Tuesday, September 25, 2007

the schlep is on

Buenos Aires de mi corazón. It's been a few weeks on the road with surprisingly little looking back. I am missing my neighbor Margarita's empanadas. I am missing a place that feels like home and a bed that feels like mine. I miss my girls that made me feel I had a family wherever I landed. I am happy to be on the road again and feeling that every day is a new adventure. I am wondering when I will see the streets of Buenos Aires again and whether I'll see them again. I am reeling that my last sights of the city were from the back of a cab, lights on Corrientes ablaze, muddied with tears.

We are blogging over at the thebigschlep about some of the adventures of our overland journey from Buenos Aires to Santa Barbara so please go and read it. In the meantime this page will be mildly out of commission save for future reflections. Thanks one and all for visiting.

Monday, September 03, 2007


Interesting sights and sounds can still be found in unexplored corners of the city. This weekend we went on a search for tickets for the El Litoral train that will take us on Friday first to the middle of the campo, then to the swamps, then to the border - but most definitively out of Buenos Aires. After our big purchase, we finally visited Buenos Aires' other cemetery.

I am trying to enjoy even the most particular of tramites that keeps us tied to the city: waiting for medicinal laundry detergent to combat malaria, buying bus tickets, exploring the new Bolivian visa laws, and allowing dear friends to cook us asado and share laughs. Some things, more than others, will be missed.

Friday, August 31, 2007

todo se cambia

Everything is in flux. Everything is changing. Gone is el jefe, his omnipresent camera clicking, his wild stories and matching gesticulation. Gone is my Gena and her outfits, perfume smell, and our Sex and the City lunchtimes. Gone is our little apartment in our little corner of Almagro. Never again will I have to play diplomat while simultaneously trying not to kick our landlord in the head. No more will Felipe the cat spring from his spot on the roof onto the dining table sending papers and cat hair flying around the room. No more mate y charla with my neighbor, Margarita.

It's just too much I feel sometimes. Packing, preparing to leave, making lists, tucking things into ziplock bags, and waking up every morning without tickets again and wondering what's next. It's all a bit strange and surreal. Like I'm saying goodbye to Buenos Aires over and over again without ever leaving and refusing to part properly with friends preferring instead to go with a hug, a kiss, and a "see you tomorrow".

Our plan to leave last week was foiled by an ATM card lost in Ushuaia. Thanks to the motherfuckers at Wells Fargo, we can't go anywhere until the card arrives. With any luck it should be here sometime soon and we should get on the road but, when?

I feel woosy. I have recently been vaccinated for Yellow Fever, Typhoid, and am waiting on a 3 months supply of Malaria medication (the stuff you take for weeks instead of the stuff that makes you hallucinate) and after a hurried chat with a holier-than-thou Travel Doctor who ended our discussion with "Don't swim in any lakes and rivers!!" have started wondering how anyone goes anywhere and makes it out alive and feeling like giving myself a gold star for actually making it to 27 without dying.

A new blog era has launched over at thebigschlep.wordpress.com which will keep interested parties as well as unfortunate web browsers updated on our overland schlep from Buenos Aires to Goleta. After a long day at the Paraguayan Consolute last Monday - our first stop already promises to be epic and if the amount of luggage in tow is any indication - it will certainly be a schlep. There is talk of Little Julie Nisbet coming to meet us for surfing in Nicaragua and Paul and I gently debate over dinner whether or not he should just "let me go" if I am the next kidnapped gringa in Colombia. If he comes home in December without me, you can guess the rest.

In the ultimate icing on the cake irony, we are passing our last days in the home of the inimitable Gena Mavuli who has kindly donated it to us now that we are homeless. We thank her from the bottom of our hearts for her generousness but reserve the right to be jealous of her Italian vacation coming on the heels of her Panamanian vacation. We live out the ticking hours in the one corner of town that we had tried to avoid for two years. Turns out the buses are awfully convenient from Gena's house, the pencil leg jeans and boots per capita is much higher, and the bullshitty, cheto restaurants are still overpriced. Who knew?

I am homesick, tired, sick from being made into a gringa traveler pin cushion, and itching to get on the road. Check out the dual blog... the Buenos Aires Adventure days are quickly coming to a close.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

happy happy

Today is the cumpleaños of my one and only chango.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

it occurred to me

that the email that I just wrote to my sister has a universal appeal and everyone should read it. It also occurred to me that although I am sad to be leaving Buenos Aires soon and not very good at handling change, that no matter where I go in two weeks - I just must get out of here. Enjoy.

jules -

i just had to leave my neighbor's birthday party because i sat down and her uncle said (in spanish) 'wow you've really gotten fat' and i said 'mmm hmmm' and someone said 'don't worry you'll lose all that weight in california' and then he said 'no but really, how much weight have you gained?' and i said 'i don't know' and someone else said 'no, he asked how much weight you've gained' and he said '7 kilos? 10 kilos?' and i said 'i know what he is asking and i said i don't know' and someone else said 'no but how much. you know, your belly (making big pregnant belly gesture)?? BELLY??' i said 'i know. i understand what you are asking. i still don't know. i don't own a scale' and then i left the room crying.

good times. i love argentina.



Thursday, August 16, 2007

esa mujer

Esa mujer es una casa secreta.
En sus rincones, guarda voces y esconde fantasmas.
En las noches de invierno, humea.
Quien en ella entra, dicen, nunca más sale.
Yo atravieso el hondo foso que la rodea. En esa casa seré habitado.
En ella me espera el vino que me beberá.
Muy suavemente golpeo la puerta, y espero...

- por Eduardo Galeano