Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Day 2: 6/6/11... Downloading Apps in the Amazon

               Am I actually in the Amazon? Being a geography buff I’m ashamed to say I’m not sure. But I’ll pretend I am because it sounds impressive to me.
               Who would have thought a seventeen hour bus ride to get here would be enjoyable? I’ve been on one hour flights that were much worse.  This was no ordinary bus. This was fancy. I was only in the middle of three levels of bus comfort, and I was more than satisfied with my bussing experience. The food was really good! Two good meals with wine (!) and also a cookie! One of those fancy wedding cookies. Mine was a half black, half white heart shaped cookie, which I thought was very progressive. If you’re wondering, I can recommend the Bus Wine. By my standards, anyway.
               The only thing bad about the bus journey was the end. Not exactly the fact that it had to end, though. It was this: shake shake / wake up senor / final stop / blink blink / mysterious pre-dawn people and buildings / yawn / stuff too much crap into backpack / blink / yawn / go to get suitcase / ticket? / rummage rummage / examine / no, senor / huh? / ticket. / blink / huh? / ticket. / panic / rummage rummage / eh? / no, senor / huh? / ticket. / more panic / rummage rummage / eh? / ah, si! / gooood morning!
               The good news was that I wasn’t the only confused and half awake foreigner. The bad news was they also didn’t speak English. I noticed they stood with their backs to walls and I followed suit. Gradually my eyes cleared enough to see a “radio taxi” office. They say you should never get a taxi off the street. So I talked to the guy in the office (who was the first person I’ve seen drinking real-deal-mate-with-plant-hanging-out-of-official-container-thingy) and he just went out to a guy on the street for me. I guess the buffer zone of the mate guy made it legit.
               I didn’t see more than a mile of the town of Puerto Iguazu, but I hope what I saw was the bad part. It was pretty typical jungle decay motif. I knew ahead of time that the hotel was on a dirt road (pictures on web site) otherwise I would have been flipping out internally. Taxi guy was cool through and through, though.
               I was about 6 hours early for check-in, so I did some business on the internet until my room was available. A very colorful character led me to my room with all sorts of wacky banter. He was cool. The place (La Cantera Jungle Lodge) is really really nice. Better than most places I usually stay. I like places where there are few enough guests that you could fit them all on a bus. Not a fancy bus, just a school one.
               Not a whole lot happened after getting to the room. A first-in-two-days-so-obviously-awesome shower, and a very long nap. I had some work to wrap up on the computadora, and finally got around to a pre-trip task that I never could: downloading apps for my ipod. In a jungle. As “Angry Birds” flew down from their satellite above, it just struck me as surreal. The accordion version of Depeche Mode’s “Enjoy the Silence” playing probably was a factor. As well as the loud kids watching the Simpsons in Spanish nearby.
               A very excellent dinner wrapped up the evening. Did you know that “Diet Coke” is called “Light Coke” down here? I’m assuming that Argentines don’t have enough of a wide-ass epidemic as we do, so “diet” might not translate as clearly. Although why aren’t “light beers” called “diet beers”? Diet Bud. Is there an app to explain that?

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