Argentina 2002

– Saturday 2/12/00 Noon (EST):

The ride to the airport sucked as usual but once there, it wasn’t that bad. My parents must be convinced that I’m a total moron because they keep giving me ridiculous things to do in order to not get mugged. “Don’t take your palm pilot out in public,” “Keep money in two pockets, one with which you pay stuff for (small amount) and the reserves in another pocket”, “Don’t take taxis”, “Watch your pockets on buses.” It’s enough to drive one crazy. Very fortunately the plane is nearly half empty. We changed our seats to be a bit further back from where they were originally but now there’s an empyty seat between us. (“US” being my grandmother and myself.) It’s reasonably comfortable and would be more so if it weren’t for the restless kids in the row in front of us.

I guess I’ve never flown over water during the day before, which surprised me. It was quite a beautiful sight flying over the shelf. You could see pretty deep into the water for a good distance and since we were still not at cruising altitude, you could clearly see boats and clusters thereof. Further into the flight we passed over Cuba which looked very pretty from up above. It reminded me of bolo for some reason. The northern half of the part of the island we flew over looked like farm but the southern half looked like very dense woodland and there didn’t see to be as much shelf as when we were leaving florida. Perhaps that’s because we were higher (altitude wise) this time. The other thing that looked neat was all the little islands scattered around the main island – little tiny ones, at least from up here.

My dinner was suprisingly decent. They claimed it was steak but I still don’t believe them. When I first opened the package it looked disgusting. Well, that’s not exactly true. It looked like a plate full of vegetables which to me is disgusting. My grandma had the chicken. She didn’t really like it. In addition there was a bread roll that was impossible to cut with the provided knife (wether the roll was tough, the knife was dull, or I am weak is still not clear.) However eventually I did manage to mangle it enough to apply what they claimed was butter. Not too shabby. I moved onto the “meat” now which was covered in this mushroom sauce thing. On the left it had a mixture of carrots and peas and rice on the right. The meat was dry and well done, but the most amazing part was that it was so… delicate… I didn’t even have to cut it, it just fell apart on the fork. I thought that was pretty impressive.

Still later in the flight (this is an 8 hour flight), before we started flying over South America there was a bizarre white speckling on the ocean. It was literally thousands of white speckles. At first I thought they were boats but after 5 minutes there was still speckles. If anyone has an idea of what the hell those things are please make a suggestion.

Also surprising was a reasonably watchable set of movies. “Bowfinger” is playing right now. I never thought this movie would be good. I guess I get to pay $500 to find out now ;). The other movie they’re going to play is the straight-to-video K911 or something like that. The sequel to K9. What I’m sure is a masterpiece of cinematography is reserved for later in the flight. Anyway. I’m off to view Bowfinger.

– Sunday 2/13/00 1:30AM (Localtime)

Bowfinger was actually good. And K911 was watchable. Not the best of plots but still a cute movie and some good laughs. They played another movie after K911, maybe even two, but I went to sleep for a while. Towards the last hour of the flight we hit some nasty turbulence. It was worse than any rollercoaster I’ve ever been on, and if it were a rollercoaster it would definitely be a wooden one. Customs was not as bad as I remembered. I must have been thinking about the airport in Rome that had the red button. Here there is basically just an xray machine you put your bags thru. If they see anything they can rape you for they pull you over and do so. They didn’t even check if the luggage we were leaving with is the same luggage we put on the plane, however, the people were pretty friendly. Everything went very smoothly.

We were greeted at the airport by my Uncle Gige and his wife. We bitched about the turbulence and then drove me to (my Aunt) Martita’s house and they took my grandma to their place. My uncle (Martita’s brother) Martin dropped by with his wife and kid. They said he had been asking about me all day long. We made some preliminary plans regarding what I’m going to do. The plan right now is that I spend Sunday/Monday night and my grandfather’s (Vincent/Nono) house. Then Gige picks me upon Tuesday and takes us to General Belgrano where we spend Tuesday/Wednesday night. On Thursday we come back and Martita’s taken Thursday and Friday off work and Martin has Friday and Saturday off. So we’ll probably do like BBQ at Nono’s house on friday or saturday. That leaves me all of the second week to do other things I need to do. Like visit Elias (friend of family), Graciana (half sister), and other random cousins. It’s getting late so I’m going to go to bed. I have to confirm all these plans tomorrow. Still no ISP account for me.

