Ciao For Now, Argentina

Ciao For Now, Argentina

For our last full day in Salta & our final free day in Argentina, we'd planned another tour. This one, however, was a bit different. This time, our guide & driver were two separate people. We rode in a little bus rather than a pickup truck, would be making fewer stops & wouldn't be hanging out in any strange, tiny outposts with mummies or singing gauchos. Instead, we'd sit in our comfy seats while our guide pointed out all the cool shit on the side of the road, the cool shit we'd see later & various stories about the area. Then we'd go check out a winery before being set loose to run amok in the town of Cafayate. Like our previous tour, we made a few stops to check out the scenery & take photos. The only problem with making these stops is that Olivier is part monkey & cannot resist the urge to climb on rocks & things, so he'd...
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Business in Buenos Aires

Business in Buenos Aires

The reason we went to Buenos Aires had nothing at all to do with fun. It was all about work. Specifically, Olivier's job. Occasionally, the company he works for sends people to Argentina, or puts some Argentinians on a plane for France. They'd sent Olivier to Buenos Aires for a week a couple of years ago, but I stayed home. It wasn't a sad thing, since I had a BFF from back home visiting me. About 6 months ago, Olivier was informed they'd be sending him again. But, this time I'd get to tag along & we decided to take an extra week just to spend time appreciating Argentina. After our insanely shitty flight from Madrid, we arrived on a Sunday morning to find Buenos Aires calm & still half-asleep. After showers & a Burger King fix (give us a break - there's no Burger King here, so we jump on it whenever we get the chance) we had a quick stroll,...
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The Ride to Delphi

The Ride to Delphi

We climbed aboard the bus to Delphi & took a gander at the other passengers. A few elderly couples, a few 40 or 50-somethings. A woman with her nose in a book & one couple with a little boy. All together, there was only about 20 of us in the group. "We lucked out," Olivier said. "The bus isn't even half-full & there's only one little kid, who doesn't seem annoying." Me & my husband, we're just not kid people. I watched the little boy, who leaned across the aisle toward his father & said, "Excuse me, Dad, but why are there no buses that fly?" I nodded, satisfied. "Yeah, I think we're good." The door closed. The tour guide introduced herself. It would be a 3-hour trip to Delphi, where we would see the archeological site, then the museum, then lunch. Our guide spent the 3 hours recounting various tales from Greek history; several Greek myths relating to Apollo & to the various sites...
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The Detritus of 2010

"For last year's words belong to last year's language And next year's words await another voice. And to make an end is to make a beginning." - T.S. Eliot * The year of 2010 just didn't go according to plan. Then again, looking back, I can't recall a single year of my life yet that has.  That'd just be spooky & weird if nothing unexpected happened.  Not to mention boring, eh? For the two residents of the Rasmenian Nation, the year of 2010 began with chaos, anger & the frustration of international & cross country travel in the dead of winter.  Indeed, our last days of 2009 & first few days of 2010 were spent engaged in family squabbles, re-routed Greyhound buses & bumming around airports.  Oh... & I was fucking sick, choking on & snorting my own phlegm, which is just as sexy as it sounds. But, we summoned every bit of patience we had & made our way There & Back Again. So, we eventually made our...
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Becoming a Germaphobe

Becoming a Germaphobe

I used to laugh at germaphobic freaks like me.  I'd see them with their Lysol, alcohol pads & sanitizing gel, talking about "that bug that's been going around" & I would shake my head & laugh. Paranoid freaks. Sitting at my desk, in the office where I worked, I'd watch my coworkers as they passed around a can of Lysol.  "Keep that shit away from me," I'd tell them.  When someone would offer me an alcohol pad to wipe the germs away from the receiver of my phone, I would reply with a "thanks, but I like my phone dirty". I was a drinking, pack-a-day smoker, happily surrounded by millions of dirty microscopic organisms & I enjoyed watching my coworkers sniff, sneeze & hack among the sound of misting Lysol. Not because I'm that sadistic, but because I never got sick. Then I moved to Paris. Once I moved to Paris, I moved about the city the same way as millions of other Parisians: public transportation. ...
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There & Back Again, Part 5 – The Last Stage

There & Back Again, Part 5 – The Last Stage

"No vacation goes unpunished." ~Karl Hakkarainen "No one realizes how beautiful it is to travel until he comes home and rests his head on his old, familiar pillow." ~Lin Yutang "The whole object of travel is not to set foot on foreign land; it is at last to set foot on one's own country as a foreign land." ~G.K. Chesterton * * * When the guy across the aisle from us began discussing stabbings & which mixture of drugs enabled him to best endure such an incident, I knew that I had had enough of fucking Greyhound. We arrived at the Greyhound station in Denver after our brief stop in Amarillo.  We had 2 hours to stand in a line in front of the door where the bus would arrive.  Sucking down our mediocre & over-priced nachos, Olivier & I observed that while the bus station in Denver was larger & cleaner than what we'd grown accustomed to, being forced to watch Fox News on...
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