Monday, July 21, 2008
I left my Arizona crew to hang out with a 31-year-old dot-com millionaire who retired at 30 to live in South America. I ended up getting tentatively engaged by the end of the night.
The night started out with mild ambitions, I had just bought Freakanomics from a local English bookstore and I decided I would just relax, read the book and get a good nights rest. I sat in the lounge talking with people who made me feel like a douchebag for buying a roundtrip plane ticket. Everyone in the room had been in South America for at least a year and had no scheduled date to ever return home.
I ended up talking to this guy named Dan because he was wearing a University of Texas sweatshirt and after five days of living with girls I needed to have an extended talk about Kevin Durant, D.J. Augustine and T.J. Ford.
After talking to the guy for an hour I learned he dropped out of college because he was offered a job during the dot-com boom. He then started his own company which grew to a 40-person operation that he always planned one day selling and moving to Costa Rica.
His former company was one of few in the nation that did some kind of advanced programing to make sure accountants weren't stealing pennies of giant transations, at least that's what he told me in short.
He sold the company right before the market crashed and then sold his mansion in Austin, Texas, which he said was only furnished with a futon in the master bedroom and a sick home theater in another room. He added that the only reason he ever bought a house was for the tax return.
He said he didn't have enough money to retire in the States, but he could comfortably live South America, even if it meant as an illegal immigrant in Buenos Aires who has to go to Uruguay every 180 days to have his visa renewed.
Basically he ran a successful company and just cashed out at the right time and had been living in South America for the last 15 months with all of his life's possessions in a backpack. One of the most inspirational people I have ever talked to.
I figured this was someone I needed to roll with for the night, so Dan, my weird Brazillian friend and I all went over to a corner store to buy the Argentine equivalent of 40s.
And for the record the corner store was playing K-Ci and JoJo's "All my life," (which oddly enough I tried to link to and YouTube dropped "This video is not available in your country").
We then bounced to another hostel that Dan said he had to leave because he knew if he stayed any longer he would have died. This is exactly what I was looking for.
I ended up meeting some crazy-ass people and then some chick from Australia.
When I'm sober I try to make conversation with foreigners without throwing everything I know about their country at them, however this was not the case at this point in the night as the conversation went:
"Hi, I'm Justin. Do you watch Flight of the Concords?" (Yes I know New Zealand and Australia are two seperate countries, but at this point it didn't matter)
Then she said perhaps the most beautiful words I have ever heard a female say: "I love that show! Do you have a Zune and can you send it to me?"
"Shut the fuck up," I responded because hundreds of Zune conversations with my friend Seppy have programed me to say "shut the fuck up" whenever anyone brings up a Zune and because I was in such shock. "I love you and you have no idea how great what you just said is."
We then talked about Summer Heights High for a while and after our conversation lead to a discussion about Luc Longley, I decided this was perhaps this was the one and I asked her to marry me.
She said yes.
I was at a dirty Argentine hostel/bar, surrounded by people who had been up for the past 72 hours and my new friend Dan. The setting could not have been better.
I now realize that I'm living in a bizarro world where nights of watching obscure Australian TV shows and owning a Zune, which is perhaps more bizarre than the former, are allowing me to meet girls.
If I can get 90s bullshit r&b videos to stream on my laptop I might move here.