I hung out for several days in Mendoza just because I had a solid group of friends in the hostel and Mendoza was the perfect town. If you enjoy perfect weather and streets perfectly lined by sycamores with running canals lining their perimeter, you would probably enjoy Mendoza.
We were all broke travelers so we hung out a lot in the hostel and watched whatever was on the TV. One night we watched “The Beach” because there is nothing better to do while traveling than watch a movie about somebody else traveling. As I sat there jotting down my notes and writing silly ironic lines like the sentence before this one, Leonardo DiCaprio beat me at my own game as he sat in a Thai hostel and said, “We all travel thousands of miles just to watch TV and check in to somewhere with all the comforts of home, and you gotta ask yourself, what is the point of that?”
And at that point I lost my mind a little bit, so I went to bed halfway through the movie. And then I realized that I always went to bed halfway through movies when I lived in the United States. And then I realized that Leonardo DeCaprio won again. And then I got angry. And then I fell asleep.
The next day Cara and I voyaged to some thermal baths that were a 40-minute bus ride outside of town. It was almost as if God knew I needed a reason to relax from an already relaxing vacation so he made the bus ride extremely annoying and stressful. Every kid from the greater Mendoza region seemed to hop on the bus and many of them sang and danced around the aisle. At one point a little boy decided to sneeze directly into my ear, filling my entire ear canal with snot. This was a little frustrating.
Then his older brother wanted to show off his English skills and vast knowledge of the United States, which involved him repeating three cities over and over again. He asked a few questions. When I told him I was from Arizona, he looked at his younger brother and confidently said Arizona is just like Feeladelphia.
Finally we made it to the thermal baths. Beautiful warm pools in the middle of a scenic canyon. The only tough part was not staring at the 16-year-olds wearing next to nothing because I didn't want God to give me diarrhea again.
I just sat there and stared at the canyon, the beautiful blue sky and thought about life. I didn't come up with much, but I settled upon a tattoo. I had been thinking about getting a tattoo a month before I left for Argentina. However I could never settle on what I wanted. While swimming in the hot baths, I finally figured it out. I used to have a mole on the palm of my left hand that has faded over the years. I decided I should get it redone because it would be the best tattoo ever. It would symbolize the beauty in the world's asymmetry and it would be very individualistic because I don’t know many people who have had moles redone. Then I realized that that could very well be the gayest thing I ever considered and I started doing Cara's crossword puzzle to try to bring my mind back to normal.
That night I sat in my chair and wrote as Cara watched TV next to me. I thought about how awesomely psychotic it would be if I just kept stealing the life story of whoever I met in my last spot and passed it off as my own when I kept traveling. Then “House” came on and they diagnosed a patient who has mirror disease, in which he steals other peoples illnesses. Fuck. This was the second night in a row the TV had stolen my ideas.