday, November 26, 2007

Back on track.

Driving more than seven hours a day.
That makes a sane man reflective.
Until the whirls of the thinking become existential.
A devastating thought like:
“What is all this good for?”
Nobody is asking to do this.
Even this journey to China soon: nobody is requesting this expedition.

Doing things in life while nobody is asking anything is a weird situation.
It is like filling in holes with sand constantly.
And it makes one long for a life without holes.

To have a job where one is needed and instructed what to do and paid nicely at the end of the month.

To have a dominant wife who orders when to wash the hands and go to sleep.

But when these fantasies are reflected upon, a strong feeling of horror arises.

What about freedom in life?
To do the things one likes to do without any restrictions?

It is a delicate balance of personal freedom and realization versus dependency and being needed.
What is stronger?
The desire to express and present all that is inside?
Or to wait until possibly someone asks to apply one of the personal possibilities?

Obviously, after a career as an independent artist-photographer spanning, until now, more than 36 years, the choice has been quite clear.
But nevertheless, sometimes there is longing for the green grass on the other side of the mountain.

And while writing these existential thoughts, right this very moment, magically and impossible to explain, an e-mail arrives.
A magazine offers an assignment to go and photograph in Malaysia.

Let's get back on the road.


Sunday, November 25, 2007

A vulgarized cow.

Driving north on the peninsula of Baja California in Mexico is a strange experience.
Many RV’s can be seen but they are of course all driving south.
Escaping the cold of the north.
Who wants to go to the barren weather except someone on his way to China?

It had already been noticed on the road between San Jose del Cabo and La Paz.
And again after leaving La Paz for Tijuana.
Specific road way signs vulgarly molested by a freak.

There are many signs along the road in Baja California.
Not only announcing sharp curves, but also giving good advices.
Warnings against drinking alcohol and driving.
Advises to drive carefully.
To obey the warnings.
And not to molest the signs.

One of the signs frequently used is a triangle showing the silhouette of a cow.
This is to warn that cattle might be close or even on the road.
In Mexico cows and bulls are not in meadows.
They freely roam the land and can cross the road.
In Wintertime, when the nights are cold, they like to lay down on the warm asphalt.

One freak among us has come up with the idea to target the signs showing the cow or bull.
He has added the silhouette of an erected penis to the animal.

It is more like a joke.
Not of the best taste but a childish person might get a laugh out of it.

What makes it freaky is that the person responsible for this has been adding the erected penis to signs all the way from San Jose del Cabo to where the Fuso Szulc has arrived today: near Mulege.
That is hundreds and hundreds of miles and over 40 to 50 signs warning for cattle have been deformed.

A closer look at the deformed signs show that black tape has been used.
This means that each time, the person had to look for a place to park and walk to the sign.
Next, with the black tape, using scissors, model the penis and stick it on the sign.
A time consuming activity.

Who on earth would decide to do this?
To make all this effort?
To spend so much time and energy on this activity?

Yesterday one sign molested had also a name made with the same black tape.
It is a man doing this, not a woman.
A freak.
A weirdo.
A deranged.
A frusto.

If a good psychologist saw Oscar, a lot of mental garbage will come out of this perpetrator’s trashcan’s mind.


Saturday, November 24, 2007

20 years in prison

It is a mind-blowing idea to realise that La Paz was left yesterday to go to Beijing, China.

Last week was the Baja 1000, a race of off-road cars taking place on the dirt roads of the South of Baja California.
At the gas station in La Paz was a middle-aged man with his 4x4 pick up truck who had been the chase-car for his two sons participating in the race.
Now he was going back to the USA.
“Where are you heading”, he asked.
His eyes went misty when he heard the traveller was on his way to China.

Because the flight to Beijing from Los Angeles is on December 7, the fabulous luxury is experienced of being able to travel in a most relaxed way.

At the first “Puesto de Control”, where the Mexican Army require an “Alto Total” to inspect cars and trucks on drugs and weapons, Corporal Martinez was befriended.

Corporal Martinez had a book with pictures of catches they had made.

Trucks who had parcels of cocaine hidden under their cargo.
Or in a special space in a large propane tank.

In the top of a propane tanker a special space was created with a huge amount of cocaine.

But most interesting were the pictures of women who hide drugs under their clothes.

An Italian woman caught with cocaine in her suitcase. She is not in Italy now but in a Mexican prison.

Mexican with cocaine in her lugguage.

Cocaine taped to the upper legs.

Cocaine taped to the lower legs.

Unclear where exactly this block of marijuana is being found.

Cocaine around the lower legs.

Cocaine in the bra.

All the pictures were rather old.
It looks that these “Puestos de Control” are effective in the sense of prevention.
According to Corporal Martinez, a driver of a truck loaded with drugs will go to prison for 20 years.

Driver of truck in prison now for 20 years.

With the “Puestos de Control” effective, the drugs one buys in the USA have therefore probably not been travelling on the Baja roads.


Friday, November 23, 2007

A Mexican accident

When spending much time in Mexico and driving, it is unavoidable that one might get involved at one point in time in a car accident.

This happened to the Fuso Szulc today.

Nothing serious.
Just a light collision.
Nobody got hurt.

It was a Mexican lady in a car hurrying to get her child from Kindergarten.
At a crossroads the Fuso Szulc was making a left turn.
The woman, coming from the right, believed she could speed up and go around the Fuso Szulc on the right side.
That unfortunately was a miscalculation and the left corner of the Fuso Szulc front bumper hit her backseat side door.

She stopped her old Ford Mercury rather far away from where the incident took place and did a very clever thing.
Right there were a few men guarding the entrance of a truck depot.
Immediately she started talking to these guys explaining what in her opinion had just happened.
The Fuso Szulc was parked behind the lady and there was a discussion.
Obviously the lady believed she was right and the Fuso Szulc was wrong and had to pay for the damage.
As this was more than disputable, that suggestion of her was not received positively.
Next, she called her husband, the owner of the Marina of La Paz.
He showed up in a fancy yellow 4x4 Ford F-150 pick up truck and claimed $ 300.
Based on the story he had just heard from his wife.
The counter proposition was that each should pay for the own damage and adios.
This offer was refused and the police was called.
The Transito.
After half an hour they showed up.
One policeman got into the Fuso Szulc and directed it to the offices of the Transito police.
They have a nice collection of car wrecks there on their parking lot.

