Kareem did bother me a bit. Long story short, he slowed things up. In the morning, because he had to check football/basketball stats, we would never leave at the time we agreed upon the night before. And he thought it was unsafe for me to go places alone so I always had to wait around for him so we could do stuff together. And like an idiot, he failed to bring a jacket, so we had to go to multiple stores in two separate malls until he found a jacket he liked, instead of something that would suffice. And I'm still a little pissed that our Uruguay day trip was only four hours because he was late leaving the house, so we missed the first boat out and had to wait for the next one which was 3 hours later.
Also, I felt rushed to do everything of interest before I left, which is why Kareem's slowness made me extra bitter. Kareem says I'm being pessimistic when I say this, but it's likely that I won't make it back to Argentina, so I feel pressured to do so much while I'm there. But rushing around trying to make sure you've seen the sights, is kind of stressful and not very fun or relaxing. And if you aren't having fun, what's the point? Besides, I realized that I don't like monuments or museums. I mean, who cares about a monument of a famous person when you have no idea what his significance is? In my own city, I don't waste my time with the tourist attractions, why would I in someone else's? Also, I need to limit myself to planning to do activities that I can't do elsewhere. For some reason I actually listed the zoo as a place to go. But why would I need to go the zoo? I must have been to the zoo at least 10 times before in my lifetime, and as much as I like animals, I've seen everything that zoo had to offer multiple times before. Besides, usually when I go to the zoo the animals aren't doing much but sleeping or grazing. So that activity got cut. Even tango was looking expendable, seeing as how I've already seen a Buenos Aires tango company.
Anyway, I guess the successfulness of a trip can be judged on whether or not you want to go home at the end of it. And I definitely could have stayed a few more days despite the frustrations.
Of special note:
-Buenos Aires was not as pretty as I thought it would be. It probably was once really pretty, but a lot of the structures were run down now. Despite that, it was kind of charming. I think my opinion of the city definitely improved once the weather got warm and sunny. Colonia, Uruguay, however, is gorgeous.
-Dogs were not curbed in the neighborhood where we stayed. Watch your step.
-Do Argentinians do breakfast? The one breakfast we ate in a restaurant consisted of carbs, carbs, carbs, coffee and orange juice. It was the only breakfast choice on the menu. The restaurant, though huge, was empty except for us. Very few real restaurants appeared to be open for breakfast at all. No wonder. Also of note, not easy to find chicken on the menu.
-Despite not being a meat lover, the beef is, in fact, pretty good.
-People are friendly, although unintelligible. Apparently, they speak Spanish in Argentina, but the accent is so weird to me, that even though I studied Spanish for many years (although I'm by no means fluent), I could hardly pick out a familiar word in a string of sentences. Note to self: learn foreign language to stop embarrassing self.
-Argentina made me feel rich. I think the most expensive meal Kareem and I had was the equivalent of $50 for the both of us, including two meat entrees and several drinks. Other less expensive meals included a whole bottle of wine. I could even afford real estate in a good neighborhood in Argentina.
Now, I guess I should ponder the next trip. I was thinking that maybe I should set a goal to make one international trip per year. It wouldn't be hard if I learned to be better with money.
After feeling so rich in Argentina, I came back to New York to discover that I was once again poor. Very poor. I'll definitely overdraft next week, (I have overdraft protection, so it's not big deal), but I did get some good money news. I've gotten a raise. Also, I'm almost done paying the IRS the taxes I owed them. I'd been accidentally paying twice the monthly payment, so, by my calculations, this month should be the last that I owe them. Although the fact that I didn't notice I was paying them $200 dollars more per month, is bad, seeing as how I should be watching my finances more carefully. I might move into the studio Asit is vacating. Before he moved in, I talked to management about moving if the cost was cheaper. They didn't seem to be interested in lowering the cost much, so I passed. But I got a call while I was away, asking me if I was still interested in moving in and mentioning that we can discuss lower rent. But this is only if they are willing to make the rent significantly lower.
I kind of drop away from contact when I leave, but now that I'm back I find that not much has changed in my absence. Although, I'm gonna have some intense podcast/blog reading to catch up with.