- If you are lucky enough to find an IPA at a bar, it takes some translation to figure out that the correct pronunciation is “Eepa”, else they have no idea what you’re talking about
- We still have yet to find any other native English speakers. So much so that, in a restaurant the other day, I had a server ask me, approximately, “what on earth are you doing here? We never get Americans here.”
- I wish we had travelled internationally in the Obama era. I feel like we are ambassadors for the US, and can’t bring myself to leave a bad tip for bad service, because I’m convinced it only makes our country look bad. Anything I can do to convince foreigners that Americans aren’t all bad seems worth doing, even when I feel taken advantage of.
- Greta has taken to very inappropriate “your face” jokes. Such as, “do you know why your joke’s not funny? Because your face isn’t funny!” I don’t know where these jokes came from. But (see above) I feel self conscious that people around us understand these rude jokes and just assume that’s the American way.
- Have I mentioned I miss having people to talk to? My family is lovely. But I miss talking to strangers. Passing pleasantries. This is the first place I’ve travelled, as a non-native speaker, that is so far off the beaten path that locals are shocked when someone doesn’t speak Spanish. I’m practicing, but I have so far to go.
- We leave here tomorrow. Villa la Angostura, and Argentina in general, has been amazing. This is possibly the most beautiful place I’ve ever been. The houses and businesses have a beautiful, almost Swiss, look. Redwood beams with steeply sloped roofs, yards full of roses. Every direction has snow capped peaks and crystal clear, blue lakes. The Main Street is paved, but every other road in town is gravel. A testament to what a remote outpost this is. (Though one of my unexpected appreciations is paved roads: the dust is endless.)
- Our Air B&B hosts invited us on their boat today. I expected a tiny fishing boat with a tiny motor. Instead, it was a beautiful boat, all hard wood, a restored 1934 yacht. The kind of boat that tourists take photos of when you pull into port. They brought along their three kids, ages 16, 15 and 13. Girl, girl, boy, just like our brood. We motored to a remote beach and chatted for 4 hours in Spanglish. As per earlier conversations, they asked how on earth we stumbled on this place. I think they invited us because they NEVER get Americans here and were curious. Their kids were lovely, and MJ is completely in love with the teenage girls. I am so thankful I don’t yet have to deal with teenage girls.
- Thong bikinis are all the rage here. I am thankful I am too old, too motherly, and too foreign to feel the need to indulge the trend.
- Also: Mate. It is everywhere. We have yet to try it. My understanding is that it is like a highly caffeinated kind of gross tea (other people’s words, not mine). But the method of drinking it is unique, in a gourd with a silver straw. Everywhere we go, on the beach, on the street, people are wandering around with a gourd and silver straw. The grocery store had half an aisle full of Yerba mate, in bags the size of flour bags. It is a big deal.
- Also a big deal: dulce du Leche. The portion of the grocery store dedicated to this is equivalent to the peanut butter section.
- Last thought. I’m having a tough time adjusting to the local schedule. Stores and restaurants tend to be open from about 9 or 10 until about noon or 1. Then they close until about 6 (or sometimes as late as 8). Restaurants don’t open for dinner until 8. Because were traveling, we often eat out, but planning for an 8 pm dinner (in a restaurant) has been tricky. I know this is siesta culture, but it is taking me some getting used to.