Friday, February 27, 2009

City mice visit the country.

I would like to congratulate my mother and Nikki, as they take the cake for actually being able to figure out how to comment on the blog! Yippee! As for the rest, I know it´s daunting, but you have to create an account with google or blogger before you can leave any comments. Which sucks... I swear you used to be able to leave an anonymous comment even if you weren´t a member. Perhaps they had to many vulgar creeps and spam. But, the bonus of signing up is that you too can create your very on blog, and we can all dance together in blog paradise, blogging away the days in a blogging daze. And Clare!!! You better start blogging yourself, or me and orin are going to tag team the blog out of you on the internet until you do. Or at least email me... me ames? (my spanish grammar sucks...) And mom, no the maid did not think that, as we have to be very neat while in a 7 person dorm, as we lock up all of our stuff in the cubbord under the bed everytime we go out. So hah!

Anyways, i´ll start with the bad news and move my way on to the good. It´s as simple as baby Jesus hates us, and has summoned his evil demons Fedex and Buquebus to torture us with our elusive tent. The day that we were expecting to recieve our tent, Orin and I stood in our room, joyously packing us, ready to leave the city and find ourselves a nice little beach, set up our lovely tent, and just relax. All of a sudden Orin looked at me with full blown panic deer eyes. ¨Where are the poles? Do you have the poles? Where the fuck are the poles? They were in here! Dude, where are the poles!!!! Do you have the poles?¨ All the while he was searching the side pouches of the bags, where we had kept our poles firmly... or maybe not so firmly, strapped to his bag. After much panic and havok, searching rooms, making phone calls, and doing the step by step ¨where was the last place you saw them¨ routine, we honed in on the problem. They were on the bag when we got onto the Buquebus (the ferry that carried us from Buenos Aires to Montevideo) and not on the bag when we got off. DAMN YOU BUQUEBUS!! The day of arrival of our precious tent was thus ruined. What was the use of our beautiful tent if we didn't have any poles to hold it up? Who cares, we vowed, we will sleep in that god damned tent with no poles, wrapping our bodies in its quality fabric, and waking up in the morning half affixiated. But we would be in our tent... or so we thought. After going down to Buquebus and being jerked around by the manager, we got two useless peices of info. They do not have a lost and found in Uruguay, though it contains 3 out of their 4 stops, as they send everything back to Argentina. It´s easier for them, they said. And then he gave us a number and a place to email. Email them here, he assured us, and they will find your poles... right. So far, i have called them 3 times, to only hear it ring into oblivion and then hang up on us. And as for the email, we keep on getting the same reply, no matter how rude i am, telling us we can reserve our tickets at any time!! Oh, yay! Thanks Buquebus! You bet i´ll get right on it. I wonder if they´ll still be recommending that we reserve tickets after i´ve told them where they can stick our tent poles....

So, bummed out, we still held on to the fact that we were finally getting our tent. We called up the North Face and asked them to email us the pole specs (ie length, as they only have the diameter on the website) so that Orin could use his craftiness, buying other poles and doing whatever his magical powers entail to make it fit. It has still taken them almost 3 days to email us back, and I wrote them a passive agressive note today, though orin made me delete it and write a nicer one. It wasn't mean, i just suggested that they call a store, get the guy to get a tape measure, get a pole, and ta da! Problem solved in a matter of 15 minutes... oh the places we can go with this bold new thinking... but instead i just wrote are you still sending us the specs.. blah blah. Not nearly as witty in my opinion... So, we bummed around town until 3, anticipating our departure and the arrival of our tent. Just before three when it was due to arrive, we ran up the stairs, only to get a dismal look on the girls face who was working the counter. She handed us a sheet of paper. A sheet of paper... useless in protecting us from the sun, rain, and mosqitoes that i had in mind. Not quite able to figure out what it meant, we went over to the Fed Ex office, just a block away, plopped the paper down on the counter, and asked him where the hell our tent is and what is this blabbering bullshit. Oh... didn't you know, they hold everything in customs, so we have to go to the airport, and pay the Uruguayan tax on it before they will release it. Uruguayan tax, we said... no one has ever mentioned this to us. Oh.... well they were supposed to have told you before they sent it. Now, we were sure that Deb would have a) consulted us before she sent the tent down and or b) inform us about it before it arrove... so we had none of it. They never mentioned that, we insisted! We were very lucky because the fed ex guy spoke perfect English, and was really really nice, and after seeing me holding back my tears of frustration, and hearing our tale of terrible luck, he took pity on us and called up his broker at the airport. The look on his face told us that he had bad news... ¨i am ashamed of our customs, but you have to pay 300 american dollars to get it out.¨ We will skim over this part of the story as it involves a lot of disbelief and a lot of profanities. Like.. a lot. In the end, we think that it is all going to work out. Because they screwed us so badly, we are probably going to get it sent back to Canada for free, and I am really hoping that Deb can get the 200 bucks she put down on the original sending of the tent. Seeing as we have no poles for this tent anyways, and Buquebus is a completely useless business, it almost works out in the end....almost.

