Tuesday, March 03, 2009
After three days I'd had more than enough of Pucon. Barioloche, Argentina was the next destination, but I wasn't sure if I wanted to get there via Puerto Montt, Chile or return to San Martin de los Andes to break up the trip. I decided to try Puerto Montt just because I figured I had already seen SM de los Andes.
Ever since I'd gotten my music stolen, I prayed for a movie every bus ride. Eight out of ten times there was no movie shown, one of out 10 times it was the worst movie ever and the other one time the movie would be tolerable. From Pucon to Puerto Montt I got “Walking Tall.” This qualified as somewhere between tolerable and the luckiest bus ride ever. Unfortunately the audio was badly messed up. At the start of the film Dr. Dre's “Next episode” oddly played over the movie. I would have loved nothing more than to listen to Dre's Chronic 2001 over the entire movie, but tragically the Dre died out after five seconds.
At the time I was more worried about forgetting what Dre’s drums sound like on the Chronic 2001 more than forgetting what some of my family and friends’ faces look like.
One of the more fun aspects of my trip is going to places with zero clue how they would look. I feel like anywhere in the States I will know how it looks just from watching movies and television. In South America I often knew nothing about a town until I showed up.
The Notre Dame crew and weird Oregon duo spoke highly of Puerto Montt, so I decided to check it out. The Lonely Planet called it “unscenic,” and when I arrived there I realized “unscenic” was a nice way of saying “shit hole, if Chile had a Detroit it would be called Puerto Montt.” I got off the bus and was greeted by a kind, old lady who sold me on staying at her place.
On the 4-block walk from the bus terminal to her house we had to take a detour because we almost got mugged by a deranged-looking bum. A great start for my first 10 minutes in the town. I dropped my bags in my new room and walked around the town enough to realize that Detroit is probably a lot nicer and safer than Puerto Montt. My place was nice inside, but was located in what I'd call the 8 mile/ kilometer district of Puerto Montt.
I was starving so I prepared myself a dinner in the vintage kitchen. Vintage may not be a strong enough word to describe the interior décor, which made my late grandfather's house (which hadn't changed since his wife died 20 years ago) look modern chic. After I cooked a potato dinner I crashed my host, Senora Maria Fresia's tea party. I felt pretty silly as I ate my dinner with three Chilean women all over the age of 60, it was like I crashed the set of a Chilean version of the "Golden Girls."
I walked around the town the next day until I learned there was nothing to see at all in the town. So I retired to my homestay, lied there and watched television all day. It was actually nice to take a vacation from my vacation. I caught an episode of “Will & Grace,” “The Weeds” and some CNN. I learned that during my mission to break my routine and try and change everything I forgot how happy I was doing nothing laying around watching television. Actually that was just the moral of the story in the “Scrubs” episode I watched.