The Desert Rat Again Waxes Philosophical

Trip Start Jun 16, 2006
1
5
23
Trip End Aug 15, 2006


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Flag of Argentina  ,
Sunday, July 2, 2006

Pare poder llegar
Para llegar a tus oidos,
necesito cantar,
mover el aire, crear sonido

--Cafe Tacuba


I look out into the vastness of the Atlantic Ocean, watching the waves crash. I ask myself, "O que voce vai fazer come sua vida, Alan Eder?" (What are you going to do with your life?). I stare into the night sky, following the crux of the Southern Cross. I look at the moon and I think of you. I wonder if you see the same moon as me.

I gaze out the window as the Brazilian countryside blurs by. Palm trees. Cows. Lush tropical vegetation and small farms. Reminds me of the Philippines. And I think of you.

I walk through the downtown area in Barra da Lagoa, Florianapolis. Definite college town feel. People barter over artisan goods at a hippy fair. I gaze at quirky cafes and surf shops. I pass a few ethnic restaurants. Some juice shops. A couple clubs, an upscale bar here and there. Lots of young people fill the streets and internet cafes. I stroll along the lakefront. And I think of you.

"Check on me" blasts from clothing stores. The Brazilians have the same affection for Beyonce Knowles that I have. And Kelly Clarkson. And John Mayer. And Eric Clapton plays in the island cafes. I think of the United States (and inadvertently the United Kingdom).

It`s nice to be back in Buenos Aires among friendly faces and writing again in the cafes. I was becoming something of an oddity in Florianapolis. A hermit, if you will. Maybe a bit melancholy. I was missing the streets of Bs.As. They`re a bit noisy and cluttered, but it is a friendly noise and a friendly clutter. It is good to be social again.

The family I am staying with (once again), is a couple who are gracefully entering their 50s. They are both exceedingly tan and in good health. They both have friendly smiles. Silvia Salazar likes to go shopping and walking in the parks. Mario Salazar`s favorite actor is Robert DeNiro.

Their son, Martin, must now be 25. He is slightly taller than I and is a precocious Argentine youth. He is always moving around, incapable of sitting for great lengths. He is a wheeler-dealer and has many friends. He smokes. He wears his hair short and has a thin line of facial hair--he shaves a thin mustache and goatee. He has intelligent eyes.

Martin now works for a company that exports olive oil, to the United States, among other countries. I believe he works in the legal affairs division. He also does some translating services. He lives in an apartment near the China Town and owns a car that looks like a VW Golf. He`s not the most pragmatic of people (He gets lost in Buenos Aires sometimes) but he`s a good guy to hang out with. We shot pool and drank Heineken the other night.

The Salazar`s constantly feed me, which is a good thing because I need to gain weight. I have a Lance Armstrong plan for the mountains, I intend to show up fat to the Andes and then run and cycle myself into shape. In a couple weeks I will be in Mendoza, Argentina, and Santiago, Chile, for some training and acclimatizing before I head into the highlands of Peru and Ecuador.

But now, it is time to take advantage of the city. Seize the day. Yesterday I walked around the Recoleta, the world famous cemetery where Eva Peron is buried. Where the wealthy elite of Argentina is buried. Where mausoleums of different architectural themes reach towards the sky. Where granite and slate form mini-buildings that house the dead. Tall trees blanket the area. Cats abound. A bizarre, sweet, eerie place to play a game of tag or hide-and-go-seek after dark. I strolled the parks and took pictures of things I did not have the patience for two years ago.

Well, that will be it for now, I have to head out to San Telmo today to watch some tango, drink some coffee and catch an antiques fair. I`ll post again soon about the party I went to last night, I`m currently running out of energy for writing and thinking since it was a late night.
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