Day 176 – You can check out, but you can never leave

2009/03/06 § Leave a comment


Mancora is one of these places where it is too easy to become sucked into the lifestyle so much that leaving becomes a near impossibility. Many of the people I talked to last night have been here for double or triple the amount of time they had initially planned. There is not even anything too special about the place, it just is too easy to just live here.

In case you remember the blog I wrote about the difference between traveling and a holiday, someone yesterday said, he has been traveling for months now, but it is the first time he feels he is on a holiday, hence he just stays on. Remember? On a holiday you leave your sorrow home. Many have checked in for a while, enjoying the fact that they slip looking for accommodation for some days, no booking bus tickets, no talking to new strangers each day… The strangers here quickly feel like friends, a hotel room like one’s apartment, Mancora like an adopted home.

Some have checked in decisively too long, they are the ghosts of Mancora. Like in a bad movie about the lost hippies of the late 60s, some here have not ever checked out again. Or they have checked out, but have forgotten to leave. Some Austrian guy talked to me yesterday asking for five Soles. I handed them too him reluctantly. Judging from his scent and the ripped Jeans he needed them badly. The stubbles of his beard had turned into a shimmering gray while the sun had deeply tanned his skin into a leathery substance. He said that he needed to make a call. His stuff was lost, even his teeth had been stolen he claimed, explaining his teeth-less appearance- or maybe not?

He should have left, I thought, but maybe Mancora is another of these black holes, like Gili Air in Indonesia, into which I once fell for a while. It can be nice to disappear in this way for a while, but our Austrian friend- like the other hippie ghosts walking the alleys of Mancora after dawn- forgot to reappear. What kind of a live is it? How do you get there? Maybe I should have asked, but I let him play his act; did not want to rip the last bit of pride off him.

They have it hard enough as it is I guess. The Loki-hostel’s entrance reads: No entrance for hippies.

Fingers crossed I make it out of here, the bus ticket I have in hand already. But maybe checking out is easy, though, will I ever leave?

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