justin adler, blog, buenos aires, bahia blanca, university of arizona, brooklyn, basketball, travel, paul mcpherson

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Chapter 3

I went back to the Iguazu Falls the next day and enjoyed myself even more. I sat at the base of one of the waterfalls for 30 minutes trying to capture it all. If you think that one day you might die, you should go the Iguazu Falls now because it was the most beautiful thing I have ever seen in my life.

At night I went to take a piss and I noticed a large frog sitting on the bathroom wall. Not quite what I wanted to see in my bathroom, but what can you do, so I kept an eye on him and began to urinate. After a vicious 20-second stare down I took my eye off him to flush the toilet and the frog disappeared. Then the frog reappeared on my chest confusing his natural habitat with my heather grey shirt from the Gap. I screamed, pulled my pants up and ran out of the bathroom.

Fortunately some weird Austrian woman, who was staying in the room looked in the bathroom for me and ensured it was clear of any frogs that probably could not hurt me in any way. Having lost any sense of manhood and because three nights were too many in Puerto Iguazu I decided it was time to move on, so my new friend Julian and I decided to head to Posadas with a quick stop over in San Ignacio to see some 17th century Jesuit ruins.

Having traveled with my southern Arizona friend Thiago last time I was happy to broaden my horizons and travel with Julian who is all the way from West Covina, a suburb 20 minutes outside of downtown Los Angeles.

The Jesuit ruins were pretty Jesuit-y and not all that exciting, but I was really looking forward to the museum attached to the ruins that Lonely Planet described as “truly bizarre” equipped rooms “whose interiors sit somewhere between modern art installation and and amusement park haunted house. Stuffed animals fluorescent paint, black lights, they have pulled out all the stops… then as you emerge blinking into the sun light thinking its all over, you’re greeted by half a miniature pirate ship crammed into the central patio.”

Tragically the museum we saw was an informative, plain modern looking museum, which had been redone in the last year. Those motherfuckers.

We then left San Ignacio to sleep in the nearby Posadas. After getting quite lost on the city bus, we finally made it to the center of Posadas. Lonely Planet’ s first lodging recommendation was closed for construction and there were no hostels in town, so we were forced to stay at the cheapest hotel in town, which Julian and I nicknamed a B&B for the bleach and blood that covered our room’s floor. There was a huge white blotch on the tile as if someone dropped a bottle of bleach and didn’t bother to ever touch it again. Next to my bed there was a thick splash of what appeared to be dried blood as if someone was woken by an aluminum bat to the back of their head.

Knowing there was nothing we could do, we threw down our bags and headed out to explore the city. We walked to the riverside where we could look across the Rio Parana and see Paraguay along with the Puente Internacional (International Bridge) which connected the two countries. It reminded me of looking across the San Francisco Bay and seeing Oakland and the connecting Bay Bridge, except that Paraguay makes even the seediest parts of Oakland look like Beverly Hills.

We thought we were lucky as that night the town was having a parade, which we were told was going to be a huge party in the streets that ran from midnight to 5 a.m. Julian and I grabbed a quick choripan, went back to our room to clean up and grabbed some liters of beer to prepare ourselves for the evening. Our Carnival/ Mardi Gras dreams were crushed as soon as we got the parade and realized it was little more than every Posadan high school band marching through the streets. There was nothing else to do so we ate another choripan and headed in for the night, to sleep in our sleeping bags on top of the beds, which had torn and soiled sheets.

Every time you eat a choripan, a sausage sandwich, you are playing with fire, eating two choripans, especially at the dangerously low price of 3 pesos is like playing with fire after swimming in gasoline. The next morning we were woken up by a knock on the door alerting us we had entered daylight savings time, lost an hour and we had to check out now. As rude as the awakening was I was just happy it was not a bat to the skull. Unfortunately I also woke up with my stomach on fire, the diarrhea undoubtedly a result of the choripans and God punishing me for my very impure thoughts from the night before when I drunkenly stared at too many Argentine high schoolers shaking their asses.

We eventually got out of Posadas and boarded a 16-hour bus ride to Salta, leaving Argentina’s northeast for the northwest. I was praying that a diet of Pepto-Bismol, crackers, and Sprite would save my stomach for the trip.

Somehow I managed to live 21 years of my life without consuming a Sprite, I’m not big on lemon or lime, so Sprite never appealed to me. There are only two circumstances in which I’d drink Sprite: one LeBron James is wearing a tuxedo and a goofy mask, while pointing a paintball gun to my head or I’m in a small Latin American town with bad diarrhea and an impending 16-hour bus ride ahead of me. A year ago if you had asked me which would come first I’d have guessed the former.

Julian always talked about how great traveling was after he worked a shitty 50-hour-a-week office job for two years. I met many others who spoke of how much they appreciated traveling after living in the rat race for several years. I tried to relate but I am not sure half-assing school assignments and getting high counts as being in the rat race.

Julian again chose the aisle seat for the ride and again got fucked. On our ride to San Ignacio, he had an Argentine soldier’s ass in his face the entire way as the bus was overbooked and the soldiers crowded the aisle.

This time he was two feet away from a woman who looked like she was in her late 20s and her infant child. It appeared to be the woman’s first time on a bus and she was full of questions. She asked if Julian (quite Mexican) and me (quite white) were brothers. She asked Julian to hold her child’s bottle as she tried to pour a bag of strawberry yogurt in it. It ended up going all over the floor, her leg and Julian’s hand. The yogurt fiasco coupled with a Spanish cover of Celine Dion's “My heart will go on” that was playing at the time, made the first hour of the trip fly by. Too bad the other 15 dragged on. At least my Sprite-Pepto-Bismol-cracker diet saved my stomach.

After the woman learned we were from the States, she asked if we were taking this bus back to the States. She was also fascinated by our propensity to speak English to one another and she asked if most people in the United States speak English. Furthermore any time anybody got coffee from the machine in front of her, she burst up laughing.

She was definitely the highlight of the bus ride aside from the young G-Unit soldier who I saw in a town in the middle of absolute nowhere.


Anonymous said...


Governor McGreevey said...

OH GOOD! Wherespmac is back!