Mr. Paraguay – Jakob Davies Savoldelli

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(Approximate reading time: 7 minutes)

Today I’m very proud and have the honor to dedicate this blog entry to an extraordinary character and personality. This article was actually first published in December 2017 on my old blog, but I decided now to rewrite the content and reprise the attention to the mentioned character.

Close to the Brazilian border in the nowhere of Paraguay lives a tour guide who doesn’t only have a vast knowledge about the Alto Paraná district and all the things he should know concerning his job. He is as well a caring and warm-hearted person with a high dedication to his visitors and one of the main reasons why I scored the highest grade of the whole course in the Master’s Thesis.

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls. Please let me introduce Mr. Jakob Savoldelli or Mister Paraguay. Some people in the small district of Minga Guazú might also know him just as Profe, because he taught the community English for several years.

¡Al servicio del turismo y de la patria!

I saw Jakob only for four days in August 2017 and although our age is separated by decades, although we are different generations, although we have two complete different life stories to tell and although we grew up in different societies and surroundings, I need to admit, that he still means a lot to me. It seems like, that we understand each other and trust each other. I am inspired from his attitude and think, that his WhatsApp status tells much about his appreciation for tourism in Paraguay:



For me personally, Jakob is one of the real heroes I met through my time in Paraguay. One of the few who thinks in solutions, not administrating problems. Who shows the right dignity and professionalism to his job. Who is ahead of his time and the one-eyed king in the country of the blind. In Paraguay, it would be Jakob with his sharp eyes.

Some of you people know, that I was working for my graduation assignment for the Paraguayan National Secretary of Tourism (SENATUR). Woah, sounds fancy, doesn’t it? Reality showed itself unfortunately a little bit different, I had maybe the worst supervisors and managers in my entire life that one can imagine. Both are directors of their departments (Statistics and Strategic Tourism Planning), but unfortunately equipped with zero expert knowledge, dedication to their own job and beyond that completely incompetent. Their omission would be worth an own punitive blog entry, but this one here shouldn’t be dedicated to the wrong people. It’s for the good people like Jakob.

Anyway, I was busy with my Master Thesis and liked what I had to do as a topic, although it was a real challenge. I wrote my thesis about…

“Restructuring the strategic tourism planning from a centralistic macro-based method to an individualized micro-based approach”

The challenge wasn’t the topic itself. Although the title doesn’t tell anyone a thing what was really the content, I can tell, that it was about the strategic change of tourism planning in Paraguay. I would need more time and beer to explain you the details, but for me it was quite interesting to observe and describe how a country tried to change their strategic tourism planning. I liked to write about it, but came very soon to a dead end because of missing information. Yes, Paraguay is a real desert regarding liberal and digital information. Unfortunately there weren’t many articles and information about (tourism) in Minga Guazú available and the one who were responsible of the project (Naiman Miserlian, Director of Strategic Tourism Planning of SENATUR) was so goddamn unprofessional and be out of place that I didn’t receive any valuable help from her side.


Although it was her own project and quite pioneering for Paraguay’s future tourism activities, she didn’t show any dedication or deeper interest to really get things going in this country. For me as an outside observer it was a shame and pity at the same time. With more professional, passioned and responsible people for the project with the right background knowledge, it would have been great to see things growing. But with the leadership of some managers of SENATUR, a project can be messed up, before the outcome even will be launched.

So I came to this dead end without anything I could write about. Luckily another diligent and helpful colleague of SENATUR, Señora Asuncion Azcona, told me about “an old tour guide who is an English and German native speaker in Minga Guazú”. When I heard that for the first time, I could hardly believe what she said. Everyone who ever visited Paraguay knows about the – let’s call it basic – level of English of the population. But how can someone of a 79.783 community be an English AND German native speaker AND a tour guide of the area I was in need of? Dawn of hope was shining in my eyes whilst I imagined that he could be the key to my missing information and the missing puzzle piece.

I took a high encouragement from these information and the first phone call with Jakob Davies Savoldelli. Although we are age-related decades apart from each other, I felt during our first conversation a good vibe and respectful interest for each other. He was directly willing to help me out and told me, that I he would guide me through Minga Guazú if I would visit. Wow, what a nice and attentive person. Jakob is of half English and of half German origin, but embodies everything you would expect from a hospitable and welcoming Paraguayan.

