22 Dec 2011

°LDU. ODSA. Part 1°

Day No 1

My big trip `Ona does South America` started in the metro. I entered it with my big backpack, weighting, I’m guessing, around 30 kilos and waited till we come to `Estacion central`. My first time in that bus terminal so I could only hope I will manage to find it. Because with my luck and with the sizes of those things in Santiago – anything is possible.

Just as I predicted – I got lost in the very beginning. Not being used to this big weight on my back it was not so easy wandering around. I was just about to try my Spanish skills and ask `where the hell are those buses?` then I found an arrow to go up the escalator. And here we are – there is a bus terminal. Just above the whole building. Well, ok, I was not the one to discuss where to keep it. Just surprised. Somehow that did not make sense to me.

Since I got in a little early, I allowed myself to buy some snack for the bus and waited. It came almost on time. For the sake of `if you ever do the same route` I will mention that I took a bus Pullman Santiago-Puerto Montt for 16 000$ [Chilean pesos]. Since the night before I slept total of only couple of hours, had pisco before and danced till the dawn, I was trying my best to fall asleep. somehow that did not work in the best way. I was, you can say, too tired to sleep. And had one too many thoughts in my head. So crazy, I just could not let it go. Why like this? It was so great and then it blew over. And the worst part of it – I am not going to learn. Just to repeat the same mistake. Because there is no way I am going to avoid it. Not my style. Not our style, better yet.

At some point the sleep actually kicked in. I was waiting for the morning with my eyes open, with my steps in the dreams.

Day No 2

I arrived to Puerto Montt with almost no delay – at 8 in the morning. Having slept for enough amount of time I was feeling more or less ok. There was a woman in the station offering me a place to sleep, but I was very optimistic about the possible couchsurfing experience, so I rejected her offer. Instead I went for the internet and learned that none of my requests were responded positively. Oh well, so I got back to the same woman. She offered me a place, I knew for Chilean standards – very good. I even got my own double room [for the price of dorm bed] with TV, free wi-fi, breakfast and so on. So, traveling tip: if you come to Puerto Montt and somebody is offering you a place for 8000$ - you may consider taking it. The best part – she was living close to the bus terminal so at least I knew, once I leave PM, I would not have to die by trying to bring my heavy bag back to the terminal.

I went in to the room she was giving to me. She said if there is someone else coming, they would put that person in the same room, but me, a girl used to the dorm-looking hostels could not mind much of that. I agreed on everything, rearranged a little of my bags and went for a walk.

After walking for 3-4 hours with stops I realized two things – it is a city full of homeless and drunken people AND there is nothing to see/do in there. So after seeing most or mainly all of the city I got back to my `hostel`. I got my computer out, checked what else to do there [turns out, even google agrees with me there is nothing to see there] and got a message from a guy from CS to meet. Well, why not, it’s not like I am busy lady in this town.

We met and walked around some more. It turned into a pretty great night. We talked about a lot of things, we had beer on the pier, we met a French guy who was selling temporary flowers and had amazing little kitty. Before I knew it – it was already after midnight and I was so damn tired that all I wanted to do is put my head on the pillow, I put this day for the sleep as well.

Day No 3

I woke up in the morning a little later than expected, but still on time. I realized that it is raining outside. Well, just my luck, if it is raining I will see zero of the damn volcano I came here for, so decided to sleep some more. You don’t go out into the fog when it’s raining.

After the second sleep the rain stopped and I got out. All I needed to do it to go to the bus terminal, take a bus that had Puerto Varas written on the front and we went for a half an hour ride to the place where I could take another little pick-up van for national park. I got out of the little bus and it was still raining, cloudy and foggy. Here goes my volcano, but I did not want to give up, so went looking for the tourist information. And I found it, two of them actually, both of which have been closed. Just my luck, I know, but then again, some guy asked me if I was going to the national park, I nodded as `yes` and he showed me to the little bus. Five more minutes and I was already going to the destination. Weather have been changing all 80 kilometers. It was sunny, then it was cloudy, then it was raining and so on. I had no idea what I will find once I get there.

The bus driver took us almost to the gates of the national park, informed us about the last bus that goes back and let us go. So.. traveling tip here – if you are not dying to see that damn volcano, think twice if you really want to get there. You pay 800$ to get to Puerto Varas, 2000$ more to get to national park and finally 1200$ for the entry. And then you enter you get to walk no more than 300 meters, see a little river that have little waterfalls around and volcano, which, in my case, was covered in clouds that I could only see the bottom of it. I took all the possible turns but all of them just took me to the forest which was not even special.

I got out of the park earlier than expected, so instead of heading back to Puerto Varas I have decided to go to the lake, 7 kilometers away. Well, once again, that was not that special as well. It was cloudy, you can see volcano [or you could, if weather was good] and walk a little around. After all that I went back to Puerto Montt and since the next day I had to catch an early bus to Bariloche [in Argentina] I went to sleep early. Still with the sound of the rain in my window.

Day No 4

I bought the ticket in advance, but for the traveling tip – I used Andesmar company [completely satisfied with them, by the way] and paid 13000$ for the ticket.  It took us around 8 hours together with customs and all to get to Bariloche. And since this time I was luckier and had a couch already from CS, the only thing I had to do was to call the guy once I’m there. I tried. I really did. But my luck was with me again. I tried to use public phone, but I needed coins for it. I had no coins, or I could not find them and no one would exchange those for me. Damn people, they never have coins and in most places they require ONLY coins. So I was wandering around thinking what I could do when the bus boy passed through me and asked if I needed to make a phone call. Yes, I said and he gave me his phone. Amazing ah? So I called the guys, we arranged the meeting and I went to search for the meeting point.

It was soooo cold in Bariloche. I immediately thanked everyone I remembered that I still have my winter jacket [in case] and warm shoes and everything. I was waiting in the cold and wind but to my surprise the guy was not on Argentinian time. He actually came earlier. Made me happy instantly. Too bad he brought two more girls and were on the way to the supermarket. Sure, there is no problem for me to go to the supermarket with my 30 kilos on my back. We went to the supermarket, o got something for me for the breakfast and we got to the house. The good thing – it was again, pretty close to the bus terminal. My success was working strangely, but sometimes with me rather than against me. We ate and me and girls went out to the city. When it’s already almost 6 in the afternoon there is not much else to do than just to walk around and spend the night. The city, once again, nothing special. Although every second store in the city – chocolate and liqueurs store. We went into couple of them, tried some chocolate and some drinks, wandered around the streets, the girls kept on doing window-shopping and so on. After a while, once we decided we have seen it all we got back to the place. On the way we met an American guy who was also staying there and got back in.

I talked girls into cutting my fringe [I needed it so bad, so I was happy they agreed to do it, although they were definitely more excited about the whole thing]. My cutting turned into their cutting as well, then they took me as a project, put make up on me and made my hair. Finally after all of the preparations were ready we went out. On the way I have been talking to Roman [the host] about my trip and I have to say, he had some good insights so I kind of changed my plan a little. Or made slight corrections better yet. We went to some little place where we got beer, pizza and Roman’s roommate, who temporarily became my roommate once I was staying there, played some guitar. After that we wondered a lot around the city, finally got into some bar for some more beer and finally – got in.

