24 December 2008...later
Have become accustomed to taking a siesta. When the shops close for three hours, you might as well sleep. Besides, Mendoza is scorching. If it weren't for the trees – and it's known for it's wide avenued treelined existence – Sycamores to be exact – we'd all die in the fiery blazes of hell over here.
Anyway, it's almost Christmas. And I have to go to Buenos Aires again tomorrow, and leave Dad here. Already had a word with the couple from Oop North to call me if Dad
a) loses anything
b) gets lost
c) gets mugged (Dad is a walking target. With his bush hat, strops and the ginormous camera around his neck, he's been sprayed with ketchup twice now. They do this, they spray you with condiments and then try to pickpocket you. At first he was dazed and confused. Now he just screams 'Get Back! GET BACK!')
While I'm on the way to Rio, he's going to Chile to climb one of the Andean peaks, then go home to his ladyfriend.
So we celebrated Christmas tonight, at a 'parrilla' off Plaza Independencia. A parrilla is your classic Argentinian meat orgy.
It's a barbeque-style restaurant comprising whole livestock for gross masticative purpose.
We had Christmas dinner, where it took two hours to go through the menu.
Pages of meat – including 'goat's teat' and bovine neck glands. I had the pork.
Our waiter decided he loved us – naturally – and asked the obligatory questions we've been fired systematically throughout this trip.
1)Is this man my husband. (Negative)
2)What is my name.
3)Is this man my boyfriend. (Negative. Este es mi padre.)
4)Do I have a boyfriend. (In fact, yes!)
5)Do I like football.
On the way home we stopped because a crowd had formed around what looked like a live theatrical nativity theme.
Dad: That one on the left looks a bit simple, don't you think?
Peas: Uh yeah...they're all mentally handicapped.
Dad: What do you think would happen if I screamed out '47 CHROMOSOMO!'
Peas: I think you'd be forklifted by some angry Argentinians.
Dad: I'm gonna do it.
Peas: No. No Dad. No.
[shoves hand over his mouth]
It was sad saying goodbye to Dad. I'm excited as all fuck for Brazil, and although it was some crazy experience backpacking around Argentina with my eccentric father, it's time for a new chapter of my holiday.
We didn't even kill each other or lose our marbles and go retarded.
25 December, 2008
Apparently it's Christmas. Buenos Aires is a ghost town. Usually this city pumps 24 hours a day. Since my folks' divorce I've never been a fan of Christmas. Just another reason I am happy to be backpacking around a third world country far far away from home. But even so, I am alone and feel slightly out of sorts.
Was planning to hop on a ferry and head to Uruguay for a night, but decided instead to go to San Telmo, which I believe is Buenos Aires' most beautiful neaighbourhood.
I am sitting in an open cafe, in a little square surrounded by cobbled streets, colonial buildings, antique shops and vintage cars – frankly I am happy as a swine in shit.
Last night on the bus – we stopped in this town that could've been Standerton. The clock had just struck midnight, and we were meandering through the suburban streets in this huge double decker bus, while families were pulling out chairs onto the pavements outside their houses and lighting fireworks. I felt a slight twinge of homesickness then, but it's passed now.
I ate a salad today. After 8000 steaks I figure I might delay the scurvy for a few days longer.
26 December 2008
God I'm excited! Rio day! But first, shit a brick. I stayed at the youth hostel last night and was placed in a dorm full of French Canadians.
There was a nicely laid out towel on my bed. Perfect, I am gagging for a cold shower. Which I have. Come back. This girl:
“You took my tow-ell.”
“It was on my bed. Folded like last time.”
She gave me a look that would freeze a gaucho's testicles.
Then her crew arrives. As I'm settling in for my late afternoon siesta. I've become used to my daily siesta; I love my fucking siesta.
Except not. They were the loudest bunch of squawking crows I've ever met, barring that couple from Oregon that one time.
I get up to finish my siesta on the busy street, and: “You can carry on sleeping, we're going now.”
Va te faire enculer, infidels.
I've been talking a lot to myself. I do this anyway, but it's raised a few notches now. I guess this happens when you spend an ample amount of time by yourself. I've walked past groups of people while talking animatedly to myself like a crazy person.
(“Now I think we have to go down this road Peas, if my memory serves.”)
Went on the piss with the people I met here last time. The bird studying Spanish, an Ozzie and a few Brit dudes. Amusing evening, slotted a couple of beers.
At airport now, waiting to fly to Rio de Janeiro. I'm so excited but also terrified. Travelling alone to one of the world's most dazzling yet dangerous cities, you certainly feel exhilarated and it's thrilling, frankly.