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.