What meanwhile was going on was a kind of social bonding between the police, the lady driver and her husband.
The question who was responsible for the accident was not relevant.
The foreign visitor was.
There was no doubt about that.
The story of the woman was believed.
Supported by two witnesses who had talked to the policemen on the scene: the men she had spoken to after the incident but who had not even seen the accident happen.
Never the Transito Police asked the foreign visitor his version of the accident.

The only question the Transito Police asked the foreign visitor was whether he had car insurance.
This question was asked repeatedly.
He was instructed to call the insurance company and report the accident.

Mr. Guzman of the insurance company ACE Seguros answered the call.
A most friendly person.
Speaking very good English.
“We are here to help you.
We are behind you.
We will do any thing possible to get you out of your situation.”

Mr. Guzman was going to send an “adjustor”.
A man who was going to handle the case and take care of everything.

After one hour and a half Mr. Chavez turned up.
A man suffering seriously of obesity.
He immediately went to talk to the husband of the lady driver to hear the story what had happened.
Next, he talked to the police.
Eventually he approached the client.
He didn’t speak English.
He was addressing the person he was representing in the impolite and rude “tu”-way.

Also Mr. Chavez was not interested to hear the client’s version of the event.
He never asked the person he represented what had happened.
He knew the policemen and was most friendly with the lady driver and her husband.
Mr. Chavez obviously was on their side.

This whole thing going on appeared like a conspiracy.
With only one purpose: to have the foreigner admit he was guilty of the accident so that his insurance company would pay the damage to the car of the lady.
Even the adjustor was forcefully behind that concept.

There was not much one could do.
The thing dragged on for hours.
On the wall was a black board and a policeman had made a design how the accident had happened.
Based on what the woman had told him.
Very far from the truth but nevertheless this was accepted as how it had happened.

There was a new phone conversation with the friendly Mr. Guzman.
It was explained that the adjustor was not exactly on the side of the person he was representing and of great help to the other party only.
Mr. Guzman proposed to send a lawyer.

Because things would be only made more complicated with possibly a lawyer coming, Mr Guzman was asked what would be a quick settlement of the whole unfortunate affair.
If the foreign visitor to Mexico would insist not to be guilty both cars would be confiscated and the officials would start an investigation.
Leading to a court case where a judge would decide who was guilty and that party had to pay not only for the damage of the other car but also for the whole procedure.
This would take weeks, maybe months.
The other option was to admit guilt.
The insurance would pay the damage to the other car and the damage to the insured car was to be paid by its owner.

This was not really a choice between two options.
How could a foreign visitor to Mexico travelling in a camper have the vehicle confiscated for weeks and months?
This is very well in the mind of the Mexican driver possibly guilty of the accident.
Even if it is crystal clear the foreign visitor is not guilty, the Mexican driver simply states the opposite.
Knowing that the foreigner will plead guilty and pay the costs to fix the Mexican car through the car insurance.
It potentially pays off for a Mexican to crash into a foreigner.
Simply say the foreigner is responsible and your car is fixed up for free.

Papers were signed and the adjustor took the lady driver and her car to a shop where they could fix her car.
She wanted to go to a shop she knew as a good one, but obviously the adjustor had other plans because he forced her to go the shop he knew.
We may wonder why that was.
Probably getting a nice percentage from the friend at his body shop.

The lady was lucky in any case.
Her car had much more damage as only from the recent accident.
They would probably fix the whole vehicle, paid for by the insurance, into one looking like new.
She was also lucky in the sense that she had no car insurance.
And had not been wearing her safety belt.
Lucky to be in a society where they back each other up when an advantage can be made.
That is an effective insurance also.

It was not exactly a warm goodbye of the adjustor.
He had been simply an asshole.
Very rude and impolite.

The story was not over.
Because guilt was admitted a fee had to be paid to the police.
Called “A liberation fee”.
350 Mexican Pesos.
(21 Euros, 32 $)
Not covered by the insurance company.


Thursday, November 22, 2007

The boy with the sad eyes.

Enrique, the uncle of the friend Xavier, has a son called Maurizio.
Now that Enrique is 71 years old, his son together with his brother is running the workplace where trucks are fixed.
Maurizio is a beautiful young man of 25 who makes one think of that fantastic song:’El muchacho con los ojos tristes”.

Ni una simple sonrisa,
Ni un poco de luz en sus ojos profundos.
Ni siquiera reflejo de algun pensamiento
que alegre su mundo.

Hay tristeza en sus ojos hablando y callando
y bailando conmigo
Una pena lejana que llega ami alma
y se hace cariño

El muchacho de los ojos tristes
Vive solo y necesita amor
Como el aire necesita verme
Como a él solo necesito yo

El muchacho de los ojos tristes
Ha encontrado al fin una razón
Para hacer que su mirada ria
Con mis besos y mi gran amor

Ni su nombre conozco,
y ya quiero volver a encontrarmelo a solas,
Y en sus ojos de otoño,
dormir poco a poco
olvidando las horas.

Yo pretendo saber porqué extraña razón,
hoy sus ojos no rien.
Yo prentendo lograr,
con ternura y amor ver sus ojos felices.

El muchacho de los ojos tristes
Vive solo y necesita amor
Como el aire necesita verme
Como a él solo necesito yo

El muchacho de los ojos tristes
Ha encontrado al fin una razón
Para hacer que su mirada ria
Con mis besos y mi gran amor

El muchacho de los ojos tristes
Vive solo y necesita amor
Como el aire necesita verme
Como a él solo necesito yo

Well, Maurizio cannot be the man described in Jeanette’s song because he is married to a girl working as a salesperson at a swap meet and is waiting to see her pregnant.
But he could be.

