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yu-en-me ´a man who leaves home to mend himself and others is a philosopher, .. he who goes from country to country guided by blind impulses of curiosity is .. a vagabond.´ - oliver goldsmith

never underestimate the power of stupid people in large numbers

ARGENTINA | Wednesday, 21 December 2005 | Views [1971]

- 10 words of wisdom on an argentine t-shirt; quite
possibly the first one i´ve seen with no grammatical
errors in english, and valuable advice for all of us,
i´m sure.

a couple of days ago, i arrived in Trelew not in the
mood for any crap. walking around with a large
backpack obviously drew attention, and the expected
´piropos´ (= admiring comments from men - almost an
artform in this culture) started. except that i was
tired, grumpy and PMSy, and in response to a
supposedly flattering ´you foreign girls are so
gorgeous´, i was tempted to snarl ´carry my bag and
i´ll let you take a photo´. most of you are aware of
my camera allergies, and will realise the desperation
inherent in that threat.

since then, my mood has picked up quite considerably
due to a variety of images/things that made me laugh,

- watching a little kid sitting on a dog, playing
´horsie´. dog sat down, kid fell off, tears welled up.
very funny for me.

- being chased away from a hotel by a grumpy owner,
after asking about hostels in the area, because
´you´re looking for cheap accomodation so you can wash
your clothes, well you can´t here, it costs me a lot
when you lot use my water´

- seeing a kid scoop icecream from his cone and mash
it into his hair. then hearing his mum (or one of his
mum´s friends) say ´no, that´s not what ice cream´s

- hire-carpooling with a couple of brits to see a
penguin colony. despite being very friendly, the guy
drove me up the wall in a way which made me laugh in
frustration - and i think my laughter just urged him
on. he couldn`t close his mouth for the 4hr return
trip, - even when he ran out of things to say, he
started baa-ing whenever he saw sheep by the roadside.
to make things worse, he touched my *shoulder* once.
(again, for those who know me: i´m still shuddering in
disgust and wiping the ´trace´ off.)

- being wolf-whistled at by a really young dude and
his cousin, who then started following me on their
bikes, and trying to pick me up. i ask him his age and
he looks confused/slightly offended when i burst out
laughing at finding out that he was 16yo. then we got
into a really interesting conversation because his
cousin (18yo) has a girlfriend in buenos aires that he
hasn´t seen for a year, and is finding it difficult
because here in the smaller towns, the girls are more
standoffish. i asked him what he meant by that, and he
said ´well, here, you have to talk longer to them
before anything happens´. once again, they didn´t
quite understand why i found that so funny. once i´d
gotten my breath back, i said to them ´i see, and i
guess you don´t like waiting,´ and they both nodded
gravely. oh, the joy of young hormonal love!

speaking of which, italian dude and i parted last week
after a glorious few days travelling around on his
motorbike (see photos of some of the places we
visited). it was quite sad - a few shed tears on his
part, which (lordy, am i cold!) kind of made me happy.
(does that make me a bad person?) but anyway, since my
last heartwrenching groupmail, i´ve decided against
accelerating my trip to meet him at the tip of south
america, and since leaving him, have gotten back into
the swing of travelling alone.

an exclamation mark in spanish is a ´signo de
admiración´: an admiration mark/sign!! (have i
mentioned how much i LOVE language quirks?)

i discovered that reverend abraham matthews (who was
part of the colonising group here in Trelew) was ´born
in Drefnawydd, close to Drefaldwyn´. my eyes teared up
from reading the names.

visiting the paleontological museum here, i was yet
again faced with the great question of what physical
laws were in place before the big bang. i love
contemplating what existed ´before´ that moment - and
yes, i know that it´s irrelevant and even meaningless
to talk about ´before´, but i feel so *little* when i
think about it. if space and time didn´t exist, what
was the pinhead of energy surrounded by?

Tags: On the Road

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