‘Nuff said, I booked a bus ticket early September and three weeks before my deadline to Minga Guazú. Jakob told me on the phone that I should tell the bus driver to get off on KM18 on highway 7 “where always Mister Profe steps out of this bus”. A little confused about his instruction I shared the bus driver these information. Lo and behold: The big bus company of the capital of Asuncion knew where the tour guide of Minga Guazú always steps out of the bus to take a shortcut home. Either the world is a small place OR Jakob has made a lot of good and valuable contacts in the past.

20. Steam machine (6).JPG.jpg

I took the bus at 11pm and drove over night for six hours to my weird destination in the middle of the highway. Quite overfatigued I stepped out on KM18 on highway 7 in the middle of the night and nowhere. It was around 4am and Jakob told me that I should just call and wake him up. So after maybe 30 – 45 minutes of walking in the dark I found his place and although we both were very tired in the early morning, he welcomed me at his place and offered me a Tereré, the typical Paraguayan drink. The first good impression and connection I made with him on the phone was directly confirmed by the first personal conversation we had. We talked for more than two hours in the sunrise of his garden and disturbed as well his honey bees – One of Jakob’s hobbies is beekeeping.

In the middle of the night I arrived in Minga Guazú without having anything else than his phone number. I didn’t even reserve an accommodation for the four nights I spent in Minga Guazú and laid all the faith and hope I had in the hands of a stranger – Up until then I didn’t even had personal contact to him. How often did you get disappointed of other people, friends and acquaintances who are even closer to you when you trust and rely on them?! I wasn’t disappointed from Jakob and my sense and intuition for the right people was working frictionless. Jakob was so kind and organized not only for me an accommodation. He also took me to several places, events and introduced me to the skeptical population of Minga Guazú. Without his help it would not have been possible to receive all the missing information and interviews with the local person in power for my Master Thesis. He was due to his experience and recognition a real door opener and the missing puzzle piece to my deeply needed information. I soaked up everything like a sponge he showed me, explained me and mentioned during these four days. I took several photos and shared my collected information as well at Google Maps. Paraguay as an isolated island within the continent is in general not really modern and digitalized with information and Minga Guazú is even worse. But I was quite successful with sharing a part of my information and reached within less than three months a high audience:

Jakob fed me with enough educational nutrition during my time in Minga Guazú, that I could easily continue writing and vanquish the writer’s block. At the end I wrote in total 212 pages and scored a 9.5 out of 10 for my thesis. I know, that Jakob wasn’t responsible for scoring that mark. But he is responsible as the key to my success and assisted me as the fuel serves the car to get to a goal.


I regret, that I could only spent four days together with him and I am pretty sure, that I could have learned more when I would have more days in Minga Guazú. Neither wasn’t I during these student days solvent enough to reimburse him properly for all his services. But Jakob is a proud and diligent man and would have probably denied a considerable sum. Jakob, if you read that, I would like to thank you again for all the help you offered me. Without your self-sacrificing manner and devotion for your job I would have been lost in the labyrinth of ignorance of SENATUR and could not have finished my Master thesis as good as I did. You understood in contrast to many other people in Paraguay what tourism is and really means. As a customer I am more than happy and satisfied with what you showed me and how you showed it to me. And more than that: I’m pretty sure, that I found in you a friend whom I can trust. Whenever I will have the chance to see Paraguay for a couple of days again I would be happy to visit you and your bees again.

Whenever you are in need of a tour guide in the Alto Paraná region or you want to find out personally more about Ciudad del Este or Minga Guazú, please contact me and I would be glad to connect you with the walking library and excellent tour guide Jakob Davies Salvodelli. I’m pretty sure, that you won’t be disappointed and will have a highly dedicated and motivated tour guide!

Hola Su de Peru, que tal estás tú? I’m thinking about you! Woohoo!

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¿Con qué frecuencia usé esta pequeña rima simple para “impresionarla”? No lo recuerdo, pero se desarrolló como una palabra alada. Incluso después de la 4,328 vez, ella todavía reprimió su molestia y se mantuvo amistosa con una sonrisa más amplia y blanca que jamás ví en mi vida.

