* Until recently, I'd felt like I was treading water with Spanish, rather than swimming... completely surrounded by this beautiful language but only using it for the most basic of functions ("¿nos da la cuenta, por favor?" "perdone, señor, me puede decir como llegar a..." and the occasional "soy de Colorado... acabo de graduarme y estoy viajando por suramerica antes de ir a la escuela graduada..."). It seemed the only people who were actually interested in spending time talking with us were other travelers who spoke English. But on Saturday night, we signed up for dinner at the hostel; the cook turned out to be a culinary student from BA (Eileen), and she brought a couple of friends with her (Arturo and Gabriel). I ended up talking to them for about an hour. Arturo is an artist, and he showed us some of his work. Gabriel was wearing a Kid A shirt, so we started chatting about music and I asked him to recommend a few Argentine bands (he wrote down a list of about 15). I also made friends with one of the receptionists at the hostel. So I'm feeling much more satisfied!
The usb port of the hostel computer is blocked, so I haven't had a chance to upload any photos until now... Also, it seems that you can't enlarge these photos by clicking on them (which may have something to do with the fact that I had to download them to the hostel computer desktop in order for them to upload to my blog properly, and the files have some weird restrictions on them. argh.) I will try to fix this soon.
note: all of the writing on the right side of this postcard will be covered by giant stamps when--if-- this ever makes it to you. another advantage of online postcards: more space! and I can extend them further by typing underneath them :)
After three months of "blogger's block," I have come up with a plan for documenting this year of traipsing. I created this site so that my friends and family could follow my travels in South America; however, I remain skeptical of blogging as a satisfactory means of communication. I do not want my blog to turn into another online "profile," where I ramble vainly about myself, proclaiming my tastes and doings to the virtual world. I want my thoughts to have a destination. Of course, there is also the issue of effort: I don't want to spend time and energy composing witty prose and posting photos when I should be engaging with the world around me.
These reflections, as well as my friend Christine's horror stories about the Argentine postal service (she stood in line at the post office for several hours in order to send her postcards; out of the 20 she sent, only 6 arrived to their addressees) and my friend-of-a-friend Johnny's blog (photographs of his hand-written travel journals) have inspired...
...the postcard page! (I will send you an e-mail when I upload a postcard addressed to you; the physical postcards will be sent eventually).
Jack and I recently bought our (one way!) tickets to Buenos Aires for November 9th. So far, the itinerary is completely open: I just have to be back by August 2010 to start grad school.
I want tips! Tell me your favorite town, hiking trail, WWOOF farm, hostel, cafe, etc. Tell me which hostels or parts of town to avoid. Tell me about language/ etiquette idiosyncrasies. Tell me your favorite local dish or drink. Tell me about the best ways to get from place to place. I'll appreciate any helpful tidbits or random anecdotes you're willing to share!