If I was a writer

Trip Start Jan 20, 2004
Trip End Feb 01, 2005

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Flag of Uruguay  ,
Wednesday, November 24, 2004

... I could live here. I would move here to write a book. It is such a tranquil and amazing place that I fell in love with, with the excitement of the Buenos Aires mullet just across the river.

Walking the Cobbled Streets
I was soaking up the serenity and fantasising myself moving to Colonia for a year to write some kind of novel along the lines of Under the Tuscan Sun (why go to Spain or Italy when you could come to Uruguay?) when I was stalked by an Argentinian anthropology student. His name was Gabriel and he was a bit, or probably even quite strange. He spoke excellent English and wanted me to speak to him in English instead of Spanish (I prefer to speak Spanish here cos I need to keep improving).

Anyway, Gabriel hung out with me for a bit, although I was not entirely happy about the situation. He joined me for something to eat and things went downhill when he told me that I was pretty. This is a good way for a latino to suddenly cause me to lose patience with them and have to move away. It is something that is too often shouted to girls that it loses significance, and besides, if I believed them I would end up going home with the biggest head which would barely fit in the plane and then explode to kingdom come as soon as it hit the Australian atmosphere. I digress. The thing that caused me to say "chau chau" was when he asked me if I had children, and then if I had had an abortion. Ah hello. That falls into the same socially unpolite category as Chris Hatzoglou from RMIT`s "So Camille, do you masturbate". Had we run out of topics of conversation already (yes) and were we suddenly best of buddies (ah, NO) entonces, why the frick ask that kind of question? I don`t understand and frankly, I don`t want to understand.

Having ditched the weirdo, I retreated to the sanctuary of the internet cafe, and then on dusk ate an icecream and watched the sun set behind the faint outline of Buenos Aires on the horizon. I only breathed a sigh of relief when I saw the ferry that Gabriel was on chugging towards Buenos Aires.

Hijinks with Marina
I went back to my hostel and found that I had a new roommate, la espaņola Marina. It was great to practise my Spanish and surprisingly, her accent wasn`t as hard to understand as I thought it would be.

We went out to see what kind of action we could find in Colonia, only to be rather disappointed. We did manage to hook up with Daniel and Martin who were loitering nearby in what looked liked a staged attempt to attract our attention. They were from Montevideo and working in Colonia for Pepsi Cola, so we also met their boss Ricardo and other workmate Marcos and ended up having dinner with them.

It was all very interesting. Ricardo looked more German than Uruguayan and his height only made Martin and Daniel look shorter. It took me a little while to figure out that they were like henchmen, but once I had this sorted, observing them was pure fun! Adding to that that Daniel reminded me of Karl Lewicki (although more for his mannerisms)and Martin of Vin Diesel just made it even better.

After dinner we went cruising in Ricardo`s ute. We cruised along the cobbled streets under the guise of looking for somewhere open to have a coffee. We ended up parking the car and wandering around the ruins talking crap and I must admit that I spent a lot of time just laughing and not quite understanding everything that was being said.

We then went for a cruise to the ruins of La Plaza de los Toros, a bullring. It looked spectacular in the night with a clear sky and twinkling stars in the background. Very memorable. Unfortunately the kiss I got from Daniel wasn`t as worthily memorable. He had been very excited to learn that we were both born on the 7th of May, him in 78 and me in 79 and since there were four of us squashed in the backseat of Ricardo`s ute and I was virtually sitting on Daniel`s lap where he had ample opportunity to slyly kiss my neck, it was kind of hard to avoid being the one to end up kissing him. Anyway, whilst explaining a bit about the bullring he kissed me. Or more appropriately, poked his tongue at me. Why do they not include a bit about kissing in Sex Education at school. The world would be so much better off for it. If you kiss any other part of a person you use your lips. So what would make you think that when you kiss someone on the mouth that your tongue should get into the action first. Terrible terrible. I won`t keep going on about it except to say that it`s like Groundhog Day with the Argentinians.

The next day Marina and I wandered around the town, attempted to go to the beach only to find the weather had turned crappy, saw the Plaza de los Toros in daylight and it was disappointing and then tried to hide from being found by our friends from Montevideo. Of course in a small town it`s kind of hard to do. Marina was in the bathroom of the restaurant after we had just paid, and out the front pulled up Ricardo`s ute. It was uncanny. So we hung out with them for a bit and then ended up going back to the place they were staying at. I watched some TV with Marcos while the others played cards and Daniel tried to get me to go somewhere else with him. However he smelled like a hot dog. His breath, his shirt, everything, and whilst I like hot dogs, this was not doing anything for me, and I longed to escape the hot dog breath, not just for the hot dogs but for the tongue that was in there waiting to escape.

The following day after buying more earrings, Marina and I were having lunch before I got my bus to Fray Bentos and we sat outside a restaurant on a backstreet. No sooner had we finished eating than the 4 guys walked across the road on their lunch break. I`m convinced that they either had a radar for la espaņola y la australiana or they cut laps looking for us. Very funny.

Things I Learned
* Cutting laps on a motor scooter with your friends on the back is cooler than laps of Langtree
* There are silver food caravans everywhere that would make the Lions and Apex clubs jealous and try and try to copy them at the next Lunarfest. (Maybe Mallee Burger could take some hints from them and set up some seating outside their van....)
* Not everyone born on the 7th of May knows how to kiss
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