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

Friday, February 20, 2009

Chapter 5


Before I boarded the 18-hour bus ride from Salta to Mendoza I tried to turn on my Zune and discovered it was dead. Dagger. This made the bus ride even more miserably long than usual. I finished my book within the first two hours and read the a generic Men's Health magazine three times over.

Just before the we got to the terminal I began talking to the guy behind me, who I avoided for the first 17 hours because he sounded like he was deathly sick. I learned his name (Sebastian), his country of origin (France), and his former profession (restaurant server). He reminded me a lot of a server I worked with named Adam¹. I then learned he was also a sports journalist at one point in his life. We got off the bus and I grabbed my backpack from the under-bus stowage. Sebastian didn’t grab anything because he was traveling for his entire three month trip with only a bag the size of a bowling ball case and a small guitar he bought in Brazil.

We decided to hit the town together in search of a hostel and restaurant since we were both starving from a long ride in which they never offered us food. Within minutes I was sick of Sebastian. He chained cigarettes, hawked loogies and blew snot rockets with a cadence that would have been soothingly melodic if it weren’t cigarettes, loogies and snot rockets. Additionally the fact that he was an admittedly broke 31-year-old ex sports journalist with no job hit a little too close to home for me.

We found a cheap restaurant and sat down just before everything went to shit. I still don’t know what happened, but I got very light headed, everything began to spin and I thought I was going to pass out. Suddenly the gross Frenchman was my best friend and the only person providing me any comfort in a town I had arrived in 10 minutes earlier.

I tried to talk myself down and shoved as much food in my mouth as possible, hoping some sustenance would return me to a healthy state, even if it was a greasy fried steak sandwich. After a few very long minutes, I was able to catch my breath and the restaurant stopped spinning around me. Then I was back to subtly hating Sebastian, but not as much because he kinda saved my life.

A while later, we found a hostel and I still felt like shit. I just wanted to charge my Zune, listen to Juelz Santana and zone the fuck out. I opened my large backpack and discovered that somebody felt I should be traveling lighter than I already was. My camera case, which held all my electronics aside from my camera was stolen. I was out a camera charger, my old cell phone, and my Zune charger. I still remember the last song I listened to on my Zune was Tori Amos’ “Cornflake Girl,” which was helping me cope with my Frosted Flake relapses. I knew nobody would have a Zune charger because nobody else in the world has a Zune except for the girl I fell in love with from Perth.

Ideally I wanted to leave all hip hop behind, but I knew I couldn’t do it, so I had packed my Zune seven Carters deep (Reasonable Doubt, Blueprint I, Carter I, II, III, 3:16 the 9th Edition and End of the Beginning). Now my hip hop along with 8 more gigabytes of audible greatness were all gone. Additionally I lost a thumbdrive which contained the latest episode of Entourage I had been carrying around like a tiny crack rock hoping somebody would have a spoon and lighter in the form of a laptop so I could freebase my way back into HBO programming euphoria.

Sebastian opened up his small bag and pulled out a couple ounces of weed he had been carrying on him since he was in Brazil. He began rolling small joints using the toilet paper from the bathroom, but I declined his invitation to smoke because I was still trying to figure out what was going on in my life.

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1. Adam has nothing to do with my travels, but if I am trying to write a good story I figured it couldn't hurt to tell the best story I have ever heard. Adam believes he is a genius and in his own way, he very well may be a genius.

The story goes that Adam made his way on to the show “Who Wants to be a Millionaire?” To which legend has it, he made his way to the $64,000-question and then insulted the audience by saying, “I'm gonna go ahead and ask the audience now before the questions get too hard for them.” The audience then sabotaged Adam and gave him the wrong answer, causing him to lose his shot at 1 million dollars. Adam then went home and blew the money on hosting a desert rave. Any one of these points could be the best part of the story, but the best part comes from learning that Adam never declared taxes on his winnings and the genius still owes thousands in back taxes.

6 comments:

DerekV495 said...

"Additionally I lost a thumbdrive which contained the latest episode of Entourage I had been carrying around like a tiny crack rock hoping somebody would have a spoon and lighter in the form of a laptop so I could freebase my way back into HBO programming euphoria."

Pure literay genius

DerekV495 said...

....whoops. spelled literary wrong

Pete Gaines said...

Where the fuck is my banhammer?

kidAlaura said...

never would have guessed you had an affinity for tori amos.

Dr. Laura Schlessinger said...

OMG, I am soooooo into organic produce!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I believe the question was: "What is a scarlet pimpernel?" I can't remember what all the answer choices were, but he apparently did not know it is a plant.