The job he was going to do was to take off the 4 U-bolts that hold the front part of the camper box of the Fuso Szulc to the Mitsubishi Fuso chassis.
Next, he was to weld off the steel bar that is sideways underneath the front of the camper box.
Followed by mounting rubber blocks on the steel bar and putting it back.
Weld it again against the bottom of the camper box and replace the 4 U-bolts.

Sounds like a pretty simple job, no?

Actually, it is.
But as always unexpected surprises came on the way of Maurizio but with his great talent of improvisation and technical skills he found adequate solutions.

Eventually, the job took from 8 am to 6 pm.
10 hours of intensive work.
And a lot of chatting because after Maurizio felt confident with the photographer, and this took him a while, a team in life and work was temporarily coming into existence.
Together the different stages of the job were discussed and ideas from both sides were the input for the fabulous solutions.

Is the problem fixed now?
One thing the Fuso Szulc project has learned is that we never know.
The approach is that the rubber blocks and the U-bolts will be closely observed for the time to come.
To see how it is holding out.
It might need additional work later.
Maybe bigger rubber blocks.
But friend Maurizio will be happy to take care of that.


Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Revolution in Mexico.

Today was the "Dia de Revolucion" in Mexico.
This was celebrated in La Paz, Baja California, Mexico with a huge parade.
Therefore this posting contains no words, but images:

No explanations needed.

In the original concept description of the Fuso Szulc the camper box was to be mounted to the chassis with a pivotal system in the back and on rubber blocks in the front.

This idea was found on the expedition vehicles from Europe.
But somehow, at Santek Trailers in Riverside, California, USA, where the Fuso Szulc was built, the request for rubber blocks was not followed up.

First the camper box was attached in the front with small bolts to the side of the chassis.
This resulted in a disaster because obviously the bolts eventually broke off and this happened while travelling in Mexico.
Next, Santek Trailers welded a camper box-wide steel bar underneath.
This bar rested on the chassis and was kept in place by 4 U-bolts.

Because the camper box slightly moves in the front with great force, there was friction between the steel bar and the chassis.
This could be heard.
Strong sounds like the front axle was breaking off.

It took some time to discover that this was the problem responsible for the strong sounds.
Eventually, again in Mexico, a mechanic in La Paz lifted up the front part of the camper box and did put pieces of tire in between the bar and the chassis.
This was effective.

Recently it was noticed that the pieces of tire were not staying in place.
The camper box moved so much that the pieces were slipping out.

Hence, time to return to the original idea of having rubber blocks.
To have the movements of the front of the camper box absorbed in the rubber.
The idea was to find those rubber blocks here in La Paz and have a mechanic put them in place.

It had been seen that these rubber blocks are used on the bumpers of trailers.
Therefore, yesterday, visits were made to car wreck parks to try to find an old truck or trailer still having the rubber blocks.
In La Paz there are many places with huge amounts of car wrecks.
Imported new car parts are too expensive.
However, rubber blocks could not be found.

Being close to a nice coffee shop strangely enough far out of town, it was decided to have a latte with a white chocolate chip cookie.
While enjoying the coffee suddenly somebody came in.
It was Xavier!
Fervent and loyal blog readers will remember how Xavier was met after more than 10 years.
He used to live on Rancho La Ballena close to El Triple.
When they were spray painting the Fuso Szulc in La Paz some months ago, he saw this photographer and remembered after 10 years who he was.

This time he had seen the Fuso Szulc parked in front of the coffee shop and came in to say hello.
When it was explained to Xavier that the hunt was on for rubber blocks and why they were needed, he immediately mentioned his uncle who is a mechanic fixing large trucks and having his workshop not far from the coffee shop.
He gave him a call and before we knew we were at Uncle Enrique’s place.
Enrique had a careful look at the situation of the Fuso Szulc and eventually it was decided he could fix it.
He knew where to buy rubber blocks in La Paz.
New ones.
And on Wednesday he will put them on.

This is an example how sometimes things happen in a rather magical way.
How life seems to take care to find a solution for a problem.

The same day another magical thing happened.
Sitting in a travel agency an older couple came in.
While waiting we came to chat.
It turned out that the gentleman was Polish.
And from the same town as the father of this photographer.
We were talking so much that customers coming in after us were told to go and be helped by the staff of the travel agency as we were too deep into conversation.
Too much nostalgia to share.

Now reflections are made how this magic happens.
But every thought about it is pure speculation.
So, the final reflection is to simply experience the magic, to be thankful for it and not to look for an explanation.


Monday, November 19, 2007

Worldwide vulgarity

Good-bye to the Gonzales family.
Good-bye to Gorba, the terrible dog.
Good-bye to the good and friendly horse.
Good-bye to the relaxed life.

The Fuso Szulc now in the nice town of La Paz.
Finding a place at the “Casa Blanca”-trailer park.
This in contrast to last times when staying in La Paz.
The La Paz RV Park was frequented before but they have this dog they lock into a cage and who barks with desperation, aggressivity and sadness day and night.

The “Casa Blanca”-trailer park is next to the main road coming into La Paz and is therefore a noisy place to spend the night.
There are less than 10 RV’s booked at the park this time of year and as always the Fuso Szulc attracted much attention.

An American man came up and was very much impressed.
He asked: “Where are you from?”.
After he heard the reply he said:
“Holland? You are from Holland? I’ll be damned. Today I already met people from Holland. They are like flies on the meat. They are everywhere!”.
What a dumb guy.
And what to say?
To aggressively respond to the comparison of people from Holland with flies on the meat?
“You are an American I suppose? Damned, they are everywhere like cockroaches in the toilet”.
For sure the guy would be upset.
But being peaceful these days the man was quickly abandoned with his specific humour.

A similar situation had occurred that afternoon.
There was a regional art and craft exhibition in La Paz.
In the open air in a small park in the very centre of the town.
A good opportunity to see what the people of Baja California are making.
In the company of dear friends Alma, Margarita, Lluvia, Tonatzin, Yuriria, Iwan and Carlos the different displays were admired.