Entonces, ¿quién es Su? ¿Quién es esta mujer con el nombre más corto del mundo? Tuve la oportunidad de conocerla en 2014 en Lima, fue en realidad la primera muestra peruana que vi en mi vida. Y cuando la vi por primera vez en el largo vestido de cóctel bailando en el césped del jardín del apartamento en el que me acababa de mudar, nunca hubiera esperado que la mantuviera como una buena y cercana amiga mía.


Fue difícil mantenerse en contacto en 2014, porque mi semestre en el extranjero en Lima fue una experiencia desenfrenada para mí, con muchos encuentros de corta duración. Por lo tanto, uno nunca sabe durante el primer semestre en el extranjero y la primera vez en otro continente, quiénes son las personas con las que puede contar y con las que vale la pena mantenerse en contacto.

Y Su definitivamente valió la pena y también fue la razón por la que visité las clases de Muay Thai. Practiqué algunas lecciones con ella los lunes por la mañana a las 7 am (!!),porque esta clase era la única coincidencia para encontrarnos. Como estudiante en el extranjero, debes comprender cuánta dedicación significa sacrificar un lunes por la mañana para que una chica te dé una paliza en una clase de Muay Thai.

Eres bienvenida Su, incluso años después. No hay necesidad de agradecerme por eso 😉


A lo largo de los años nos mantuvimos en contacto y cuando regresaba a Lima después de cuatro años, el destino nos unió, a ella y a mí nuevamente. Me ofreció quedarme un par de días en su apartamento, mientras buscaba un lugar propio para quedarme en Lima. Casualmente, uno de sus compañeras de piso dijo un día después de mi llegada en enero de 2018, que se quería mudar del apartamento y coincidencias de la vida, ¡de repente había espacio disponible para mí!

Durante todos los años en el extranjero, viví con muchas personas juntas y cada una tiene sus propios hábitos. Algunos son más sociales, mientras que otros solo piensan en sí mismos. Susan era y es una persona…) muy social y me ayudó varias veces a salir de las miserias y problemas peruanos. Ella me integró bien en sus círculos de amigos y conocidos e incluso me presentó a los miembros de su familia. En comparación con la cultura familiar relajada de Europa Central, significa mucho, si eres bienvenido de una familia de amigos.

‘El camino de Susan’

¿Una fiesta, party, celebración y evento en Barranco sin Susan? ¡No imaginable! Durante mis siete meses en Lima, salimos juntos varias veces y nos divertimos mucho con la extraña y alegre población de Barranco. Mientras escribo el texto me estoy riendo de nuevo sobre todas las personas y abogados divertidos que conocimos durante las noches 😉

“El camino de Susan” se estableció por primera vez gracias a ella y luego se convirtió en un famoso tour nocturno Limeño. Si alguna vez alguien tiene la oportunidad de pasar algunos días en Lima, debe intentar de planificar un fin de semana allí. A Susan le gustaría guiarlos todos los viernes a partir de las 11 pm en “La noche de Barranco”. Debido a los mejores contactos con la vida nocturna, ella podrá conseguir unas mesas en cualquier momento, sin importar que lleno esté el salon. Para ella, es el bar el lugar perfecto para liberarse de la semana laboral de estrés e incluso celebró su cumpleaños allí.


Alrededor de las 3 am del día siguiente, el tour continuará a un lugar super secreto llamado “El Bar de Nico”, al que solo se puede acceder para una cantidad limitada y selecta. Pero no se preocupen: Allí también tiene algunos buenos contactos disponibles para abrir las puertas secretas de uno de los mejores lugares del distrito.

Bailando con una sonrisa

Cuando otras personas toman sus bebidas o hablan entre ellas, ella es la única persona en la pista de baile que siempre está en movimiento. Susan baila. Susan sonríe. Susan baila y sonríe al mismo tiempo. Ella es feliz y otras personas también se alegran al observarla.

Normalmente hay una canción que te hace bailar. Susan y yo también tenemos una canción favorita. Es ‘El Baile y el Salon’ de Cafe Tacuba. Sentí como una ignición, cada vez que escuchábamos esa canción. Ella definitivamente quería bailar, cuando los tocadiscos tragamonedas tocaba esta canción.

Por supuesto, no hay una sola canción, que la hace querer moverse. Ni siquiera se necesita estar fuera de casa. Susan es una persona que puede bailar en casi todas partes, la única premisa es la música alta:


Hello Su from Peru, how do you do? I’m thinking about you! Woohoo!

