Scenes from Copan
A week in Copan, Honduras.
I had meant to spend two, maybe three, nights in Copan, Honduras. Instead, I ended up spending six. The first two were comprised of necessity: a night of rest (though, really, drinking) after a 4am bus ride, a day to explore the nearby ruins. The next three were because I’d found a few new friends who really liked and I had no desire to leave them. And the sixth, because I was struck with food poisoning and couldn’t bring myself to get on the 7am bus I needed to take.
It was a chance encounter. My friends and I stopped in a shop to grab some post-lunch liquados and ran into a group of young Christian missionaries who had been staying in El Salvatore. After an hour long conversation with them I will admit that they got me to reassess my beliefs: I’m pretty sure I went from agnostic to atheist.
I really do try to respect all religions, which is why I consider myself agnostic. There are aspects of religions I like and some aspects I just don’t. But I like to believe in possibility and can’t say for certain that anything is true or which one is “right,” if any of them.
Sometimes I really admire people with as much faith as they have because it’s just something I don’t have. I want to believe that there is some purpose to life. I want to believe that there is life after death. But I just don’t.
But I’m willing to hear people out. In the course of an hour these missionaries managed to not really answer a single question we had, equate not believing in God with being a murderer asking a judge to pardon him because he’s otherwise been good, and basically tell us all that we’re going to hell. They were all about 18 and pretty much sounded brainwashed. Their arguments definitely seemed like they were geared towards scaring people who can’t think for themselves into converting.
Personally, I don’t see the point of living a life solely so you can be blessed in an afterlife no one can be certain exists. Live life for the life you know you have. Make it good. Make it count. Because who knows what lies ahead.
I’ve started thinking too much again. Like when a guy I kind of wanted to kiss kissed me one night in Copan and I pulled away and left. Because he was way too young and not my type and spent the entire time mocking my American ways.
I’ve done this before. Too many reasons that I shouldn’t do something cloud my head and I can’t just relax, breathe, let myself just say fuck it and go with the flow of things. I can’t let myself do what I want without convincing myself that I shouldn’t want whatever it may be.
For some time I managed to lose this part of my brain and lose myself. And it was wonderful. I so need to reach that point again.
Sometimes you meet a cute puppy at a bar.
There are hot springs near Copan and we spent an afternoon there. One of the waterfalls was so hot my friend Andreas bet me and Tom a beer that neither of us could stand under it for ten seconds. Tom tried and couldn’t take it. I, however, managed more than ten seconds and went back for more. Maybe Americans like their showers a bit too hot for Europeans…
I’ve become obsessed lately with this idea that every little move I make can drastically effect the outcome of my trip, of my life. At home, little decisions never seem to matter. Whether I get on one train or the next, I still make it to work. Whether I eat in or eat out, I still just have a meal. Every decision usually has a mundane outcome.
Here, which bus I take can determine who I meet, what I do, where I go, how every other moment from here on out will unfold. Which hostel I stay at means I might meet the man of my dreams or my next best friend or absolutely no one.
And everything would be different if I had started in Panama and worked my way north.
It’s maddening to think about.