What they don’t tell you about Cruises

They sneak gratuity...pull you way out of cell and WiFi region then auto charge your credit card for gratuity...after you have been cash tipping the whole time...fail "Washy washy". There are over enthusiast folks eager to spray you with hand sanitizer everywhere and they say 'Washy washy' The cruise director makes random announcements across the ship's pa system. It feels like you are a participant in the hunger games or in 1984. Our cruise director's name was Dave 'Dingo' he had an Australian accent and was always enthusiastically announcing things like the 20 minute dance party on deck 7 or that deck 4 has sprinkles. You will not receive an accurate map nor information about your next port unless it relates to booking an overpriced activity or excursion. And Internet service is $30 per day. Best bet is to check your emails when you arrive at your docking destinations most of the restaurants had free wifi...and negotiate when you get places. There is tons to get into. And all the restaurants on the ship serve the same food. They just arrange it differently. There are lots of shuffle board courts on decks perfect for socializing and getting the scoop on cruises from fellow cruisers . The elevators take forever and are always full. Take the stairs, you probably ate 3 plates worth of food for dinner so you should probably take the stairs anyway. The towels folded as animals and surprisingly very impressive. Water... bring your own bottled water. The ship's water taste sketchy and half of the water dispensers are out of order at any given time. Everyone is super friendly, the workers the passengers...it's pretty cool. One thing I notices is that the staff don't get much time off. One of the fitness instructors said that he had been working for 2 weeks straight and within that time had only had 4 hours off...sounds exploitative, but they did seem happy and I don't know the full details of their working arrangements. Mind your head if you are sleeping on the bottom bunk Being vegetarian/vegan, gluten free or pretty much having any kind of "dietary restriction" better yet, if you aren't into eating heavy salt sugar and starchy meals it's challenging to eat balanced. The folks on the ship never want to exclude, I guess it's part of the hospitality so you'll find yourself asking about 3 people for every dish if it's dairy free, vegetarian etc. and most likely it won't be dairy free (gluten free etc.) and if it doesn't contain dairy (or whatever else you are attempting to stay away from to stay clean) it will be ridiculous salty or sweet. The part that makes it super rough is that you are pretty much trapped on the boat for the majority of the trip. And you are not allowed to bring food from your ports back on the ship. It's a great way to visit many places. I'm Belizean on my mom's side and it was honestly the least expensive way to get there. While I was there I discovered that you can catch a bus up north to Playa Del Carmen Mexico, right outside of Cancun, for about $9 then catch an inexpensive flight back to the U.S. I even ended up meeting folks who jumped ship at certain spots along the cruise...don't think you are suppose to do that but hey it's your life Overall it's a dope experience, mostly because my folks are dope and central America is dope. Glad to roll with @Kennebrew the 2M2X crew and Tough Dumplin on my first communal yachting experience aka cruise.
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Costa Rica: Lessons Learned

Hola Amigos! I'm safely back in Brooklyn and have never felt more alive in my life! Costa Rica was amazing. A month of solo traveling in a a country one has never been is like life boot camp. Through all the crazy experiences, It was alot of fun I came away with some valuable lessons. 1.Travel Light...I can't stress this enough. I don't just mean your tangible items, I'm also speaking figuratively. If your head is full off all kinds of crap you saw/heard it's almost impossible to absord what's happening in the moment. (what better occasion to make myself some junkprints bags) 2. Everything wants to grow UP! Costa Rica and New York are very similar in the fact that things will survive and often do so on the backs of others. The main difference is that in CR it's the plant life that's running the show and in New york it's the people (so they think).  Everything grows really fast in Costa Rica, a cocoa seed sprouted in my pocket in less than 2 days and I saw tomatoes go from seeds to vines in less than a week. Just like NY, you either adapt (start to sprout in a pocket) or die...that's just the way it goes. Stuff grows on top of things and just like some train lines, you have to get down to get up. There is nothing wrong with things vining on other things and often one helps the other reach the sun, just like people. The only thing to be aware of is that they aren't viruses or unwanted mold that drain your energy, but ultimately we all want to get up and will continue to lean towards the sun and often have different paths to get there. 3. Folks that travel solo and stay away from 'home' to long are just as crazy as folks who never leave home. 4. It's WAYYYYYYYYY bigger than hip hop 5. When it's time to move...you must move. 6. Me, farming in the rain forest is not a good look. After spending about 10 days on a (pseudo farm) planting things, helping build additions to some one's house, and paying to do so, yes )I'm a sucker), getting bit up by ants, stepping on a gecko, stepping into a spider web web the massive spider in it, having a toad jump across my foot and pooing/peeing in compost toilets I came to the conclusion that me planting some stuff in the most fertile place in the world is pretty stupid. I mean basically i was digging holes (getting exhausted to the inth degree) to plant things and taking breaks eating starfruit that were just growing on their own. Kinda silly. I realized that my interest is primarily in botany think that farming is fairly simple. Basically, come up with a crop plan that aligns it self with your conditions and pray that your plan was on point and that the conditions don't vary too much. Perhaps I just didn't think to highly of the folks I was staying with as 'farmers' They were nice people, but they were not in route to running a sustainable farm and seemed to be making there income off the paying volunteers, such as my self. Hey, can't knock the hustle, and I appreciate the lesson...in fact maybe I'll set up craigs listing that read 'live with a NY artists' and let folks (pay to) stay at my apartment in exchange for doing my laundry and cleaning my bathroom...just kidding 😉 7. Never stay at place with the term Paradise in the name, especially if it's the only place open...you may do better to sleep on the beach instead...I'm just saying. 8. Rushing in Costa Rica...is like like growing bananas in the Arctic...don't even try, you won't win.  I thought I could get some laundry done 'real fast' before I was leaving one location to go another. Guess I didn't understand that a 'dryer' doesn't necessary mean warm air and sometimes just means an extra spin cycle. So I  ended up sleeping in a bikini, getting bites everywhere including my butt crack, and packing a bag of wet laundry...I repeat don't rush especially in matters of drying things in tropical regions. 9. Hang with the locals...learn the freaking language and hang with the locals. 10. Just pretend that all snakes and spiders are poisonous, but don't let that stop you from swimming in the Rios 😉 To see The pics and videos check out this posting.
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UPDATES FROM COSTA RICA

