Celebrating an Obama victory in Buenos Aires

Trip Start Oct 09, 2008
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Argentina  , Capital Federal District,
Monday, November 3, 2008

After traveling by myself for a month, I was joined in Buenos Aires by my good pal Mikeo from Seattle. For those that don't know him, he was my roommate at one point in Los Angeles, and he is quite possibly the wildest human being I have ever met. Back in October he arranged to have himself laid off from his tech job in Seattle so he could travel for a couple of years before he plans to settle somewhere in the South Pacific and become a scuba diving instructor. He'll be with me for the next six weeks as we travel up the coasts of Uruguay and Brazil, then we fly to New Zealand in early December.

Figuring we'd want to properly celebrate his arrival, I booked us at the most notorious party hostel in all of Buenos Aires. That night, the hostel converted its lobby into a dance club, complete with laser lights and a smoke machine. Very silly. And very awesome. Mikeo hit it off with our British roommate Sam, and as we all lay down to try to sleep, the  two of them spent a good twenty minutes talking about different strategies for lighting farts on fire.

The following night was election night back in the States. I told everyone in the hostel that we Americans were hosting an election party in the TV room. The pre-party was held at a bar around the corner where we sat and listened to our two roommates (Sam and his pal Harry) tell us stories from their past eleven months of world travel. Harry is a narcoleptic and had gotten into all kinds of trouble because of it. Earlier in the week he'd fallen asleep standing up next to a speaker in a club. On another night he'd fallen asleep sitting at a bar and someone had stolen his camera out of his pocket. On yet another night he'd gotten lost trying to find his way home from a club around 9:00am and had laid down in a bush on a main street in downtown Buenos Aires. He woke up around 1:00pm with a bad sunburn, surrounded by people. Wait, there's more. In Ibiza he'd woken up one morning on a beach in his boxers with no idea where he was and his clothes, his wallet, and his camera nowhere to be seen. In Surfer's Paradise, Australia he'd passed out on a park bench and was awoken by the police who brought him down to the station and locked him up in a drunk tank. The cops took $40 out of his wallet and told him there was nothing he could do about it.  

Back at the hostel, it was interesting to see people from all over the world glued to the television for hours as the election results began to come in. Once it started to become clear that Obama was going to win, I ran around the room hugging and high-fiving happy strangers. The celebration continued at a terrible Drum N' Bass club where I announced that I would write "Obama" on my chest with a magic marker and streak through the streets of Buenos Aires. Thankfully, I didn't follow through (at least not on that night, a few nights later on the beach in Punta del Este was another story). Clubs in Buenos Aires don't get going until 2:00 or 3:00am, and we had an early morning ferry to Uruguay, so we left the club, went to our hostel to retrieve our backpacks (where we found Harry chasing a group of girls around the lobby, writhing around on the floor in a jester hat, lighting fart after fart on fire through a pair of jeans), and went straight to the docks.

Reading: The Godfather by Mario Puzo
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