It was already after 4 in the morning when I went to sleep and I could only hope for an easy day the next day. Well, that did not happen AT ALL.

Day No 5

I woke up the first one of the full house. I took my time. I took a decent shower, breakfast, some search on internet where to go and what to see before everyone else started getting up. We decided to do some sightseeing together with girls.

First thing – a little hill [cannot remember the name] on the 17th kilometer [a lot of things here has address of the kilometer of the road, don’t get confused]. Turned out the hill was not that little and the hike was not that easy. We were all in sandals and I was already cursing. On the other hand it was so damn hot, that I could not literally believe that it changed to fast after the day before when it was so cold.

So the hike up was hard but definitely worth it. The whole scenery with hills, mountains, islands and lakes was really amazing. We spend there some time just looking at the perfect view and resting after that `easy hike`.

We walked a little less than a kilometer and got into the area of the national park [again, cannot remember the name]. We rented bikes [it was expensive, but cheaper than in another place 65$], got a little map and went on. In total we spend around 4 hours on bikes, did several stops, one long one, biked up the hill [damn it was hard at moments] and down the hill [made me feel alive again]. Traveling tip – DO IT. You can also do it on foot [25 kilometers], on a bike as well and it so worth it. Places are amazing, sceneries are fantastic and pictures are priceless. Just bring enough water with you and refill it at the springs around [but keep an eye on them, because even if they are next to the road, I never noticed one until someone showed it to me].

All deadly tired we got back to the place, gave the bikes back and went for the bus. I don’t know why girls decided to hitchhike, but they did. They got the car actually, pretty fast. Too bad it took us only to the 4th kilometer, so we still had to wait for the bus. But we got back home so tired that after some considerations decided not to go out, not to do nothing, but just go to sleep. The day was over.

Day No 6

Already from the day before I knew girls will not be joining me today. I woke up in the morning, the first one once again, googled all the possible places. Francisco [my temporary roommate] advised me to go to Cerro Catedral with the bus and then take a hike. I did like he said.

I got to the bus, but the damn bus would not take the card [which I charged with money, by the way], so I had to pay extra. I paid and waited. We got to the top of the hill and then I just followed the marked road. It was not a hard hike, but it was constantly going up and down, up and down and with the heat and those damn creatures [horseflies or whatever they are called, but really mean, really A LOT constantly around you] and they were p****ng me off. They were stinging as well, so I started killing them. At least, differently from mosquitos, these f***** were easy to spot and kill.

After couple of hours of my hike and plenty of brilliant surroundings to see I got a strange fog, which wasn’t completely fog. I was not sure what that is but then remembered some volcano, which was still spitting ashes and making all of the city look like in the fog. I was informed that it may become more serious, so I decided to quit my hike. After all I was alone, just with my great friend luck, who was very good, just like me, in getting lost even in the obvious places. I turned back.

The hike back took me around the same amount of time and I settled to wait for the bus. The bus took me to the city, I went to the shop, bought something for dinner and got back to the place. No one was home. Just a little note saying that girls are coming back at 7 and we are leaving for the party at 8. I took my time to rest. Roman got back home around 7.40 and told me we are leaving at 8 sharp so if I wanted to go, I should get ready fast. I did. Then girls came back home, stayed there to get ready and we went for the shopping.

We met girls at the bus stop, some more people in the bus and got back to the same national park. Apparently friend, who had a party was living there. With an amazing view to the lake. Just that lucky. It was a bit boring in the beginning to me, because I was too tired to speak Spanish, and knew almost no one around. But it became better, I talked to a Belgium guy who was cycling around the world for almost 3 years, I talked to some more people there and had fun.

Somehow before I noticed all the people I saw before were gone, new ones came in, the party turned into a bit of the mess. So we waited for the bus to come, got to the bus stop and got in. everyone except for me and Francisco were sleeping, we talked about TV series, I mentioned IT crowd, he had it on his computer, so we watched one episode. I laughed so hard. You have to see it. Simply have to.

We watched some more of it once we got back in [other room was already sleeping] and finally went to sleep.

Day No 7

We had the exact same scenario in the morning again. I woke up the first one, took a shower had some breakfast, did some google’ing and then went to wake up the girls. They were supposed to do some trekking with me and I chose Cerro Lopéz for that day. After seeing the pictures and all they finally decided not to join me. Oh well.

I left the house. I got into the bus, got myself where I needed to start the hike and moved on. It was too much of sun, too much of those damn horseflies, that I kept on killing as they were stinging me and too much of steepness. No kidding, no one told me it was a hard walk and it was sooo hard. I had to stop every 10 minutes at least, because I had to take a break. I met a Danish on my way and after a little while we started walking together.

It was good to have someone there. If it wasn’t for him, I am not sure if I had made it to the top. It’s like you keep on going because you see another person doing that. But it was so hard.. we took a break on the way at the restaurant but it was closed, so finally this Danish guy was out of water and I guess had to stick with me, because I had some.

We kept on going, silently or sometimes loudly cursing and taking short breaks. It was still long way to that little pink house we saw. Suddenly, after maybe 1.5 hours of hard climb we reached the car looking road. It was a piece of cake walking it. We felt so relieved.

If that wasn’t enough, we found the river we had to cross and some snow. We were both happen to cancel Christmas this year and needed at least a little of it, so we were happy as little kids finding it and taking pictures. The last couples of hundred meters were steep but we did not care much about it anymore – we were almost at the top.

The views up there were amazing, but not dying amazing. That damn active volcano and ashes did the trick. We had the chance to only see a little bit of the view. If it was a clear day just like the first one – we would have had a blast there. But either way, we entered the little pink house, found beer there and took one each – just as rewarding ourselves because of that steep damn walk.

On our way back we decided to take another way – the one for cars, but it was so slow [it was hardly going up or down, just around. Good for cars, not so good for people] that after a while we took the same steep road. Of course, going down is so much easier. We kept on walking, sometimes running down and kept on being surprised how the hell did we manage to come up there.

Once we were down on the normal road we realized that we have more than an hour to wait for the bus, so instead of waiting we just walked to the Colonia Suiza. Nothing to see there basically, just to catch a bus. He gave me his phone number and I was supposed to let him know if we were going out that night.

I got back to the city, but instead of going home I went to the bus terminal to buy some tickets. Turned out, I was leaving the next day at 9.30 in the morning and I also bought my ticket on the Route 40 to El Calafate. Just to be on a safe side. I got back home, found it completely empty, so took my time and packed my stuff. I talked to Roman and promised to get some beers and come to his friend’s place.

Once I got there I learned that it is mostly going to be just the three of us. We ate some very tasty closed pizza, but then they went on talking about some relationships issue in fast Spanish, so I just stayed there, pretty much only enjoying my beer. Francisco came in later and joined their conversation. At the end – we went home [and I was inappropriately happy] and I went to sleep.