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(Approximate reading time: 11 minutes)

How often did I use this simple and amateurish little rhyme to ‘impress’ her? I can’t remember, but it developed as a winged word and even after the 4,328 time she still suppressed her annoyance and remained friendly with a smile showing the widest and whitest smile I have ever seen in my life.

Soooo, who is Su? Who is this woman with the shortest name of the world? I had the opportunity to meet her in 2014 in Lima, she was actually the first Peruvian specimen I saw in my life. And when I first saw her in the long cocktail dress dancing on the grass in the garden of the apartment I just moved in, I could’ve never expected to keep her as a good and close friend of mine.


It was difficult to remain in contact in 2014, because my semester abroad in Lima was a wild and rampant experience for me with a lot of short-time encounters. Hence you never know during your first semester abroad and at the first time in another continent, who are the people you can count on and worth to keep in touch with.

And Su was definitely worth it and was as well the reason why I visited Muay Thai classes. I practiced a few lessons with her on Monday mornings at 7am (!!), because that was the only timely overlap we could visit this class. As a student abroad, you should comprehend, how much dedication it means to sacrifice a Monday morning to get your ass kicked in a Muay Thai class by a girl.

You’re welcome Su, even years later. No need to thank me for that 😉


Over the years we kept in contact and when I was going back to Lima after four years, destiny put her and me together again. She offered me to stay for a couple of days in her apartment, whilst I was looking for an own place to stay in Lima. Coincidentally, one of her roommates said one day after my arrival in January 2018, that she wanted to move out the apartment and as coincidence commanded, there was suddenly room for me available!

During all the years abroad I lived with a lot of people together and every single one has his or her distinct habits. Some are more social, whereas others only think for themselves. Susan was (and is) a very social personality and helped me several times out of Peruvian miseries and troubles. She integrated me well in her circles of friends and acquaintances and even introduced me to her family members. Compared to the lax Central European family culture, it means quite a lot, if you are welcomed from a friends’ family.


‘El camino de Susan’

A fiesta, party, celebration, happening and event in Barranco without Susan? Unimaginable! During my seven months in Lima, we went out together several times and had a lot of fun with the weird and tipsy population of Barranco. Meanwhile I am writing the text, I am laughing loud again about all the funny people and lawyers we met during the nights 😉

‘El camino de Susan’ was first established by her and got lather then promoted to a famous Limeñan nightlife tour. If you ever have the chance to spend some days in Lima, please try to plan a weekend there. Susan would be very happy to guide you every Friday from 11pm at ‘La noche de Barranco’. Due to best contacts with the nightlife, she will be able to get a table for you anytime, no matter how full the scenery will be. For her, it is the perfect bar to let loose from the stress work week and she even celebrated her birthday there.

Around 3am of the consequent day, the tour will be continued to a top-secret location called ‘El Bar de Nico’, that only can be reached from a limited and selected amount of people. But no worries: There she has certain good contacts available as well to open up the secret doors of one of the top spots of the district.

Dancing with a smile

When other people are sipping from their drinks or talking with each other, she is the one person on the dance floor, who is always in motion. Susan dances. Susan smiles. Susan dances and smiles at the same time. She is happy and other people get happy as well observing her.

There is usually that one song, that makes you wanna dance. Susan and me have a favorite song together as well. It is ‘El Baile y el Salon’ from Cafe Tacuba. Felt like an ignition, every time we listened to that song. She definitely wanted to dance, when the jukebox played this song.


Of course, there is not this single song, that makes her wanna move. It’s not even needed to be out of home. Susan is a person, who can dance almost everywhere, the only premiss is loud music:

El Ojo Bermúdez

Unfortunately, the Peruvian national soccer team was only allowed to play three matches in Russia during the World Cup 2018. That’s why the most of my international readers probably won’t understand the following joke fully. But there is a funny little striker in the team called Edinson Flores. He was called several times during their matches from the TV-commentator ‘El Oreja Flores’, because of the following reason:


Although it might not seem nice, to reduce this player to his outstanding and obvious hearing organ, it became during the matches something like a running gag and welcome addition to entertain the audience. When Susan and me were going out at night, something very unusual happened to her sensory organs as well, but not to the ears. It was more her eyes, who didn’t really want to behave as she wanted to behave. Especially her right one:




Susan doesn’t like violence. But once, she looked like she was beaten and had something like an infection on her eyelid. That exacerbated her generic ‘problem’ with her eye and made it even more distinct:


The crazy cat lady

Although Susan told me, that she doesn’t want to have kids, she is already a mother. Her brood are two impertinent and gorgeous cats, whereof one is a very hoggish specimen. I once wrote an article about the cat and also produced a video. You should definitely check it out – Then you know her cats and that the cats love her and seek always her presence. Especially a warm body to sleep.

