Am again convinced that my arrival in literally any place in South America will ensure that construction work is imminent if not in progress. I have gone as far as to fantasise that there is some guy with a road drill who has specifically assigned the role of tracking me throughout South America - like a construction Kato to my Clouseau.
I am thrown by the reversed power role of being a student, not a teacher. I think this is good for me. I’ve met teachers that can’t get out of the role, ever.
It is hard to type in a hammock on the coast of Northern Uruguay, (I can't seem write either of these sentences without sounding like a wanker so I put them into one so as to be sufficiently exaggerated) I haven’t written much for a while, the music kind of took over in the last weeks in BA. Here however, without a guitar as distraction I'm starting to catch up. Thirteen hours in total, three on a boat and coaches of three and four and a half hours a piece. (I shall be glad of such contrasts later. This is a short trek compared to some that await). Punta Del Diablo is worth it. It has one of the most beautiful beaches I have seen and, though it is on the cusp of what seems like a change, the place retains its small village feeling…coloured two story houses, fishing boats, amazing sunsets and unbelievable clarity of stars at night. Not a lot of tourists yet, in fact the first days are cold and wet at times and I feel cheated. In that smalltown way I already feel tuned into the gossip of the staff. Most of it centres around the fact that, as the peak season approaches, all the staff are relocated from the dorms and placed in what is generally described as a chicken shack.
Today Damian and I hung out on his terrace after the class. We ate winter food on the hottest of November days - it was nonetheless delicious. I rambled some words to put to his melody between the investigations of ashtrays and the percussive/vocal interjections of his young daughter Lucretia. Am officially converted to Café Helado. Cold Coffee (Frapuccino?) as a result. Lovely afternoon.
So the intensive decoration work of the summer during the hottest two weeks of a pretty miserable English summer took its toll on my only existing swimwear. I may not be the only man to forget to buy his trunks before visiting a beach resort, but I am certainly the only one in Punta del Diablo. This might not be such a problem if the place were not so remote and therefore lacking in the sale of such items. As a result, (if you care to consult Googlemaps), about two kilometers north of those groups of bronzed and toned surf dudes and dudesses casually supping beer on the shore you are likey to find a pink, slightly beer bellied Englishman striking out into some vicious surf with only a pair of semi-transparent M&S boxer shorts for security.
A last night is always a strange night and it’s no exception in Buenos Aires. I think I stayed here too long. I’ve got attached to people, developed friendships rather than casual acquaintances. The evening starts slowly. I begin to make an barbaque under the watchful gaze of an Australian couple, naturally I fail. (eventually the guy salvages my pathetic attempt at a fire – I have been too long using those pound a pop barbaques in the foil for Brighton beach, it has blunted my admittedly brief Cubhood). The evening barbeque was to begin at 9 so everyone except Anna (a Norwegian) arrives around 11.30. I hit the Fernet. It tasted like cough mixture at first, in fact it still tastes like cough mixture but for some reason in a good way. We end up going to Roxy, a place I didn’t really like the first time. I don’t know what happens, the music selection is utterly random but it hits a good vein (as far as I’m concerned) and suddenly we are all dancing, proper dancing and the floor is filled with silver confetti and we are throwing it around and all grinning andsweating like idiots. I stumble in at 8.30 very happysad knowing I’m going to miss these folk very much.
I’ve been writing but it has changed. A lot of it goes on in my head at the moment and an odd note. I suddenly don’t have time. This period is necessarily nomadic. I arrive one place, get aquainted as fast as I can- people and place, think about the next or the tour or the next meal. Twenty-four hour bus rides take it out of you a bit as well.