Day No 8

In the morning I got up and not wanting to wake Francisco up, I took my stuff out to pack. Well, almost all of my stuff, because I forgot my phone there. I packed and left for the bus. Once in the bus terminal I realized that my phone left me and was enjoying a nice sleep in Francisco’s room. Wow, I’m screwed or so I though, but I thought maybe he will be nice enough and send it to me to Mendoza, where I knew I will be at some point of my trip. A brilliant idea that Francisco is originally from Mendoza and he would be going there today/tomorrow cheered me up – I was almost sure I would be getting my phone back. This thought let me fall asleep in the bus.

It’s a good thing I asked where we are once the bus stopped somewhere, because it was my city I was heading to – Esquel. The bus was early, I was sleepy so I got confused. But either way I got out on time. The tourist information was of course closed, but at least they had some sort of a map on their doors so I more or less checked my way to my possible hostel and went on. I stopped a little in the tourist information which was open and they made my day. The lady was very nice. She explained it all to me, where I can go trekking, how long would it take to me, which place is better. She even marked my possible hostel on the map, so I find it easier.

I got into the hostel and I was greeted by a very nice Swiss guy, apparently. He complimented my very good Spanish, told me I can get a room there for one night, showed it all to me and told me to ask if I happen to have any questions. I left my things in my room and before it was too late, I decided to do some walking around. I started with Cerro del Cruz, but after going very steep again and some dark clouds coming my way I decided against it. My feet were still sore from the day before and I did not want to get all that rain on me. I moved down.

Since lady in tourist information told me there is a Lithuanian museum [crazy, right?] in the city, I decided to try that. I walked maybe 3 or 4 kilometers to the place. On my way I found this sign `Republica de Lituania` and could not believe my eyes. I never thought I have to go all the way down to Patagonia in Argentina and find myself in the Republic of Lithuania. I kept on going. The museum turned out to be just a area of cabins with some little Lithuanian decorations. It was even closed so I saw nothing. Still it was a nice walk.

In the evening I decided just to read a book [I took Terror from the hostel] and went to sleep. During my sleep I heard `there is someone sleeping in my bed` and I thought – no way I am moving like in Paris. They showed me this bed and I am sleeping in MY bed. The next way I actually realized the sentence was `would you keep it down, someone is already sleeping over here`. Oh well

Day No 9

The next day I woke up, packed my things, left them in the hostel and went for a little trek to Laguna. It was cloudy and not too hot when I was going there. It was nice, not too special though, and after a few hours I headed back. The sun was coming out and making it so so hot that I decided just to get back to the hostel [they let me stay till my bus, just not keeping by bed, therefore I REALLY recommend Casa del Pueblo in Esquel] and just read a book. A Dutch girl joined me, so instead of reading we talked, climbed the tree, tried some very good cherries. A German couple got into the hostel, so we continued conversations with them, then a Australian guy joined us. At the end I just had to pack my thing and get to the bus terminal to catch my bus on the amazing Ruta 40 road to get to the El Calafate in 24 hours.

My bus came on time an awesomely good looking driver congratulated me on a bus. Damn he was good looking. Some sort of Van Diezel look he had – shaved head, deep charming eyes. Really great. But after a bit I fell asleep. I had a long way to go.

Day No 10

The next day was spent in the bus. We went on Ruta 40, which is, by the way amazing. The views are completely priceless. We stopped several times to repair the bus and we had the chance to take some pictures. After a long way we got into El Calafate. I already had a reservation for the hostel, so I was not worried – I will find a place to stay in this extremely touristy city.

The Van Diezel looking driver even showed me which way to go [I knew it, but it was nice to look at those eyes for the last time] and I take my turns. I got into the hostel, another kind of good looking, shaved head guy greeted me there, showed me to my room and I was settled. I just went back to the bus station for some more information about glaciers and getting to THE end of the world [better known as southernmost city – Ushuaia] and went back. It was already after midnight so I just went to sleep.

Day No 11

I woke up in the morning only thanks to some guy who had his alarm on. I got ready, had breakfast and went to the bus station to get the bus to the glaciers. I met the same Dutch girl there and we went to the Glaciers together. Once we got there she took a boat and I decided to save 70$ and went straight on. I finally saw the glacier. Big, huge in fact piece of ice, but very nicely done. There are several roads there, I took them all, some of them twice [they give you too much time there, honestly].

Back in El Calafate I waited for the bus together with Dutch girl, we said our goodbyes will Ushuaia hopefully and I went back to the city. There is nothing much to do besides eating and shopping in the city, so I ended up with my computer and a beer in my hostel. The good looking hostel worker told me we could go out, but at the end I just went to sleep. He did not show too much interest anyways.

Day No 12

The next day in El Calafate was a little slow. I packed my things, left my bag in the hostel and went to wander around. My first stop – Laguna de Nimez. Apparently the only thing you can do as a sightseeing in the city. There is a 25$ entrance fee, but I did not know about it, I went in, no one stopped me so at the end I saved the money.

The place itself is nothing special, really. Just a lake, some birds [I only saw several]. The most exciting part – flamingoes. To me – just pink birds. You cannot get too close to them, but I managed to make at least some pictures.

After that I tried to find a simple spot to stay, pass time and read a book. Turns out – not that simple. The city is amazingly windy so no matter where you go, you get too much of it. I finally found some park, but I was kicked out of it by an angry lady, who said I cannot stay there on the green grass. At the end I just stayed on the bench, read my book, finally got into the hostel, tried to call a guy in Ushuaia about hosting me, do I need to mention it did not work out? I finally just stayed with my book and my computer and a good looking worker there till it was almost the time to go to the bus station.

The bus to the end of the world [el fin del mundo] was at 3 a.m. and we were several of us like that waiting for it. Finally it cam, I sat down, a guy from Israel [I cannot understand the language, but once I hear it I know where it is from] and fell asleep. 5 hours of the bus riding was spent in sleep.

Day No 13

Early in the morning we reached Rio Gallegos and got off the bus. It was 1.5 hours of waiting in the bus station for the next bus to Ushuaia. I waited patiently and once it came a bus terminal worker, with some teeth missing was telling me how beautiful I am, how my eyes are beautiful and my face is pretty. How his heart become bigger and after me telling him I am not coming back told me I broke his heart. Well, it was just so funny, made me laugh, especially that I know I looked like crap after half of night spent just trying to be awake and the other half in the bus.

We got on the bus and what to you know – I got the same guy from Israel sitting next to me. There were much more Israelis people in the bus. I was sure he is one of them – young, just after the army, traveling in South America.

Soon we got engaged in conversation. I had to eat my oranges before we crossed the Chilean border, so I offered some for him. He was not just after the army. He was my age and he actually did not like all these crazy kids after the army who does not know how to behave.

We had so much fun. He had similar sense of humor so we just kept on making fun at each other. We laughed a lot and the bus ride was becoming really pleasant.