Then we saw an American couple coming to the exhibition.
The man was dressed in shorts and had taken off his T-shirt.
It was about 6.00 PM, the sun almost down and becoming cooler.
It was Sunday and everybody was dressed up nicely.
Nevertheless he walked around there half nude.
He had a body not in very good shape.
Too much beer and hamburgers it said.
On one of his biceps he had a small tattoo and on his belly a huge one.
Burned into his flesh from the right side to the left.
Obviously, this man attracted the discrete attention of the mostly Mexicans visiting the fair.
However, they are not the kind of people to interfere.
To go up to the guy and say he is breaking a dress code.
To ask him to dress decently.
They wouldn’t do that although they actually do have an opinion.
Therefore, the Mexican friends, Alma, Margarita, Lluvia, Tonatzin, Yuriria, Iwan and Carlos, were asked what was their opinion about this man walking around half naked.
“He has no respect for the country, the culture, the traditions and the people he is visiting”.
“It is disgusting”.
“In his own country, walking in a park at a fair in that way, he would be arrested and fined”.

But like the “flies on the meat”-guy, this half naked man was not approached in a correcting way.
They were both left alone in their own way of thinking and acting.
Probably they have no clue about what their behaviour is having as an effect.

In this case we speak of 2 Americans manifesting themselves in Mexico.
And we must realize that they are not representing all the other Americans.
We do not generalize: one vulgar person does not make all his compatriots vulgar as well.

It is a worldwide phenomenon.
When people leave their own social environment and spend some time in a new social situation to which they have no bonds, easily people let go of their usual restrictive behaviour.
With alcohol consumption as a liberator behaviour is presented those people would never have when at home.
This doesn’t happen with all people.
A selected group gets excessive.

Living for many years in the tourist village of Cadaques at the Mediterranean Sea in Spain this phenomenon was often witnessed there.
European tourists visited Cadaques and some of them would truly misbehave.
Demonstrations of vulgarity of the worst kind.
But the local population would say nothing.
Because the tourists were bringing in money.


Sunday, November 18, 2007

A new friend.

This is a part of the world where horses still roam freely.
The Gonzales family has a bunch of them and their horses are up in the mountains behind the rancho.
That is a vast area where the animals find food and water.
They never see a human being in their lives.

Except when the Gonzales put on their sombreros and leather pants, mount their tamed and well-trained horses and ride into the mountains equipped with lassos and dogs.

They go to look for horses.
To catch one and bring the animal down to the rancho.

This has recently happened and they brought with them a 3-year-old stallion.
They tied up the beautiful animal in the dry riverbed near the ranch.
The horse had never seen and smelled human beings and was scared to death.
If anybody was coming close, the horse would panic.

Gumaro Gonzales was asked what he was going to do with the animal.
He replied that they would keep the horse tied up for awhile until it calmed down.
Then they would have a special guy come who would mount on the horse while it was controlled by as many other Mexicanos as was possible.
Then the horse with the man on his back would be set free and a kind of rodeo would take place.
The horse would try anything to get the man off his back.
The idea is that this will not be successful.
So that eventually the horse gives up.
By then the will of the animal has been broken.
And can become a horse easy to handle for humans.

But for now the horse is just standing there in the hot sun tied to a short rope.
Sometimes he gets food.
Sometimes they take him to the watering place.
But not always.

A fantastic opportunity to try to befriend the horse.
For weeks now this process has been going on.
Not knowing anything about horses, the strategy was applied to give him several buckets of water to drink every single morning.
Obviously the horse would be thirsty standing there in a place with no shadow and temperatures rising to around 30º C. (86 F)
The first days the bucket was put as far away from the horse as possible.
Then some distance was made to the bucket, like 10 meters (32 feet), to wait taking care not to make sudden movements.
The horse would eventually come to the bucket and drink.
Each day the distance between the human and the bucket was made smaller.
Until after some time the bucket could be put down and while standing next to the bucket the horse would come and drink.
Those were memorable moments.

When Gumaro was not around, discreetly an amount of dried alfalfa was taken from the supply of the rancho they keep to extra feed the cattle and horses.
With the dried alfalfa the same method was executed.
Until eventually the horse would eat while the alfalfa was still in the hand.

After some weeks of these exciting exercises of taming the horse, the brown animal would come up real close.
Is that dangerous?
Will he bite?
Or suddenly prance and trample the good willing photographer to death?
Who has only experience with dogs and cats and knows nothing about horses.
And a horse is big, ladies and gentlemen.
Compared to a cat.
When the horse came up close there was fear raging in the mind and the tendency was felt to quickly turn and run away.
But by strength of mind, in which the thought was forced to dominate to trust this horse, it was allowed for that big animal to move his head to the body of the photographer and sniff and look.
It was just curious.
Simply wanted to smell.

By now the horse has made a friend.
A helper of Gumaro saw how the horse responded to the photographer and said:
“He knows and likes you.”

This is very true.
When even passing by during the day, without alfalfa or water to offer, the horse neighs.
And in the morning one can see how he is looking to see when his friend is coming.

Horses are very special animals.
Very delicate, distinguished and elegant.
To obtain their trust and friendship is a privileged experience.


Saturday, November 17, 2007

Stairways to heaven.

Then as it was, then again it will be
An' though the course may change sometimes
Rivers always reach the sea
Blind stars of fortune, each have several rays
On the wings of maybe, down in birds of prey
Kind of makes me feel sometimes, didn't have to grow
But as the eagle leaves the nest, it's got so far to go

Changes fill my time, baby, that's alright with me
In the midst I think of you, and how it used to be

Did you ever really need somebody,
And really need 'em bad
Did you ever really want somebody,
The best love you ever had
Do you ever remember me, baby, did it feel so good
'Cause it was just the first time,
And you knew you would

Through the eyes an' I sparkle,
Senses growing keen
Taste your love along the way,
See your feathers preen
Kind of makes makes me feel sometimes,
Didn't have to grow
We are eagles of one nest,
The nest is in our soul

Vixen in my dreams, with great surprise to me
Never thought I'd see your face the way it used to be

I'm never gonna leave you
Holdin' on, ten years gone.

