22 May 2007

Bus Journal – San Salvador de Jujuy to Buenos Aires

5:50PM – I’ve decided to bring back the style I used on the train from Beijing to Lhasa. I just realized that ride was 48 hours on a train. This is 22 hours on a bus. Almost half as long, only I don’t have my own compartment. Just me, this leather recliner that’s been nailed to the floor and “Monster in Law” in Spanish on the TV. Joy. Rapture. Oh, and I can’t forget my riding buddy. I’ve nicknamed him Captain, his wife Tennille. He spent the first 40 minutes standing in the aisle talking to me about I don’t know what. I kept saying “No Abla Espanol” but he kept talking. Then Marina, my travel buddy and Youth Venture (Avancemos) staff explained – in Spanish – that I don’t speak Spanish. He doesn’t seem to care. In fact, he’s talking to me right now. Now he’s watching me type pointing at the screen saying something that sounds like “typo, typo.” Oh man. 21 hours and 10 minutes to go…

7:22PM – The movie just ended. I had the lovely opportunity to go to the bathroom on board, which was quite an experience. We’re moving at about 75 miles an hour. The Captain is still milling. He made his way upstairs for a while, attempting to strike up conversation. The bus attendant brought him back down and asked him to please stay in his seat. He’s standing again, reading what I’m writing. You are weird. Sit down. He laughed. Hmm…

8:13PM – The Captain just emerged from the bathroom. He went in there at 7:40.

8:47PM – The Captain snores LIKE WHOA.

9:32PM – We just made our pit-stop and pick-up in Tucuman. Who do you think surprised us at the bus station? None other than Patricia and Pupe! They brought sandwiches, cookies and of course, soda for us as a mid-trip recharge. With those two, you never go hungy! Pupe has informed me that I am her “Yankee Grandson” and I can consider her my “Argentinian Grandma” forever. I can’t wait to come back and visit them!

9:54PM – We just watched the “bus safety” video, which included an overview of how to know how fast the bus is moving. “Look at the velocity meter,” it said. Will do.

11:20PM – The woman in the row in front of me started freaking out because her seat wouldn’t stay fully reclined. She was screaming at everyone. The bus attendant woman was doing everything she could to get it to stay flat, including literally jumping on the headrest. All the commotion woke Marina up, who offered to assist. For whatever reason, Marina solved the crisis in a matter of minutes then proceeded to yell at the woman for getting upset with the bus attendant, who obviously had nothing to do with the broken chair. Rock on, Marina!

11:54PM – Marina couldn’t go back to sleep so I introduced her to Desperate Housewives, courtesy of iTunes. I forgot how twisted and complicated the show is.

9:15AM – Just woke up from a less-than-wonderful bus sleep though feeling oddly refreshed. The Captain is still sleeping.

10:36AM – The Captain just woke up. He’s standing in the aisle again. He’s got major bed head and looks a lot like Don King right now.

11:22AM – The Captain just emerged from the bathroom. He went in there at 10:45AM. Man, what’s he doing in there? Now he’s watching me type again. Sweet. Almost there. Signing off for now.

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