Category Archives: Argentina

Iktami Devaux writes amazing stuff

When I met my friend Iktami Devaux for the first time in El Bolsón, Argentina, I immediately fell in love with him (no, I am not gay, and he was already a beardy old man in his mid fifties). With his openness, witty outlook, spirituality (yet firmly grounded in reason) and liveliness he was talking directly to my inner self. With his body slowly degrading, like a failing machine grinding to a halt, he saw his sickness (a rare form of arthritis) as his master, pushing him to take his plans with life to another level. And plans he has. To keep his sanity he has to keep writing down his thoughts, in the form of reflections, as well as full blown books.

After having read the first collection of his short stories -“Through the wilderness of love”- I also became a fan of his work. His writings were so much in line with the path I had set out for myself, being in a relationship with my fellow beings and nature, I could not get around it. But in the six years thereafter, I was distracted by my own life and work, and we found ourselves sharing thoughts only once a year sometimes.

Until he translated “El arte de no hacer nada” into “The art of doing nothing”, which I had the pleasure of reading in 2011. It immediately sparked the fire that lay dormant within me, and I asked for more. I also decided I would make him a website to sell his books. Until then he had only been selling them at the fair of El Bolsón.

Well, that work is now finally done, and I am proud to present to you his website, which is fully bilingual:

Because I truly believe his writings should reach as wide an audience as possible, I asked him if I could distribute “The art of doing nothing” as a PDF for free. And so he agreed! I quickly converted his rich text document to a pdf, so here’s the link to it on dropbox:

The art of doing nothing – free PDF version.

Please read it and tell him what you think (you can comment on his website). He loves to communicate and communicates love 🙂
(And if you really like it, you can make a donation on this website.)


By Corine

No ola and chao anymore, it’s back to hallo and doei. Yesterday, 5 april, we arrived in Holland at 11 in the morning (Argentinan time: 6:00 am). Maurice was picked up by his parents and Marjolein, I got a ride from Rikkert in my old citroneta (which is now his!). Kristin left the house really clean and tidy for me. When she left for Berlin she had problems leaving the cats here 🙂 Later friends came for beers, Bas cooked for everyone. I thought I would be knock-out by midday, but fel into bed at about 1 o’ clock in the night. At 9:30 this morning I was already drinking coffee with Rikkert. Now I am organizing my house again, doing the mail, taxes etc. I am used to be here again, though it is still strange to hear people talking Dutch on the streets. And in the supermarket my first reaction is still Spanish 🙂 Our last remembrance of Argentina was the champagne breakfast we had with friends, just before we jumped into the taxi to the airport. I wonder what they are doing now.

The dictatorship

By Corine (who continues the former blog on a different computer, because of sudden virus-attacks)

Ok, were where we? Ah, the remembrance of the dictatorship on march 24! Well it was announced with some street ´parties´ the night before. Movies, a festival, demonstrations. We saw all sorts of posters on walls with sentences like ´never again. People handed out special papers. On the day itself, a lot of streets in the center were blocked by the police for the demonstrators. They marched for a couple of hours through the streets and ended up in the famous Plaza de Mayo. This is so close to our hostel, that we heard all the noise. Unfortunately we didn´t find time to go there because, for some unclear reason, we had an appointment with two families right at THAT time, to have a look at the car. While we were selling the car, the ´mothers´ did their speeches to thousands of people on the square. The president promised them to find out what happened to their children. We some of this on tv. When we were finally off to go, pouring rain started and everybody went home.
Before, I said that the Argentinians really like Maxima (though she was a nobody here before she married our prince, according to some taxidrivers…). But they definitely don´t like her father. Last week, when I talked with our Argentinian friend Carlos about this he told us that Zorreguitea lives right around his corner!! His mother even bumped into Maxima once in the supermarket, ha ha. We went to have a look. Thanks to a friend of Carlos (¨… my friends are big fans of the royal family, it really means a lot to them if they know where the parents of their princes lives …¨), the dumb guard of the apartment complex told us the exact number of the flat where Zorreguieta lives. The funny thing is that his street, Uruburu or something, is named after a former dictator …. We felt like ringing the bell and have tea. But we left, feeling surprised that the guy lives in a flat, instead of a big villa.

No more photo´s

By Corine

Yesterday we went kayaking in the Tigre, a real cool river-area (sort of a Delta) with a jungle atmosphere. It smelled like a rainforest, you could hear crickets, and from the water you can see beautiful roots, big waterplants, little houses, palmtreas, etc. The river itself though, was not so cool: plastic bottles, dead fish, oil, the occasional sewing tube ending in the river. So Maurice felt pretty unhappy when his canoe tipped over … And if this wasn´t enough, it happened when we crossed a wide river with a lot of boattraffic. Maurice couldn´t manage to get back in the boat (and the kid that was guiding us, didn´t really know what to do), so he had to swim all the way to the shore. I think we have great pictures of this trip. But if the pictures DID survive the Tigre-water, we can only show them when we are home. The camera is dead for sure, so no more pictures from now on.
The homefront asked us if we heard anything about the Queens visit, and about the remembrance of the dictatorship. Well, we didn´t see the queen. But I feel petty for her. She is visiting Argentina. But the Argentinans decorated a whole theater for her with … tulips. Then she is going to visit … the Anne Frank museum. And then she is going to visit … a Dutch colony in the north of Argentina. According to taxidrivers the Argentinians really love Maxima and they think Willem Alexander is very beautiful 🙂

Spending some…

Yup, the cash is in the moneybelt 🙂
We got paid in full in bills of hundred, straight from the old sock under the bed 😛 We started spending immediately, for who wants to be a walking target with all that money on her/him? We couldnt put in on the bank without a hassle, so we´ll have to keep it with us…or leave it at the hostel…where somebody actually just broke into a room of a guest and took her stuff 🙁 So we said no way jose, and split it to spread the risk.
I just left Corine with some hairdressers which were recommended by two really nice gay guys from some fashion boutique here in San Telmo. They were working on some fairly old women tho, making em look really young again…hope its not the other way around with Corine 😛
By the way, I put a lot of new photo´s online, so chek em out!

