Saturday, November 7, 2009

El Emperador

Well, I know it's been a long day when I had to ask somebody at dinner what day is it. I can't believe it, but I'm about an 8 on a scale of 0 being dead and 10 being full of energy.

Where to begin… The flight from Nashville was pretty uneventful. I got there in time to say bye to Denice and Jonathan before their flight left for NYC. I was little nervous because I was going to be on one of those planes that is only four seats wide, but it was a good flight. I actually sat next to a woman that was studying to be a Baptist minister. She was studying and not in the mood to talk. That, though, could be because she had to look at me asleep with my mouth hanging open for the first hour. I even missed my snack!!! I forgot to bring any English literature. The worst part of the flight were the three women in front of me that were drunk… AT 8:00 a.m. One of them was wearing a Happy Birthday tiara. Our flight attendant (who looked just like Phifie) talked to them the whole way. I know more about her than the people on my trip. I know that she used to be a hair dresser. I know that she tried to be a flight attendant in the 80's, but weighed too much. I wondered if she tells that whole story every flight.

I got around JFK pretty well, but I forgot that you can't check your luggage in until 3 hours before the flight. So a lugged around that luggage from 11:30 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. I continued my streak of trips where someone says, "you look so familiar." Since my last trip I told some of you about seeing that show on Discovery where they morphed 10,000 men from around the world to see what he would look like, and he could have been my long lost brother. Well, I have continued that streak, but at JFK, I only had one person wave at me. I sat next to a man from Ireland for about an hour. He told me everything one needs to know about Ireland from how they start drinking at six years old to how wonderful their health care is. Of all the things he wanted to ask me about being an American was what did I think about Rush Limbaugh, Howard Stern, and Oprah (he must have Sirius or XM). I spared him my real thoughts on each of them such as the fact that I truly believe that Oprah thinks she is third in line behind Jesus. I'm glad I did because he's a big fan of her millions donated to charity. I didn't want to burst his bubble by telling him that her giving away 100 million dollars is the net worth equivalent of me donating my glasses to charity when I get a new pair.

At five I made my way up to the check-in, and I started to see some convention badges. I hadn't been wearing mine up to that point because I felt a little conspicuous wearing around a badge that said "Keep on the Watch" around an airport. I have a great group. There are about 20 of us on my bus and 25 more from LA on another bus. I haven't gotten to know the other group much, but I really like the ones on mine. There are several my age, and several older ones. I think there are only 2 that are couples. There are some from Brooklyn, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indianapolis, Long Island, and others in my group. It seems like everybody knows somebody from TN. Believe it or not, there are very few in my group that speak Spanish. Many of the people that live here speak English, but I am trying to use my Spanish as much as I can. I have had to alter my accent a little though. They are a little harder to understand here. They have a much more slurred speech, and they cut off a lot of the words. They also say things like Caio (chow) instead of adios.

We came down here on a 767. They had a lot to do on the plane. They had games, movies, and seasons of shows like Friends and CSI. I looked through the book to pick out what all i was going to watch, and only made it through one episode of CSI. I actually slept almost all the way down here. I can't believe it. It's a good thing because I wasn't sitting with any of my group.

I thought we had a direct flight, but we had a very short lay over in Santiago. I'm glad the flight from there was only about 2 hours. I had to sit next to a stinky who had to use an extension to buckle his seat belt. Needless to say the armrest was folded up and I ate my sandwich one handed. The sister across the aisle was no help because she was about to get sick. The flight was very rough. We hit a 10 second air pocket. Stinky never flinched.

Our hotel is nice. If you google it, it is The Emperador in Buenos Aires, Argentina on Libertador Avenue. We went for a walking tour for a couple of blocks this afternoon. It is late spring here, and the trees are beautiful. The temperature is maybe 70. It was very cool when we first landed. I am going to have to go buy a jacket or something tomorrow.

Tonight we went to a tango house and had a three course meal provided by the travel agency. They had a live tango band that was wonderful. I had the veal and potatoes. I am determined to eat like the locals as much as I can and not stay in my comfort zone. I even chose Argentinian flan for desert (Dennis) instead of the chocolate mousse. I know… unbelievable. I even drank sparkling mineral water for my drink. They call it "agua con gas" or "water with gas". I still find that hilarious. I know; it's petty.

Some stayed at the place. They are going to have a tango show. Several of us went the cheap route. We came back to the hotel, and we are going to regroup and go somewhere that we can do the tango ourselves.

Well, I guess that's all for now. Tomorrow we are going for a city tour, and the rest of the day is ours. Who knows what will ensue… Caio.

PS - Don't forget that you can leave me comments.

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