Written July 29, 2004

Well, it looks like I'm entering the home stretch here. Just over 3 weeks left here in BA. The last couple weeks have been up and down. I was a little down for awhile...not for any real reason though. Maybe it's just nervousness about going back. Maybe it's the cold weather. Maybe it's because I miss my family and friends. Perhaps it's all those things. Anyway, I was just not feeling too excited for a little period...but it passed. I guess it happens...but to me, not too often. Maybe I'm getting older.

Speaking of that, my birthday is a week from today. I'll be 28. Augh. Young but old...if that makes sense. It's like I've reached that age where the only people who really see you as young are people over 40. That's not a knock on you old folks:) Well, maybe it is a little. It's probably the first age that I remember my parents being. I was 5 when my parents where 28. I couldn't even fathom having a 5 year old right now. In the last few years, many friends of mine have gotten married and or had children. Perhaps 5 years from now I'll be in that same boat...but for now I'm sure I'm not ready. Although, who ever is.

So I saw Farenheit 9/11 last week. Interesting movie to say the least. I thought it made some good points and some bad ones. After reading it, I went back and read what I wrote about the war when going down the Amazon. I should have went and made a movie back then because I wrote about many of the same points that Michael Moore makes.

I thought the movie spent a little too much time telling us what we already know...that a big motivation behind the war was personal financial gain for Bush and company, although it was definitely worth covering. A few things in the movie where told from too skewed a point of view. Like the fact that 24 Bin Laden relatives were secretly allowed to leave the US on Sept. 12 and 13th. While this piece of information, when it stands alone sounds shocking, it doesn't really tell us the true relationship of most of those people. I don't think that Bin Laden's 15 year old third cousin on his half brother's side really had any knowledge of Osama's whereabouts or plans. I'd guess that if we knew more about the real relationship of those people to Bin Laden, probably 5 or 6 of them were worth questioning. While I agree that it is appauling that they were allowed to leave, inflating the number to 24 without explaining the relationships is no less underhanded than smuggling them out of the country in the first place.

Another point that I thought was a little too subjective was the portrayal of Iraq as a country of absolute peace until we showed up. Moore went so far as to immediately follow a short clip of kids flying kites in a poor neighborhood with bombs hitting Baghdad. Well done...but I don't think it was all so much fun and games over there.

Written July 31, 2004

I need to take a minute and write about many things that have happened/people I've met the last couple weeks because I don't want to forget them. Last Saturday at the Tango City, I met a couple Brazilians who are traveling here, Diego and Ana Paula. The next day was the championship match for the copa Americana (soccer) between Brazil and Argentina and they invited me to their hostel to watch the game. It was great because there were like 10 Brazilians there watching the game so it was a good group...and that's who I wanted to watch it with since I was going to be going for Brazil. Anyway, Brazil ended up sending the game to penalty kicks in the last 10 seconds...and eventually won the game. We went nuts...what a great ending!

Anyway, they weren't in the Tango City hostel, but in another down the road from there called Hostel Clan. It was a pretty cool hostel and Burton decided to move there a couple days later. Well, partly because it seemed like a cool place, and partly because the Tango City had gotten robbed the previous week. It sucks when things like that happen, but they do. It was all a mixed blessing because the hostel Clan is fun…I hung out there the other night and had a good time and I'm headed back over there tonight. I can see there are gonna be some good parties there over the next few weeks. It’s not quite as nice as the Tango City as far as amenities and space, but the atmosphere is really good.

Another significant event of last week was that I found this awesome bar (well, it's really more of a restaurant) called Valderrama. Last Saturday I went there for beers and didn’t leave until 8:30 in the morning! When I get back to the US, I'm never gonna be able to adjust to the bars closing at 2! Anyway, the best part about Valderrama is this really hot waitress that caught my eye the first time I went. To be honest, it wasn't really her looks (although I think she’s really cute)...more like her attitude. She has a really nice way about her...but here was what got me about her. When I first went in the place it was pretty empty because I had gone in to eat rather early, around 8 (they eat dinner at around 10 or 11 in Argentina). Anyway, they were playing music and she was walking around the place singing away...as if there was nobody else around. I always like that type of person...one who can just be themselves and doesn’t worry about what other people around are thinking. It’s a rarity in this world. She just seemed like a happy person and that is type I like to be around. We ended up talking quite a bit while I ate and I was taken with her. The next night I went back and hung out there until well after the place closed, until like 3:00 a.m. It was cool...I also met the bartender there, Dario, who was also cool. It is a great hang out bar...good food, atmosphere, and people...somewhat like “The Bar with no Name”.

Written August 15, 2004

Wow! It was an unbelievable weekend here in BA! I went out on Friday night to this club called Follia...and had a blast. It had two things that most BA clubs don't...a good male female ratio and a variety of music. It might be my favorite club I've been to here. The people inside were super cool too...and despite going with Fabian (my idiot roommate) it was a great night. When we showed up at the place, I used my gringo powers to get us into the VIP. They ended up doing a small lingerie show...which was funny because it was so unbelievably gratuitous...who in the world is going to buy lingerie in a club at 2:30 in the morning? Not that I was complaining:) Anyway, the place was a little swanky but the people inside were surprisingly down to earth...a must hit spot that is off the beaten path for anyone visiting BA.

Saturday I went out with one of my students, Pol. Pol works for a graphic design company called Hexacta here in BA and has been one of my students since back in June. We get along pretty well...he is also a partier...albeit he's 8 years my senior, the guy probably even parties more than me. This weekend was the first time we ever went out to the bars together and it was a GREAT time. We started out at Valderrama (with my favorite waitress, Carla!) and ended up going to a cool bar called "Podesta"...a great mix of music types and even a good male/female ratio...a rarity here in BA. Too bad I just discovered that place and I only have one week left...dang it. I knew Pol would know a great place to party.

Written August 16, 2004

Tonight was a great night here in BA…not because something terribly exciting happened…but just because it reminded me of what I will miss most about traveling. I have a late class on Mondays that is in the centro. After class, I decided to stop by the hostel to see Burton, Ana Paula and the gang since I was pretty close. It turned out that Burton had left for Iguazu for a few days, but Ana Paula was there so I hung out for a beer. She and these two Irish girls, Sarah and Berny, were about to go to dinner so I joined them.

We went to this cool Chinese buffet place around the corner from the hostel. We ended up sitting in the restaurant for 5 hours, having a few beers, joking around and having a blast. Just 4 travelers, from different corners of the world, whose paths crossed for a brief, yet perfect moment. That's what I'm going to miss...those are the nights I'll long for most in the coming months. Meeting people from all corners of the globe and sharing stories with each other. I’ll miss nights like this one when you're amongst other travelers, talking about things only we can understand, and everything just seems right with the world. Man, I love this life...



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