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Current locations: Che Hostel, Buenos Aires, Argentina

08.22.07

Cost of beer in a bar: about US$2.50 in an expensive club, US$1.50 in
the hostel for 1 liter
Song currently stuck in my head: Pretty Pistol, Marilyn Manson

We´ve got love songs in our heads, killing us away…  I´ve been in
Buenos Aires for about a week and a half now, save the 3 days that we
all went into Uruguay to check out a hot spring resort.  BA is very
cool.  Everyone that I ask what I should do here says the same thing:
walk around constantly and eat as much meat off the grill as your body
can stand.  Thus far it has been good advice.  The Argentines are
really into rock and roll and this seems more manifest here than in
Mendoza.  Aaron dumped the contents of his ipod on one of the hostel
computers and they´re still filing through the stuff, playing odds and
ends and calling each other into the room.  It´s the next best thing
to having my music here and it´s why I´m singing Manson to myself on
the street.  I threw on some old White Zombie and when it got to
Thunderkiss ´65 some 20 year old Argentine girl across the table
perked up and started pumping her fist in the air, calling it out by
name.  I haven´t been to any shows yet, but that´s defiantely next on
my agenda.

My hastily formed impression of Uruguay was that it´s an eery
middleground between rural Indiana and rural European locals that I
know only through second hand experiences.  The landscape was often
indistinguishable from, say, Wyatt, Indiana.  The people were quiet
and orderly above all, making this the first place where one even has
the chance to be the ugly American.  Most of the other countries that
I´ve visited in this trip don´t give you that opportunity.  It´s hard
to look all that ugly next to a machete wielding Guatemala mugger and
no one can hear your condescension over the reageton or the screaming,
defecating children (and adults, really) on any bus in Central.  In
Latin America, for the most part, your worst behavior won´t piss off
anyone other than other visitors.

Uruguay silently shattered this precedent.  The landscape was midwest
and the people were very Euro; not euro in the stylish way that we
sometimes think in the states, but simply more polite and refined than
most of the cultures that I´ve encountered thus far.  We were always
the loudest people in any given room, even when weren´t trying.  The
hot springs were hot, which is how I like them, and spending a day
lounging around the campus in a robe, wandering pool to pool to sauna
to pool was exactly what I had in mind.

This entire area is still recovering from an Argentine economic crash
that occurred in the mid 90s, and while things aren´t as cheap as they
were 5 years ago I´m still getting a great value.  Aaron was beside
himself, not being jaded by Bolivian prices that way Sarah and I have
become, at the low cost of a meal of assorted grilled beef.  The
Argentines themselves are exceedingly friendly, even across the
language barrier.  We´re staying at a hostel with a lot of full time
residents that are attending various schools around the city.
Apparently the local apartment scene is such that this is a better
deal, and why not?  There´s a well equipped kitchen here, a movie room
with DVD and a decent screen, high speed internet and someone to clean
the bathroom for you.  If you don´t absolutely require privacy
(they´re mostly dorm dwellers) it´s a good deal.

Today we´re off to Iguazu falls.  It´s up at the border with Brazil,
17 hours away, and I think I read it´s the second largest waterfall on
the planet or something.  They didn´t explain how they came by that
tag (highest?  Most overall area?  Most volume of water displaced?),
so I kind of ignored it.  But the falls look gorgeous either way.  We
won´t be crossing into Brazil, mostly because of time and budget
constraints but also in large part because I don´t like getting
knifed.

I have roughly 2 weeks left until I fly back to the states.

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