It's hot. i love it. the bugs are big. There are alot of Gringo travelers. Farming is fun....but maybe not for me. Surfing is amazing. Monkeys masterbate on the beach. the water is clean. I miss NY already. I miss making stuff and I'm living in a tree house for the next few days. XoXo Chanel
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COSTA RICA HAS NO ARMY

Which sounds fantastic to me. Hey Ya'll I't's chanel aka the Dooky aka the junk-prints maker rump shaker.  Just wanted to clarify. Miss Anuli has been holding down the dooky for the last few posts.  Anyhoot Since the whole whirl wind holiday season I've been abit scarce inside the Internets. That's because i've been gearing up for this Costa Rica Trip!!!! Helllz Yeah. I'll be there for february. Last year I realized that this nomadic lady has grown some roots and hasn't really strayed far from BK in while. Which has proven to be a great thing and allowed me to focus, but it's also made me really antsy. I'm not accustomed to being one place for too long and have a tendency to think about all the other things I could be doing if I wasn't doing what I'm doing now...in fact I'm doing that right now.  I have  this list of things that I would like to so between now and death. It includes learning to surf, learning to walk on my hands,  learning to farm, building a house (from the ground up),  traveling the world, doing a photo documentary of a band on tour, creating (assisting in establishing)  a sustainable community,  running a company, seeing the sun rise for a month consecutively, Visiting Alaska,  Driving an ice cream truck from coast to coast. The list is super duper long and most tasks involve traveling. I love to travel, and think I get crusty when I don't get out and about enough. So last year around this time I decided that i was going away for a while. I decided that NY sucks in the winter and that I don't want anything to do with he retched place, so that would be the best time to go. I hate the cold so all cold places where ruled out. I eventually want to build a place off the grid and in a tropical region (primarily for the food and vegetation), so I decided to head to Costa Rica for a month to do some research and surfing!! Over the last few years I've poured my entire existence into junkprints which has yielded some awesome results, but in the meantime I haven't gotten any of the other things on the list done and often wonder if I'm getting lost in my head of junk. Well, that being said, new junk is in the works and includes some work with some heavy hitters like um Nickelodeon, ReadyMade Mag, Birkenstock,  SXSW...just to name a few. Can't devolve the deets but I'm gonna be on fire this spring...just you wait. In the mean time, if you've been to Costa Rica share your stories! oh and Junkprints.com will be up and running for my travel duration. I've got some nifty folks holding down the shipping and customer service so all orders will go out as scheduled 😉
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OLIVIA GOES TO JAPAN AND SCHOOLS ME ON REAL BLACK MUSIC

Real Black MusicMy pal Olivia recently returned from Japan and I got a chance to chat with her about her adventures.

1:20 AM me: where are you? in Tokyo still?
1:26 AM Olivia: i'm here. wait i gotta send you something
one sec
Olivia: i just sent it to your email
1:27 AM me: wow! LOL
Olivia: yea
fer real
me: not the fake black music
Olivia: lol!!!
me: the real kind
at the real sam's
Olivia: REAL!!!
Sam, himself
me: that's crazy I love it
1:28 AM what does fake black music sound like?
elvis
Olivia: lol
yes
1:37 AM i dunno
me: humm...my brain is busting
Olivia: there's something for everyone there i guess
we found porno figurines in gum ball machines
i got this one of a nurse with her feet spread out in stirrups
omg
me: REALLY! That's awesome and really fucked up at the same time
Olivia: its so fucked up
1:38 AM there was one we couldn't find in the actual ball
but it's this naked lady
on a cross
crucified!!!
me: haaa haaa
Olivia: with the head piece and everything
me: who is that for?
soooo wild
Olivia: lady madeline?
i dunno
peter?
1:39 AM me: I'm laughing so hard I'm crying
Olivia: lol!!
it's amazing chanel!
me: sounds like outer space
Olivia: we accidentally went into a vampire cafe too!
it was so scary
me: did you get bit
Olivia: we turned around to leave and the elevator door closed....it was decorated with crosses!
1:40 AM the carpet was lit up with red blood cells!
we got out before service came to the front though
but they were decked out
the music everything

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SPOTTED WHILE WAITING ON THE BUS!

Yesterday was a crazy day! I was up at the butt crack of dawn to meet with my new pals at the BX Museum. It takes over an hour and a half to get there and the trip reminded me of when I use to commute to fredflare. Biking is such a better way to get around here. I wonder how long I'll be able to hold out on biking to the studio (before if gets too cold/wet/snowy etc.). After that I called my special man friend and after a bit of convincing took a stroll to the law firm he works with. They pretty much reminded me how awesome he is and I thought to myself 'I know! He's the nicest person I ever met' I know law firms have a reputation for being stuffy but all the peeps I met were super fun. Then I was off to the Lower East side to meet the amazing Jen and Claudia photographers extraordinaire! We ate fantastic burritos made by slow hipster, had a heart to heart about all kinds of stuff personal and business. Then I was off to visit my pals and surrogate creative parents Rachel and Carlo the masterminds behind Transit Culture and they filled my mind will all kinds of of new wisdom. As if the day wasn't fantastic enough While I was waiting on the bus to Red Hook I spotted a lady rocking the Monitor Mania Jacket!

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