The one at Iguana Falls

Trip Start Jul 20, 2007
Trip End Dec 14, 2007

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Flag of Argentina  ,
Sunday, October 14, 2007

Actually I'm not at Iguana falls, as far as i know Iguana falls doesn't exist. I'm at Iguazú Falls. Iguana is what Mom calls it because 1) she can't speak Spanish to save her life, and 2) probably because it sounds much more fun, I kind of like it. Anyway, if you've ever been to Niagara and were impressed (I have no intentions of going) you need to come here. You need to come here even if you haven't been to Niagara. Izguazu is made up of these beautiful cataracts on the Argentine, Brazilian, and Paraguayan border. I think what makes them so much more spectacular than Niagara is that its set in this beautiful tropical climate. Everything is green and growing and absolutely gorgeous. I woke up this morning and it's raining and they still look amazing. There're plumes of mist rising up into the air and you can hear the water from the hotel. very relaxing and beautiful, although the rain did bring awful humidity.

Yesterday was spectacular. For some inexplicable reason I decided to hike the falls yesterday on my own before I met up with my friends. I'm still thanking myself for my good luck on that one. The day was sunny, the temperature high, but without any humidity. I was there for about 2 hours and did two (or maybe three, I couldn't figure out the maps) of the trails. I took a billion pictures, which hopefully will do some justice to the beauty, however I really wish I had brought my Nikon down ( ☹ ), but I was too scared it would get I guess I should still be happy I didn't bring it because I still have it in my possession. It felt really good to finally get some exercise, although I hope it's not what wore me out. I'll take it as a sign to start going back to the gym when I start feeling a little better, because as much as I hate going to the gym sometimes I also really love it (how's that for a love-hate relationship). I came what I saw to see and now I want to go back to my bed and sleep (and I kind of like how much Marisa babies me when I'm sick...).

Also, how do i know I'm still sick? I started feeling awful last night when i woke up from a nap. I proceeded to cancel on some friends for dinner (sorry!) and was in bed by 9. I didn't wake up the next morning until 10:30 when i got a call telling me i had to check out. I probably could have kept sleeping all day if i had a place to sleep.

Oh, and to get here: 18-hour bus ride. However, I slept almost the entire time, which probably should have been my first sign that I might not have been entirely healthy, as I had hoped. Buses, instead of flying, seem to be the main system of transportation from one area of the country to the next, so they are outfitted very nicely. You can find buses with varying degrees of reclining seats, some even fully extended to flat beds. They all come with a "steward" or "stewardess" and meal services. Our en-route entertainment included a short DVD of horrific 80's music videos including, but not limited to: Ghostbusters, The Final Countdown by Europe, and many other "classics". As out dated as we might find such hits, they are very "de moda" here. My proof: later on the bus ride I heard the mp3 player of the man sitting across from me blasting an encore of Ghostbusters... they're so tragically 80's down here. We also watched White Chicks (a favorite of Boo's), except dubbed in Spanish with English subtitles... I'm not sure but I think that should be a crime.

Other things that happened this week:
Marisa took me to her homeopathic doctor on Monday. I'm extremely skeptical, however I don't think this is only due to the fact that I tend to be skeptical and cynical about a lot of new things, I think, my skepticism is also in large part cultural. Down here homeopathic doctors are really popular, almost everyone goes to them, even though they're quite expensive for them and not covered by insurance. As I'm sure you know, the whole idea behind homeopathic medicine is treating the person holistically rather than finding the source of pain or sickness, isolating it, and treating it, as is custom in Western medicine. Marissa's doctor is certainly very intelligent, given the rows and rows of awards and diplomas that dot his waiting room wall, but at the same time he is still very modest. Entering with my skepticism probably didn't help the session.

He didn't take any measurements or anything the whole time. Instead he proceeded to ask me tons and tons of questions about myself, about what I eat, my history, my family, etc- seemed almost like a shrink. I'm not sure how figuring out if I am jealous (tenés cellos?) or whether I used to have nightmares and what fears I had as a child will help him today...anyway I'm not the doctor. So I guess it went well. It was an extremely long process though. We left the house in typical Argentine fashion (at 6:15 for a 6pm appointment) and got home at 10. I waited in the office for at least an hour before he saw me for (maybe) all of 25 min. I remain skeptical because Marisa and I are now taking the same little sugary-tasting pills...I wouldn't think that she and I need the same treatment. I have no idea what she has, but I don't think its mono.

    However in the doc's defense: Marisa claims he cured her friend's asthma, which she had suffered from since early childhood. This was over 20 years ago, when Marisa was introduced to him. She first went to him in order to help her mother who suffered from some type of serious cancer. That was in the early 80's. Her mom is still alive and cured of cancer, although I think now sick with something else. Apparently he also cured Marisa of tumors in her breast a few years after that, and she has been healthy since the late 80's. A bunch of very impressive miracles or curing, if you ask me. I still remain unconvinced. I'll let you know how the mono goes.

A random story. On our way to the doctor we passed this park. What I found interesting about said park is the cats that inhibit it. At first I saw about three or four cats prowling around. I made a joke about how there was a montón de gatos (i.e. a mountain of cats). A montón de anything in Argentine Spanish is to say that there's a shit load of whatever you're talking about. Marisa and I laughed about it and she said how she thought it was sad that many people didn't seem to like cats, although she thought they were precious (she tends to get very sensitive about many things). About half a block later we got stopped at a light in front of a church with huge steps. Upon closer inspection of the step I noticed, and I kid you not, about 30 cats walking around. It was seriously unbelievable. I cannot express how many cats there were to you and how insane it looked. before I had been joking about the mountain of cats, here there really was a mountain of cats. Marisa said that a lot of las viejas (old ladies) in the neighbor come out to feed them. Even if they don't have houses and owners, at least people were making sure they got fed. If I were Whitney, a friend who is a self-professed future old cat lady, I might have tried to rescue some of them, but I'm not so I didn't do anything except tell you about it. Didn't even take a picture.

This post is getting absurdly long so I'm going to break it into two. I'll leave you with my weekend in Iguazú and the cats.

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