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Three countries in two days

Yup, three countries in two days (and boy are my arms tired). But it sounds cooler than it is. They were really close together – Brazil is right next to Argentina is right next to Paraguay. There’s a place in the US where you can stand in like four states at the same time and then you could tell everyone that your tired because you just got done seeing four states in like 5 minutes. But you wouldn’t have a whole bunch of passport stamps to back it up.

Speaking of which, I am kind of worried about my passport filling up. The border people seem to get quite a kick out of stamping the pages of my passport in the most inconvenient place thereby prohibiting the stamping of other countries’ stamps. I think it may be a kind of territorial thing (this page is my BITCH –Uruguay). Has anyone ever reading this ever ran into the problem of a filled passport? I’ve heard that they can add pages, but I don’t see how…and I’m gonna be getting a lot more stamps in the upcoming months.

So yeah, Uruguay. Crazy old Uruguay. Have you ever heard of Uruguay? Well, I can affirm that it does indeed exist. I was pretty tired from my trip from Iguazu (in the stinky toilet bus) two days ago and I went to go see a piano performance at the Colón Theater here in Buenos Aires that night. It was really cool and the lady that played was pretty good. The theater is really nice and it takes up like a whole city block – which is pretty impressive in itself. Lots of people were dressed up. Not me though. Flip flops and a backpack. HIGH SOCIETY. So after that, I went and booked a tour of Colonia in Uruguay for the next day. You have to take a boat there and then they take you around the city by bus, feed you lunch and then bring you back on boat – all for 75 pesos (about 25 bucks). I just had to remember to bring my passport and be at the dock by 8:00.

I went back to the hostel and slept.

The next morning it was pouring (hey that rhymes!), and I figured that the weather situation wouldn’t make for very good touring (damn, I should be a rapper – look out Eminem) but I went anyways. I ate breakfast and took a cab to the dock and then sat around until the boarding time. I changed 20 Argentinian pesos to Uruguayan pesos and tried to fit 18 ten peso notes into my wallet (Children, can we say – “Inflation”? Gooooood!). I hopped on the boat and was off. Big boat, took cars too, and they had a bunch of movie theater seats that reclined back for the passengers. I finished “Estupidos Hombres Blancos” (“Stupid White Men”, translated into Spanish) by Michael Moore and then took a nap. Then I was there.

“Sabés que el tour no es en Inglés, si?”, said the tour lady (Sabés is the vos conjugation of Spanish they use here).

“Por esto, estoy hablando Castellano.”

I was asked a few more times if I understood that my tour wasn’t in English that day.

It got kind of annoying. We had lunch and I sat with a Peruvian couple and chatted with them for a while. Then we walked around the city and saw the sights. It started raining (it had been overcast) and we continued on. Colonia is really beautiful but I couldn’t get good pictures on account of the clouds. What a shame. We then got on the bus and went and saw some place with the worlds largest collection of key chains, little bottles of liquor, cans, ashtrays and some other stuff (oohhhhhh, ahhhhhhh). Then they dumped us in the store where they make all these different kinds of jams. Chili pepper, garlic, onion, strawberry, banana, etc… which were all pretty tasty.

And then we had two hours to explore the city on our own. There really wasn’t much more to see so I sat on the beach and contemplated my next chess move against Roland (I make printouts of the board so I can study the next move). I climbed the lighthouse and then met up with a guy I met in the hostel in Buenos Aires and his wife. They were riding around the town on a little moped that they rented for a dollar an hour. Pretty cool. And then I met back up with the group and we headed back. It was a pretty boring boat ride home until I heard these guys playing guitar in a room and I went and played the harmonica with them (I bought a harmonica in Buenos Aires). It was pretty fun.

I got back at midnight, bought a half pizza and an oversized bottle of beer (a whopping $1.50 US), went back to the hostel, ate and went to bed.

I’m international, baby.