Thursday, January 19, 2006

I have just satisfied my boyhood dream of getting south of the Equator,even if the lovely power of Ambien (Dr. Pepin rocks) denied me thepleasure of the actual moment of crossing said topographical feature. even so, all the flying (I haven´t sit that still since the last IRONCHEF marathon) went great. on the flight to DC I sat next to thisuruguayan microsoft engineer named alejandro who gave me my firstopportunity to have an extended conversation in spanish which confimredmy relaxed attitude up to this point that it would come back withrelative ease. that felt great, and the spanish is flowing easily. we talked at length about climbing mountains (he has done Aconcagua),he gave me a great itinerary to go through Uruguay (our likely nextstep) and after about an hour he asked me, in hushed tones about realamerican attitudes about the war. I am expecting more of that, but hewas pretty cool about it, and he was mostly happy just to meet anamerican who says something other than what the politicians say in the "adam boardman is going to love latin america" front, i barelyknew this guy, and he insisted I come to Sao Paolo and call him andstay with him, after an hour of chatting on the plane. This is so notseattle. we had some excitement on the ground in DC. Andy and I had planned tomeet in DC (he was coming from SFO) and we were on teh same flight toBA. The ride into DC made me feel like he marble in a spray paint can,and teh weather slowed down all traffic in the airport, so his flightlanded 50 minutes late and he was going to miss the connecting flightto BA by about 3 minutes. talk about drama-anyway, I turned on thecharm wiht a few of the flight attendants and got them to find out whatwas going on, and they put some calls into the desk to find out whatwas going on, and communicate the situation I was in, and they ended upholding the plane. as it turned out, I got something of a reputationon the plane since I was talking as charmingly and persuasivly to anyflight attendant who would listen, and by the time we got to BA halfthe staff came by to find out if my friend made it (they held the planean extra ten minutes because of the delayed landing of andy´s flight asthere were also others from that flight going to BA). The main lady I talked to named Carla (I have good associations withthe name) who spoke ot us a few times asked me if I liked champagne,and the only answer being¨"well, I like it when I am entertainingwomen-before, after, and sometimes even during...and that´s only themeal" and next thing I know she hands me a full bottle of frenchchampagne with a smile and a good bye. we left it at that since shewas 35 years older than me and married, but champagne just finding itsway to me is a good omen for starting my journey, no? Buenos aires is great-it is super humid and rainy here, but around 70degrees. As far as I can tell, they don´t have unattractive people inthis city. our hotel is like the W, except everything is really cheap and theinevitable hip, urban electronic music playing has spanish lyrics. andy and i are totally fired up to be here, and i am psyched to betravelling with him, and we are a bit tired but doing great otherwise. We just had a big lunch at the hotel, the food was great, and it costus 38 pesos (about 13 dollars) with tip included. in other news, I am still working on the blog, but don´t hold yourbreath (I´ll email the address when it happens). hasta pronto, Adam


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