I'm SORRY, I'm SORRY, I'M SORRY! It has been disgustingly long since I last posted. I really hope that is still being read....please (tear). But I have an explanation. I just got back from a 10 day, spur-of-the-moment trip to patagonia, and I've been fighting disgruntled hostel-goers the days just for 5 minutes of email-checking. Now, I did just arrive, and haven't really slept sufficiently in over a week. SO, I can't go into detail now, BUT I can easily present some highlights of what has happened over the past few weeks. Details to come...
1. The parents of my reference, a.k.a. my Argentinean grandparents, celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary with a traditional Catholic mass and reggaeton/wedding singer in spanish-catered blowout. Image: Me, Natalie (the lovely Canadian exchange student that lives with us), my reference and her husband breakin' it down to the YMCA at 4am while everyone else watched.
2. My first History of theater class. The teacher was very welcome to meet a beautiful young American girl she'd spoken with on the phone about Argentinean theater history. And once again, I am mistaken for a woman on the phone.
3. (Overnight bus number 1)Took 35 hour bus trip to Bariloche in Patagonia. Image: An insanely tired me, and an adorable middle-aged Argentinean name Claudia belt out "Torn" by Natalie Imbruglia as we watch one of our bus's many music video montages.
4. Fresh off the bus in Bariloche, I meet some Argentinean nuclear engineers while hiking up Cerro Campanario. Forcing friendship, I tag along with them to another mountain and discuss politics. Image: That night, I sat in a local family restaurant eating delicious steak, and downing a 2L of cerveza...alone.
5. I saw Mount Tronador, and its beautifully creepy giant black glacier!
6. Refusing to listen to my butt's pleas to stop, I biked 24.5 km of Bariloche's circuito chico. I was surrounded by mountains, incredible lake views, and spent shit-tons of money at a craft fair. It. was. awesome.
7. At breakfast, I met a couple with a son in an Australian circus. The mother also informed me that her brother is an actor, and has been struggling to find work in the states. "Oh, has he been in anything I'd know," I asked, assuming that he was some extra on ER. "Did you see Moulin Rouge," she said. "He was the Duke." THE FRIGGIN' DUKE!
8. I stopped into a Che Guevara-themed bar to watch the movie "Che". I didn't understand most of it, but it was easy to translate the angry words everyone expressed afterwards towards the U.S. involvement in providing arms to South America. INTENSE!! But awesome. Afterwards, after being dragged out of the hostel (and then ditched) by an Australian couple, I went to a Reggae club down by the beach with an awesome group of Chileans. One was studying to be the person that regulates fish production. How cool is that!
9. I rented a car with two New Zealanders, and an Aussie, and drove around the Ruta de Siete Lagos. Pictures to come...so incredible.
10. Headed to the hippie town of El Bolson, where my New Zealand friend Matt and I took in the local crafts fair, toured a jam-making plant, drank fresh rasberry juice, and hiked. yay!
11. (Overnight bus number 2) Headed to Neuquen, and neighboring Villa El Chocon to see the bones of the world's largest carnivorous dinosaur. Then, after getting lost along the 6km hike to the nearby lake, I saw preserved dinosaur footprints!! I don't think I heard a single human-made sound for at least 5 hours. My legs were killing me by the end of this day, but it might have been my favorite.
12. (Overnight bus number 3) Rented a bike, and took in the wineries and olive oil farms in Maipu, just outside of Mendoza. At times, I felt like I was in the "Do Re Mi" sequence of "The Sound of Music. Spent the evening with my new German friend Sandra, and Fulbrighter Jenni. We ate HUMMUS!!!
13. Hit up a thermal springs resort in the middle of the mountains with my Americans-I met in Bariloche friends Beth and Rachel. I also spent much of the lazy day chatting with a girl from Rosarios that had the coolest eyes I've ever seen. Why didn't I tell her that?
14. ATE SUSHI! IN ARGENTINA! Then came home to find a drunk American dude in my bed, and one of his friends in the bed he said was mine.
15. Took a bus tour to the border of the original route between Argentina and Chile. I think the mountains and I fell in love on this day. Expect notices for our wedding soon. And Fareed/mountain-made babies before the end of the year.
16. Saw a free concert in a gorgeous theater, featuring a both incredibly talented/slightly Christopher Guest movie-worthy folk singer from Argentina. I admit that the dude could sing, but I think this dude could give Christina Aguilera some real competition for the title of "GREATEST/MOST ANNOYING VOCAL MASTURBATOR"
17. Arrived home, went to sleep, and then woke up two hours later to the drunk American's screaming, snoring, having sex and drawling on and On and ON about getting naked, being SOOOO wasted and fucking chicks...while in the bed with two girls from the hostel.
18. After three hours of sleep, and a bottle of wine from the hostel to apologize for the disgusting American students, I spent a lazy day just wandering around Mendoza with Jennie, and my new friend Parry.
19. (Overnight bus number 4) Came home to Tucuman with a really, really big smile.
Reflections later. Again, sorry for the delay. Now, to actually take in one of these sieste things.