At the border we met an Austrian couple and together with them and Canadian older guy had some fun as well.

At the end we kept on talking to this guy next to me. I learned a lot about Jews [some thing I did not know before], I learned a lot about him in person and had a really great time. But after the bus stopped he rushed after his friends to the hostel. He kind of offered me to go with them, but somehow I sensed his friends were totally not interested in having a chick together with them, so he just said goodbye and we went separate ways.

I tried the recommended hostel to me – Freestyle. With no trouble I found it and a guy working there found me. With optimism he asked if I have a reservation and with the regret I had to say no. I saw from his face they had nothing to me. But he instantly offered me to leave my bag with him, so I could go and look for a place easier. He took my bad and his comment was `oh wow. That is a heavy bad, what do you have in here? Another friend? I told him there are two imaginary friends there, but both really fat. He even gave me a map, marked several hostels there. If that was not enough he called, like he said, the second best hostel in Ushuaia and reserved me a place. I was so happy and so grateful to him that I wanted to stay there even more.

Either way I went to my hostel, now reserved, secretly hoping maybe my friend from the bus will be there too. He wasn’t. but at least a bed for me was. I got it, left my things, checked my mail and went to bed thinking – I am literally at the end of the world. Wow. End of the world. And I managed to reached it. Sounds amazing, don’t you think?

Day No 14

I woke up in the morning, got wonderful breakfast in hostel and went out. I know there is not much to see in the city, so I went for a little track to the little glacier, which, I knew from the stories, is just a little ice cube if you have seen the one in Calafate. Do I even need to mention I did not get to the damn thing?

I started ok on the way and I was definitely heading to the right way, but somehow I manage to loose it. I guess I just took a wrong trekking road, but either way – I had a nice walk in the forest, wet my shoes completely [my trekking good shoes were still wet from the night before in the rain and safe back in the hostel], saw some great views to the mountains full of snow [almost Christmas] and the city and went back.

On my way back I could not help but thing about my mysterious Casino at the end of the world. It got shape right now. I was in the literal end of the world. There is casino in here. I could sense and feel MY casino at the end of the world. I even went there and took a picture of it. Somehow it made me shiver. My Casino at the end of the world. And it has a shape already. I am still not sure if I should/could enter it with no eternal effect on me. I still don’t know if I want to go there and place the best, my highest bet. I am not even sure if I went there, should I take a round in a Black Jack, or Poker or simply roulette. I know I still have several days to find that out and to make my actions accordingly to hopefully sober mind. still it drives me crazy. So many things were happening in that mysterious casino at the end of the world and here it is. Casino at the end of the world. Can I handle it? Will you be there to hold my hand? Even if only virtually. I need you to hold my hand again. 

P.S. Pictures are coming, just slowly.

8 Dec 2011

°Wash away your face°

The last days here in Santiago just flew. I had no time to think and here I am - almost packed, almost ready, almost leaving.

Yes, a new adventure is right here, around the corner. Just yesterday it all cleared out. First stop - Puerto Montt. Not that anyone reads - I promise to try to keep myself up-to-date here. Just in case. Or just after the case.

Not going into details how I was running here and there, trying to make things work for the very last time I will just say that everything worked out more or less perfect. Well, I have my own luck, who does smile at times.

My last day in office made me realize how much I am going to miss these people. Just like family, they took care of me, they cared how I am and where I go, if I need anything and all the rest. It was sad to say goodbye to each one of them. But I guess you cannot escape that once you live on a road. Hanne, sweet Hanne, gave me a present. So it is official now - I have a purse. Seems like everyone in the world wants me to be a little more girlish. 

On my last night I finally decided to have an easy night. So we met with Liina for the last beer. That did not stop there, do I still need to mention that? We went to the apartment of one of her friends, for some pre-party. I was sure I am going home after that. But to the question `vamos a bailar` I just could not say no. We went dancing.

I, as always, had no ID, but security was very friendly and let me in. I had so much fun... The best farewell night ever, mostly because not planned. I danced with one of her friends all night and it was great. Early early in the morning we went home. We stayed in front of my apartment house in the car for more than two hours I think, talking about everything and nothing. It was already not so early morning when I went back to my bed and slept my full 4 hours. 

And then packing packing, finishing the unfinished. Leaving in 45 minutes. From the house. in 2 hours - from Santiago.

Off topic

Unbelievable. And this time I thought I was not wrong. Turns out, I could not be more wrong. Oh well. That is life. I'm still kind of happy and grateful. Even if it was all fake.

Never knew..

4 Dec 2011

°Cherry Blossom Girl°

For the last weeks in Santiago the time just caught up on an unbelievable speed. No kidding. Here is Monday and then – oh would you look at that – it’s Sunday again. Seems like I am rushing and nothing is happening. And I just want to leave decently, no rush, no rash. Just an easy escape.

Ironical enough – I still don’t know where I am going exactly. It’s not that I am stressing too much about it, but I just don’t like it. Don’t want that rushing through things phase on the last minute, hoping to get that damn ticket and leave on time.

Oh well. Another time maybe. In another land maybe.

Last Sunday I met another CSer and we went to the Music day concert in Santiago. It was hot day, but very nice concert. We were singing and dancing to `Loca loca loca..` I had a great time.

All the rest was business as usual. Work/Spanish/planning/purchasing last things/deciding last things/unloading and preloading. Nothing much to add really.

Calm before the storm I guess.

Off topic

You are making the impossible. You probably have no idea even how much and how sincerely you make me smile. I may say that one day. Not now. We need a little patience and we need a little time. And then.. I’m not even going to guess. I’ll see. It’s too exciting not to make a decision right this minute.

I guess you could say I am walking on a thin ice. I am still not sure why I am doing this. Or why I am letting this affect to happen on me. I guess that just means that I did not loos my total faith. Well that is something to hang on to, right?

I will never give up on love.

24 Nov 2011

°Miller's Angels°

It’s still the same. Time in Santiago is slowing down. Contrary to the life, which, appears to be going too fast to keep up with it. And still I am here. I cannot escape Santiago for some.. let’s just call them objective reasons. Now that I think about it-  I can only hope those reasons will dissapear when I will actually need to escape Santiago. Let’s just wait and see.

Have you ever noticed that Chilenos are very strange people? You probably have, if you were here or met some of them and you probably haven’t, if not. It’s a weird thing. Well, weird for me, but it still does not make sense to me. Why do these people talk so damn fast and then walk/eat/work/... [endless list really] so damn slow? You can see that in the streets: one step-20 words. The only thing I would prefer them to do slowly – they do fast and all the rest that I prefer doing fast – they do slow. Could I live here for good?

Anyways even with a slow speed, I am still capable of messing it up. Well, that is just my luck, my life, myt capability and I just have to accept it I guess. Because fighting with it is the same as fighting with the wind mills [Ahh.. windmills].

