Monday, 9 May 2011


I started to work on Mongering when we were in Cartagena. It was a campaign there, addressing sex tourism as a major problem. I went on the web and stole this material from and

Mongering is based on the anonymous postings of more than a hundred men on the web. This is their own words in describing 'the scene' of third world countries.
I have edited several hundred pages, only tracking down the (neutral) sentences (kept unaltered) in between the numerous accounts.

I wanted to strip down these postings until the language in-between became apparent.

A lot of these postings were written in an all-American consensus of no-nonsense, as if their consumer rights were taken to prostitutes in third world countries.

Some of the sentences follow each other as fragments of a long story cut short.
I didn't really want to cut their postings to bits and pieces in order to shuffle them around and create a new (funny) meaning.

How can we stop meaning from arising when there is none?

During the editing the sentences were sort of floating around me, bobbing up and floating away. I couldn't drag them under.

Their obsessiveness and fixation also seemed strangely mixed up with fear and paranoia.
The text (texture) soon began to churn and grind in a rather annoying way.

One hundred men started to speak with one voluminous voice.
But the silence (that crept in-between these sentences) was haunting me.

Can the meaning of fragments only be fully understood by a fragmented mind?

I got the eerie feeling that something ghostlike was arising from the language.

These men (who seem to be living their lives to the limit) have words and appearances as dead men.
Sometimes I felt that nobody was there; it was nothing behind the language, no one who could truly see and experience the world.

The texture of language seems to be entering something endless.

If the void could speak, would it be silent?

photo: Henrik Nor-HansenOkay, here it comes. It's poetry unless poetry will be read with less care than prose, then its prose.


I spent a week in Singapore last month. I walked out of my hotel, turned left and hit the beach.

I walked out of my hotel, turned right and reached some open-air beer bars (just like those in Pattaya and Phuket).

We went upstairs and found the fishbowl empty (literally not a person there).
This was not my only worry. The next two weeks were total paranoia.

I have just spent a week in Istanbul, it's not that great you know.

The outside actually looked like a regular restaurant. Around 2:00am (I think) the bar closed and we all had to leave. As far as I could tell, everyone walked out alone. I'd never imagined a place like this before.

I walked until I got blisters, and was sweating from the heat, and went back to a few places a second time.

The whole thing left me very hungry and anxious to go back.

By 11:00pm we were fed up and left. There is absolutely nothing to do in the evening. It looks like it might be closed for good, since it's been closed for over two months. This is only if you make the mistake of telling the house of your intention.

I can't remember the exact street. Either the place has changed, the rules are changed or I was in the wrong place.

Instead, I found a way to take them outside and access the hotel from another entrance and didn’t have any problems. The other beaches are wonderful but, at night, there is nothing.

I wasn't too much into it and didn't believe it would be worth it.

They converted several dollars into seemingly worthless small coins.
I didn't pay them extra for the rooms and cups, because this is supposed to be included. Then it was closed for a while for some mysterious reasons. It has finally reopened but it’s a totally different place.

I went to Hat Yai in July 2004. I stayed there for a while and was disappointed. I stayed in Nana Hotel and checked Nana Entertainment Plaza and some places in Shukumvit area. All were rubbish.

I just returned from a week vacation in Rio. They've managed to spoil the fun and the whole scene is disgusting.

All of the smaller hotels are certified dumps each having its unique mix of problems. There were pickpockets everywhere and fights and chaos.

First, the idea of going there for the Carnival experience is a waste of time if you’re not into going to parades at home.
Secondly, if you're not into crowds, stay at home.

Later I visited Iquitos and must admit that I was rather disappointed.

Eventually we turned left and headed up into the hills where the narrow roads immediately turn to dirt.

No one knew where it was, maybe it doesn’t exist anymore now, or it was not in that area. They never even asked what I wanted.

I guess I looked desperate.
I went behind the curtain to the hall where two mattresses were laid on the ground.

This is the place. It's an old house with a family living there. We eventually made our way to a simple but acceptable room in the back.

After a few minutes we arrived at a large wooden door in a small side street and she knocked, somebody answered, they exchanged some words I didn't understand and then we were let inside.

