Day 28: Nothing Will Ever Look So White / by Sarah Kakusho

Despite being passed out for only a few hours after a night of…wine, Argentine cocoa puffs, wet socks, and a lot of creative thinking, Erika and I woke up especially early to meet up with Maddy TO SEE SNOW!

I’m sure the guide that took us was saying a lot of interesting about the water in Villavicencio [which is one of Argentina’s prime drinking water sources], but I was just too damn excited. I had only seen snow from afar in a car in Japan 2 summers ago. We got to the first stop up the mountain, and just getting out of the van, I saw probably one of the most beautiful sights I’d thought I’d only be able to see in National Geographic.

Unfortunately, my camera phone had died prior…

There was no snow at the first stop, but it was clear that we were near something when I almost fell on my ass crossing over the bridge. It was definitely frozen and my shoes were definitely not made for ice. Second clue that I knew we were near snow: there was a sheet of ice/snow near the bathrooms that I just couldn’t help but freak out over.

And oh yes. I was freezing.

When we started up ramping up the mountain in the bus, slowly we approached more snow, until we could see it right outside the bus windows. I had never seen anything so white. I don’t think I could ever define anything as pure white ever again.

We didn’t reach the top of the mountain, but we sure as hell stopped where there was untouched snow. I got out of the bus and to my surprise it wasn’t as freezing as the first stop we made [but, it was also much sunnier than the first stop]. It was warmer…but I was still cold. I was wearing my X-pants, a t-shirt, 2 sweatshirts, a scarf, and Erika’s beanie. Oh yeah, and of course socks, covered in a plastic bag and sneakers. XD

But, you know, I don’t think it occurred to me that I was that cold when I picked up some snow and balled it up in my hand. It was surprisingly soft and…not crystally; very fine and not chunky. We stopped and made a snowman [I swear, my fingers felt like they would fall off after that]. Erika wrote “SUA” in the snow and put the snowman next to it. W00t. Some people in our tour took a picture of it. XD

That was definitely the highlight of my day…and probably study abroad, actually [as of yet].

Afterwards, we went out to eat. We were literally attacked by a bunch of restaurant waiters and waitresses just hanging around outside their place to try to get us to eat there. It got annoying after a while…but we were also pacing back and forth on the street wondering which place was vegetarian-friendly and affordable. While we were doing that, we saw the restaurant that Carrie had told Erika and Maddy not to eat at.

El Faro. Remember it. Don’t go there. Apparently, there was a cockroach in one of their meals and they still had to pay…

But, yea. The guy who works there tried to lure us in, too. It was funny. Erika took a picture of him and the place. XD We ended up eating at a place across from there, and we were just thinking that the guy at El Faro got pissed cuz we ended up eating elsewhere. Sidenote: Vegetarians, make sure you say “no jamón.”

We talked a lot…about a lot. It was quite fun and very Soka-like. XD A couple of hours of eating and talking led to a too soon of a “see ya later.” We told Maddy to come to Buenos Aires, so we’ll see what happens.

Because it was Sunday, nothing was open today, so Erika and I picked up our luggage from our hostel, did a little window shopping inside the bus terminal, and then sat in a café.

…for 5 hours.

It didn’t seem like 5 hours, though, thankfully. We talked some more, and I was writing. It was funny how Erika mentioned J.K. Rowling, when I was thinking the same thing, about how she got some of her ideas in a café. We saw many people come and go. It’s really interesting, how in Argentina, the bus terminal is equivalent to our airport terminals. People were saying their goodbyes and giving bear hugs and kisses, and waved goodbye as the bus pulled away. It was very interesting. We also saw a couple of the guys we saw at the first tour we went on, and a guy who wore one platform shoe, whom we saw the first day we got here.

So, it was an interesting adventure, being outside of Buenos Aires for 3 days. It was refreshing, but I miss Buenos Aires. I see why people travel randomly now. It’s a time to take a break from who you know you are and to continue discovering yourself, where your boundaries are and how far you can stretch them. I think I found my place in Argentina, in Buenos Aires, and I can start fresh.

Thank you, Mendoza.

“So I found a reason / To let it go / Tell you that I’m smiling / But I still need to grow / Will I find salvation in the arms of love / Will it stop me searching will it be enough / I don’t want your sympathy / Sometimes I don’t know who to be / Hey what you're looking for / No one has the answer but you just want more / Hey who’s gonna make it back / This could be the first day of my life” – “First Day of My Life” by Melanie C.

End – Week 4: Test Flight