Montevideo, Uruguay


Montevideo is the somewhat small capital of the country Uruguay where there’s hardly anyone.


I walked all the way to the big river. Very windy.


They are called “Switzerland of the South”, and I did go after learning about its good placements on several rankings. But it was just really boring and most of their food seemed to be chips and big pieces of meat. I simply couldn’t see myself living there.

Santiago de Chile


Santiago, officially Santiago de Chile, is the capital of the mountainous country of Chile. It’s likely the most developed Latin American city with additionally a good view of the Andes.


Whilst there are modern buildings in the city, its pretty buildings are the colonial structures.


As you can see, the modern buildings are all rather uneventful, ugly, and boring. They didn’t even seem to have different colours.


The wonderful Andes as seen from an airplane.


The castle in one side of downtown. I was really impressed as two dogs were walking alongside me for like half an hour to get here, just to defecate. Very disciplined.


A university.


Where President Allende took his own life.

Cajon de Maipo, Chile


One obviously may not visit Chile without seeing some of its snowy mountains.


Me with the Chilean flag. The guide only had this and the Brazilian flag.


One good thing about Santiago is how accessible snowy mountains are from it, and in fact it’s not even that cold going up there.


It’s an impressive scene.


Valparaíso, Chile


Valparaíso is a colonial city off the rough Pacific coast in Chile. After experiencing the pretty developed Santiago, this was a let down.


I went mostly because Wikipedia said it’s the first city that faced globalization or something, which I guess meant there were massive trading going on.


There’s a small hill going up, and it’s generally walkable.

Cusco and beyond, Perú


Cusco was the capital of the Inca Empire and is now a base for tourists flocking to Machu Picchu.


It’s got great food – this a bakery. But the alpaca and especially the fish were amazing.


On top of that, there are numerous closer ruins such as this.


Just a church.


Or this.


The town itself was likewise decent, even though someone did steal money from me. Their city flag is the rainbow flag.


I was fine with the altitude, but of course had to try the local coca tea. Cocaine can be made from the leaves and thus it’s illegal in many countries.


This was the town down the hill from Machu Picchu (now with the same name), used to be called Aguascalientes. I quite enjoyed my time there, even though things were costlier.




It was almost independence day, so there were like 100 Peruvian flags in anticipation of the first Oxford-educated head of state or government to take power in the country.


The temperature’s different down there.


Inca irrigation system.


Classic Inca big rocks.


The town down from a temple on the hill.


Machu Picchu, Perú


Machu Picchu was the palace complex near the Incan capital Cusco, and is the main tourist draw for Perú.


One must buy tickets online waaaay ahead of time as there’s a strict limit on how many people are allowed every day.


Whilst it’s not big, it’s an insanely photogenic site.


And you can always find a spot to take a photo when the people are looking small.


You can also wander around and walk to other nearby sites…


Such as this bridge.


Or, have an audience with His Holiness The Dalai Llama. #freetibet #freetaiwan #freehongkong #macaucandowhattheywant

It’s fun chasing them around, but by far the best chance to get a photo with them is to let them steal your food. One of the llamas actually fell into a hole at one point and the big llama looked very worried.

Alanis Morissette at Corona Capital Guadalajara


Whilst I normally post only travel-related entries, this blog, jagged little earth, was obviously named after the legendary album Jagged Little Pill, and so it only makes sense that I write about the biggest-selling female rock artist of all-time Alanis Morissette’s show in Guadalajara, México.

The formerly Rolling Stone’s “Angry White Female” was a part of the first ever Corona Capital line-up in the second-biggest city in the country, receiving second-billing behind only the “Mr. Brightside” band The Killers.

While her popularity has undoubtedly waned through the years, despite the fact that her latest album, Havoc and Bright Light, still managed to début No 1 globally with a record broken, she was received by a big and eager audience at the music festival, with her set being between 8.10pm and 9.40pm, coincidentally the time of the sunset in the state capital of Jalisco.

The Canadian-American pop-rocker began her set with the album track “Forgiven” from the best-selling female rock album in history, Jagged Little Pill. An interesting case indeed, as it’s undeniably an anti-Catholic anthem and México is a Catholic country. It’s likely to be intentional as well, as she hadn’t been opening her sets with the hard rock tune in her recent concerts.

The mother of two then transitioned into “21 Things I Want In A Lover”, the opening track and final single to the global No 1 record, Under Rug Swept. She even made a lyrical change, changing “brother” to “sister”.

The performance of “All I Really Want” was quite interesting considering the fact that it contained the line “if only I could kill the killer”.

The “Sister Blister” songstress then preached feminism in this highly patriarchal Latin American nation with a single from her current LP, “Woman Down”.

Soon after pausing to drink some water, she went back to the biggest-selling début album of all-time to perform the world-wide smash “You Learn”.

Following that was “Perfect”, her favourite song from the Grammy Album of the Year and Best Rock Album.

Leaving temporarily from her anger phrase, she performed the lead to her 2012 album, “Guardian”, a song she wrote for her first-born son, and one that she said might be a good message for the Mexican children in the audience.

