Norton Ink

Argentina 2002

23 de Julio 2002

I have packed up a set of clothes, some essentials, the ever-present camera and we are about to embark for Cordoba…POR FIN (finally). We have been talking about going to Cordoba for about 3 weeks now but things have gotten in the way. No getting out of it now, we have the tickets. I don’t know what I think about 18 hours on a bus, but this one has seats that fold down into beds, a movie, music, dinner and breakfast. It is a double decker and we are going to sit on the top because the bottom has the toilet….ewwwwww.

Speaking of bad smells, I am a little nervous about this trip because Teresa invited a friend along. This lady Graciela, she has been stuck in a Posadas for awhile now, she is from Santiago, Chile and she can’t get home because she is afraid of flying and the mountain pass is closed due to snow. She seems like a nice lady, even though she speaks so rapidly and with a different accent that I can’t comprehend, but she smells like mothballs!!!!!! Teresa also invited Graciela to share our hotel room, to save expenses. So I don’t know how this is going to turn out.

Teresa has me booked for 3 different sigh-seeing trips in Cordoba, a city-tour that the ladies will join me on. Then 2-10 hour tours to see sights outside the city. The trips are a little more expensive than the ladies feel they can afford so I am going out on my own on those. Cordoba is (I have heard) a very cosmopolitan city, with lots of people, lots going on and lots of shopping. I can’t wait! Teresa wants to head back on Sunday, but if I like it a lot I might spend a day or two more on my own. I am not going to make that decision just yet, but it will be nice to be in a big city!

I am not going to take my computer along as I feel that would just be asking for extra trouble, so this is my last journal entry until at least next Monday. Still if I see an internet café along the way, I intend on stopping to send an email or two.

I have come to the conclusion that every city is the same city. There are supermarkets, convenience stores, restaurants, gas stations, post offices, cars, streets, houses, apartments. If you don’t speak the language, chances are, you will still be able to get your way around, especially in these days of travel books and internet information. What then sets a city apart from another, or for that matter, one country from another.

Langauge, certainly. What else? One thing different here, there are dogs everywhere!!!! Also they aren’t fixed, so when I try to explain the concept of spay/neuter people think that it is pretty odd that we would do such a thing. Occasionally cats in apartments are fixed, so they don’t spray everywhere but that is it. So dogs roam everywhere in the city, some pets, some wild, your guess is as good as the next. Before I took this trip I had a consultation with some nurses and they were VERY adamant about not petting dogs and cats here, even pets in the homes. Apparently rabies still exists in this part of the world, and I can tell for a fact there are tons of fleas. I have definitely started looking where I put my feet a lot more.

One of my favorite differences is seeing someone in a motorcycle drive down the street with their helmet crooked in their arm. Seems like it would almost be easier to wear on your head. So I asked Celso about it. He said, “well, there is a regulation that you have to have a helmet.”

“But, its legal to wear it on your arm and not your head?”

“Well, helmets are uncomfortable, they get in the way of your vision.”

“Why have one in the first place?”

For long road trips where people drive faster, it is common to wear a helmet and no other time. But for legal appearances you should at least carry one around with you. They feel he same way about seatbelts, too. Still it does seem odd. I still laugh when I see someone drive by on their motorcycle holding their helmet.

This last Sunday we kicked it at the house all day and it was really nice. We ended up watching two Argentinean movies, “Nine Queens” and “Son of the Bride.” Both were excellent films, the first being a con-game where you are trying to figure out who is going to screw whom, in the end. The other is a really sweet movie about a man who finds himself re-evaluating his life after a newr-death experience. I wouldn’t be able to tell you which is better, really, if you get a chance, see them both. Maybe we could start a petition at Blockbuster, to start carrying these films. They were both played in Seattle back during the SIFF (but they weren’t a part of the festival, I think) so maybe they will just come to rental stores anyway.

I guess that is it for now, nothing really crazy has happened to me lately. I have a feeling Cordoba is going to provide some good stories, mothballs and all.

"My life has a superb cast, but I can't quite figure out the plot."-forward