Do you know this character from the Simpsons who is throwing with cats at strangers? The crazy cat lady? Definitely I can see parallels and am concerned, that flying cats will be used in Lima as weapon. Especially her obese tomcat Lugh can become a weapon and tear down an opponent with his weight. If you are walking at Avenida Paseo La Castellana in Surco, you should wear a helmet.


Susan is a snow first-timer

Did you ever see snow falling yourself? Smelled it? Felt its cool temperature, that numbs your fingers? I am always surprised, if my friends and acquaintances from South America have the desire and longing to know how it feels to touch snow?


If you grew up in Central Europe, you get annoyed by snow sooner or later in life. As a child, you may love snow for all its appealing additional bonuses like snowball fights, building snowmen and outages of classes. If you are older, you hate to freeze and the terrible traffic jams caused by snow.


I am very glad to be the one who shared Susan’s first experience with snow. Somehow there is not a difference between a little girl and a grown-up lady. If they see both snow for the first time, they don’t really know what to do. Later they dare to dare and touch it and get used to the unique texture of the frozen water. Finally, they have fun and can’t stop touching it.

A lot of good Sundays

If we didn’t finish devastated at 6am (or later!) at the bars of Barranco, we usually spent a lot of great Sundays together. Mostly eating good food in Cevicherias, watching preparation matches of the Peruvian squad for the World Cup or visit some far neighborhoods in and around Lima to pass a great day before preparing for the next working week.

A few very nice Sundays I put together in the slideshow below:

So much fun is such less time

I have actually so much more funny stuff and stories to tell about her, that I sometimes forget how confident they are exactly. Maybe it’s better sometimes to keep quiet and enjoy thinking about these funny moments. But there are a lot of other good moments that I captured with my phone to tell a story:

My plan was to go to a Sushi restaurant, order the ‘All you can eat’-menu and eat at least 100 Makis. Unfortunately, I couldn’t make it due to different reasons and only highscored 91. But Susan came with me and helped me emotionally with that big challenge. I’m proud to have finally found someone, who supports my gluttony!

But it’s not always about quantity and ‘All you can eat’. Especially in Peru – a country that celebrates eating – you can find a lot of high quality food. These dishes are actually so heavily tasty, that you don’t want to leave a single piece or drop on your plate, before the waiter comes to clean up the table. Su would like to show you in the following video, that table manners are in Peru defined as followed:

Believe it or not, but that’s pretty normal in Peru. And maybe also in a lot of other countries of the world. But the difference is probably to usually not do that in public 😉

If someone nourishes herself with good food, she should be also in a healthy state:

Next to cats, she has also a heart for plastic giraffes and the brightest smile I have ever seen:




What a powerful lady!

The more I think about Susan, the more respect I have for her and the way she is able to manage her life. It’s not easy to live as a woman alone and independently in this world. But trying the same in South America and in a macho dominated culture how she has to face it every day in Peru lets me compel respect from her. Especially if Lugh eats up the half of her monthly budget.

It is a sad thing in life, if you don’t know for sure, when or if you are able to see each other again, isn’t it? I think, that it is.

Sometimes, the ways of two different people cross each other surprisingly again. Same happened after all with our first reencounter in January 2018. But when will be the second reencounter? And where? And why? It definitely won’t be for wedding or birth-related happenings, that’s for sure. Neither she nor I have any intention to follow the mainstream rules and rather want to live an individual life.

But one thing I know for sure. No matter when we are meeting each other again or how long it may take to see each other again. I am pretty sure, that we will still have the same trust and faith in each other, still laugh about the same childish jokes and still the same deep and profound conversations about life and all its challenges. I miss talking to her. She was like a big sister to me, who I never had.



your Punchito

Gato Lugh – The Meowvie

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It’s a sad story, when you have to leave your best friend behind. I will leave Lima and might never see him again. For a moment I thought about putting him into my suitcase, when I leave. Then I realized, that I don’t have the space and free weight to carry a 9 kilo monstrosity and will be overcharged from the transport operators.