So, that is the extent of the bad news, and on to the good. We have been having a good time in Montevideo, but today is the day that we flee to the country. We are going to a little town, without electricity, called Cabo Polonio, where apparently all the hippies live. Before we leave we´re ging to go buy a tent from a store we found, which is undoubtedly smaller and of far worse quality than ours, but hey man, it´s a tent! We are going to buy some camping fuel, some candles, and a bunch of groceries, and head off to nowhere to forget all our worries. I should really pick up another book today too.....

Anyways, if you do not hear from us in a while do not worry! We are just out of the system, but we´ll be back soon enough. Hope all is well at home!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Carnival y El Diablo

So, there was one awesome thing that i forgot to write about last time! Orin and I attended a play at the Solis Theatro in Montevideo! It was completely in Spanish and we couldn't understand a single word of it. I was really hoping that with my meager spanish I could catch the gist of the play, but not so. They spoke about twice as fast as they normally do, which is already freakishly fast. I felt like yelling ¨por favor, mas despacio!¨, but for some reason I feel like that would have been frowned upon. Haha. We managed to watch the whole thing, wading through our confusion as to what in the fuck was going on and who the hell are these people, and why did they just kill that guy? We were both suprised by the intricity of the set and the costumes. We did manage to gather that it was set in Chicago, which made the costumes really funny....was this their interpretation of Americans. They all had very large forheads with very little hair, and had huge noses, sometimes accompanied by a huge chin. They wore creepy pleather trenchcoats too, and rubbed their hands together, as if planning something evil, which i´m pretty sure most the time they were. The only line that i could understand from the play was sung by the token whore, and i was ´nobody asks your name´. All in all it was an interesting experience, and I should actually go look it up on the internet and see what the hell was happening. I realize part way through the play that that would have been a wise thing to do before hand, because it would have been much more interesting if we could have understood a smidgen of the plot.

Last night we had another theater experience, again understanding absolutely nothing that was being said or sung. In Uruguay, Carnival lasts for 40 days, and the last two days it has been in Montevideo. So, we felt that we needed to experience Carnival ourselves. It was held at their main band shell, which was actually really cool looking. What it ended up being was groups of about 20 men competing against eachother in 45 minute stints infront of a panel of judges. At first, we did not realize that this was a competition, and thought it was really odd that they would have a timer counting down on the upper righthand part of the stage.

The singing was really amazing, and the costumes were pretty awesome, and they sang and danced their little hearts out. It was a comedic enterprise, which of course we didn't understand at all, except for when they talked about cocaine, police, and this guy feigned to be smoking a joint and then the word ¨tranquillo´ repeated a lot in the following song. Apparently Uruguay is the marijuana capital of South america, but so far I haven´´t seen the presence at all. Not even the smell of skunk on the street. So, even though there was no naked ladies dancing around, Orin and I had a good time listening to the amazing voices and the crowd laughing away at the jokes they delivered. By the end of the night I was pretty tired, as it went until about 1am, and we grabbed a taxi home, the last time we will have to pay carnival prices on a cab! Yay.