What the hell does this all mean ????
It looks like a poem.
Are the innocent fervent and loyal blog readers treated today to an outburst of romanticism of the nomadic photographer?
Did the pioneer fall in love with the beautiful Argentinean called Lujan working at the “Angel’s Touch Dental Clinic”?
The heart and soul tormented by violent emotions like a storm raging on the pampas?
But then why write these erratic texts nobody understands?

The erratic text we read above dates from 1975 and was written by Robert Plant for a song on the album “Physical Graffiti” by a band called Led Zeppelin.
"Ten Years Gone", the title of the song, is about a girlfriend who had asked Robert Plant to choose between her or his music.
Wrong question.
She was sacked.

Many fervent and loyal blog readers know that the Fuso Szulc is equipped with XM-satellite radio.
Using a Delphi SkyFi2 receiver, two antennas and two cradles.
One cradle is in the cabin of the Fuso and one in the camper box.
The two antennas are on the roof of the camper box.
One in the front and the cable goes to the truck cabin.
One in the back for the cradle in the camper box.
The Delphi SkyFi2 receiver travels between the two cradles depending of the situation.
When driving, it is placed in the cradle of the truck.
When living in the camper box, it is in the cradle there.
The reason for this is that subscription to XM radio is allocated to a specific receiver.
If one would like to use more receivers, extra monthly money needs to be paid.

XM satellite radio has over 200 channels.
Recently, they have started a new channel called “XM LED”.
Channel 59.
On this channel one can hear music from Led Zeppelin 24 hours a day.

This explains why these days often people wonder why the Fuso Szulc is shaking like if a terrible earthquake is taking place.
It is because of the exciting music of Led Zeppelin.
One of the most favourite bands.
Their music is so physical, multi-faceted and innovative.
It makes a man dance and get wild and out of his head landing somewhere in heaven using the Led Zeppelin stairways.


Friday, November 16, 2007

It feels like an angel touching.

The sun came up this morning.
What is the big deal about that, one may say.
But we must always realise what a spectacular thing this is.
Not the event by itself.
That has been happening for millions of years and "inshala" will happen somewhere into eternity.
The spectacularity lies in the fact that each of us saw it today.
In reality or by way of this posting.
That confirms we are alive.
And shouldn’t we, once in a while, stop and realize what a fabulous thing it is that we are alive?
Hence, let’s face east, get on our knees and bow for the gift of live we enjoy and appreciate today.

Yesterday was the return to the “Angel’s Touch Dental Clinic”.
Many fervent and loyal blog readers will remember the horror full experience your humble servant had to experience at the hands of dentist Arturo Cruz.

The report on this blog came to the attention of the staff of the “Angel’s Touch Dental Clinic” and they responded with sincere apologies.
The other action was that Arturo Cruz was decommissioned and the owner of the “Angel’s Touch Dental Clinic”, the highly experienced and most charming Donna Rosa Peña, took over.

But Arturo Cruz continued his presence during the dental procedures yesterday in the “Angel’s Touch Dental Clinic”.
In a most undesired way.
He had put, as is the procedure, temporary teeth.
A piece of plastic slided on the polished leftovers of the original teeth.
To keep it there for the two weeks one has to wait, it is glued with a kind of cement.
Unfortunately Arturo Cruz had forgotten to put Vaseline to the cement to make it possible to take off the temporary teeth easily.
How hard Donna Rosa Peña tried, the plastic pieces wouldn’t come off.
Eventually she used a device, called the hammer.
It hooks behind the plastic and by knocking the hammer the shocks should have the prosthesis come off.
That worked for the upper part, but the lower part had to be drilled away.
A lot of work for almost an hour.
At one point Arturo Cruz was asked to come and kindly he was explained what mistake he had made.

This must have added to his unhappiness.
When arriving in “Angel’s Touch Dental Clinic” that morning he had been ignoring this daring client.
He only said at one point that Donna Rosa Peña would take over.
No greetings, no apologies from him or any sportsmanship.

After the prosthesis was out, from a plastic bag the crowns came and put temporarily in place to see how it looked.
One bigger, one smaller.
Gapes between the teeth.
Again, Arturo Cruz had failed.
This was recognized by Donna Rosa Peña right a way, expert as she is.

She called the lab where they make the crowns and asked them to come over pronto.
Two dental technicians appeared 10 minutes later and they discussed the situation.
They decided to make 8 brand new crowns and this time based on the instructions of Donna Rosa Peña.
The lab was prepared to do this as an emergency job and 6 hours later the crowns would be ready.

Temporary prosthesis were quickly made and put in place.

Next, Donna Rosa Peña had a look at the two cavities Arturo Cruz had discovered on the x-rays that needed amalgam removal and composite filling.
Donna Rosa Peña couldn’t find the cavities.
Because there were no cavities…
Towards Donna Rosa Peña, this gave a thankful feeling.

Later that day the freshly baked porcelain crowns were put in place quickly and efficiently.
This is the result:

Are there any conclusions?
Fervent and loyal blog readers can easily come to conclusions if they wish to do so, based on the two reports of the experiences with the “Angel’s Touch Dental Clinic” in San Jose del Cabo, Baja California, Mexico.
It is a good place to have dental work done.
Very friendly people, the majority of them women.
It is a clean, modern clinic and easy on the financial budget.
It is impartially recommended if one wants fixing the teeth.
But when booking an appointment be sure it is with Doctor Rosa Peña.
Because she has the touch of an angel.


The first part of the story about the “Angel’s Touch Dental Clinic” can be found by clicking on:

To learn more about the “Angel’s Touch Dental Clinic”, click on:


Thursday, November 15, 2007

Life in the rosegarden.

One domain where pragmatism is highly effective is what Pat Benatar calls the battlefield of love.

Just realize this:
Many people who are in a relationship secretly dream of being by themselves because times with the partner are too rough.
Many people who are single often dream of sharing life with somebody when loneliness hits hard.

It is the grass that is greener on the other side of the hill syndrome.
A devastating and destructive mental and emotional state of being.
The fantasy and imagination create an image of the desired situation in its most favourable way.
Out of opportunism, and fed by the negativity of the current situation, only the positive sides are imagined of the new situation.
And a strong longing and desiring to move over to that other situation dominate the feelings, the mood and the thinking.