After paying at the reception area, I was assigned a locker key. They then show me to the locker room for me to change out of my clothes into a robe and sandals.

They actually are afraid of foreigners not because of crime but they don't want uncomfortable situations.

It looks like a regular bar. I don't know if I paid many times more than the locals, but it was still reasonable.

I don't know how exactly the system works but ended up sitting down at a table.

I had to repeat it like ten times before he understood. Skinny dirty dogs were skulking around. Old cars parked every which way.

I stayed at the one of the former communist state hotels since the new western hotels were full. I think something like that is difficult to fake.

I answered in English and it was impossible to talk to her.
I got up and left. If I stayed any longer I was going to be sick.

The only contents in these stalls were some very cold plastic lawn chairs.
I had already started getting nauseous just from looking at them.

I was for ten days in Baku and this situation never happened again.

Suddenly I felt very nervous being all alone with an old woman in an empty house.
It was cold and drafty but the experience seemed so animalistic.

What I'm looking for now is a bit of information.

During the day there is little to do unless you are a surfer. I have been crossing over the border into Mexico for years. The Pizza restaurant is reasonably priced but the pizza sucked.

It was so hot and steamy in there that my glasses were fogging. There was not a hint of breeze.

It was in a strange degraded place. I was a bit afraid of the situation.

The rooms are a bit shabby and the bathroom/shower is down the hall.

Next day: As I was coming back from visiting my relatives, I decided that I should give another try.

The food was nothing special, very comparable to Cuba.

I am afraid a cockroach is going to crawl on the bed, not that I had seen any but that is how dirty it seemed.

Nothing big though, just lunch and some chit-chat.
Tuesday: We went back to Pizza Alley, and across the street is a very well-lit park.

I wouldn't want to be there when it's out of season. The place looked like it was closed up but apparently not.

Immediately followed three bottles of champagne without our consent. We started to feel a bit uncomfortable and said to the waiter to bring the bill.

Without us even complaining we were told "if there is a problem come to the Managers office".

I insisted on the chosen one and he hung up. End of story and the money gone.

I don't know if it would have been different if I had tipped the guy. Somehow I don't think so.

It just raises the bar that much higher for the rest of us.

The 'Russians' (or thereabouts) are around.

There seems to be some pretty inaccurate stuff here.
First night: I figured that jet leg was not an excuse.

They always expect to come to your room and raid the mini-bar.

For San Jose, that's a pretty good deal, for the rest of the country it's pretty shitty.

Some roads are dirt through little dirt poor towns. I found the ability to choose empowering and absolutely opposite to the experience that I had dealt with my entire life.

Buenos Aires was worthwhile. There is not much conversation here. Even the beaches are perfect hunting places.

Campinas compares in size and feel to Sacramento.
I first started out in the previously reported area near the Sheraton Retiro. I don't recommend this area. The area I recommend is in Recoleta.

I visited a few places here.
Last year was a trip to remember, specifically my trip with my friends to Mar del Plata. I hardly ever ate at the same place twice. Prices are less but you get what you pay for.

This time I got brave, rented a car and started driving there.
Best time for dinner and people watching in the plaza with minimal traffic noise is after 8pm.

I love discos and I love to dance. But a lot of the time, I’d be the only guy dancing. The ground floor was icy cold and completely deserted.

I remembered reading that gems could be found in that area but I never did partake.

Navigando sucked, Manilla house was not too bad.
There was never any mention of money or any other kind of negotiations.

I just shouted at them to get them "the fuck away from me".

Upstairs, it was extremely crowded. There wasn’t even enough space to dance.
And having some people to talk to certainly helps relieve the boredom if you’re travelling alone.

After one cold shower, I decided I had enough.

One day, I notice my toothpaste is missing. I look all over the bathroom, but can’t find it.

The master bedroom had an attached bathroom (cold water).
Furthermore, everybody looks so bloody serious. Most of them don’t speak English anyway.

Cartagena isn’t really a party town. Hardly any guys are dancing in the discos.

I had a very difficult time finding an apartment with hot water.

And the atmosphere is really subdued.

On another occasion, my deodorant and cologne are missing from the bathroom. They were definitely stolen. After this incident, I believe my toothpaste was stolen as well.