– Sunday 2/13/00 11:35am (Localtime):

I slept on the couch at Martita’s house. It was comfortably but I was awoken early in the morning (7:30) by sunlight. Damn sunlight. I couldn’t really fall back asleep after that but I did have a dream about her asking me how much hard disk space one should reserve in a unix partition for root. I told her 10% was the norm but it wasn’t a hardware issue, it was a mounting option (all this in my dream of course, she’s never even seen a unix box). Ate breakfast, drank mate, ate crackers with cheese. Pretty good. We’re about to go out and visit an internet cafe. Maybe I can check my mail. We’re thinking of renting a car for 3 days for the weekend. I think that’s a good idea but I have to see what we can find. I talked to Elias today about making plans and also Gige about my ideas for going to general belgrano. It didn’t sound like this was a good week for him to go, but he didn’t want to tell me “no”, but I think I’ll still change the plans so that we go next week instead of this one. Anyway, off to see the city.

– Monday 2/14/00 12:34am (Localtime):

Quite the busy day. In the morning after the last journal entry we walked too damn far. We dropped by an internet place to check out rental car rates. Too expensive. Totalling $300 for 3 days for a midsize stick w/ AC. Not really worth it. I have nowhere worth going to that I feel inclined to pay $300 for the privelege. I went to check mail but to my dismay, noone had missed me thus far. It was noon localtime around this time and so about 10am EST. Vlad was online but not around, and the people I normally talk to are MST so even less chance of them being awake. The lame ass place used dialup connections and had the username in plain view (Vanilla Win98). I tried a quite check of the registry for the username (in hopes of finding a password) but the person working the store started to come close and the username (“rege”) was too common in the registry. Truth be told, if they chick working the store had seen me she wouldn’t have the slightest clue as to what I was doing, but, still, I didn’t want to get deported from my home country on some BS charges or hacking. So we went to a very nice buffet. It was $8 per person for lunch ($7 for dinner, which i thought was odd) and it’s a pretty nice place. Decent food, but at $2.50 per bottle of coke, 2 bottles each (the other person being Martita, of course) The bill quickly escalated to $26. Hardly a deal and the ice cream wasn’t even that good.

We also saw what she said was some kind of important church (the “round church”) which looked very pretty and it was a very nice block, but they were having mass, and who was I to walk in and start looking around. So we went back to the apartment (this was ALOT of walking) and I was way too tired to go to Nono’s house so we laid around the appartment for a couple hours. Drank mate, talked about how crappy TV here was, and I spent a good deal of time trying to figure out what the hell the phone number/user/pass is for her internet account. She spent an equal amount of time looking for the piece of paper on which the info was written with no significant results.

After leaving we took the train to a station, a short subway to take a long train ride (about 30 mins) where we took a bus. The bus story is actually good. But now we’re in a pretty small town about an hour. First, the bus was old as hell and all the other buses didn’t look like they were much newer. So we get on the bus and the guy has a small radio (boombox style, not dashboard style) where he has the local game on. Luckily they mentioned the score just before we pulled out (2-1 Boca, which was the team he had banners of all around the bus) he signals “2″ with his fingers to another bus driver who nods. We go down the road, turn right, and he signals 2 to a few more people as we go along. Finally we’re getting near and so Martita tells him that we need to get off at the next stop, but he doesn’t stop, instead he drops her off at her front door. Small town, not too surprisng, except that she’s never met him before. She was too afraid to ask how he knew, but we took it in stride.

I spent a good deal of time explaining to Nono about the lot we’ve bought, the type of property we try to build and a made for them some very nice sketches of the house (even a 3D one if you can imagine me drawing such a masterpiece). Then during dinner he wanted to know how the internet worked. Pretty typical stuff “who owns the internet”, “how do images get transfered”. He also took some time to explain to me how i would get robbed if people even saw I was carrying a wallet on my person. I wasn’t aware that people actually move around without having any sort of wallet or purse or somesuch way of carrying documents. Anyway. He has some bizarre ideas about the universe and I just try to humor him. I’m not sure if it does more harm than good to be honest. I don’t have the heart to disagree with him. I think the way he sees it I’m the only person who is capable of understanding everything he says and everyone else is just too dumb to understand it. This is his view, not mine. The truth is he doesn’t have much formal education, and to his credit, he’s incredibly educated for as far as he got, but he’s just missing some fundamentals that he makes up as he goes along but he uses these whacked out things as part of the assumptions when coming to other conclusions. So it just gets weirder as you go along.

For dinner we had meat (surprise) and potatoes. I only finished my meat and left the rest. The potatoes weren’t cooked enough for me.. I like them crispy.. they were soft enough to mash. Ice cream for desert (surprise) but I still haven’t had a chance to eat ice cream from “Fredo”. Soon.. oh so soon. I spoke with Gige too, he said next week would be more convenient, so next Monday I’ll somehow magically arrive at his place around noon, and from there 2 nights in General Belgrano. So I called Elias and somehow on Tuesday I have to magiacally get downtown. The taxi will cost about $40. Almost makes renting a car worthwhile. I’m going to try and see if I can subtly but effectively somehow get him to get the remis/taxi for me.