There are two sides to this attitude.
One is that living in the current situation becomes unsatisfactory because the person is often floating with the mind in this ideal imagination putting the actual situation deeper into negativity.
The situation in which one lives does not get a fair chance to be experienced fully, and that includes the positive aspects of it.
Second side is that if one does decide to get out and move into the situation that was imagined before, only disappointment will be experienced.
The truth is found out that the grass is actually not greener on the other side of the hill at all.
That in the new situation that had been thought of as so ideal, negative aspects also exist.

A pragmatist has another way of thinking.
Remember, pragmatism is going in the direction that the success of the practical application is showing.
For a pragmatist it makes no difference to be single or to share life with a partner.
Both are good.
This is because the pragmatist looks at the practical situation and sees that a person who is single has advantages and disadvantages.
And when the pragmatist looks at a person sharing life with a partner the same phenomenon can be observed: there are advantages and disadvantages.
The pragmatist next sees that the advantages and disadvantages differ.
For the single person and the person with a partner those advantages and disadvantages are not the same.
For example, the person with a partner comes home where the partner is waiting who has cooked a delicious meal.
The single person comes home and, not disturbed by anyone, can finish all the work that was waiting while eating a self-made sandwich.
This example shows that the person with the partner has a fantastic homecoming but won’t be able to have any work done.
It shows that the single person can finish the work but has to eat alone and just a sandwich.

The pragmatist has therefore as a conclusion that no matter in what kind of situation you are, both have advantages and disadvantages.
So, what does it matter what is the situation?
None whatsoever.
Fundamentally they are equal.

Pragmatic is to accept life as it is.
To enjoy the good sides and accept honourable the bad sides.
You happen to be single?
You happen to be with a partner?
Pragmatically, it is the same and the best that happens.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Pragma what?

William James was born in New York in 1842.

It is possible that some of our loyal and fervent blog readers do not immediately remember who was William James.
He is one of the founders of pragmatism.

William James was a thinker.
A philosopher.
He published a book called “The Principles of Psychology” (1890) that became very important.
It influenced generations of thinkers in Europe and America, including Edmund Husserl, Bertrand Russell, John Dewey, and Ludwig Wittgenstein.
For his book “The Principles of Psychology” he studied physiology, psychology and philosophy and spent a lot of his time in Europe.

What exactly is pragmatism, the philosophy developed by William James?
It is the doctrine that the meaning of an idea or a proposition lies in its observable practical consequences.
That those practical consequences are the criteria of knowledge and meaning and value.

American philosophers primarily held this way of approaching and handling life.
John Dewey was another American pragmatic philosopher.
Pragmatism formed the cornerstone of the American social and economical system of capitalism.

Pragmatism was and still is of huge influence.
More so because of the introduction of neuro-linguïstic programming, a method for personal change, by Americans Richard Bandler and John Grinder in the 1970s.
Made popular by people like Anthony Robbins.
They teach to avoid traditional thinking.
To stop thinking along traditional lines.
And to become able to have original thoughts that are pragmatic.
A good example of pragmatic thinking, from Anthony Robbins, is this:

Could it be possible that what seem like the worst days in our lives are actually the most powerful in terms of the lessons we can choose to learn from them?

If someone is able to have this thought, life and its future is made much more interesting, challenging and attractive.
Pragmatism is an efficient method for dealing with life and not only for a nomadic photographer.
If skilled in applying it, always the good things of what happens can be seen.
From where one can happily and successfully proceed.

Pragmatism is a gift to humanity of much more importance and value than many forms of psychotherapy and certainly psychoanalysis.
But is it the perfect solution?
That depends.
As always, the person who learns to live according to this doctrine is responsible how it is being used.
A danger is that a pragmatist is carried away by its success and turns into an opportunist.
A very likely possibility in materialistic and capitalistic societies.

Recently a message was received from a Chinese person who makes documentaries for national Chinese TV.
He wants to make a film about the upcoming performance in Beijing, China, of the project “The most beautiful people in the world”.
In this project it is all about feeling the most beautiful.
The project “The most beautiful people in the world” deals with the difference between physical, external beauty and the beauty in someone’s heart and soul.
Andrey Zhu, the TV documentary maker from Beijing, China, wrote:
“I think your work is pretty relevant to Chinese people.
We really need a second thought about the word "beauty".
I've looked through your website and am pretty attracted by what Iranian Shafiee Dolatabodi, the 50-year old farmer and housewife had said:" The sound of the river in front of my house is one of the most beautiful things and that makes me feel beautiful also."
With bigger cars, larger cities, heavier pollution, more and more income, nowadays, in China, where is the river in front of OUR house?

This is exactly the difference between pragmatism and opportunism.
Temporary material gains and welfare is opportunism that does not bring much enrichment in the heart and the soul and has devastating consequences for the environment.

Pragmatism is being able to see and feel the beauty of life, as the woman in Iran is able to do.
And to proceed from there.

William James died in 1920 but if you want, he is still very much alive.


To learn more about William James, click on:

To learn more about neuro-linguïstic programming and Anthony Robbins, click on:

To learn more about the project "The most beautiful people in the world", click on:


Tuesday, November 13, 2007

We know everything about you.

For about 15 years, until 2000, life and work was based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
A beautiful city.

During those years in that city and society two major developments took place.

One was that the society drastically changed.
It used to be a community where people lived based on shared moral and ethical codes.
The essence of those codes was the togetherness.
The personal interest could only go as far as where it would not negatively affect the interest of a fellow citizen.
People were considered.

This changed rather rapidly.
Because of materialism, dechristianization and economic prosperity, people became not only egoists but hedonists as well.
Highest priority became the own personal well being even if that would damage the well being of another person.
Consideration became a virtue only applicable for the self.
Within a short time a fine matrix of a harmonious society disappeared and was replaced by a brute system of everyone for himself.