Yesterday, during the day, we went to the beach. It was awesome. We rented an umbrella for the all inclusive price of 2.50, and enjoyed the sun and the cool breeze from the ocean. Even though i slathered on the sunscreen, i still managed to procure an oddly shaped burn on my thigh, which Orin says makes me look like a dairy cow. Nice. We brought 3 litros of beer to the beach, and drank two, and managed to get a really nice buzz going on, which resulted in me raving wildly about politics, while Orin tried to comfort me. It was awesome. And for the first time we got in the water, and it was so warm and lovely.

The tent is set to arrive tomorrow, and Orin and I are itching to get our hands on it! Thank you so much to both our mothers for putting their efforts into this ordeal, and thank you Deb for kicking some ass and getting that tent into the sky and into the southern hemisphere! It is due to arrive some time around 3 pm, where we will be waiting outside of the Fed ex store, which is actually just across from our hostel. Then i think we are going to take off to some hippie beach town that was highly reccomended to us, and I just can´´t wait to set our tent up on the beach and wake to the sunrise over the ocean, with no fear of the evil maid ´el diablo´ burstting in yelling like a feign in spanish even though she knows we don´t understand her. And we also know that her and the other maids have been talking smack about us, as they all whisper in Spanish and then roar with laughter, shooting glances at us over their shoulders....this is where I wish that i secretly knew fluent spanish so that i could have some biting retort to bring her down a notch...and so the maid war continues.....

Monday, February 23, 2009

Let me tell you a story.

It takes place in the big city of Buenos Aires, which is really fucking huge. Orin and I had been living the nocturnal life, sleeping the heat of the day away and then awakening like vermin to rove the streets searching for flesh..of cow. We had killed the day, drinking the blood like orange juice, and then returned to the hostel to sit on the veranda and share some wine with a nice man from Denmark.
Morning crept up on us silently, but we were blasted out of our seats by the deafening beats of a badly tuned snared drum. There was approximately 10 people on the balcony, all conversing at a normal pitch, and we all stopped to listen to this off kilter beat. After exhanging the usual ´what in the hell is´s like 2 in the morning´everyone returned to their conversations, raising their voices a couple notches to be heard over the awful moan of the drums. Soon after, Lucas, our Argentinian friend that works the night shift at the desk wrapped his head around the corner and asked us all to lower our voices. ¨Why don´t you tell that to the guy on the drums¨ one traveller retorted, but nonetheless, everyone brought it down for a minute until they were sure he was back downstairs. The drums soon stopped, and Orin and I, trying to help our friend, left to go to bed.
We wandered downstairs to see if the internet was working, which it frequently wasn´t, when we ran into the root of the problem: Lucas´boss was teetering around the room, drunk as they come. We sat down to say hi to Lucas, as his boss stumbled back into the bar. He began to explain that his boss was aboslutely out of control drunk, and there was nothing he could do about it. The bar, which closes at 1 30, had been reopened by the intoxicated jefe, and we turned around to watch him vomit through the, for some reason, opaque window into the bathroom. This place was set up for perverts... and tonight we took front seat. He wiped his mouth warily, leaning against a rail, and almost tumbling over. He was absolutely pissed. Lucas woefully told us of the complaining neighbours and the angry travellers who had come out to yell at him, and how there was nothing he could do because he didn´t want to get fired. A girl then came out of the bar, with a disguisted look on her face. We soon found out that she was a previous employee, and that she had been hit on by her creepy boss, who had tried to neck her while she was on the ground. ¨he tried to pick me up twice... i am a big girl¨she stated, ¨i do not like to be picked up!¨It was really hilarious the way she delivered that line. The boss then weaved out of the bar again, and proceed to stand creepishly behind me, swaying back and forth, while Lucas tried to talk to him. This was all quite hilarious because his boss did not speak any English, and was too drunk to even talk any spanish, so Lucas would speak some spanish, and then say funny little quips about him in English that he could never understand. El jefe´s drunken teetering could only go on for so long, and soon it was too much for him, and he stumbled backwards, catching his foot on a desk and careening into a wall where he smashed his hand into the escape route and broke the glass all over the couch. We were all relieved to see that he was not bleeding. This was probably the moment where he realized the party was over. There was two white kids sitting on chairs staring at him akwardly and his employee, telling him he better go home if he didn´t want anymore trouble tomorrow. Heeding this advice, he groped his bycicle out onto the street, got on, and proceeded to fall straight on his back. He lay there dazed for a couple of seconds, and then undeterred, he mounted again. This time he rode for a few more meters, clipped the curb on the other side, and bit it off again. This was the point where I was quite concerned, but Lucas assured me that it would be fine, and I knew that it was not my place to get involved, so we watched him lurch off into the distance.
We all returned to the front counter, Lucas was visibly stressed out, feeling bad that we had to see this all. ¨This is not a very relaxing setting for a hostel¨he apologized, but we would have none of it. His conversation and this interesting drama was way better than some lame ass prim hostel, we assured him. A guest, which el jefe had been partying with, lay asleep on the couch in the bar. Lucas noted that he would have to send him to bed soon, but was distracted by the flip book i made of his boss vomiting. After a while, the guest came stumbling through the door, blood running down his forehead and dripping off his nose. ¨What the fuck¨i hollered, ¨dude, that guy is seriously bleeding¨. Lucas hadn´t noticed it at first, but quickly busted out the first aid kit and brought the guy to the bathroom. This guy too, was very very drunk. He was convinced that he had been attacked. He kept on muttering in Spanish that he wanted his picture taken, he had been attacked! We all assured him that he was alone in the room, and that he had probably attacked the pointed edge of the stool with his head. Eventually Lucas got him cleaned up, and the fact that it was a head wound and his blood was thin from all the alcohol they had sucked back accounted for all the blood, as it was actually just a minor cut on his forehead.
By this time it was 6 in the morning, and Orin and I began to feel the tiredness creeping in. After a bit of conversation to wind us all down we said our goodbyes, trying to convince Lucas to visit us in canada, and headed for bed.