So what present to give when I leave? A can of tuna? Do cats even feel when you leave? I will find it out. In case of emergency also without a can of tuna. But I hope, that he will like the following video that I recorded and edited. It should be nothing less than an eternal appreciation for Lugh the Cat. And thanks to YouTube, this video will hopefully last forever and survive all nuclear wars of the future to show mankind what funny and lovely personality this little tiger was and how much he enriched and delighted my time in Lima.
Ladies and Gentlemen. I’m proud to introduce you to the five minute masterpiece ‘Lugh – The Meowvie’ to all of you.

Traphil features… Lugh

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(Approximate reading time: 12 minutes)


I am writing now about a very special friend of mine, who I made in Lima, Peru. People sometimes laugh here about me when I say, that he is the best friend I have here. I don’t really know why they say that, actually I don’t really care. Maybe because they never had a best friend. Or maybe they never felt a friendship to a cat.

To a cat?

Yes, to a cat! These animals with their four paws, their 270° radar ears and long whiskers. My best friend is called Lugh, but some people get confused with Garfield when they see him. Lugh has as well an orange colored fur and characteristic stripes on his back. And comparably to Garfield’s appearance, Lugh has exactly the same humanly problems, e.g. overweight, laziness and the fear of vacuum cleaners. Maybe these are not the problems of every human being, but at least the ones from myself.

And here we are why Lugh and me are such good friends: Because we can identify with each other and share mutual interests. I like canned tuna, Lugh as well. Lugh likes to oversleep all day, I do sometimes the same. And we both are very curious characters, who want to explore and discover the unknown.

Cats might have their own character, but are predominantly shy and nervous animals who prefer the defense mode, when someone new is approaching their territory. Lugh is different: He is a very friendly and curious cat, welcomed and accepted me very friendly in his territory. Another distinct sign for the Peruvian hospitality.

Lugh lives together with another cat, called Enya. Both have their names from important gods of the Irish mythology and Enya is the mother of Lugh. But only in the mythological Celtic stories, in real life both cats aren’t related to each other. So, they live together in the apartment of Susan, their ‘real mommy’.

Garfield-Lugh is always very nice and friendly to Enya as well, but she doesn’t thank him for that. Au contraire: She usually wants to cause fights and bullies him around 5-6 times during the day as you can see on the following videos. Like in real life as well, it’s always the woman who likes to start to fight.


The poor and innocent overweight cat usually quits the field and retreats the female cat her space. He wouldn’t dare to defeat the girl, although his physique is more thein sovereign. A real gentleman and a sad depiction of ‘the real life’ as well. That’s how it goes, if you live together with a moody bitch!

Lugh however has many vices, but his biggest one is TO EAT. His few kilograms too much on his rips don’t come from black magic. These were all inimitably added to his normal bodyweight, when used to guzzle himself. His own dry food for cats isn’t unfortunately enough for him, that’s why he steals from Enya’s bowl as well. But for all her bad bullies against him, she deserves the diet-version of a bowl of cat food.

And if that isn’t enough, he even tries to steal food from my plate, from the fridge or the trash bin. One could also say, Lugh is born in the wrong body, because he is hungry as a tiger but can only live in a body as a cat. Whilst writing about his birth you should take a look at the following pictures, that show the ENOURMOUS differences between his birth size and the recent state.

For me it is simply incredible, if I take a look to his full size right now:


For me it’s unbelievable how a cat can weight 100 times more after the birth weight. Maybe I should check the Guinness World Records and look if he maybe broke already a world record. With distinct cats, it’s possible to earn a good keep, hinting here at Grumpy Cat.

Another vice of him is to chase reflections. Whenever something like a mobile phone, a mirror or a glass is reflecting sunlight or artificial light, he deactivates his logical mind and enters the hunter’s mode. Unfortunately, he never succeeded to catch one single time a reflection. I told him several times, that his efforts are fruitless and will be fruitless forever, but he doesn’t want to hear that and ignores my wise recommendations. At least I have to admit his willingness and the ‘Never quit’ mentality. One time he was so wild, that he knocked over a whole scratcher.


