Saturday, January 20, 2007

Back in the US

Hey, it was a great trip. I spent Christmas in Argentina.

In response to my questions: Yes, the toilets really do flush backwards in South Amercia. No, if you see a Toucan you really don't get Fruit Loops. I went to Evita's tomb, and though I tried... I really did... I couldn't work up any tears. And the Argentinians refer to themselves as Argentines. Of course, they do it in Spanish, so it loses a bit in translation.

The first three days we spent up at Iguazu Falls. Wow! That's a bit of water. Really cool stuff. I would describe it, but I won't. They have some big ass lizards up there, and we even saw a monkey. Well, we saw his tail. But it counts!

And then we ate a sandwich in the park and spent the next week sick. I'm talkin', don't get out of sight of a bathroom sick. Seriously, we had to plan our outings in relation to where a bathroom might be. I wasn't too bad, but my wife and son were definitely down for the count... especially my son.

There was, though, time to make some interesting observations.

First of all: Relatives are god's way of making you deal with people you'd probably, normally, want nothing to do with. But I digress.

In Buenos Aires everybody has a dog, often dogs. It's not that people who live in other large cities don't have dogs. But people who live in large cities generally don't have very large dogs. It seems that everybody in Buenos Aires has gigantic dogs. We're talkin' Irish Wolf Hounds, Great Danes, Clifford! And, of course, these dogs need to be walked. And, of course, they leave shit on the sidewalk the size of small cats. There is dog crap every where. You develop a second sense after a while. One eye down and one eye ahead.

The cab drivers were a trip, both literally and figuratively. Not only are stop signs just a suggestion, but oncoming traffic in the other lane was seen as a challenge. And to make it more fun, the red lights turn yellow before they turn green. So everybody is setting at the intersections like dragsters waiting for the green. I think that would be a good way to stop Springfield drivers from running yellow (and red) lights. Trust me, nobody in their right minds goes through a light in Buenos Aires on yellow... except the cabbies.

Argentina may be know for wine, but they're definitely not known for beer.

And in a country that so values their steak (and it is good), you'd think that somebody, somewhere, would have a bottle of A-1. In fact, it's hard to find spices at all in Argentina. We all felt lucky to find pepper. Salt was even a treat.

All told, we were glad to come back.

Some things I've learned:

Avoid Dallas. Is there anyone out there that has ever flown through Dallas and not been delayed? As far as that goes, avoid American made jets (sorry, Seattle). They're old, they're cramped, and they generally suck. Drugs help.

Avoid sandwiches that are wrapped in cellophane.

Don't be surprised when it rains in the rainforest. Every day. All the time.

Grafitti is far better in Latin American coutries than in the US. My favourite:

Sexo, Drugas, y Rock!

Ice, baby, ice!

Seven days, no electricity... eye sight getting dim... The cats are starting to look at us like we're Little Friskees. Last night we spent the night with our good friends up in Aurora. It was quite a novelty. Turning the lights on and off.

I'm told by the newspaper to be patient. I wonder how patient Twitty would be if we kidnapped him and made him stay with us out in our house. I'm also told that there are only 15,000 people left without power. Why is it I know every one of them? And if they know how many people are without power, why don't they turn our lights back on instead of counting us?

We actually saw some CU workers in the neighborhood the other day. They kept going. We've seen more Mediacom trucks than City Utilities trucks. Maybe I'm confused, but what use is having cable if you don't have electricity to run it?

I finally bought a Coleman lantern the other day. I was sure that would get my power to come back on. Oh well. I'm building character. I've got so much character... I'm just ozzing with character. The only thing is, I can't see it because there are no frickin' lights!