That’s all for tonight. I’m beat. Between the 2 hour commute to get here, all the walking, and my grandfather slowly wearing at my sanity, I’ve had enough for one day. Time to call it a night. PS. One more thing I forgot to mention regarding internet access. Martita called her friend who said he had bootleg internet access. So I’m trying to get Elias to hook me up with internet access while I’m down here such that I can use his business or personal account while I’m here. I really don’t want to take out real service. Which got me thinking about shared internet service. But that’s for another night.

– Monday 2/14/00 2:15pm (Localtime):

Last night after I shut the machine off I started thinking about why analog systems are better than digital systems and I had a very good observation. I thought to myself at the time that it was worth turning the machine on and writing it down, lest I forget, but this I was too lazy to do so. Now I can’t even recall what the subject of the idea was, but I know it came soon after my thinking of analog systems.

Today soon after waking up at around noon and eating lunch (no breakfast for me) and eating ‘milanesas’ and french fries I accompanied my grandfather to the bank. A fairly short bus ride but the line was excruciatingly long (and slow). For the record, banks here are open from 10am to 3pm and we got there at about 2:30 maybe ten minutes earlier. At any rate, today was the last day to pay property taxes and on Friday the power went out for 4 hours which included tbe bank. So, we finally got back at around 4pm. Nothing too interesting to tell of the line. Just old people who had to get their social security payments and pay their taxes. I also exchanged my $100 USD for $99 pesos. They charge $1 up to $500 USD. Unfortunately, that’s all I had on me, otherwise I would have done more.

There’s alot of dust in the house so I keep sneezing alot. It’s pretty annoying. Oh, also at the bank I wished I had had a camera with me. There was this dog sleeping on the wheelchair ramp leading into the bank and this line of old people would have been in it. I think it would have been a powerful picture. Makes me want to try my hand at photography but it’s an expensive hobby I would think.

I spoke to Elias today about him giving me the user/pass for his account. He said that the password was all ‘starred’ out and he didn’t know what it was and his tech guy was away. Sucks. He also said “if you got to” you can sign up for free internet. I politely pointed out that if I could surf the web, I would already have internet access. He gave me the number that they had on the page but I must have written it down wrong because I couldn’t get through. Martita called while I was out with Nono to say that her friend had yet to call with details about how I could get online. I’m getting antsy. How much time can a person live without internet access!?!?

I’m not sure what I’m going to do now. Nono wanted to go to a hardware store to buy a ladder, but after waiting so long in line at the bank I think he’s tired. I’m tired myself but there’s some things I’d like to buy. Marta needs a new power strip for her computer. They have this rigged thing there that scares the crap out of me since the current here is 220V/50Hz so it’s much more dangerous than the current at home. I still have to call Eduardo and Graciana. Maybe I’ll do that.

– Tuesday 2/15/00 12:30am (Localtime)

I just realized that it is now the 15th so I should be getting paid later today. It’s been an interesting afternoon to say the least. After the last journal entry I went to a hardware store down the street to try and find a decent extension cable for Marta’s PC. They had a very nice looking one with a long chord but it didn’t have the slanted plugs that I recall her computer having. Plugs here are really whacked out. There’s like 30 different versions and I believe the type indicates how much voltage it requires. At any rate, the only other thing they had was pieces, which did me no good since the one she has now is from pieces, and it didn’t seem like this one would be much of an improvement.

After I got back I think we had mate and I ate a bunch of food as well as drinking like a gallon of that stuff. We talked about viruses of course, as I mentioned earlier, and to no great surprise, it was not what he had imagined. He thought they were like a cold, sponteneous and noone’s purposeful doing. I explained, as you might guess, that viruses are in fact written by people and that they are programs like any other. He doesn’t understand.

On a different note, the weather is getting cooler. Chilly for them, but very pleasant for me. Elias didn’t call to give me user/pass for his home account. The internet seems like a far cry from here at this point, however, not having internet access has made me realize how many hours there are in the day. It’s amazing how much time I spend on the internet! I also forgot to mention a brilliant idea I had the other day at Marta’s place. I’m thinking of sending down a laptop when my mom comes down in April or buying one while I’m down here. I’m not sure which is better. Probably sending one down. Why? Well, Marta’s machine is a 486/25 or something ridiculous, if not less. She needs an upgrade, but she really doesn’t use it that much right now. So what I’m thinking is I get the family a laptop that they can share amongst themselves and take from one place to the other with a decent processor. Probably cheaper than upgrading her existing machine right now. Also, they could all share an internet account and split the cost. Calculate $30/mth for unlimited access, prolly $10 per household per month. Much more reasonable, and only one computer needs to be purchased.