So last Monday, so long time ago, we went ‘tres chicas rubias’ or three blond chicks for a drink+hookah/shisha/narguille. Nothing special, just an easy night out. On Wednesday we had a LOT of cakes and sweet stuff at the office. Something like ‘let’s say goodbye to two of the rubias, because one of them is leaving for two weeks and another one is already leaving, period’ kind of thing.

On Thursday we went to this bar ‘The Clinic’. I am only telling you the exact name that if you come to Santiago, you might wanna check it out. It’s very big and popular and I guess there is a reason for that. They have not too expensive [for Chileno standards I mean] drinks, nice atmosphere, good looking waiters. White Russian.. oh my,, one of the best one I have ever tried. Give it a try. You should not regret.

On the weekend I met one CSer from Concepción. We met, went to Bellavista area. We had a drink, met a German guy, talked a little, then moved to the ‘disco’. We danced to Latino kind of sounds and finally I went home. Of course, to no one’s surprise probably, I took the wrong bus. It wasn’t terrible, since I got off when it turned not to my direction and it wasn’t that far to walk home anymore anyways. So I walked listening to the ‘Muse-Starlight’ and actually felt like living a happy life. On Sunday we met again, for a little ‘doing nothing’ in the park, since the day was very nice, with the sun and all. And there I finished my week.

The next week was more or less similar as all the others. Just a working week and a lot of planning/changing of plans/thinking/deciding. I haven’t made up my mind completely, but I made my first step. I bought the tickets. It’s official folks – I’m coming back to Europe. And from there.. Well we’ll take it from there once we get there.

Off Topic
Interestingly it still hurts. All those things that were not supposed to be lies turned out to be lies. People still ask me, why it is so hard to trust people. And I can only ask back – why is it so hard to keep promises?

But no, you will never win. I will never give up.

I’m getting the more clear picture. But I still want to do it. Just for the sake of ‘take a risk and enjoy the moment’. I’m already doing one crazy thing too many anyways, why not take this one?

There is no compromise. Rom has to go. Got it?

We’ve got to make it rain somehow. Hey.. I’ll be close, how about another dance in the rain?

14 Nov 2011

°Face Control°

Once again, the time, back in Santiago kind of stops. You start stop noticing that weekend is over again. Working days starts. And before clear warning – here is the weekend again.

My last weekend I basically just tried to adjust myself back in Santiago after my still alive memories of Mendoza in my head. Not that easy. Not that easy anymore, I should probably add. Funny, how even after building the whole experience bubble about traveling, meeting, seeing and leaving for a lot of times already it is still damn hard to leave.

And yes, I know, I understand it’s easy to idealize places and people when you only see them for the couple of days, but it’s not just that. It’s the feeling. The feeling, I am old enough to know, does not ever fail me. Even when I fail myself.

I started my week pretty promising from the very Monday. I did a lot of Spanish tests in the morning, went to work, at the end met Rod for a beer. On Tuesday I repeated the same story – Spanish and work parts, just in the evening I met Liina and her friend for a beer+shisha [hookah, narguile – whatever you call that thing]. On Wednesday I met another CSer. Pretty international – Mexican guy, living in UK, coming to Santiago for business. We just met at the spot where we both live around, we took a first not too fancy looking pub and got it. It was good enough for a beer and talk. I took it easy on Thursday and just stayed in. Well, ok, I am lying – I was supposed to have plans, but those fell through, so I ended up in my room, watching a movie. Which was good. I enjoy easy nights from time to time.

In the beginning it looked like I am going to have a Friday night in as well. But I got a call from Rod, asking where I am planning on watching THE game [what game? Never heard of any game] and told me I have to come and see it, because it’s Chile vs. Uruguay and everyone in Chile will watch it. Ok, it’s football, not my favorite game, but as long as I am in Chile, I might as well just watch one of the most important games while I am here.

Of course just when I got there, locals, all cocky and sure about how Chile is better and will win told me I cannot even think, not just talk about `who will win` and there should be no questions whatsoever who am I supporting, because of course it has to be Chile. Well, those who know me, knows that you just don’t say crap like that to me. There is no way I am supporting Chile after such statements. We started watching the game. My support went 100% to Uruguay. Especially to the incredible No. 9, who is not just a good player but also a damn good, hot good damn good looking guy. My smile was getting bigger and bigger after every single goal Uruguay was scoring, just like smile on Rod’s face was getting smaller and smaller when at the end I thought he really got mad at me. As if it was my fault Chile was not scoring. All in all at the end Uruguay celebrated the winning by 4:0. And no matter which team you were supporting, they were leading the whole game. They were simply better. I left the bar right after the game. Rod was looking at me as if he is going to harm me and I did not want to ruin the bad night to them with my smile anyways. I can be a good girl some times.

On Saturday I took a little walk around in the city. I just needed to take the hedge of my thoughts. It started to be too much, too hard and it started spinning too much. Sometimes you just get too much of everything, you know?

After a little while I got a call from Eduardo and we decided to meet up. We did a little tour around Santiago. We went on Santa Lucia hill, we walked around the city center, we entered cathedral when it had mass going on, walked a little more around, finally stopped for a beer. It was a nice little place with kuntsmann on menu and we were just sitting there, talking. Afterwards he got a call from his boss to meet up, he invited me to go together and we went to Bellavista to look for that bar his boss mentioned. That was not a bar. That was a little city inside the city. Place with maybe more than 25 bars and restaurants in there. We managed to find his boss, we sat down. it was a nice night out, his boss was a nice person, although he kept on advising me never to get married, we had some beers and some real good Italian looking and tasting pizza, got the last beer in the Mexican restaurant and went home. The night was officially over.

On Sunday I thought about having an easy day, just doing some `must do, come on girl` things. That was before I got a message from Liina. We met up, we bought some things in supermarket and made ourselves a very nice picnic in the park of sculptures. It was really nice – the day was good, not too hot, not too much sun, we sat there, chilled, listened to some music, had some very nice `made there and then` salads. It was an easy, but great Sunday afternoon.

And here we go – new week is just about to begin.

Off topic

I will admit. It is a bad day to me. I still don’t know why that had this effect on me. But it did. I just still don’t get it? I find myself not getting way too many things. This is why I stop guessing, wondering or trying to understand. I am damn happy after all. You know?

You don’t know. But even black sheep can have its own moments.

Me amo con locura.

It still does not make sense. I am trying, but I cannot change my mind. And yes, it is a double standard in some cases. Can you blame me?

I am changing my mind. I am changing my plan. I am moving to another level. And yes, …k it, I will do it. And I will get rid of that before as well. And it will be damn good. I did not miss the opportunity. I just could not take it. Better to all.

And no, I am not kidding. 

5 Nov 2011

.Out. Mendoza. You are.

It was a Wednesday night. I made some arrangements and I was supposed to meet up some CSes for some drinks and hopefully some dancing. Sounded promising and I was very much looking forward to it.

