3/17/10: Ushuaia, Argentina
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You may have noticed that my last few posts have been a bit lackluster. I think it’s because I’ve only just recovered today from the triple whammy of 1) that nasty and totally unexpected 131 USD reciprocity fee (each!) we had to pay the Argentine government when we got into the Buenos Aires airport, 2) the extended jet lag from crossing a bazillion time zones and taking too many naps and 3) the 52-hour bus ride. Remarkably enough, this was the first time that any of these three things has ever happened to us. Yes, we’ve had to pay expensive visa fees, but we always knew they were coming. This one just snuck up on us and knocked us over the head with its giant billy club. No, I don’t know exactly what a billy club is, but I assume it hurts when you get hit on the head with one. Hurts A LOT. (And yes, I just compared the reciprocity fee to an ogre. Maybe I’m turning into Kevin with with the weird metaphors.) As for the jet lag – though we’ve had a couple of long-haul flights before, we’d always found ourselves adjusted within a day. For some reason, South America just isn’t treating us as well. And the 52-hour bus ride? Let’s hope that’s the first AND the last.
I think also contributing to my recent state of blah-ness is that we’ve had a little bit of trouble adjusting to the food here. Everything is either ham and cheese sandwiches or meat and potatoes. Don’t get me wrong, I love cheese and I love potatoes and I mostly like meat, but it does get a bit old. There’s only so many times you can be approached with a roll with a single slice of ham and a single slice of cheese hidden somewhere in it before you want to knock the sandwich out of the guy’s hand with your giant billy club. (Yes, I just said “giant billy club” a second time. Let’s play a game and see how many more times I can use it in this post.)
So today we decided to go out for dinner. For a nice dinner.
Look! Wineglasses! The last time Kevin and I went to have a nice dinner, just the two of us, was – hmm, I can’t remember exactly, but it was definitely before we got married. (Well, this is if you don’t count Thanksgiving, which I don’t, because I was sick and I ate a salad.) So here we were, like real adults, sitting at a real restaurant, reading a menu that didn’t divide itself into sections labeled “pizzas” and “sandwiches.” I was so woozy with happiness, you could have knocked me over with a pin, never mind a giant billy club. (Three!)
Since we were already splurging on dinner, I decided to throw caution to the winds and order a glass of wine. If we’re already going to go over budget for the day, let’s at least do it with some class, don’t you think? I was even prepared, because I knew that a glass of red wine is something like “un copa de vino tinto” in Spanish. I perused the wine menu and was disappointed to see that everything was sold in bottles, but then Kevin astutely pointed to the last page of the food menu where it listed “Puerto Cruz blanco/tinto – $10,” under a heading that included the word “copa.” So there it was! Hiding on the last page! I proudly ordered my glass of red wine and “el trucha” (the trout). Kevin had the famous Fuegian lamb, which came with potatoes au gratin. I guess maybe I was the only one who was tired of meat and potatoes.
My glass of wine came right away in an alarmingly small glass, but I figured for 10 pesos (roughly 2.60 USD), what could you really expect? I took a sip, ready to savor my first taste of non-airplane wine (which isn’t that bad, really), and then I figured out why that particular wine was listed on the last page, with the desserts, and not listed on actual the wine menu. Because it was a dessert wine.
Now normally I’d feel really stupid and embarrassed and awkward in this situation, much like how a leprechaun named Roger might feel if he were to accidentally walk into a giant Billy club (Four! Work with me here), but even this little hiccup couldn’t overcome my happiness of eating a nice meal out. But to salvage any possible dignity from the situation, I did at least wait until I finished my dinner before having my glass of wine. That way the waiter might think I did it on purpose, you know, ordering dessert wine way before it was time for dessert.
Anyway! None of that matters now. We thoroughly enjoyed our meal (another sentence straight out of the KC playbook), which ended up costing us 115 pesos (~30 USD). A bit expensive for us, considering our daily budget in Argentina is only 65 USD, but it was the perfect way to celebrate my full recovery from the blah-ness I’d be feeling since arriving in South America. I’d even say my recovery was so complete that if an anyone had come chasing after us with a giant billy club, I’d have been able to knock them out with my tiny but powerful fists. Five!
Picture of the Day: The rose garden next door to our hostel had the prettiest blooms.