Show me the money!

We did it! We sold the car for 8000 pesos!! We finally had 3 interested parties, of which one wanted to pay at the spot 🙂 They told us thats the argentinian way, but we are dutch so….we told them that Christian, the guy who was first to get in touch with us, would have first choice. It was a hectic meeting in that last evening of car showing. A family of 5 people were there to evaluate the car. Some far away uncle came for a test drive and that was it! No need for mechanics or second opinions, great! Same with a vegetarian mother and vegetarian daughter (Maria y Maria) who raised horses for polo on a farm just outside BA. They loved the car straight away. Even after we did 2 testdrives 😛 In which one I couldnt pay attention at all to the driver, because one of the family girls was talking in poor english to me all the time. She kept telling me how nice it was to be able to talk to a nice person in english, after she just flunked her first exam since the holidays 😛 Anyway, they all figured out how the car worked ofcourse….
We just finished our last round of paperwork. Ofcourse we were going in and out of buildings again (stamp here, pay there, come back). Now we will call everybody and collect the money, which is not yet in our pocket 😛

Extra, extra: We just got mail from the first guy that he cannot go along with it, so now we can tell that nice family that they may buy it! They will be so glad, and for us its nice too, since we know the family through Dana. And Dana works behind the bar of our hostels restaurant. Pffff….its all about knowing people here…haha

Car stress in BA!

(by Corine)
Spending our last 2 weeks in Buenos Aires now. Found the best place in town to stay, a relaxed room with a balcony and really high ceilings. The whole place is really cute and every day I see something new (art on the wall, a rack of self made clothes for sale, a roof terrace, a pile of cool movies and books, a nice lamp, etc.). We are also in the middle of the Tango area, San Telmo, with older houses, and little shops and cafe´s with a romantic atmosphere. The weather is not so hot and humid anymore. I like BA much better now 🙂
BUT……… besides all this, we are working!! We have two more days left to sell the car. Already a few people had a look. But they are only ask questions about the papers, they don´t even get IN the car! So today we are gonna sort this stuff out.
In the worst case we don´t sell the car and loose 2.500 euro´s (1.250 each). We are gradually getting used to this option …

Road fiction

Pff…were now emailing the embassy about this guy from our log that we helped out…so we believe(d)…we lost all track of him after we lend 330 pesos to this guy. And its all so strange, since we offered him more and he refused. He even visited us some times after that and emailed with us…maybe to keep us soothed while planning to flee. Its pretty desillusioning, but at the same time very amazing to have met this guy. So full of stories (might be prepared, might be made up on the spot) and so believable (might be acted, might be lying pathologically). I still remember all of his stories. I still wanna believe they were true :]

By the way, he said his name is Fabian van Maarn (dude where are you?)

last chance

We actually went to Cordoba to meet Robyn and Marcelo. They were the first to react to a forumpost in which we tried to sell our car. They even took us into our home so we could arrange for everything. They were so warm and kind and invited us to visit their family. The case was that Marcelo’s family needed to be involved in the buying of the car. Thats how it is in Argentina, especially if they all want to lend u some money 😛 So yesterday we went along and were kindly taken in by their family in some tiny village called capilla something. On the last part of the road (which was a good dirtroad) Marcelo tried the car. But he went around 80 km/h and that got me so scared! At that speed I lost control when I had the accident. So I told him that, but he misinterpreted what I said and went even faster…OMG! Corine and Robyn were talking in the back of the car all the time and hadn’t noticed a thing! Anyway, we finally arrived at his family’s restaurant and had italian aperitives. Cinzano, Fernet and some other liquor thingy I actually liked were served with soda and lemon. Yummy! A little boy with a little tummy prepared us some great pizzas (which he always took the first piece of, ofcourse). And Marcelos mum was cooking all the time and serving her famous tortillas. We had a great time and ended up sleeping in their newly built house. Nobody lived in it yet for it still had a lot to be done in the kitchen. And thats very tipical of Argentina, that they start building stuff and stop if the money runs out. It seems that everybody spends any money coming in immeditaely. They wont put it in the bank anymore, thats for sure! So a lot of houses just have one story with support sticking out for the next one. Crazy!
Sadly tho, the next day, after a quick inspection of the car by some cousin, we heard they wouldnt buy our car 🙁 Their cousin had told them because it is an imported car they would have trouble finding cheap parts. I never experienced any such trouble tho, having bought many parts here for reparations. So that sucked, but hey, what can you say?
So now were on the move again, heading for BA where we hope to sell our car. We still have some interested people that want to see our car, so lets try to cut a deal!