Thursday, January 6, 2011

Argentina. The Mountain

Kicked off the trip with a little bit of adventure. I sold the car in the morning but both the dealership owner and manager were missing and there was no one to cut me a check. I finished packing by 11:00 am and headed straight back to the dealership, running out of time. My luck turned, the manager brought the check, a quick stop to deposit the check at my bank and 30 minutes later, check in at O'Hare for my Aeromexico flight to Ciudad de Mexico.
Clear sky but pretty cold, good visibility, a nice fly over Oak Brook and Willowbrook with an excellent view of all my past residences in the western suburbs. What a day!

Writing this in Ciudad de Mexico, a huge city by all accounts, took a nice stroll outside the airport (I had to clear immigration and customs even with my connecting flight 4 hours after arrival), in a nice and warm T-Shirt weather. Too bad I didn't get the chance to explore the city for a couple of days but I have serious business waiting for me in Argentina.

I have some mixed feelings about leaving all the comfort and easy life behind for a lot of effort and suffering but overall I am very excited about this trip and selling the car on the very last day, one hour prior to my flight out accounts for a good omen.

Many thanks to all my friends and family, the support and encouragement received made me feel very good and my goal is to keep a detailed journal and share my experiences with those interested.

One day almost gone, 99 to go. Keep in touch!

Day 2, 98 to go. Very long flight in an oldie but goodie Boeing 767, half empty Flight 28 Aero Mexico. They were not making any money but they offered the best service ever with two hot meals, plenty of drinks, metal silverware, tooth brush and paste and good looking stewardesses. Friendly and efficient personnel on the ground, no taking off shoes, no body scanning or balls groping, all in all a pleasant flight experience. Makes you realise what a BS flying in US has become!
We landed on wet tarmac in Buenos Aires and the weather cleared soon thereafter for a hot and muggy summer day, no different than a typical July summer day in Chicago, except it's January 5th and I'm wearing heavy boots and warm clothes. Bummer!
From this moment on, it's a deja-vu feeling: I feel right at home, Argentina being very similar to Romania. Cars, people's attitudes, landscaping (or the lack of it), buildings, everything oozes with the latin spirit that we're so proud of and the anglo-saxon world despises and don't seem to understand...
I think it's beautiful and I'm enjoying it more and more. Spanish is fairly easy to understand and I'm starting to pick up words and expressions. Total immersion works and I hope I'll get to speak the language at the easy conversation level by day 100. wishful thinking but trying is free.
I'm on a very comfortable overnight bus to Mendoza, fully reclining seats with feet support for a nice bed, hot meals, champagne, wine, movies (playing Wall Street II right now), in one word traveling in style. 11:20 local time, 8:20 Chicago time and even after 2 nights of poor sleep, I just can't go to bed. I envy Paul, I think he can sleep standing providing he's tired enough.
I'm done with my ramblings, all I did was just getting closer to the Andes but it seems it was enough to make me excited. Writing is fun and I hope you will excuse my lack of talent and experience when it comes to laying thoughts on paper (electronic ink to be more precised). If it's too bad, someone please stop me!

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