"Everything can be told. It's just a matter of starting, one word follows another." -Javier Marias

I have been back in the United States for less than a week and for this time, I have been trying to transfer my second voyage to Argentina in words, never mind trying to find words in the English language.

There's a saying that when something ends, it's the beginning of something new. Logically speaking, of course this is true, but some wise person must have tried to capitalize off of the saying, reiterating it in such a way that we all find that it must be true. Often times, the most simple of words have the biggest meaning after a certain step in our lives, because understanding is something that happens so suddenly. You could have heard the same, basic words, over and over for all of your conscious life and then, suddenly, without warning, the words have meaning--or have a greater meaning than before. Of course, they guy who said this could have been part of the 'bird-poop-on-your-head-is-good-luck' camp; only saying things to cheer you up after a setback. Nevertheless, I left the country of Argentina with mud caked on my toes, mud caked under my nails, mud sloshing back and forth under my flip flops as I handed my passport to security. Red wine was splattered all over my cardigan, a haphazard design of bright purple Malbec polka dots. My hair was the greasiest and dirtiest it has ever been in my life and smelled exactly like the roaring red flame of a campfire asado. I had 23 hours of travel ahead. Was this the ending or was this the beginning?

My second trip to Argentina was like falling down the rabbit hole all over again and landing in el Mundo de Alicia. It would seem probable that everything in the southern hemisphere would be al revés--toilets flushing in the opposite direction; eating fries and pizza with forks and eating EVERYTHING ELSE with your hands; going to bed at 6 am; etc., but I honestly forgot the topsy turvy parallel universe that is the nation of Argentina.

This was the first time in a while that I've had a legitimate vacation. Usually when I go away, I work or study. This time, I had absolutely no agenda and it was fantastic.

Graffiti/Art on a wall in Rio Ceballos, Córdoba, Argentina
January 4, 2010

Anecdotes and photos to come!

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