How are y’all? 

I made it back to Chile and Argentina was quite good.  This would not be one of my adventures without older men, right?  So.  It started with the man on the bus.  I assumed he was Chilean (because we were leaving from Chile), but when we were talking, I couldn’t figure out why I understood him so well.  It’s because he is Argentine.  He is 47, lives in Mendoza, but works in Santiago.  I didn’t understand a lot of what he said, but he was still very friendly.  He helped me when we got to the border too.  When I went to Argentina last time, I had properly left behind some dumb little piece of paper that you apparently need when you leave Chile.  I had it with me this time, but he told me what line to go through when we were waiting at the border.  He told me my Spanish was good, but he probably thought I understood everything he said.  I asked him where I should go for a good steak.  He said Don Marios.  Mendoza was a city, not a little town as I orginally thought.  There were many hostel options awaiting me and I chose the one that was $7 a night, that was close to the bus station, and to the city center.  The old man who owned the hostel thought I was friendly.  I asked him where I should go for a good steak.  He said Don Marios.  On Saturday evening, at 9:15pm (only fifteen minutes after they opened), I got in a cab for Don Marios.  I was ready for the steak.  I arrived, was seated, and was given three menus.  One was the wine menu (Mendoza is situated in a valley on the east side of the Andes proper for the cultivation of grapes), one was the food menu in Spanish, and the other in English.  I didn’t even open the one in English…that’s also because I knew I wanted Bife de Chorizo a punto.  However, I needed to elect a salad.  I chose one that was soley comprised of palmitos, nueces, y paltas (hearts of palm, walnuts, and avocados).  It was lightly tossed in olive oil and was the perfect compliment to the steak.  The waitor came over to take my order, I placed it, then he looked at me and said ‘the steak is big.’  I’m not going to lie.  I was a little offended.  What do I look like, a lightweight?!?  I told him ‘esta bien.’  In other words, bring it.  Well, he showed me.  He brought me a steak the size of a brick.  I’m not kidding.  It was massive.  I wasn’t offended any more.  It was as good as I hoped it would be.  Yo disfruté esa comida mucho.  Fue riquisimo. 

Chilean Side of the Andes, Argentine Side of the Andes (the desert side), and On the way home.

There has been this guy in my class for the past couple of weeks from Texas.  If you think I have Texas pride, you haven’t seen nothing.  It’s a little funny.  It’s important that we talk in class, as to practice the Spanish, so our teacher had us talking about our state.  He starts talking about how it is the best state and how great it was.  I added my bit about how big it is and how many people lived there.  Our teacher promptly said, ‘wow, it sounds like it could be its own country.’  The other Texan and I looked at each other like it was the most logical and intellegent conclusion one could make.  Por supuesto.  Anyway, this week in class, we started in with our Texasness again.  I said something along the lines of football being the ‘national’ sport of my country, Texas.  Then, she asked him about the particulars of his country, Texas.  It’s a bit fun.

Hasta luego.