As I have said before, I travel.
If they ask for more, tell them to fuck off.

I ordered a beer and made my way to the dance floor. From about midnight to somewhere between 4am - 6am, when the discos were open, I was happy.

Until somewhere between noon and 2pm, I was asleep.

I suppose there needs to be a guy in the scene for me to be able to project myself into the movie.

I love to dance and live in discos while I’m on holiday. Beaches aren’t really me. I feel a lot more comfortable in a disco than on a beach.

The rest of the time (10-12 hours a day), I was mainly bored.

They have two small rooms, each with a hard couch.
God help anyone out of season.

I broke out one of the larger perfumes for them to sample. I did buy them a crate of beer on the first night, and drank most of it myself.

I booked the day for a tourist excursion into the rainforest.
This was useful for me, as I was travelling with friends and didn't want them to know what I was up to at night.

After a while I took all the pillows and blanket so she wouldn’t go to sleep so easily.

The mind set you bring to this country when you arrive on the plane will kind of be the outcome of your trip.

I went back down to the bar and ordered another drink. Just to test, I went for a chicken and left the safe keys (with only cash in the safe) and they were still there when I got back.

I took my third shower of the day and headed back down to the bar. I intended to do a lot of partying that night.

I didn’t want to miss the one chance I had in my schedule of concluding some unfinished business, but I was dog tired through lack of sleep.

We sat on the bed for like one minute without talking. I broke loose and kept going.

I was totally hooked and decided to bring my company and all of my belongings to the Dominican Republic.

It's almost real and if you treat them right they will be nice to you too.

At the end of the evening, I asked where I could find something to eat. My favourite spot was Kapital Disco and all the bars around.

They enjoyed cheering each other on as they took turns.
I consoled myself with the fact that the band weren’t bad and I could somehow justify the expense of this trip.

At the end they would ask for money for the taxi. One of them asked for a gift. They looked at me and I stopped the car, walked out and talked to them. I could have spent the whole night, but time is money.

I had a taxi driver who didn't know where it was and we drove around the whole city. I took a look inside and decided not to stay.

I had to tell many that is was time for them to go so I could go get another.

During the day the club is fairly deserted (if open at all which seemed random as well).
I did my best to convince them that I have very little money or else the rip off is inevitable.

During the day you may want a rental car to drive to the beach etc. You can rent beach buggys and drive over dunes.

I just breezed through here on a jaunt through South America. By late night most of the guys are drunk or sleepy and have drifted off.

At the top of the stairs is an informal reception area.
The one thinking that Paraguay is behind and a no fun country is totally wrong. We had some drinks on the balcony and a chat. I was treated like a king, especially as Irish tourists are virtually unknown and it made them proud to show me their country.

There are many slot machine joints, as well as a few casinos on the way. They line up and wait for their victim to sit down before trying to work them.

It was one of the most fearful experiences I have ever had. I thought every cab ride to the next club would be our last, and I felt like I was about to be robbed at every turn.

Late night is not the time to be alone waiting for a cab that might not come in those hardcore poorer areas.

Take advantage of their slower economy and exchange rate, and have fun.

In Lima no one speaks English and you'll be hard pressed to find anyone who will try.
You can just point and beacon or just get up and grab one.

They brought drinks up to the bedroom, no problem.
I do not know if there was anything in it, but I found the behaviour of the bartender unusual.

Cruising the streets was the only thing I could do to relieve the boredom in the evening (or in the daytime).

We went to file a report with the tourist police who took too long and it was a major waste of time.

But I like doing the party shit, this was a lot of fun and for me better for the price.

After a long flight from the US, I went straight to the beach.

Just shoo them away with a hand signal.

Then I accused her of being a guy and asked to see her penis.

This doesn't work on me but the rest of mongering nation has gone mad for fuck sake! The next thing that happened was one of the waiters brought me a piece of paper. Here is where it would be nice to know some Portuguese.

There's a bar in the lobby and one on the roof with a pool four feet deep.
Istanbul is like every other big city.

When you get into a taxi, ask them to turn on the meter.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I'm not anti-Arab, but these idiots have no idea what's going on.