From the shock in his face you can imagine, that he probably understood doing something wrong and wanted to apologize for that, repetitive meowing. All forgiven!
Lugh is now 4 and a half years old. In human years this would be 33 living years. In this age, you should actually behave very experienced, mature and sovereign. Lugh is still trying to find these behaviors for himself. For 33 living years, he is more a silly person than a senior. But that’s okay, I’m probably the same.
I sometimes think, what job he would have, if he wouldn’t be a cat. Probably being a supervisor, because that matches his interests and talents of observing people at work as well:


Another talent of him is to steal things:

Here he tried to steal money from me. So probably also a criminal career would be a way for him to earn his keep. But I don’t know about the chances of him on this specific career market.
Sometimes he just likes to make a chaos and make me responsible to clean up his mess:


Because of these moments, I want to kick his ass. Another time when he breached my rules and entered the shower, I thought about switching it on to let him learn and understand more about the consequences for his misbehavior. Not being fully sure, if this would be a morally good thing to humiliate a cat, I asked this question in a poll in my Instagram Feed and got a very balanced answer:


So I didn’t do it. Damned, it was a unique opportunity to educate him and I missed it!
But together we also have a lot of fun. Mostly, because I like to make fun of him.

One day, Susan and I tried to shave him. Fat cats have also a lot of fur and Lugh isn’t unfortunately an exception here. It didn’t really work as we all imagined, but at least we tried it…


The best video so far from Lugh is the following:

Thank you Lugh for all the nice moments we had together. I wish you a long and prosperous life with a few kilogram less on your belly!

Your friend Phil

TraPhil features… Χωρις Γλυκανισο

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(Approximate reading time: 12 minutes)

Shit – What has happened to the headline? There are some alien signs you never saw before in your life. But don’t worry: Neither do you need to read the text from the right to the left, nor to download the latest version of the Adobe Flash Player.

Maybe it is better, if I let the person I want to introduce to you people hidden and dangerous in the dark. I think, that this would be exactly how he wanted it to be. Let’s just say, that these strange signs in the headline are luckily not Arabic, but from the Greek alphabet. And let us call this man Dimixtrix, following how some Peruvians tried to pronounce his name and made us both laugh. People from South America had enough problems to pronounce his name correctly and thought all the time that he would be Russian. But he does not have a lot in common with a Vodka drinking and Russian Roulette playing psychopath. Far from it! I am talking now about one of the finest and sharpest personalities I met so far during my time in South America. And if Don Felipe compliments people (what usually doesn’t happen too often) AND writes a dedicated blog article about this person, there must be something true inside of his words!

I had the chance to meet Dimixtrix for the first time in October 2017 when I was new in Quito. Everything was new for me in that time: New country, new city, new apartment, new people, new daily rhythm, new everything. I lived in a very huge house with about 35 living quarters. My time in Ecuador was not very successful: I had heavy problems with my health, completely incompetent doctors to deal with and a job that was not corresponding and matching my talents and skills AT ALL. Besides that I couldn’t fix my Visa problems, because I was dependent of my official documentation from UCAM, the worst university of Europe. Without that kind of documentation I couldn’t apply for a working visa.

All in all not the very best arguments to look finally back and say: “Yes, that was a great time”. But luckily I met one person, that was really worth it and will be always a precious friend and contact. Dimixtrix was my neighbor in that huge house, that was more suitable for exchange students and social volunteers from Europe and the U.S.A.
When I met him for the first time, I was highly surprised: He was Greek. And during all my years abroad I barely met any Greek students, tourists, etc. They mostly stick to their country due to different reasons. Dimixtrix luckily received a scholarship, which made his time in Quito possible. So it was just luck, that we met each other at the right time at the wrong place. I write wrong place not only because of me, Dimixtrix prefers as well living closer to the beach area to listen to the waves than living up in the mountains.
We had directly a click, because he is from Thessaloniki, the second biggest city of Greece. It is a really beautiful city and worth to visit. My uncle migrated 30 years ago to Greece to a little fisher village maybe 50 kilometer away from Thessaloniki. So I was surprised, that he knew this little fisher village and he was surprised, that I had already visited his hometown and could tell him a few stories about his city. A good conversation and a good start for a buddyship!