Rod suggested we would meet up before for a drink, since his sister had a birthday that day. We went back to California. It was a fun time, we had fun. There was this German girl there as well and was telling a lot of crap about Germany [totally not true things]. I listened patiently and then just told Rod not to believe anything he heard. He kind of agreed with me on this one. She also said we should not go to that Miercoles Po party, I was supposed to go, but we still decided against it. If she does not know anything about her own country, she might not know much about this party also. So we left.

We got into two cabs and went for the place. I had only the address, I had no idea where we would end up. Turns out – we ended up in not the best place in Santiago. It was Rod’s fault really, because he just saw the name of the street and told driver to stop right there and then. We got out and started walking. It was like walking in the movie, in a bad neighborhood, where someone will definitely take out their knife and try to stab you for your money. The saddest part – we did not even find the `club`. So we got back to the bigger street, happy we did not die in there, took another cab and after a little while we got in.

It was an old factory building, now made into the night club. We were one of the first ones to arrive, but later on people came in and it was really crowded. We had fun. There was karaoke, dancing, some beers. I did not met the people I was supposed to meet there, but we really had fun. I got to dance at least a little.

The next couple of days I had my usual life going on – work, Spanish, etc. I was preparing myself for my next small trip, thanks to Chile and a lot of long weekends. This time it was time for Mendoza. In Argentina.

A little bit before I already bought tickets and found hosts for myself from CS. Two guys, who, I had a feeling, could never be considered boring and must have been a lot of fun.

Traveling tip: Bus company Ahumada offers, I was told, cheaper and less comfortable rides. It is cheaper, I agree, but definitely not less comfortable. If you have to use buses in here – try Ahumada [metro Los Heroes]. They take care of you, they give you snacks, they have comfortable buses. They are good!

I got to the bus station early, just in case so I could have time and not rush into the bus. The bus arrived almost on time, but shut the doors and driver disappeared. Ok, I am aware, everything is late in Chile. I just tried to breathe and wait for it to open. After half an hour I started worrying. What if that is not my bus and all that sort of crap. Well, you know me, right?

After a while I was not the only one worrying about the bus to Mendoza, so that made me feel a little better. It’s always better not to be the only one who missed the bus, right? We finally got into the bus and we left Santiago at 3 p.m. which was 1 hour late. Which made my chances being late to Mendoza even more and I did not like that. I was coming to somebody’s home and I hate being late.

I was lucky enough to had the whole seat for myself, the bus boy was a very nice person, he kept on asking everyone if they are ok and helped filling in the forms and stuff. We got to the Los Andes, where this bus boy left and a new one came in. This one was a total doll, I can tell. And I know, I know I have this thing for a good looking guys, but this one.. My oh my how adorable he was. He had glasses as well which made him a little bit of a nerd, but that only made him more adorable. He was one of those cute things you just could not stop looking at. He was also very friendly with all of the people – greeting them, telling stories, asking questions. So not just a pretty face.

We were going towards cordilleras and a little bit up. Traveling tip here: if you go Mendoza-Santiago, or Santiago-Mendoza. DO NOT take the plane. Take the bus. The views there are priceless. You go up to exactly 3185 meters height and you get to see amazing mountains and valleys all around you. So much totally worth the trip. There was not even a second I ever regretted I took the bus. Mostly for the mountains, only a little bit for a bus boy.

On my way to the border there was a long red colored river going the same direction [or better yet, opposite direction]. It reminded me of the same colored river in Sardinia and was just about to smile with my wide smile and say `šūd…` [you remember it right?] but shut my mouth. I remembered how the first one in Sardinia took a revenge on us and I did not want to mess this my trip up just because I could not keep my mouth shut. I just called it `a little red river`.

We got to the border on the very top. Around 3 kilometers up. I got out of the bus, we needed to wait anyways, so I just kept walking around, taking some pictures. The adorable bus boy came to me and started talking. I felt so special. Hehehe. But seriously, he was very nice, he asked me what I am doing here, how long will I stay in Mendoza and similar things. It was a good chance for me to practice some Spanish, so I took it. I mean, why not?

After some time we got into the passport check point. I was checked, several times it was mentioned `oh Lituania. Lituania`. But it all went well, no troubles at all, I got some more special attention from the bus boy – he talked to me about the books and stuff and told me we should arrive to Mendoza around 11 p.m. which is two hours later than expected. I texted one of the guys I was supposed to stay with I will be late and I message went through, so I figured it’s ok. I did not get any response though, so it made me a little worried, but I thought maybe it is all ok.

Views were still amazing from the window, even though it was already dark. Maybe it was even more amazing, because apart from the bus lights it was all dark, new moon and millions and billions of stars. I almost lost track of time while watching them.

The bus boy did not lie. We did arrive to Mendoza at 11 p.m. But since I did not get any messages from my guys, I decided it is either too late to go to their place and maybe I should start looking for a hostel [damn I am so happy I was smart enough finally not do that]. I tried calling them and to their home phone, but I could not get through. Suddenly it became clear why the guy did not respond to my message – I am pretty sure he just did not get it. I was even more lost. More than 2 hours late and with no message, nothing – they must have written me off.

I decided to give it a try. First thing – ATM. Which, of course – did not work. Just my luck. No place to exchange money – but of course, Saturday night, why would I even be surprised. Ok, so no money, no taxi. I have to walk to their place. I already made up my mind at that time. Worst comes to worst – I will try their home and if not – I will just try to get a hostel afterwards.

I started walking and you know – it is a bus terminal area, plus I am a white giant stranger to them – I am very noticeable. And I am constantly warned in SA that it is dangerous, so I decided not to take my chances and took my knife out. Kept it in the pocked – just in case. And, thanks God and to German [one of the guys I was staying with], he send me the map, so I was following the streets. It was a little difficult in the beginning to find my way, but once I found a crossing where I was standing and in the map – I was alright. I kept on walking. It was around 30 minutes walk, although with couple of time I lost my way a little [not my fault, by the way] I managed to get to their street.

We talked that there is a party on Saturday night [it was Saturday] and I was very afraid they left for it already and I find no one at home. I could only pray and hope. When I arrived to the number I needed, I felt relieved seeing lights in the window. So I buzzed the doorbell. I heard someone talking in there and finally the doors opened. I was so f...ing happy, I could sh.. rainbows.

Diego [the other one. Or so I thought] opened the door. I can be honest in here, I did not do my homework, I just looked at several pictures of those guys and I recognized him, but I was sure he was Diego. So we said our decent hellos with kisses on the cheeks. There was a Swedish girl there, couchsurfing as well, I got introduced to her as well. Then German [or so I thought] appeared from upstairs. I was so freaking happy that people in SA are always late, because only thanks to that I made on time and they were only preparing for the party.

 So after I had some time to change and get a little beer, I asked German [or so I thought] if he got my message. He said something like `no, but you probably sent it to German`. I got lost. I wanted to ask – what the hell do you mean German, you are German, but decided against it. I will figure it all out later, I thought.

So yes, turns out, I mixed them up. And only because Diego looks a lot like German [and I thought German was just a nickname] and German actually looks like a real Latino boy. Well, you live and you learn.