Tomorrow in the early afternoon I’m going to take a taxi/remis to Elias’ work and meet him there I think. I have to call in the morning and get addresses. I will finally have internet access!!! Wonders never cease. It’s pretty early for me to be tired. I think standing in line at the bank today wore me out. I’m hoping that the $150 I brought can last me the whole trip. I’d be pretty damn impressed. Marta took Thursday and Friday off as planned and Martin has Friday/Saturyday off of work, so we’re thinking of having a BBQ on Saturday here since Martin hasn’t been over here (Nono’s house) in 3 weeks. I think Marta is disappointed because she wanted to do something more exciting like go to the coast but it’s like a 4-5 hour trip and we could prolly only spend 1 or 2 nights there… it really breaks my heart to disappoint people but this time I see no compromise that would make her happy :(.

I still can’t recall what the great observation I had the previous night was. I’m pissed for not turning the machine on and typing it up or at least putting it in my pilot. I did play a game of chess today on the pilot. I beat it in skill level 2 but with alot of undo’s. I beat skill 1 with very few errors. I’ll have to try harder next time. So I’m off to bed again only to discover great things about my grandfather tomorrow.

– Wednesday 2/16/00 12:15am (Localtime)

Wow. A full 24 hours since writing. Nothing overly exciting to tell about the morning. Woke up, had breakfast, chatted with Nono and Nelly. Had to call Elias a couple of times to get a hold of him and finally gave up and tried his cell. For those who don’t know, when you call a cell phone down here, the caller has to pay extra as well. Kinda screw both people at the same time. You have to admit that’s talent. Anyway, took a remis into the city, met Elias, talked about his ideas, etc. Then we met his son Gabi downstairs, took the car to the house. Had dinner (very good dinner, I might add) with the other son (Julian) and his g/f. Then we went for ice cream. I love the ice cream here. At any rate, while I was at Elias’ office we putzed around on the net trying to find an ISP. There was one free ISP that worked by authenticating you against the number you are calling from. Since I’m moving around alot, that didn’t really do me any good. So we found another one ( that is the typical ad-based free ISP. Downloaded software, got the number out of it. Figured out my username and I had chosen the pass. I dialed up, username, pass, *BAM* IP address. Wonderful. Jotted everything down (so i thought) and came to the house as mentioned earlier.

So about an hour ago I sit down to use the internet and all of a sudden I realize I didn’t write down the number. DAMN. So I go upstairs to the computer here, get their ISP number/user/pass and dial up using that. But it’s not really a good permanent solution. Go to, download software, try to find the number inside it, nothing. Unzip, nothing. So I send the program to Katie and have her do exactly what I did at the office earlier today, and VOILA the number. Now I just spent the last 30 minutes trying to get connected again. Hate the phone system in this country. The food is good tho.

I just increased the timeout to 120 and it nearly takes that long just to establish the connection. At this point I’m pretty much fed up with this but I told Katie I would be back. At any rate, I showed Elias dialpad and we screwed with it a little but the upload speeds are too slow so the sending voice is kinda slow. Receiving is perfect, however. Bleh, now I’m getting busies. What else. I can’t remember what else we did. Mostly just had dinner and chatted about life in general. We took a nice stroll through the neighborhood and it shore is purty. Some really really really nice $2-3 million houses.

WOOHOO! I think I finally connected. Halelluhah!

Tomorrow I’m going into the center with Elias and will probably go visit my uncle Eduardo (father’s brother) maybe meet him for lunch. Maybe I’ll get a chance to call my sister and drop by to see her. Oh! On an unrelated note, I beat PocketChess on level 2 today with fairly little problem. I want to beat it a few more times before I move on to level 3 which I’m sure will thoroughly woop my ass for at least the rest of the trip. At any rate, I’m consuming vasts amount of phone time at this point and electricity too as my laptop just came so near shutting down I had to scurry to plug it in to save it! Off to bed, I have to wake up at 9am tomorrow in order to head into town with Elias. Tomorrow afternoon I’m also meeting with Marta and her friend for dinner after she gets off work. That should be interesting in and of itself. Good night world.

– Wednesday 2/16/00 2:50pm (Localtime)

I didn’t get to write anything interesting last night unfortunately but now that I have some time in the middle of the day perhaps I will. I keep forgetting to get a camera and Katie told me last night she wanted to see pictures. So today I’ll have to remember to do so.