The multi-time Grammy-winning Miss Thing then turned back to iconic album for the album cut “Right Through You”.

After that, the hit single “Hand In My Pocket”, but the acoustic version from Jagged Little Pill Acoustic, the commemorative album released to celebrate the 10th year anniversary of what is widely regarded as one of the best albums in contemporary music.

Continuing on to her positive phrase, the buddhavista did the world’s Top 10 single “Everything”, the lead to So-Called Chaos, another one of her albums that entered the United World Chart at the penthouse.

One love song after another – it’s the JLP megahit “Head Over Feet”. Like in HIMP, the audience went wild when she played the harmonica. Legend.

The rest of the show seemed to be “hits only”, as she progressed with the 3-week No 2 global smash “Hands Clean”. Kind of ironic as the people in the audience at the time was probably bopping to Shakira’s “Whenever Wherever”, the biggest hit of the year and the one song that blocked HC from ever reaching the summit.

(Video unavailable.)

After that was First Lady of Rage’s biggest chart hit, “Ironic”. Since it was done with a full band as it was in the original take, people did not expect her to adopt the lyrical change in the acoustic version changing “wife” to “husband” to support gay marriage. The crowd once again went wild upon hearing “husband”.

With only three songs left, Alanis who has now found true bliss after acquiring true knowledge in Buddhism, belted out her classic “You Oughta Know”, a record that won various Grammy awards including Record of the Year, Song of the Year, Best Rock Song, and Best Female Rock Vocal Performance.

The penultimate performance was reserved for the haunting tune that damaged the charts in its time, the City of Angels theme “Uninvited”.

To conclude her gig, as usual, she finished it off with the India-inspired No 1 hit “Thank U”, the first single from the record-breaking chart-topping album Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie. In fact, she was one of the reasons why I visited India.

What? Alanis who? IDontKnowHer.gif? Well, do you know Avril Lavigne? Sheryl Crow? Kelly Clarkson? P!nk? Katy Perry? Taylor Swift? The Reverend Adele MBE? 

Whilst rock music has always been popular, and there had been prominent women in pop music before Alanis, AM was the very first female confessional singer-songwriter to not only be popular, but to dominate the scene. Even though divas like The Queen of Pop Madonna and Mariah Carey wrote most of their songs, they didn’t package themselves as composers. 

Alanis, much like Robin Sparkle from How I Met Your Mother (modeled after Alanis), started out being ordinary with mindless bubblegum pop tunes such as “Too Hot”, with minimum success on the Canadian charts.

But after the dance début and the ballads-filled sophomore, she turned to Glen Ballard, a veteran musician who has done work on Thriller, to make her first international record. She started using music to express herself emotionally, and Jagged Little Pill happened. Unlike the divas of her time, she wasn’t selling her face, her body, or her stage presence (of which she still has very little); she can certainly sing, but she isn’t selling vocal like Whitney Houston was. People couldn’t even tell how she looked like as her face was blurred on the album cover and mostly covered throughout the “You Oughta Know” video. What she was selling was different – raw emotions.

Raw emotions? Who does this remind you of? Adele? Indeed.

Writing about her own real stories? How about Taylor Swift?

A rock girl who just doesn’t care about her appearance? P!nk?

Her legacy in fact is arguably further than just that, to different extents, she has influenced the likes of Shakira, Beyoncé, Ashlee Simpson etc.

She might not have offered a mould for everyone after her to follow, but she did certainly built the groundwork for it. Her classics might not get that many radio plays any more, her sales have been relatively disappointing, but there’s a reason why “You Oughta Know” is still covered, why Jagged Little Pill is still selling, and indeed why it even got not only just one, but two anniversary re-releases. The Queen of Pop herself stated that Alanis (whom she signed) was an artist who came only once in a long while.

Trujillo / Chan Chan / some other place, Perú


Trujillo is another coastal city in Perú, and it is close to a handful of ruins from different ancient cultures.


The city itself is a typical colonial city.


The Moche people built the Huaca de la Luna (not its real name), and that was the first human structure I saw in South America that was older than The University of Oxford.


I opted for the Spanish-only tour option, choosing to ask questions after the explanations (that I didn’t understand) instead, but there was an American-Peruvian family who tried to translate for me.


The paintings were well-maintained, partly due to the fact that Trujillo had been quite a dry place.


Apparently not dragons.


The main attraction, nevertheless, was Chan Chan. It was the capital, the complex of palaces of Chimar, the people who were defeated by the Incas.


It’s an endangered site as it’s made of adobe. Fortunately, the area’s rather dry.


On the photos, it looked a bit like Egypt, but actually was much shorter.


Lima, Perú


Lima is the capital of the Oxonian-ministered Republic of Perú, also a major air transport hub for the region. The airport was horrible. Free Wi-Fi was only 10 minutes per day, hardly any seats, no resting areas, and you couldn’t go in too early.


It was much nicer on Google.


The metropolis was a remarkable chaotic city, with plenty of cars going around at any time, and none had an issue making even more noise. Also, taxis overcharged me a lot.


For all its faults, it did have two decent areas with nice colonial buildings.


And the food was fine.