The second major development in Amsterdam was that there was a high influx of people from abroad.
From Morocco, Turkey, Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Sudan.
Eventually, the original population of Amsterdam became a minority in their own town.
People from other countries having different ways of living came to dominate life.
Who were not having any traditional binding or identification with the city and used it like a rented car.

These two major developments in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, were the fundamental reasons to decide to leave that town and country.

One of the aspects of life in Amsterdam in those years was a strong rise of violence and crime.
People who are not integrated in a society and community are more likely not to respect laws and moral codes.
People who are obsessed by materialism neither.

Living in one of the best areas of town, in a beautiful and big house, all the people in that neighbourhood were getting more and more afraid and paranoia.
They had a lot to loose and started to protect themselves.
Houses were equipped with alarm systems.
Front doors getting several locks and steel plates and strips.
Security and monitor cameras installed.

However, there was one man who did not want to give in to this madness.
He had a ground floor apartment along one of the beautiful canals in central Amsterdam.
An area of high crime.
The man refused to follow what everybody there was doing: barricading their houses.
He did the opposite.
Everything in his house of value, he sold or gave away.
The TV, the DVD player, his CD collection.
And as of then, he never locked the front door of his house anymore.
Whether he was there or not.
Anybody could come in but there was nothing to steal.
The magical but maybe logical thing happened that he was able to live peacefully.
Without any fear or paranoia.
Because it was known that in his place there was nothing of value.
Occasionally someone would open the door and walk in and the man would make a cup of tea for that person and have a chat.

Paradoxical behaviour sometimes makes sense.

Maybe also in a current situation facing not the population of a town like Amsterdam in the Netherlands, but the 303,357,581 persons living in the United States.

Last week was a hearing of the Senate Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington.
Maybe some fervent and loyal blog readers have missed the report on that event.
In that case it is good to read this blog because something very important has been revealed during that hearing that will affect every one of the 303,357,581 Americans deeply.

Donald Kerr, the principal deputy director of national intelligence, made a most important statement during the hearing of the Senate Intelligence Committee.

This top intelligence official says it is time people in the United States change their definition of privacy.
“Privacy no longer can mean anonymity”, says Donald Kerr.
“Instead, it should mean that government and businesses properly safeguards people's private communications and financial information”.

Originally a law from 1978 required a court order for any surveillance conducted on U.S. soil, to protect Americans' privacy.
That is going to change now.

The new legislation will shield telecommunications companies from civil lawsuits for allegedly giving the government access to people's private e-mails and phone calls without a court order between 2001 and 2007.
In other words, the US-government listens to phone conversations and read the e-mails of their citizens from the past and in the future.
The privacy of the 303,357,581 Americans does not exist anymore.

How realistic is this monitoring of the US citizens?
Mark Klein, a retired AT&T technician, helped connect a device in 2003 that he says diverted and copied onto a government supercomputer every call, e-mail, and Internet site access on AT&T lines.
Klein said that the US-government is vacuuming up billions of e-mails and phone calls as they pass through an AT&T switching station in San Francisco.
This statement he made under oath for the Senate Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington last week.

There is an expression:
“If you always tell the truth, you never need to lie”.
This loss of privacy is no big deal when most people decide to act like the man in Amsterdam.
If everybody speaks openly and freely, lives without secrets, there is nothing to hide and to be afraid of.
The question is if a government is needed to make people have that attitude.
And the biggest question is in how far a government can be trusted collecting and keeping the information from the private lives of its citizens.


Monday, November 12, 2007

$ 500 and noticeable fame offered.

A few days ago, this e-mail was received:

Good day,
My name is Roger Harris, I am freelance modelling agent working for Nat magazine . I recruit models for Nat Magazine and we currently want models for a new and special edition of the magazine. We also need photographers that will work with us on this project. I saw your profile while surfing the internet, I appreciate them and I would like us to do some works together.I presently have good offer for you. Please let me know if you are interested in the Job. You stand a chance of making reasonable $500 from this deal to start,and even a noticeable fame. Let me know if you are interested by replying this enail and I would give you further details and you can aswell visit the website....

Roger Harris

Isn’t that wonderful to get a job offer?
And not a job like any other!
It pays $ 500 and results in noticeable fame.
Best of all is that the job seems to be photographing models.
Beautiful and willing girls who are tired after the photo-session and need a drink to recover, possibly with the photographer.

When one uses the search engine Google and type in “Michel Szulc Krzyzanowski”, within half a minute one will see 3,520 results.
Anybody worldwide can get to know quite a lot about the work of this “Michel Szulc Krzyzanowski”.
Even find his e-mail address.
Therefore, it is easy to send a message offering a fantastic job.

As a result of this high profile on the Internet a lot of messages are received.
Many are nice and kind and result in lasting contact.
But of course a lot is simply garbage, spam and scams.

Now it is this Roger Harris who discovered this photographer and has an assignment for him.

However, being in this business for some time, plenty of experiences have learned that an assignment is never the result of simply someone sending an e-mail.
People in the business know each other.
It is all very much based on reputation.
We are almost like a family.
An assignment is the result of a process that includes usually knowing each other personally.

It is fairly easy to come quickly to the conclusion that the e-mail from Roger Harris is a scam.
A way of trying to squeeze money out of the photographer.

The method used is always the same.
If one responds to such an e-mail a lengthy communication starts.
Quickly it is made clear that in order to get the job the photographer has to transfer a certain amount of money to the scammer.
Promising golden mountains and good returns, it is pretended that it is only normal and reasonable to pay the amount.
Of course, if one does, one will never hear of Roger Harris again.
Because he is a thief and once he has his loot he runs away.

Another purpose of the scam is sometimes to try to get so many details of the person that his or her bank account can be plundered.

These schemes of trying to cheat people out of money have become a phenomenon once the Internet became successful.
For a long time e-mails were send explaining that millions of $ were available in some bank account but that to release that money help was needed.
If one would assist freeing those assets a healthy percentage would be the reward.
People hungry for easy money who would respond to this proposition would also at one point have to transfer money first.
And loose it.

This scheme has become too well known and recently this scam to approach photographers has popped up.
On the different forums of photographers on the Internet the news of these schemes has rapidly spread and therefore it might be expected that it will not be very successful.