So far, as in canada, there is the tepid blend of assholes and amazings. For all the jerks you have to deal with, it makes it worth it when you meet that person that makes you laugh and tries to engage you in conversation even though you can barely understand eachother. One of these came about in a completely empty lunch joint, where we ordered a beer and a burger. The waiter was extremely friendly, and obviously very bored. He took an interested in us, and after we scarfed down our burger he sat down and started a conversation about everything and anything. We talked about our families and our countries, and he eventually busted out the newspaper and we flipped through it together, discussing every page, from cars to cocaine, with our broken translations. It was really sweet really. We talked about motorbikes and empanadas, where to go in Argentina, and about the local murder of a cop and the sad funeral. It was really amazing how friendly he was and how eager was to talk, and patient too! Often people will start to talk to us, then sort of give up when they realize my spanish is very limited and orin´s is nil. We parted with our first kiss on the cheek, and he giggled at orin being the big biker giving another man a kiss, which he knew was weird in our country. We had entered the place upset over a number of things, and left dancing in our shoes. It was awesome.

So, we are in Uruguay right now, in the capital city of Montevideo. It is said to be a smaller version of Buenos Aires, and I find that i am suited to it much more. It is definately smaller, and much less polluted, with much less traffic and dog shit to be weaving around, though it definately still exists ( i stepped in some today). The ferry over here was amazing. The interior was pimp, with wood floors and nice seats, and it was amazingly advanced technology. It was what I imagine the fast cats would be like if they hadn´t failed so badly. It ripped along at a tremendous speed, leaving us amazed. It took us 3 hours to cross the river, yes i repeat river. It is the widest river in the world, and just near Montevideo we hit the ocean. You could actually watch the colour change of the water from the murky river to the blue blue ocean.

