Tuesday, September 30, 2008

A ticket to ride, a date and other bus stories…(Monday 29Sep– Day 5)

(Where am I now: in a double-decker long distance bus from Flecha (arrow) bus company, seat 7 on the top side, going to Santa Fe in the north)
(What is the time now: 00:33 pm on Tuesday,
What am I listening to: Bus engine but 2 minutes before boarding, the bus station was playing “Ticket to ride” from the Beatles.)

Part 1
“Why does Man seek immortality when he cannot find what to do on a rainy Sunday?”
That’s what she told me over a cold liter of Stella beer after a long walk in the rain, sharing the umbrella, trying to avoid the many water-filled puddles on the way. You see, on Sunday, I went on a date. Well sort of. I guess it might qualify as one, two people meeting a couple of nights before, she giving me her phone number and then calling to arrange for an afternoon coffee.

Sunday reminded me of Geneva not nearly because of the fact that on Saturday I got home after 06:00 am after that pena but because it was a late wakeup under a grey, cloud-filled sky in a city that although busy and still up for doing things on Sundays, it just didn’t feel like anything I was expecting. I wanted to go out and there was “nothing to do” And then I got a call. Actually Menelaos did – from Amparo, the girl we met at a random party on Firday night. Is Kostas around – can I talk to him? It wasn’t her phone number.
You see, she said: “My phone doesn’t work – it’s blocked since yesterday – so I can’t call/receive sms. Let’s meet in 45 minutes in El Ateneo. You know where it is?”
“El Ateneo, of course I do” (no clue whatsoever)
“You take the 132 us downtown, it’s a cool bookstore”, shouts Menelaos from the kitchen, probably haring my clueless tone of voice.

Remember (if you are over 25) the times when we used to meet your friends for a drink or cinema without mobile phones? Try and understand my excitement on doing this again, taking a bus downtown, to a place I’d never been before, seeing someone I (think) I remembered her face, without being able to contact her. Cool…

I got there, bus 132 and all. El Ateneo is not a “cool bookstore” as Menelaos said. It’s an amazing bookstore. Actually it is a three-level Opera house, converted into a wonderful bookstore and café in downtown B.Aires. You don’t believe me, check the photos. I got to the coffee area, full full full, I was looking for a table with one tall curly-haired girl, she was nowhere to be found.

Now, this is goingto be interesting, I thought. Immediate reaction, pick up the phone – oops you can’t do that this time my friend – so you got to do it old style. Wait.
Looked around, wondered if I made a mistake with the time, the place, the girl…
She showed up 5 minutes later. We walked around, she bought a book and then went to find a place to have beers.

We talked and talked – half Spanish, half English –when I got lazy or when it was her turn to practice. She was a breath of fresh air to what I was experiencing the past few days in BA. Definitely more sophisticated than the “hippies” I’ve been spending time with, undoubtedly well-mannered and with a great attitude to life.

She lives in Cordoba (the Argentinean one, of all places…), has a PhD in neurosciences and likes Buenos Aires but is “thankful every day for living in smaller place where people have real, meaningful contact”. Did you know Buenos Aires is almost 20 million people? Now you do. Big city syndrome, alienation, stress, work work work… Again food for thought on a rainy Buenos Aires Sunday afternoon.

“Why does Man seek immortality when he cannot find what to do on a rainy Sunday?” Get up, go out, do something for yourselves. I am…


George "Teriax" T. said...

Ok... hold on ! She is a neuro-surgeon, living in a "small city" of 20 million people (Mumbai calling...same same but so much fucking different!!!) and she is from Cordoba....Cordoba... Damn...

This reminds me the 12th grade (triti Likiou) and Costas speaking spanish even to...the bus drivers (figure of speech people!!).

What can i say...the place haunts you and all of us for that matter !


Hey...thats the beauty of travelling and meeting people right ? It makes you think... Does somebody is trying to tell me something ? Is all this bullshit about the universe trying to communicate with me, really true after all...??? I will leave it here because this is a whooooole different story....

But the bookshop....the bookshop...yeah...well... MAN I COULD LIVE IN THERE !!!!

:) The place is great ! And what a cool place to meet for a date (or call it whatever you like)...

The say about eternity is so true...It is the fact that these days we have everything, simply everything and yet nothing...we do not enjoy things as in the past, not the same...Who goes out for a....walk ? these days? Nobody i can answer ! How many times you took your girlfriend for a ...walk? Simple things...

My friend...I agree with you...However your walk will last a bit longer than the rest of us my friend...


odevoted said...

george, as the matter of fact, I do take my wife for a walk sometimes, and actually I'd also like to take you as well...how about that ? tomorrow after office hours ?
(damn, let's bring this blog's power outside the box on all continents!!)

kostas, I'll take a risk here.... are you trying to break my dating record or what?

george, frankly, from the 'few' things i know about you, i'd say you're already pretty much in contact with the Universe buddy but "this a whooooole different story...."


Frank Top said...


I just discovered this website of yours and by extension your plan.

Gee, I am truely impressed! It will be great fun following you all over the world and reading your exciting adventures.

The bookstore sounds so amazing. I definately have to go there one day.

The Coelho-esque quote will haunt me for the rest of the week.

καλό ταξίδι


Amparo said...

I bought El libro de los Abrazos (The book of Hugs) by Eduardo Galeano...

remember the first page:

El mundo (The world)

Un hombre del pueblo de Neguá, en la costa de Colombia, pudo subir al alto cielo.
(A man of Neguá's town, on Colombia's coast, could climb up to the sky.)

A la vuelta, contó.
(At his return, he told.)

Dijo que había contemplado, desde allá arriba, la vida humana.
(He said he had seen, up there, human life.)

Y dijo que somos un mar de fueguitos.
(And said we are a sea of little fires.)

—El mundo es eso —reveló—.
(—The world is that —he revealed—.)

Un montón de gente, un mar de fueguitos.
(A bunch of people, a sea of little fires.)

Cada persona brilla con luz propia entre todas las demás.
(Every person glows with its own light among everyone around.)
No hay dos fuegos iguales.
(There is not such thing as two little fires alike.)
Hay fuegos grandes y fuegos chicos y fuegos de todos los colores.
(There are big fires and little fires and fires of all colours.)
Hay gente de fuego sereno, que ni se entera del viento, y gente de fuego loco, que llena el aire de chispas.
(There are people with calmed fire, that are not even aware of the wind, and there are people with crazy fire, that fill the air with sparkles.)
Algunos fuegos, fuegos bobos, no alumbran ni queman;
(Some fires, stupid fires, don't light up nor burn;)
pero otros arden la vida con tantas ganas que no se puede mirarlos sin parpadear, y quien se acerca, se enciende.
(but others burns life with so much eagerness that you can not look at them without blinking, and who approaches to them, it lights itself.)

A hug for you!