Here is my blog book of sorts. It chronicles my travels from mid October through mid December 2008. I am going to publish a chapter every day five days a week until the book ends.
I would like to dedicate this book to the people who have helped me out most in my life: my mother, my father, Marquitos and Jay-Z.
I'm listening to Juelz Santana right now. I used to casually listen to Juelz, now I only listen to him in cases of emergency.
And this qualifies as an emergency.
I am embarking on a two-month backpacking journey through Argentina. I have never backpacked before. I've never traveled alone before. I'm not sure I have the guts to physically travel for two months and I'm not sure I have enough funds to fiscally travel for two months. However I told enough people that I was doing it, I no longer have a place to stay in Buenos Aires and I declared my plan to the world on this very blog. The final factor being the most trivial and important, since I would never want to look like a bitch to the 20 or so of my friends who read this blog.
Fortunately I have Juelz' mind-numbing music pumping into my ears. Trying to pick an example of his lyrical prowess, or lack there of, is liking trying to pick your favorite Michael Jordan highlight. However the verse I heard just before the bus left the station might be Juelz' game-winning shot over Bryon Russel, "I worship the great prophet, the great Muhammad Omar Atta, for his courage behind the wheel of the plane, reminds me of when I was dealing the caine."
A verse which barely rhymes, doesn't follow any rhythm, unnecessarily alludes to cocaine and praises one of the September 11 hijackers. Perfectly dumb enough to distract me from the situation at hand and prevent me from completely losing my mind.
When I first came to Buenos Aires three months ago my travel companion at the time was losing her mind over leaving her family and boyfriend back in Tucson, Arizona. As she sat in her bed clinching a teddy-bear from her boyfriend and sobbing to herself looking to me for some words that would make everything better, all I had to say was, "Don't you have some type of Juelz Santana in your life?"
She looked back at me with a blank, watery-eyed look. She had no clue what I was talking about. It did not help that I did not explain the role Juelz Santana plays in my life until six months later on a blog she never reads.
I cannot count how many time Juelz has helped me in life. Just knowing that I live in a world where 18-year-old rappers can declare themselves part of the Taliban less than a week after 9/11, endlessly name drop Curt Cobain for no other reason than the fact that it rhymes with cocaine and continue to produce media with not even a hint of intelligence gives me the confidence that I can do anything in life.
On the bus I met Thiago, a Brazilian who has lived in Sahuarita, a small town 30 minutes away from where I attended college. Thiago is a young border patrol agent who entertained me with wild stories for the first hour of the 16-hour bus ride from Buenos Aires to Puerto Iguazu, home of the Iguazu waterfalls.
The only other person I had met from the truck-stop town of Sahuarita was Joey Zarga, who was the kid who didn't drink or smoke in my dormitory hall freshman year, he was also the kid who could give you a pornstar look-alike for every girl he ever met. It was nice to finally meet a normal person from Sahuarita.
The first movie they show on the bus is "Shooter," in which Mark Walhberg plays a sniper named Bob Lee Swagger. I am certain that had this movie been bigger and Gilbert Arenas still played basketball he would have stolen the moniker for himself. I decide that should I arrive at the psychopathic traveling state where I feel I need to make up a new life story, I am choosing Robert Swagger as my alias.
I daze out halfway through the movie and begin thinking about how many of the jokes I made before coming to Argentina have become true. I did end up dropping out. I am beginning to go on a solo excursion. And if I stayed in Buenos Aires any longer I would have tried my luck on establishing a drug cartel (probably named after Paul McPherson) just out of sheer boredom.
Before I left I asked my friends and family for some radical ideas that I could put into action while traveling on my own for two months, such as taking up Zen, trying to avoid the dimension of time, etc. The best contribution by far came from my Buenos Aires roommate Tom, who made me a sock puppet and instructed me to only talk through the sock the entire time while making a sockumentary. He also said it could serve as a masturbatory device should I get lonely on the road.
Basically I'm banking on a sock puppet and some Juelz Santana mixtapes will be enough to get me through my travels.