Wed, Apr 30, 2014 - Page 12 News List

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Two young Argentinians are on an extended road trip through Asia that relies on the kindness of strangers

By Enru Lin  /  Staff reporter

It’s enough, because in day-to-day life they spend quite little. In Taipei, their daily expenses have averaged NT$150 per person.

“In our traveling so far, we don’t spend much. If we want to stay for a longer time, like right now, we work at hostels in exchange for a room,” Caldaroni says.

For shorter stays, they bring a tent. Yet nearly everywhere they go, they meet strangers who are effusively hospitable.

Some, contacted through the social networking Web site Couchsurfing, offer lodgings, escort them to local sights and pay for each meal. Others, encountered through happenstance in elevators and atop mountains, extend gifts of tea and dinner invitations.

So far, no driver has hurt them, and even drivers who can’t comprehend their requests will offer help.

“Sometimes they take us off the road and to a bus station, and we say ‘No, thank you,’” Elias says.

“But people will stop … Even if they don’t speak the language and we can’t communicate, they try to help us as much as they can,” she says.

She and Caldaroni are maintaining a blog (www.marcandoelpolo.com) — notes in Spanish about the sights they see and the people they meet.

“In Latin America, they don’t know much about Asia. There is very little about Asia in the news, and what we get is bad news,” Elias says.

“What we want to show them is that things happen, but it’s not only that. There are bad people everywhere, but most of the people are good,” she says.

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