Saturday, April 9, 2011

Over the Andes and Through the Woods

A final farewell to Cordoba and those wonderful Cordobeses...I spent my last day hanging out at Butterfly with Viviana (see earlier post) and her nephew Tomas, who is the spitting image of a cherub, with the angelic personality to chill and sweet, he sat and drew scribbles while I drew elephants and giraffes for him, occasionally pointing out to me birds and cars in this very calm manner 'pipi'....'auto'....'oooooh' (he really is quite impressed with trucks and buses)

Butterfly is right on the canada, so it's lovely place, and we even found a model for the rasta tail I'd mentioned in my previous a regular Argentine he was delighted to pose, all smiles, before returning to make out with his girlfriend on the corner

I continued reading in my new book, 'Pelotudos', a gift from Fede. Pelotudos are like boludos (basically it's the lunfardo--tango slang, which is the root of most Arg slang--word for an idiot..a pelotudo being a level stupider than a boludo. I love these lunfardo words....this book is a boludez (basically its stupid bullshit) or this place is a pelotudez...quilombo is a great word too, meaning a total chaotic mess (originated in the portside bordellos for when the police arrived and things went quilombo--apparently of African origin). Argentine politics...quilombo! A common word for a woman is mina, the pimp's term for his prostitute (basically a silver mine)...there's a whole lot of connotations there....
Fuerza Fede!

And then it was off to Chile on the night bus, timed just right so that we hit the Andes at daybreak.......  

That's Cerro Aconcagua in the distance, the highest peak in South America. It's name means either 'the sentinel' (Ackon-Cahuac) or 'that which comes from the Other Side' (Mapuche), both denoting a crossing over of some kind :)

I met a nice Argentine man on the bus who used to live in Buenos Aires, but moved up to a small town in the Andes after his young daughter passed away. He was around my age and an electrical engineer who does work in both Chile and Arg. He said he couldn't stay in Buenos Aires, with all the memories--the house, 'el cuarto de mi nina'--and had to begin anew. A Chilean lady, who has lived in both countries, confirmed what I've heard a few times..'Chilenos are more like Estadounidenses (Americans)' I had noticed this last trip, and was about to get another dose....the border police (Chileans are much stricter than Argentines) discovered an apple and an orange in a German lady's bag, and she was pulled aside (the customs forms did warn not to carry fruit over the border and when you sign this form it is a legal document--what was she thinking? Well, she was with a group of middle-aged Germans, and like Americans, they tend to act a bit entitled, or like they are so law-abiding, they assume everyone will give them the benefit of the doubt....I think she thought she could just toss them or something if they were discovered.) Anyway, they gave her the equivalent of a US$250 ticket, and she was understandably shocked...the Argentine assured her she wouldn't be able to leave the country until she paid it..I suggested hitting up the German Embassy in Santiago (leave it to the entitled American to come up with that idea :), while the Chilean lady wisecracked, 'she just bought some very expensive fruit!'

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