Good and Bad Fruit; Excellent people

February 20, 2024

The new fruit of the morning was pitaya, a mild flavored fruit. Wikipedia says it’s the same as dragon fruit, but most of the dragon fruit I’ve eaten is almost tasteless. (I had a yellow version at the hotel in Medellin on Feb. 22, and it was more flavorful.)

After breakfast we went to the Colombia National Museum. I didn’t see any signs forbidding photos, but I furtively took this photo anyway. For those who aren’t aware of the sordid history of United Fruit in Latin America, check out this article.

General Smedley Butler was obliquely referring to United Fruit in this famous quotation:

Some of you might not be aware that U.S. corporate elites tried to stage a coup when Franklin D Roosevelt was President. They asked Smedley Butler to lead it and become the first U.S dictator. Instead, he turned in the plotters, which included J.P. Morgan, Irénée DuPont and executives from BirdsEye, General Motors, and General Foods. He was disgusted when these wealthy individuals got off scot free. Rumor has it that FDR told them they wouldn’t be charged with treason if they supported his New Deal.

Right next to the museum, was a restaurant called The Wok, where we met Camila and her dad for lunch. He is also a writer—mostly short stories— and loves Henry Miller. Even though he doesn’t speak English, we managed to discuss what happens when the story takes over in ways we don’t expect, e.g. when characters decide to do things we hadn’t planned on them doing, or when minor characters decide to become important. When I am trying to figure out a sentence or paragraph that isn’t quite right, I walk or work in the garden. He sweeps the floor.

The conversation reminded me that I need other writers in my life. And I need to prioritize the writing.

Less Twitter for me, I guess.

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