22 December, 2008
Climbed a fuck off mountain. Legged it up an 80 degree slope to a view that simultaneously makes tourists orgasm one by one.
Dad showed my book to the hostel. The very same book he read next to me on the bus while I squirmed like a little bitch.
Irish lass: “A book? Yours? Fack ahf.”
Started sleeting, fresh snow on Andes. It's flippen freezing. Lots of sitting inside drinking traditional Argentine tea and talking shit.
Dad: "I hate Harley Davidson's and Jack Daniels."
(If there's one thing I'm learning about Dad, is that he makes these sweeping statements with no reasoning or plausible substantiation.)
Binks: "Funny. I've been fucked up on both."
Taught Brad Pitt from Colorado how to play Shithead. I won a lot.
This town is obsessed with chocolate and gnomes. Scary looking buggers stare at you through every window and hippie stand. Why? Why gnomes?
23 December, 2008
Had to say bye to our newfound hippie colony today. We're off to Mendoza, a city of sorts, north. A wine area. And no doubt more steak. I'm not sure how my large intestine was prepared for whole cows to pass through my system days at a time, but hey.
Another 18 hour bus journey, but his time we caught the wrong one. A bus without the awesome, comforting reclining leather seats and free wine. We caught the fucking 'Flecha Bus.”
Never in my life have I experienced such an appalling journey.
Christ, Mendoza had better be good.
It stopped at every town across the sheer expanse of over 1000 kilometres. Along dirt tracks while playing Metallica over the speaker system, which made Dad nearly lose his marbles once and for all.
It was a close call.
Arrived in Mendoza stinking and grumpy. Met a girl from Essex, which was entertaining.
Dad and I visited the 'Serpentario.' Facing my phobia - gosh I am so brave - I openly subjected myself to a museum filled with anacondas, pythons, boa constrictors and tarantulas the size of my face.
The main street here is insane. Just people everywhere who don't speak English. Spanish or bust, this is the country. It's hard work because the moment you try to say, for instance,
“Hola. Donde es el tren? Esquina?”
They shoot their loads off with a trajectory of intricate Spanish directions and one hasn't a fucken clue what they're saying.
24 December, 2008
Mental note: shoulda woulda coulda – simply should've made time – to take a flipping Spanish course.
Me and Dad had a mare of a day.
Banking in a backwater where people don't speak one word of English. (Do you know how to say 'make a deposit' in Spanish?)
Seven banks later, screaming the word FUCK loudly like an enraged imbecile in the middle of HSBC and still, still! I couldn't find someone to wire money to Brazil for me. Instead I just got a plethora of wagging fingers and 'No no no's,' while my upcoming accomodation in Rio was on the brink of collapse. I drew them pretty pictures so that they'd get it:
1 REIS = ?? PESOS
'I JUST WANT TO KNOW, NO NOT BUY, FUCK!'
It had to be in pesos, and yet no one could tell me how many Brazilian Reis are in a pesos. And the Christmas queues were making this hellish level of admin that much more pleasurable.
Ended up phoning my German stepdad in South Africa to ask him to please Google 'pesos/reis exchange rate.' I mean, seriously.
Drank lots of wine and ate lots of steak with everyone to forget the whole ordeal.
Met two other lovely Brits. From Oop North. The dude goes, as I settle into breakfast, “I need to 'av a meetin' with me dorm. Some minger has left hair in the bathroom plughole. And, yes, they're the short 'n curlies.”
The joys of sharing with a group of strangers who all have different ideas on hygiene and living conditions.
Good value couple though, they are a hoot.