There were some preparations for the Halloween party happening in the house. We tried some masks, made some pictures, it was fun. I was given a big green wig and apron [just for the sake not to be completely normal human being in the party] and then some more friends started coming in. I learned there and then that Halloween is a big thing here. You would not believe how prepared they were. One guy dressed up like a total lady-boy. And he looked like one, for sure! He had those insanely high high-heels that I still have no idea where he got from, because of the size. And he even danced on them all night long. I mean, I would not have been able to do that and I am a girl.

Ok, so anyways, all of the friends came and we left for the party. It was a pretty big party on the roof on one building. Everyone was extremely dressed up for the Halloween, I was pleasantly surprised and constantly regretting for not taking my camera. I met people there and we had some fun. It was very funny when I met one guy. Young and way too self confident. I mean, don’t get me wrong, self-confidence is a good thing, but he was way too much. He told me things like `I am 22, I am studying … [can’t remember now], I speak very good English, I do sports` also he asked me how tall I was and after hearing my answer he said `good. I like tall girls`. Yeah, like I could give a …. At some point he asked me if I had a boyfriend and I couldn’t help but play Steffany card. I told him I had a husband. I almost did not lie to him when he asked me where he is, what is he doing and etc. but then he tried lecturing me about how not normal that is and I just got enough. So on the first moment he turned I ran away.

I was so lucky that just after maybe two steps German saw me and took me dancing. There is all started – the real Latino party I was looking for since the moment I got there. Latino music, Latino boy, Latinian [is that a word?] drink and Latino kind of dancing. German is a great dancer and I enjoyed dancing with him very much. He also told me that I dance as a Latina chica [way too exaggerated, but nice to hear anyways]. I did not even see when most of the people disappeared, we were still dancing. It was around 5 a.m. when we headed home. It was a long, but awesome night.

After a short sleep, I dressed up, woke up German, got a key from the house and went out. I wanted to see Mendoza and I did not have that much time. I knew, however that guys will be sleeping till late, since it’s Sunday, so I left them enjoy their sleep. The Swedish girl was gone already, so I went on my own.

I had no money, so first thing on my `to do` list was, of course ATM or exchange boot. It was Sunday, so you can imagine my luck with exchange places. But I was not getting luckier with ATMs either. I have no idea how many miles I walked, trying every single ATM and cursing loudly or silently, because all of them had the same response to me `sorry, you cannot use this card in this ATM`. I tried, I think, all of the different banks that are in Mendoza. I did walk for a very long time. I lost my patience and will for anything, even tourist information was closed, so I finally went to the bus station. There has got to be something. There was a different ATM, but that one had no cash in it. At least information was working, so I asked the girl where I could exchange some money. She offered me to take a look in the places where they sell bus tickets. As always, I tried almost all of them and all of them said no. I was desperate. I was just about to go back to casa de German and Diego and ask them to exchange some money for me. But at that time I guess this one guy felt sorry for me and even before he said no, he exchanged me some money. I was finally feeling as a human being.

So then I finally managed to make some touristy stuff. I walked the city. I went to a big, huge park. I made my time there nice and sweet. I went to eat as well [finally, because I had no money before]. I made my round around Mendoza and I got to the guys’ house. There was no one home, just me and some rules on the table. It surprised me at the very beginning. I mean, I understand, when you have a lot of strangers in your house, it is a common sense to provide some rules, but I have never experienced anything like this before.

Anyways one of the rules stated that `it is always nice to drink some beer or wine at home` and that there is a shop close to the house. Ok, ok, I got the message, I thought and I went in. I bought some stuff for myself and some beer for the house.

I got back, no one was still there, I had no idea when they are planning to come back or where they were, so I just laid down on my bed and closed my eyes, just for a second. Not sure how long that second was, but I woke up just when I heard someone opening the doors. It was German. We stayed there, talking for a little while when Diego came back home. But not long after he came back down with a huge [not kidding – totally enormous] luggage and left for a business trip. We stayed there with German. He offered me to watch a movie.

Not traveling, but tip: Watch it.  Diarios de motocicleta. Totally worth watching. With all of the honest. If you like it – thank German. He introduced it to me.

So we went to his office, I enjoyed watching the moon while he was copying, how he said `subtitles for gringa`. It’s amazing I thought, he works just 2 minutes away from his home. Good location. Afterwards we got back to his house, watched the same Diarios de motocicleta, which I totally enjoyed and loved and ended up going to sleep. It was after 3 a.m. already and I wasn’t sure about him, but I had a schedule for the next day.

The next day I left the house pretty early. I wasn’t sure if I have enough money, so I figured I will exchange more. I mean it’s Monday, how hard can it be. Turns out – harder than I expected. Well, first of all I went to the tourist information office, I asked about how to get to bodegas [wineries] and to the mountains for the next day and then went out for the money exchange. I could not believe my ears and my eyes. I went to numerous banks and exchange places, none of them could have helped me out. I felt completely hopeless. I learned it at some point that it is not just me – no one can exchange money due to some `there are no more dollars in the country` or something like that reason. I gave up after something like two hours, because I knew I had to go to bodegas. Now or never.

So I took the bus. I saw some more foreigners in it, so I was kind of calm. When they get off, I will too. There is probably the only place they could possibly go. I was right. And I was glad some of them talked to the driver before, because when he stopped he said – chicas! Which we took as `you damn foreigners, here is your stop` and got out. I already checked from before which bike rent office is advised and was going towards it. I got several fliers on my way for the bikes, but decided to go to the advised one.
.Mr. Hugo bikes. Recommended.
The guy, working there, was very sweet. He explained us everything, gave us tips where to go and where not to, explained it all and let us go on a bikes with the map. I first, of course, tried another damn ATM, which, by the way was closed because `they were working on it`. So I went to the first `winery`, which actually was making olive oil, marmalades, chocolate, liqueur and similar things. I paid for the entry and tried everything they had. Marmalades were ok, olive oil was very good, chocolate was not bad as for SA I guess and the liqueurs were awesome.

I once again tried the ATM [do I need to mention that unsuccessfully again?] and then gave up. What the hell I thought, for now I’ve got enough, for later – we’ll see. I went biking and visiting different wineries. It was a great nice afternoon on a bike. I stopped at a beer garden for a little relaxing time and a glass of cold beer. Very interesting, kind of house of bottles just like in Koh Tao.

At some point I went a little bit further. I knew there are no more wineries there and I am outside my map already, but I just felt a need for some pleasant biking. But no, of course I cannot enjoy it. Police car overpass me, stops and tells me to stop. I get a question `A donde va?` which basically means `and where the hell you think you are going??`. So I try to tell him I am only biking around, but he tells me not to go too far away, because it is dangerous [again with the dangerous]. So I turn. I do not want any troubles and I am not sure if I can ride bike after taking some liqueurs, beer and wine.

