Autumn’s Adventures

So Emoooo
January 29, 2009, 6:58 pm
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This month has been full of mini emotional fits.  I say mini because they aren’t big enough to be considered real fits but they are just big enough to be recognizable and annoying.  They actually started in December around the holidays when I was constantly battling my feelings of loneliness and it seemed like a was a million planets away from my family and friends.  Once the holidays were over I assumed the fits would disappear, especially since Amber was on her way to visit me, to cure me of my lonely sickness.  I felt the need to take her in completely — absorb every second as if it were my last living and breathing moment of “sissy time” or any family contact whatsoever.  It was desperation disguised as, well…I actually don’t think it was disguised.  I’m pretty sure Amber could smell my desperation from the plane and did the best she could to make our time special.  It amazes me how much I rely on her for a multitude of emotional issues that I seem to have and she has all the right advice for.  No wonder people think she is my older sister.  Unfortunately Amber was not the remedy and when she left, the fits continued sporadically.  In fact, I hate to admit this but I think Amber being here made me feel even lonelier and more confused.

Since she left I have been more or less a hermit, staying in my house and spending a lot of downtime with myself.  The weekend that she left I didn’t go out at all.  Instead, I watched movies, read half of a book and did nothing more but try and detox from a week of non-routine.  I made a sad attempt to text a few of my friends just in case I was missing out on something.  No one was doing anything and I felt better knowing that I wasn’t the only one being a big bag of lazy and enjoying it.

This past week I focused on getting back into my routine of working and exercising and I even hung out with a few people other than myself.  I rediscovered the genius that is my ipod — a lonely person’s super companion and emotional steering wheel.  Every time I experienced a lonely “fit” I plugged my headphones in and tuned out the “nag” with some of my favorite upbeat bands, specifically an old favorite, The Strokes.

I worry that these fits are not going to go away, that my mid 20’s will be plagued by this black hole inside of me.  As I think more about this I realize that I was having these fits back in DC as well and they were part of the reason that I decided to flip my world upside down and move to the other side of the earth.  I don’t take them as a sign that I need to return home since they were the exact feelings that made me leave all the comforts of home in the first place.  They happen as part of my need for “life answers”.  It is the negative side of my adventure in discovering who I am and what I need to do to be content with myself and my life.  I just wish they wouldn’t happen so frequently and sit in the front row of my mind.

Alotta Empanada
January 27, 2009, 6:57 pm
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I met Emilce for the first time in person on the day that Amber surprised the Mercadal’s with her visit to Jujuy.  Since then, she has taken to me like a sister and I enjoy her company immensely.  Emi is the only daughter of the Mercadal family and she had been an exchange student in Germany for the past year.  She returned to Jujuy a week before Amber arrived.  Unfortunately she goes to college in less than a month, 4 hours away.  Just my luck, a good stand-in for my younger sister comes into my life and then leaves immediately.
When Amber left I assumed I’d only see Emi when I went over to the Mercadal’s once a week for lunch.  She surprised me with a phone call today inviting me over to make empanadas with her and 2 other friends of hers (and Amber’s).  Not only was I happy that she called, I was also happy to finally be learning how to make empanadas.  It has been on my list of things to learn to cook since I arrived.
Emi is the take-charge type in the kitchen, just like mama Mercadal.  She rolled the dough for the empanadas and batted away wandering hands picking at the meat filling for the empanadas.  I managed to spill a whole glass of water on the table and make the sloppiest empanadas of the bunch, but I enjoyed myself in the process.  When we were finished we made about 50-60 empanadas and between 4 girls we ate 37 empanadas.  I was so full that I had to lay horizontally on the couch with my jeans unbuttoned and unzipped.  I wasn’t alone in this unflattering exposure, we were all in a delirious food coma.  It was fantastic.

5 pounds in 5 days
January 24, 2009, 5:24 pm
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In the short week that Amber visited I managed to gain 5 pounds in 5 days.  I even went to the gym while she was here but I kept putting on weight! I blame it on the fanta and wine concoction and the consistent drinking every night while she was here.  I also ate a lot of empanadas…

New Zepplin
January 23, 2009, 5:13 pm
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I finally got to go to this bar called “New Zepplin” with Amber because one of her friends was having a birthday party there.  I have wanted to go since I arrived because it plays reggae but none of my friends like the bar so I have never had the chance.

When we arrived, I realized that it wasn’t that great after all and I wasn’t missing much.  It was small and run-down, even though it was called “New Zepplin”.  I didn’t find it to be quant or interesting and the wall decorations were kind of lame.  Especially since one of them was a photo of Che.