Other schemes that are common are that someone wants to pay you to cash cheques and send them the money.
Or a new friend/penpal on a friendship/dating site who's asking you for money.
Or a dying person contacts you wanting your help to give his money to charity.
Or when you have sold an item and are asked to accept a payment larger than the item amount and return the difference.

In the UK is a guy who decided that we must fight back these scammers.
Who are usually from Nigeria, Africa.
Mike got into what is called “scambaiting”.
This method is to reply to the scammer and pretend that you are highly interested.
Without yourself giving away or any correct information, the game is to scam the scammer.
Mike is so good at this that he even managed a scammer to send him money.
He publishes these stories on a website and they are fascinating and hilarious to read.
This website also serves as a forum for other people to report on their experiences with scam plots.
And the pictures and names of the culprits are published.

This scamming is a multi million dollars industry.
Too many people are too simple minded, too naïve and too good of belief.
Or they are too hungry for what seems to be easy money.
Or they feel so lonely that the enormous desire blinds them to see that the girl soliciting is only a method to squeeze money out of the person.
Those people are the real victims.

Are they really?
Because if one does 5 minutes of research on the Internet after receiving a scam e-mail, it can be found out quickly that it is fraudulent.

In any case, a job paying $ 500 and resulting in noticeable fame is not an interesting proposition.
There is already enough fame and in Business Class seats are much more expensive.


The fascinating website about scambaiting can be found by clicking on:


Sunday, November 11, 2007


Many fervent and loyal blog readers will be surprised to read the title of today’s posting.
Hardly ever they will notice a spelling mistake on this blog.
But to write “atvholes” while the correct spelling is “assholes” is a major mistake.

It is understandable this critical linguistic observation will flash through the minds of the always attentive fervent and loyal blog readers.
However, it is not a spelling mistake at all.
It is a word that was newly created.
It stands for people who drive ATV’s in an irresponsible way.

An ATV is a motorbike but has 4 wheels.
A one-cylinder engine of 600 to 900 cc powers it.
Running on gasoline and not having a catalytic converter.
Often an ATV has four-wheel drive and some even power steering and a built-in GPS system.
They sell from $ 3.000 to $ 9.000. (2.000 to 6.000 Euros).

The southeast coast of Baja California, Mexico, is a beautiful area.
It has a fantastic climate, a gentle sea and wonderful sandy beaches.
Over the last 20 years there has been an influx of mostly Americans who have built holiday houses close to these beaches.

Many of those Americans bring with them their American lifestyle and their ATV’s.
Their attitude is that to go somewhere, transportation must be used.
It does not come up in their minds that another option exists.
To use the two legs and walk.

These “atvholes”, as they are called, use the pristine beaches as roads for their ATV’s.

Their concept of enjoyment is not to make a peaceful and health enhancing walk on the beach.
They believe it is fun to drive up and down the beach with an ATV.

Every day they cruise along the shore and have turned the beautiful beach in a highway.

This is a blatant demonstration of ignorance, stupidity and selfishness.
A beach is not just a heap of sand.
In fact it is full of life.

Many animals live there, like sand crabs.
They are crushed to death by the large tires of the ATV’s.
Their habitat is eliminated and terminated.

The beach is used by birds, like the pelicans, to land on and rest there for a while.
The noisy and dangerous ATV’s chase them away.

In this part of the world large sea turtles crawl onto the beach, look around, dig a hole and lay hundreds of eggs.
ATV traffic scares them away and if eggs are in the sand of the beach, they will be crushed to oblivion when an ATV drives over the nest.

ATV’s use gasoline, a fossil fuel that is running out, and the ATV pollutes the environment with its exhaustion gases destroying the ozone layer and contributing to fatal climate change.
In the context of what we know about the situation with humans and the earth, it is totally irresponsible to thoughtlessly use polluting vehicles just for the personal fun.

In spite of this all, adult people who know how wrong it is, refuse to compromise one inch of their own personal pleasure and continue to drive happily on their ATV along the beach.
What a fun it is and screw the world.

A most amazing thing that can be seen is people who have dogs and give a whole new dimension to the concept of walking their pet.
How a dog loves to run.
On a beach it is paradise for the dog, maybe even taking a dive into the warm water.
Bad luck for the dog in case the owner has an ATV.
These vicious vehicles are equipped with platforms and baskets where the dog is forced to sit.
Walking the dog means driving with the ATV on the beach with the dog in the passenger seat.

Near Punta Boca del Salado are huge dunes.
Many “atvholes” believe it is fun to race up and down those dunes.
Again, what is managing to grow there is crushed to death by the wheels while the fuel used and the pollution made contributes to the worldwide disaster we are facing.
It is totally irresponsible behaviour giving the personal fun the highest priority while very well knowing the negative effects.

Not only are dogs walked by ATV, fishing is also an activity for which an ATV is used.
A person living in balance with nature walks to the beach and fishes from one spot.
Not so the aggressive “atvholes”.
They load their vehicles with fishing gear and race on the beach along the coast until they spot some activity in the water to stop and fish.
Again, this pollutes, uses unnecessarily fossil fuel, destroys the beach and depletes the amount of fish.
But Mr. Atvhole can’t care less.

In Mexico it is the law that when driving an ATV, one is obliged to wear a helmet.
Do not imagine that even one of the “atvholes” respect this law.

It is people as these “atvholes” who are the deplorable world citizens.
They are well informed enough what is going on but they decide nevertheless to give their own personal and trivial interests the highest priority no matter what are the consequences.

They could have another attitude.
Living here in this beautiful part of the world, they could involve themselves in positive and constructive activities that do not damage the earth.
Like cleaning the beach in front of their pompous houses.
Or, like they do in Los Cabos, organize themselves to protect the sea turtle nests.
And improve their health by walking and exercising.

More and more it is becoming clear that time is running out.
The way people live in developed countries is unsustainable, selfish and irresponsible with the price of the burden paid most heavily already by fellow human beings in other parts of the world.
There has to be change and it starts here, now and for every individual.

The “atvholes” must change into “holists”.