So, I’ve finally gotten around to writing the last chapter of my Argentina trip.
After Iguazu Falls, we took it easy and tried to recuperate from the long (20 hours) bus ride. But Robert and I both had ideas on how to keep busy…
Robert mentioned that he really wanted to go to a soccer game, and I said I would go with him as long as he did all the work. So, one morning he went with the other American guy, who was staying at the guesthouse, to buy some tickets for the weekly Boca Juniors game (a local BA club team). Robert and John came back a little confused and worried that they were sold “the dangerous seats.” I was even more reluctant to go, but a deal is a deal. So, we headed out early to figure things out at the stadium. Talk to a scalper for better tickets? Sell the tickets and just go home (yay!)? Well, we ended up talking our way into the safer section of the popular section (in other words cheapest), and as fortune would have it, these turned out to be the best seats in the stadium, in my opinion. We were safely under the overhang of the upper level of seats, so we didn’t get soaking wet from the rain. Also, we were at the upper tier of the cement bleachers, so there was more access to the exit and maybe slightly less shoving. Plus, we had an excellent view of the field and were still amidst the passionate crowd. There was singing, dancing, jumping, shouting, flag waving, unfair refereeing, bored riot police, and a ton of rain. All in all, an authentic and different experience for me. I can’t say I’d go to another soccer game, I don’t understand and have a hard time appreciating all the passion and energy that goes into something I find so pointless. That said I cheered along for Boca’s smashing victory!
The next day we had an early appointment to visit a nearby estancia (ranch). This is a fairly popular tourist endeavor – go to a ranch, watch the gauchos, eat barbecue, ride horses, and other such things. Robert was very instrumental in making this happen, and I was glad he thought of it. It was hard waking up early in the morning after getting home from a soccer game after 1AM, and it was expensive to spend the day at the estancia, but it was definitely worth it. The air was fresh out in the country, and it was wonderful to have some space and quiet. As a side note, there were these funny little owls that lived in holes they dug in the ground -- very silly little things! We rode horses for about an hour and a half, ate some wonderful barbecued beef, swam in a swimming pool, rode horses for a few more hours, and went home full and utterly exhausted.
The next day my whole body had rebelled against the abuse of the past few days (sitting on cement bleachers, standing for long hours, riding horses, etc) and I felt like warmed over death. My back ached, my legs ached, my head ached, and my fever struck mercilessly. I was a horrible wreck. Robert was in slightly better shape, but only slightly.
After some rest and relaxation, and eating a bunch from the take out Italian restaurant down the street, we managed to do a few more touristy things. We visited the modern art museum in Palermo and got completely drenched by rain on the way there; we visited Caminito on a very lucky and rare (during Robert’s time in BA) sunny day; we saw a tango show. A pretty good lineup, but I couldn’t help but be slightly disappointed that due to our weakened health and especially due to the poor weather, we didn’t do all that I had planned. These last few days in BA seemed a little blurry, fast and difficult.
Getting back to Seattle didn’t immediately boost my energy, and I wasn’t able to accomplish all that I had in mind. I still had a bit of jetlag, fever, and general disorientation to work through. If this late final blog entry wasn’t indication enough, I was beset with lethargy and sluggishness during the first week. Despite my elegant to do lists, I accomplished very little. This week I’ve been less disappointed with myself and am working on cleaning the apartment, unpacking, catching up with friends and family, and beginning to look for a new job. It’s been fun and relaxing.
Argentina was an interesting trip for me and I ended up learning quite a bit, despite the relative brevity of my stay in Buenos Aires. I’m glad to be home and do not regret leaving so shortly. This is cliché, but it feels like a new chapter is starting for me now.My original plans maybe didn't go exactly according to plan, but I'm feeling open minded about other plans. Horray!