Patagonia, 1975

The Englishman I shared hotel with is unbearable. Keeps talking all the time. He said he wants to be an author. I find that utterly unlikely to succeed. He has, apart from some newspaper writing, only worked with antiquities so far and says he was successful at that. Why then leave an apparently well-paid job and go to South America just to try to get famous? He had actually been in Sweden once when he was a boy some twenty years ago, to train a couple of kids in English. His only friend there had turned out to be an old eccentric, no wonder.

He doesn’t understand anything of Argentine politics. This is definitely going to get him into trouble. Apparently it was close already the other day when he started to argue with some policemen. He also annoys most of the locals and he hardly speaks any Spanish. He seems mostly to talk about his ancestors of which he claims that one had sailed to Patagonia. He tries to follow the footsteps of that old fart and other Brits… A strange thing to do in a country on the verge of a military coup.

If he wants to write, why not try to alarm good old England and the rest of the world about young presumed leftists and montonero peronistas who keep disappearing and turn up dead and mutilated by so-called paramilitary groups?(No, this is not a true story but could well have been, with some weeks difference)

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Filed under Bruce Chatwin, South America, Travels

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