Amber got drunk but I didn’t.  Maybe it is my older, protective sister side that has shut of my drunk Autumn side.  I don’t think I could get drunk because I wanted to make sure Amber and I got home safely.  Also, I was basically there for Amber and only Amber.  She was there for her friends so when she wasn’t around me I had very few people to talk to and was generally bored.  I mean, I was glad to be there with her but I really had no one to entertain me.

Towards the end of the night a fight broke out between some jealous boyfriend and a dude over this chick.  The chick was actually throwing punches at her boyfriend which I thoroughly enjoyed.  Tons of people started joining the fight and before I knew it the fight had taken to the streets with about 30 people throwing punches and kicking people on the ground.  The entire bar emptied out as people went outside to watch the fight or participate in the fight.  Amber, 2 of her friends and I went back inside of the bar and were the only ones in there for about 15 minutes.

The cops showed up with a paddy wagon but by that time the fighting had dispersed and no one got arrested.  After about an hour standing in the street and talking with Amber and her friends I coaxed her into a taxi so we could go home and get some sleep.  I don’t think I’ll be returning to New Zepplin anytime soon.

January 23, 2009, 4:56 pm
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There is a small pueblo north of San Salvador de Jujuy that has constant parties for carnival in the months of January and February.  This pueblo is called Tilcara.  It is popular among the hippies and artist community and often has an open art market selling stuff the hippies make.  Everyone goes up there to party in the streets during the first 2 months of the year.  Amber tried to surprise her friends by having them all come to my house to “meet me” and drink or whatever but all of them wanted to go to Tilcara so she ended up just surprising them one by one and we all went to Tilcara together.

We took a bus there that was about 1.5 hours long.  It was like a school bus and I felt like I was going on a field trip with kids from high school. It was fun.  Amber and I brought a huge bottle of red wine mixed with orange fanta (not the best tasting stuff in the world but I drank it).  We finished the whole bottle before we got to tilcara but I wasn’t drunk at all, I just felt full of sugary liquids.  Amber has a bladder the size of a kidney bean so she had to pee after like 2 sips.  Across from us on the bus was some drunk dude covered in dirt passed out with his shoes falling off.

We arrived at Tilcara about 10pm and walked around.  The streets were full of people drinking and singing and playing instruments.  There was chorizo cooking on every corner for the hungry drunks.  I refrained even though I love choripan!

We kept drinking wine with fanta throughout the night.  My mouth began to reject the flavor and since I wasn’t getting any drunker the more I drank it, I decided to stop halfway through the night.  We did a lot of standing around and moving from one corner of the plaza to another corner.  I went on frequent trips to the bathroom with Amber and her tiny bladder.  I met a ton of Amber’s friends.  I saw the cops arrest some punk dude who was resisting said arrest.  Those were basically the highlights of the night.  I enjoyed myself but since i wasn’t drunk I didn’t really take in the full “Tilcara” experience.  Things died down at about 4 or 5am and it was getting really cold out.  We had to wait until the bus came back at 8am before we could go back home.  So for 3 hours we laid in the street, passing out and being woken up by cops or freezing cold breezes.  We all slept the entire way on the bus and woke up to a rainy Jujuy when we arrived.  We all went back to the Mercadal’s house and slept some more until lunch was ready.

I’d like to go back to Tilcara with my friends at the end of the month.  I saw some pretty cool stuff that I wanted to buy from some of the street vendors but I didn’t want to buy it this time because I didn’t want to carry it around with me all night.  When I go back to Tilcara I will also be bringing my own beverages of choice, ones that will actually get me drunk and won’t make me gain 3 pounds.

Herms comes for a visit
January 23, 2009, 4:12 pm
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For about 2 months I have been keeping a secret.  This is very hard for me to do, especially since it isn’t my secret, it is someone else’s (those are always easier to spill).  Amber, my hermanita, is on her way back to NYC after a week-long visit here in Jujuy.  She made me promise not to tell anyone that she was coming, not to post it on my gchat or facebook status’s and to pretend like she wasn’t coming at all.  She wanted to surprise her family and friends here with a visit.  It wasn’t that hard for me to keep the secret because it wasn’t that juicy but as it got closer it was hard to hold it in because I was so excited, I told a few of my friends but made them swear they wouldn’t mention it again.

In November ticket prices plummeted to half price from the east coast to Buenos Aires, the cheapest of those flights were leaving from NYC for $600 round trip.  Amber and I decided that it would be a good time for her to scoop up a ticket and come for a visit even though it has not even been 5 months since she left Jujuy.  She would have only a short time before she had to go back to school in January to visit but something, even if only for a week, was better than nothing.