In Montevideo we have gone on lots of walks. It has a sea wall just like Vancouver! It´s so cool! It runs for a long time, and we haven´t been able to walk it all yet. One day when we were walking down it we got side tracked by an awesome little amusement park, where everyone seemed to be having the time of their lives. So, of course, we bought 8 tickets and rode all four (big rollers) rides. The first was the swinging ship, which seemed to have the limit taken off it and went terrifyingly high. Once we realize we were not going to perish it was awesome. Next was a swinging around in circles ride, and third was the dreaded roller coaster. Now, ever since my uncle Glen and I went on the wooden rollercoaster for the first time in my life at the PNE and I almost fell to my death (i kid you not) I have been terrified of rollercoasters. Orin and I stood by it staring upwards, debating whether we should do it or not, when we noticed a young girl begging her mother to join her. Her mother was having none of it, no way in hell she was getting on that death trap, and i don´t blame her. They looked at us, and i knew i was screwed. She walked over and began speed spanishing me, so i said ´si´and orin, small girl, and i all jumped into a cart, equally terrified, and before i could over think it, we were off. Suddenly, we were up way higher than i wanted to ever be on a shitty south american ride, and then freefalling back down to the earth. I screamed. Loud. I´m not ashamed. Orin was. haha. In the end, it was actually quite fun, and we parted with the girl still laughing. I was very happy with myself for facing my fears, and glad that it wasn´t as bad as I had thought.
The last ride was really odd. It was just this circle of seats that bounced up in time to tango music, and span a little bit. It was quite lame, but everyone else on the ride seemed to be having the time of their life! They were all singing along a the top of their lungs, screaming, and standing up with their arms waving in time to the music. I could not stop laughing at the absurdity of it all!

Today we finally made it to the beach, though not until after 5, and it was awesome. I lay in the late sun, warm, but not threatening to burn my poor skin off, and drifted off into a nap while Orin read. And i would really like to emphasize this. Orin is reading. All the time. More than me. He has finally realize that there are good books out there, and if you find them it is worth the search. I am abosolutely elated. Reading is something nobody wants to do alone in a couple, while the other person twiddles their thumbs and interrupts you with petty remarks that you don´t really respond to because you are so involved with your books. So this said, three cheers for orin´s new academic side. Today we also went down to the market for lunch and i got an asado, which is a really oddly cut ´steak´that has tons of fat and ribs, but if you can wade through that it is really delicious meat. Then we walked out onto this rock walkway into the sea, where there were hundreds of local fishermen casting their lines off into the oily ocean. Kind of creepy, but no one seemed to care and it was fun to watch everyone´s different method. Some had really nice rods, others just had some piping with line wrapped around it, and one guy had about 20 hooks with no bait that he just bobbed up and down catching small fish for the bait of his friends hooks.

Well, that is a mouthful of what we have been doing so far. Hope it wasn´t too much for one entry, and i will try to break it up a bit more from now on.

Thursday, February 19, 2009


Alright, it has taken me a couple days but I have created ´the blog´. It is a continum of the legendary central america blog that has gathered praise and pessemism from the spectrum of people that read my adventures. So, as said before, viewers be warned that this blog will involve much adult content along the lines of swearing, stupidity, sodomy, sweat, and spit. If any or all of these words result in the bile rising to your mouth I suggest you quickly press the little back arrow on the upper left hand corner of your screen, go back to google news and find out just how Obama stays so fit! (Apparently him and Georgie pordgie use the same work out program... i knew they shared something in common!)
Those that are battling on, good for you... because honestly that was just my scare tactic to weed out weak. Maintain....
Today is our fourth or 5th day in buenos aires, and it is drawing to an end. There has been much excitement, much sweat, but not much sleep. Not that we have been partying much, quite the contrary. We have been thriving during the night, the only way a fresh off the boat canadian can maintain a smidge of sanity, as it is absurdly hot here. Apparently today was the hottest yet of the summer, leaving us two puddles of goop on the floor that nobody wants to clean up.
The internet i am currently on is sketchier than Cosimo climbing a ladder, so i am going to flee to a local fan, and perhaps drink another stella. I will return with another posting soon, but not that that matters much because currently no one has my blog spot.