Thursday, February 05, 2009

notes from Neuquen

Jan 25

A lovely day in a town famous for dinosaurs:Neuquen Argentina. presumably famous I should say, I saw no evidence of dinosaurs other than what was written in the guidebooks. but what do they know?

I had spent the night on the bus feeling homesick for Japan and feeling restless in a way I didn't know how to shake. not restless in a seeking to throw off stability type of way, because obviously I'm doing exactly that. restless rather in that I didn't feel I'm moving purposefully and as such I didn't know how to use my energy. I missed commuting by bike 50 km a day and studying Japanese during breaks at work. Perhaps restless isn't the right word at all but I don't know another one, exactly.

I fell asleep vowing to hit the Spanish school and classes with as much mental energy as I could muster. I fell asleep reiterating to myself why I had come here, to clarify again for my self: to learn a language again, to become more affectionate again, to gain perspective on my life and where home is.

I woke up to a perfectly flat sunrise and once again felt like I was on my path, doing what I need to do.

Desert. Perhaps not surprisingly for anyone who has done any "real research" about traveling in Argentina, a lot of this country is desert. Much like Nevada and northern California there are miles upon miles of sage brush type deserts. It feels very unforiegn to me, though I can't quite say it feels like home either. whatever that word is. It feels familiar. It feels like my past experiences have led me to this exact here/this/now.

And so the day went:

a mistaken bus stop. no.

a sleeping pretty French girl/protena (portena, with a funny n, is what people who live in Buenos Aires are called), doing 100 interviews with Argentines from all walks of life.

roomies of the couch surfer: Roy and Maxi pot smoking dreaded reggae lovers

writing people's names in Japanese

wishing to be trilingual and struggling with the Argentinian shhh shhh

kisses on the cheek with every introduction and goodbye

sitting in the park in the city center

a nap before lunch

going to a semi-private river beach and having to talk our way in. Maxi's mom, a medium sized Argentine woman with two oversized fingers gesturing and arguing to get us in. (not that I talked at all)

going to the river and just hanging out on the grass, Argentine spanish in the air

a jaded English speaking Argentine twenty something in love with "California Dreaming" and angsty American music.

a lovely swim in the river

jumping from a tree into the river, feeling great emerging, being confused by the looks on everyones faces until I realize I have a bloody nose and my face is covered in watery blood.

a long list of brothers and introductions.

fruit salads sold in plastic cups.

a lovely dusk sky and walk home. followed by pizza and beer. and melons filled with wine.


inkandpen said...

It all sounds so amazing. I like the idea that you can be so far away and feel familiar at the same time. Maybe a sign of becoming really good at traveling... or maybe that's when it's time to think about choosing "home"?

I miss you.

Sex & Tango said...

You're hanging out with beautiful people.