Of course our family was not that happy that she had decided to come back to Jujuy so soon, when she should be making money for college and focusing on school, but I couldn’t help but encourage her to come.  I mean, I am so far away from my family and I was so lonely without them for the holidays that all I selfishly could think about was having any or all of them here to see me, even if it wasn’t economically sensible.  The only person who is actually willing to visit me from my immediate family is Amber because she loves it here as much as I do.  Rachel is too busy and my mom just doesn’t want to do the long trip again if she doesn’t have to even though she would love to see me.  They are all just holding out until I decide to come home, which they don’t realize will probably not be until December (a whole 12 months from now, 16 if you count the months since I’ve arrived).

I prepared for her visit by buying a 3 pack of soap so she could have her very own new bar of soap.  I set out towels for her by the bed like it was a hotel.  I bought her a little gift and made sure my room and the house was generally presentable.  I went to the terminal and waited for her to arrive, watching the child beggars try to sell shitty sewing kits and clothespins to people in the terminal.  Those same kids often came into the cafe’s I would work at on my laptop and try to sell me that same shitty sewing kit.  I don’t really like these particular kids or feel bad for them because if you turn them down they sometimes spit at you.

A shit ton of taxis were on strike, probably for some stupid reason like they are lazy and want more money for being lazy, so they were blocking all of the entrances into the terminal so Amber’s bus had to go to some random street and I couldn’t find her.  When I finally did, we couldn’t get a cab even though there were about a hundred surrounding us, not working.  With 3 suitcases we were not about to take the bus so we walked a few blocks and managed to find a taxi that wasn’t on strike.

I had Amber all to myself for Friday night and in the morning on Saturday.  She wasn’t planning on surprising her friends and family until Saturday.  I cooked her dinner and we hung out and went through all of the wonderful things I told her to bring me from the US, like almond butter, books, bras, curtains, bedcovers and other random things.  Some of my friends came over to the house and drank with us for a while before Amber and I went to Santino to meet up with my other group of friends.  We both got quite drunk and had a jolly time dancing.  It was so good to have her there and to have her meet all of my friends.  She even let me wear her leopard print top which now has made me obsessed with animal prints.  I have added animal print sports bras to my Amazon Wish List if anyone feels so inclined to buy these for me.  i wanna look fiesty when I go to the gym.  I’m ready to lift weights like an animal.

Cleaning freak
January 10, 2009, 8:23 pm
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Today I woke up at 2:30, showered, and decided that I was going to do some late “spring” cleaning of my new house.  I love my house to death. I want to dedicate time to it and show it how much I love it by cleaning it and keeping it beautiful.  Today, I cleaned out the fridge of old food and wiped it down.  There was ketchup in there from the year 2000.  Thank goodness I only eat salsa golf!

I also spent a good 2 hours scraping off a dozen stickers from my bedroom windows.  The room I live in used to be one of Laila’s twin boy’s rooms.  The room is exactly how he left it when he moved to Cordoba for college eight years ago.  The pictures on the walls, the furniture, and the stickers on the windows were left untouched.  Apparently the stickers signify something, as my friend Glenda informed me.  I just thought it was something the son did when he was in junior high because he didn’t know how to decorate his room.  Glenda told me that the stickers are from brand name clothing and shoe companies and by putting them on your walls or windows you are declaring that you have a lot of money and can afford said brands.  It’s a symbol of being stuck up, I guess.  Just like Abercrombie has a stigma attached to it for being for the rich kids because seriously, who spends $40 on a white tank top that you can see through?  I digress…

I didn’t care so much about the symbolism of these stickers but I did care about how ugly they were and how they were interrupting my beautiful stream of sunlight in the morning.  I saw that a few stickers had attempted to be removed but the mission had failed.  I took this as permission to finish the mission.  Luckily I am quite crafty when it comes to cleaning things, thanks to my mom and her brilliance and years of teaching me how to clean things properly, remove gum from my hair without cutting it, and getting stickers off of things without ruining said things.  I grabbed a damp sponge and a razor-like object that is normally used for grating cheese but will now serve as my “scraper”.  I scrapped the shit out of those windows for two hours and I still have a dozen more stickers to go and I have a pile of sticker scraps on my floor.

I went to the grocery store to buy window cleaner and paper towels to make my windows shiny and new.  While I was there I bought lettuce and cherry tomatoes for my late lunch salad.  I also bought some jazmin tealight candles to get rid of the smell of old stickers (if you can imagine what old stickers smell like. I didn’t realize they’d have a smell…).

I also washed a shit ton of dishes that were in the sink to complete my day of cleaning.  I was quite satisfied with the work that I had done.  I even took out the trash in my room and painted my toenails.

The moon is full and huge tonight and there is a folklore concert in the community stadium in the park tonight that I can hear from my bedroom window.  They set off fireworks on the other side of town, which I could also see.  I may go out tonight but if I don’t I hope there is a Sex and the City marathon on tv that I can watch.