Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Last week my roommate Jonathan asked me if I wanted to join the first leg of his 15-week backpacking through South America tour. Without even hesitating I said sure because I had no other plans for the weekend.
We hopped on a bus Saturday morning and four hours later we were in the town of Rosario.
When I agreed to go to Rosario I knew nothing more about the town than the fact that it was the birthplace of Che Guevara, whose legacy I'll never understand. Apparently he was some revolutionary who killed thousands of people and is popular in the States with kids who want to rebel, but are only willing to go as far as wearing a t-shirt of a dude in a beret.
Other than that my only knowledge of Che is that he is kinda like Jay-Z, except Jay-Z has bling on and Jay-Z is complex.
Let me take you away from the dude with the Lexus and get back to Rosario.
On the bus ride I started reading what the travel guide Lonely Planet had to say about the town. I learned it's in a battle with Cordoba for the title of "second city" of Argentina and that Rosario is nicknamed "Chicago Argentino" because of its former ties to Chicago's meat-packing industry.
We arrived and started looking for a place to sleep for the night which was tough because it was a holiday weekend in Argentina and all the hostels were booked up.
Lonely Planet had a list of cheap hotels and described one of our options; "rooms don't have any air."
I figured this meant that at one point the cheap Rosarino hotel had supernova-ed, creating a black hole in which no air or matter could exist.
Upon arriving my black hole theory proved to be incorrect, but Lonely Planet was right as it was the stuffiest room I'd ever been in.
This was the first time I had ever walked in a hotel room and felt the need to buy a canary just so I could have an indicator on my oxygen levels.
But Jonathan and I didn't want to waste any more time looking for lodging so we dropped our bags in the air-tight room and left for the day.
Rosario was dope as it was just like a smaller and slightly cleaner version of Buenos Aires. There was this amazing monument to admire(I'll post some pics another day) and nice river to walk along.
There wasn't a ton to do but it was an alright day trip.
After watching Boca give up two goals in stoppage time and lose the game to Barcelona, Jonathan (in case you noticed this is correct spelling of his name unlike previous posts) and I decided to take a quick nap before we'd go out on the night.
Unfortunately we didn't wake up til the 1 a.m. at which point we were both too lazy and just said "fuck it."
Then I was woken up again by a text message from my roommate Laura who randomly showed up in Rosario at 4 a.m.
After an awkward conversation between her and I (my brain couldn't compute Spanish at this point in the morning) I tried to go back to sleep, which proved to be rather difficult because I had already been asleep for eight hours and because there was a steady stream of second-hand smoke and shitty American adult contemporary music flowing through our open window from the reception desk.
The smoke, Faith Hill and general fear of asphyxiation made it hard to fall back asleep, so I tried to call Laura again with equal intentions of helping her find a place for the night and hopes of banging her and her "amiga."
Unfortunately all of my motives were unsuccessful and I finally fell back asleep.
The next day we were out of our room by 9:00 after 13 hours of sleep and we explored more of the city. We got some incredible photos including the picture at the top of this post.
After 36 hours in the city we felt we had seen it all and we booked an overnight bus ride to Cordoba, which is another four hours more inland.
Cordoba was like a ghost town because of the national holiday and the town just sucked in general. Everything was closed for the holiday including this underground forgotten city/Jesuit bunker/batcave that I really wanted to see.
After walking around aimlessly for hours we sat in a park and tried to avoid getting the avion flu from the nine million pigeons around us.
Then we ran into some Dutch friends who we'd hung out with a couple nights earlier and we sat in a restaurant and played cards for a while.
Then I took a nap in Jonathan's hostel, then we ate dinner, then I hopped on a bus back to Buenos Aires.
In review, Rosario: fun for 24 hours; Cordoba: gay.