The driver also made a huge detour to make us think the casa was a lot further away than it actually was.
So after going around the target block a few times I finally found the place. I stopped and pretended to ask for the time.

Never had any problems with them trying to steal my shit. Also, the guys look equally tired, fat, bald or 'regular' bar guys and it was embarrassing to be there.

I took a taxi from Abu Dhabi but couldn't sleep.
I am not good at haggling, but understand that all prices are negotiable.

I didn't want to waste anymore time so I agreed and asked for the check. It looks to me that the host is making up the number of the bill as he goes, seeing that I am a foreigner.

I am very wary about leaving my passport for fear of what they can do with it.

I told her I was American and she got interested quite fast. Two big men led me to an ATM machine and demanded I withdraw the money.

As we left we tried to flag police cars several times but they did not even stop.
At the club don't drink too much and don't look at other people directly in the eyes.

Beware of men who approach you asking for the time or a lighter and “do you speak English”.

While I was walking down in Rabat a woman begged me for money. Higher price doesn't mean better service, often it's the opposite.

Since they had not searched me or even asked for ID, I assumed they were looking for a bribe.

It's in a main road near the Pacific Hotel and Super Burger shop, wherever that is.

The first thing that came to mind was the cash that I had stashed in my backpack.
I turn more pages and realize these ladies are all wearing wedding gowns.

In the small room, the service provided was totally worthless.

Shootings are common between drunken locals.

It's worth getting there early to get the pick of the best. Since I was alone there I was searching and roaming.

He replied: Sahiba will be released after her hair was chopped off as she has long hair. I asked how two people staying in a hotel room could disturb peace and order.

Getting them to let go of me proved difficult, but I find that kind of thing helps me as a kind of warm up routine.

Having heard so much about the place, I wanted to have some action without fussing or wasting time.

I’ve been to over a hundred countries and this is it.

Upon my arrival, I wandered outside the airport. I was counting the colones and it didn't look right.

After being bored out of my skull all evening, I was glad to see some girls making their way to the disco.

My Portuguese is terrible. But being a foreigner is a plus.

Nothing wrong with that but in general you won't get great service and they will feel superior.

It wasn't hard to figure out what happened. I went back to her and accused her of taking my money.

She had a deep voice, heavy make up, large hands and stood quite tall.

I've been twice in Argentina. I'm Dutch.

Just in case I forget: I'm the one that's holding the money.

What’s more it gets bloody cold at night here, and now it's the middle of summer.

Nobody on the streets (when I asked a taxi driver he suggested the local shopping mall).

Rooms are always readily available in the location.
I told them either they take the money I offer or go home poor.

Once I dawned my robe, I went upstairs to the disco.

It’s hard work, especially if you’re being assaulted by gusting winds.

If you can’t get a room with a balcony and view then there is not really much reason to stay there.

The thing to do is just register as one person and take your chances.

I got the impression that the hotel was more than half empty.

But it felt a lot colder than that because of the wind.

I talked quite a bit about what I was down there for and they had no problem with it.

What's the point of flying halfway around the world to overpay?
Suriname is a very poor country.

At one check point we were patted down and then I had all my bags searched.

The hotel and rooms are kind of run down and basic. No cable.

I'm American, travelled to Uruguay on a family vacation. I was in Venezuela on business recently. Right now for me, Costa Rica is the place to be.

I just came back from my yearly trip to Bolivia. I went into the one next door because they had a better neon sign and I always go for that.

I spent half a day looking at apartment options as well.

It was especially bad on the beach, where sand was blowing in my face the whole time.

But there isn’t much else you can do in the daytime.

All room numbers ending in 04 and 05 have balconies facing the ocean.

I’m not talking about a light breeze here. I’m talking about gusting winds that assault me everywhere I go, day and night.

I was sitting in a taxi in front of the Atlantis Casino in Boca Grande (because of the wind).

I explained that wasn’t what I was looking for.

I absolutely hated the fucking wind!

I really regret not having checked them all out.

Only after I got back on the main road did my breathing slow down to normal.

I was tempted but decided to walk on and see more.

At night I could hear the waves crashing against the rocks as I was falling asleep.