I visit some more wineries and not long after I am going back. I need to return my bike. So I give my bike back, I sit down for a little rest, I get a complementary glass of wine. Then English girls came and sat to my table, then some more English girls and then some Australians. We ended up sitting there, drinking wine and exchanging experiences from the SA. This very helpful guy was around as well. I could not help but wonder who he reminds me off. But could not think of anyone. We ended the evening, got all to the bus, and I sat next to this helpful guy [it’s a shame, but I still don’t know his name]. we started talking a bit, he showed me my way to my host place and we separated. And only then I realized – he is a complete copy of Marco.

Anyways, I got back home, hoping we could go some place fun, somewhere out, hopefully dancing with German, but I saw him long enough just to say hi and bye. He said he had to leave and that he will see me later. I thought that later is in an hour or so, so I got on my bed and closed my eyes just for a second. I woke up around 2 a.m. and the TV was still on, so he wasn’t back yet. I fell asleep again. Around 4 he still wasn’t home and around 5 a.m. again. I started worrying. i fell asleep again and I was kind of woken up around 6 a.m. German was back home. He was extremely sweet and walked so silently, so he would not wake me up. I had only 1 hour of sleep more from that moment.

So I woke up and left home, hopefully for changing some money in time. I went to couple of places and heard `no`, but then in one place the girl showed me where I could exchange it and I was standing in the line full of joy. I had to wait for about 15 minutes [but of course] and then I got there, the girl told me `your passport please`. I gave her my ID, because I never carry my passport with me and she told me she cannot exchange my money if I do not have my `real` passport. I was just about to loose it. I was ready to go home and take my passport, but decided to try another place. My ID was thankfully enough to them and I finally got money. Man, that felt good.

So full of good energy I went to the bus terminal and asked for the ticket to the mountains. I asked for both ways, waited a bit, found a bus and started my trip. I was sure it is no more than two hours away from Mendoza and I even left a note to German stating that I will be back around 6 or 7. Yeah, just my luck. To start with – the bus was incredibly slow, stopping in every possible and even impossible place. The views around, by the way were really great, totally worth visiting, except for the fact that I, at some point started wondering if I will even make it to my bus back to Santiago. And I had to be back earlier: for the least – my stuff was still at home and had the key I needed to return.

I made a major mistake there. Then the bus driver told me to get out of the bus – I did. I thought he knows it better. Turns out – he did not know better. Well, happens, so I failed. I got off not at the park I wanted to, but at another place. Nice, place by the way, mountains all around, but still not the exact place I was heading to. I felt miserable. Not enough I am spending my last day most of the time in the bus, I am getting off at the wrong place and I might be late for my bus to Santiago. The red little river was smiling and taking revenge at me – I was sure of that. Well, oh well. Another lesson learned.

So I took my pictures, took a walk, made the best of it, caught my bus and got back to Mendoza. I got back to German’s house, hoping he would be there so I could give him the key back and say goodbye face to face. He wasn’t home. Of course, just my luck. I went to the shop, just to buy some beer as a thank you. The old man in the shop was so incredibly nice that he let me pay for my stuff before him. Such a nice thing to do. You got to love people in this part of the world.

So I got back, packed my stuff and waited. I did not want to leave doors unlocked, but I couldn’t keep the key and.. well, it was messed up. I waited till the last minute and when I was taking my things to leave already, he showed up. So we managed not to miss each other, he called me a taxi, we exchanged last conversation, said our goodbyes and I left. Taxi driver, again, a very sweet man, when I said I only have a little time to catch my bus, started driving faster and took me almost right to the bus.

The bus, surprisingly, left on time. Or almost on time. The bus boy has probably never seen a white giant before, so he kept on looking at me strangely. My seat was next to – well, let’s call him just an inconsiderate freak for the beginning. He has his mp3 on and kept on singing it all – out loud. In awful voice and terribly not into tone. It made my laugh and cry at the same time – what if this singer was going to sing all of the trip long???

But of course, that was just the beginning. Worse was just about to come. After some time he took earphones off and started playing the music out loud. Some other a.. started singing with him. Oh, great, I thought a choir. It was an overnight bus, so the lights went out soon and the f…er [we can play hang a stick-man here] turned the music off. Man, no I wish he only had that damn music on. He started acting weird. He was making, and honestly, I am not kidding, sex noises and if that wasn’t enough, almost constantly he had one of his hands in the trousers [not that I was looking, but when you sit right next – it is hard not to notice]. Yes, dear ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the freak show, called `Ona and a f…ing perfect` once again. As if I did not get enough luck with those f…ers in KL.

I wasn’t sure what to do. The bus is full, so I cannot switch my seat. I cannot call on him, because he might just say I was not talking true. Who was there to prove? I decided to ignore him and just try to get some sleep. Yeah, good luck trying to get some sleep when you sit next to a damn pervert thinking – he better not do too much.

I managed to fall asleep for at least a little bit. I woke up and felt his hand on my ass. That grossed me out, but I wanted to think that maybe he is just sleeping. At some point there were those sex noises again, then hand in the trousers again and etc.

Finally we came to the border. I was so glad being out of the bus, you cannot even imagine. The passport control went fine. Then there was time for baggage control. I filled in a declaration form and only after I gave it in I realized  - I lied in it. Not on purpose, just miscalculation [I blame the freak] with money. I actually had more than there was in the declaration. My hopes were – no one ever checks that. I got a little more freaked out when after x-ray [or whatever that thing is] they told me they need to check my bag. Money was in my pocket, so I was more or less calm, but what could go wrong there? They checked my bag [man it was embarrassing, because I had to pack in something like 3 minutes, so it was a total mess] but found nothing and let me go. Back to the bus. Back to the f…ing freak.

I could not sleep half of the night. The next half I fall asleep, but woke up with him touching me and got grossed out again. Thanks to someone it was already Santiago and I was just about to leave that bus.

To bad it was only 5 a.m. and metro was not going, so I settled for waiting for it to open. Of course, just my luck, a drunk homeless guy comes to me, tries to talk to me in insanely no Chilean sounding Spanish. After 20 minutes he left, but when I saw him coming back, I just went to another side of the road. There, I realized, I could take a bus home. I know which number. More or less at least anyways. I took it. And in about 20 minutes, I was back home, back in my bed and felt completely fabulous about it.

I survived at the office that day and after I even went to bowling with people from the office. It was a good bowling day – I was pretty good and pretty lucky and managed to get over 400 points [actually exactly 400 points in 4 games]. After that we went out for a beer and I was so deadly tired that I was very happy when I got back to my bed. The next day I went to the national library where the best Natalia in the world had a journal presentation. It was very nice to see her again. We talked a little, went for a beer, had some fun and finally I had to go home, because I had to catch metro. I was still trying to recover from lack of sleep from my trip to Argentina.

Off topic

And just like that. I went from there to here. I did not plan on it – honest. I actually planned the opposite. I guess I can plan and the life has it’s own opinion anyways. But I’m glad. Gladder than ever. Ech..

I’m so f…ing happy I could sh.. rainbows.

No more. I’m just happy.