During that time I already had the luck to perceive him as a very energetic and active personality, without any fear of strange or unknown things and with the willingness to first eat something and then later ask: ‘What is that?’. So exactly this ‘I’ll do it, come hell or high water’-attitude also represents me. How many people don’t want to exit their own comfort zone and prefer to stay safe and secure in their rhythm and routine? Dimixtrix is so far away from his own comfort zone, if he turns around and tries to look for it he would probably need binoculars to find it. A real explorer and curious adventurer.

After three months of a lot of trouble for me I finally decided to leave Ecuador and headed to Peru. In the week when I was leaving town, he asked me: “Will you be in Lima in March/April? I’m planning to travel to and through Peru.” I told him, that probably I will be but can’t promise anything to him. He answered me, that he will visit me for sure. Okay, nice words. But how many people have already told me, that they would visit me and have never shown up?

Dimixtrix also says these words, but what is indeed more important about him: He realizes them and make them happen. There are not many people in the world who let nice words consequently nice actions follow. Mostly it remains BlaBla. Well, I found a very nice Greek specimen it seems. And I am very grateful to that!

So Dimixtrix contacted me again in February and told me, that he will travel to Peru and if I would like to join him for one week. I didn’t need to think for long and agreed to his idea. We met in Mancora, what is in the north of Peru, very close to the border of Ecuador. He came from the north, I came from the south and we met almost in the middle. And it was probably one of the most exhausting bus rides I ever made: 20 hours in a normal travel bus, without the comfort of a sleeping bus.

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Bus from Lima to Mancora: 21 hours

So we started together in Mancora for two nights, went from there to Piura to catch a bus to Chiclayo. In Chiclayo we have visited ‘El mercado de las brujas’ what means something like ‘The Witch Market’ and which has to offer a lot of weird voodoo things to interested people.

So from these seven days we were unfortunately most of the time in a bus. Maybe 2.5 days from these seven days were wasted/spent on the roads of Peru. But it was nonetheless worth it!

When we arrived at the hot springs in Yumagual I was very disappointed about the site: An indigenous tramp requested 5 Soles charge at the entrance of this free place from us and indigenous people were washing their clothes at the hot springs. So all in all that day was a little bit disappointing. But Dimixtrix was still in a positive mood and did not show any displeasure about our situation.

All in all I am very thankful to have made this trip with him, because I saw a lot of things which I probably never would see so easily again or on my own. But Dimixtrix is very energetic and could motivate me several times to continue although my inner energy reserves were running low. I like to remember the last day in Trujillo, when I was after an upset stomach and no sleep in an overnight bus close to book a ticket back to Lima. But he convinced me to stay for one day longer and thanks to this decision I had for example the joy to see the oldest Pre-Colombian city Chan Chan in South America.

After returning to Lima, we also had a couple of good days together, e.g. at the evening with Coline and Lea (Two old housemates from Quito) or at ‘La casa de Nico’.

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And Dimixtrix loves ice cream! Whenever he had a good meal and his tiny stomach is already full, he is still looking for an ice cream:

Ice cream with Susan and Dimixtrix

Although it’s quite stupid and wasteful what the Peruvians did here: Installing a motorized gas compressor to operate an ice cream machine including its cooling system. But Dimixtrix wanted to have an ice cream.

Not all about Dimixtrix is perfect of course. He has the typical Greek “I love to be late” mentality. In South America it didn’t really matter, because these people here love the same mentality. when he made an appointment, the other person was late as well. So if both people are 30-60 minutes late, at the end they were punctual. Another little careless thing is to travel to South America without a smartphone. The only advantage is, that none South American criminal can steal his phone. The disadvantages are the missing GPS, the missing clock, the missing possibility to contact him, etc.. It’s not very easy to travel without a cellphone through South America in our modern times, where everyone relies on the internet. My deepest respect, but it also complicated our trip sometimes 🙂

Dimixtrix and his friend Thanassis – Who joined for a South America trip as well – continued traveling to Ica, a city in the south of Lima. He took another bus of four hours and wanted to see the desert and the oasis of Huacachina. I didn’t go with him, because I already saw these places before. He has some more big travel plans: Go to Santiago de Chile, after that back to Cuzco and then to Buenos Aires. Of course everything in bus.

I wish him all the best, a safe and secure trip and a successful finish of his studies. One more semester and he is done with his shite. If destiny wants it, we will sit one day together in Thessaloniki and eat Bougatsa, a traditional Greek breakfast and drink Frappé, a traditional Greek coffee.