Elias woke me up this morning at 9am to come into the center. He had some juice and cookies, I just watched. We talked a little about what was in the paper. No big whoop. Driving into town he told me about how Gabi had spent 7 months bumming around Europe and after keeping this log, the idea appeals to me. Of course, I’m prolly to stuck up to bum around Europe and stay at the youth hostels so it will never come true. At any rate, the story is that writing this journal is enhancing the enjoyment I get out of the trip and it makes me want to do the same around Europe. For now I’ll stick to Buenos Aires.

Came into the office, registered a few domains. It seems is taken as well. I’m not sure if I talked about this previously, but Elias is jealous of my elite domain so he wanted to do the same. So we look up and apparently it was registered 2 weeks ago! Which prompted me to look up which I was planning on snatching up but the bastard paid he fees. I’m looking into getting maybe.. i doubt it’ll be useful.

At any rate, we got here putzed around on the net and I called my uncle Eduardo. I went over to have lunch with them but there was noone to tend the store so Eduardo stayed while I and my cousin/his daughter Mayra went to eat lunch. Pretty decent lunch but she was trying to talk me into breaking into some hotmail account of a guy she likes or somesuch. Paulsg72 I think was the username. I also hooked them up with free internet access. Free internet access for everyone! And I also bought them a microphone in case they wanted to use dialpad.

I have to apologize for my previous entry. It was a very train-of-thought-ish piece but too interrupted by my whining about getting on the net. Today I’m seriously considering shortening the trip to Gral Belgrano because I’m just not finding enough time to visit everyone and it’s making me nervous. Elias wants to meet again and so does Eduardo and now Alberto and Luciana want to see me, which I don’t mind. But the repeat visits I hadn’t planned for so I may have to cut Gral Belgrano short in order to accomodate everyone.

I have to bitch a little here. I didn’t sleep alone last night, I was joined in a kinky S&M menage-trois with two ants who bit the crap out of me. I feel bad meeting relatives looking like the elephant man.

So tonight I’m having dinner with Martita and her friend because he wants to pitch some internet ideas to me. Julian had a really great internet idea last night but I don’t think I’m going to divulge it here for the world to steal. Internet ideas are a dime a dozen it seems. The problem with internet here is everyone is terrified of giving out their credit card numbers over the web. It’s sad, really.

I digress. Tonight I’m having dinner with Marta and her friend. I think I’m supposed to drop by there at around 6pm. I have to call at 5-5:30 to finalize plans. See how much she has going on. A little whlie ago I called another Marta who I have forgetten my relation with. I think she’s my dad’s cousin. She was going out of town tomorrow morning, so she wouldn’t be able to see me. She gave me Alberto’s number who is Luciana’s father. Luciana had moved out like a year and a half ago due to ‘differences’ but apparently she moved back in like a year ago. So they are one big happy family again. So I wanted to see her and Hernan, who I guess is a cousin. I’m very sketchy on family relations on my dad’s side. There are alot of people and it’s hard to keep them all straight, especially since I didn’t see them very often.

Today I spent about $20 unfortunately. $4 for a taxi to eduardo’s, $12 for lunch and I think $3 to get back. Traffic was heavier getting there I guess. At lunch Mayra told me that we didn’t have to tip. Which surprised me. It was table service but *shrug* ‘when in Rome’ as the saying goes. I have to say that to myself alot. Perhaps I’m obsessive-compulsive.

So I think I’m done yacking for now. I want to call Gige and see what we can arrange for monday. It’ll probably all turn out for the best. Elias is out of the office with (a different) Alberto (his brother) so I guess I’m just hanging out for a few more hours. Maybe I’ll see what I can do about registering those domains.

I’m trying real hard to think of anything else I had to talk about before I shut the machine off. It appears not. Oh. Yes there is. Last time I was here I had installed some extra RAM and such into the computer at Eduardo’s office. It appears in October the store was robbed and they stole the computer. Fucking country is whacked. They seem to be doing alright which is good. I expected the conditions to be worse. I’m happy to see they are okay.

Elias tell me the DGI (that’s spelled IRS in the states) is brutal here. It turns out that with all this newfangled technology they’ve been hearing about they actually got some of their own. So now, car/boat/house purchases and bank deposits and withdrawls are all reviewed by the DGI when they do your taxes. So if they see you claim to have made $30k but your deposits to the bank are $100k or you bought a new $50k car, they start getting suspicious. It’s very… interesting. Obviously this doesn’t make people happy, but people here are scumbags about dealing with government scumbags. So it goes both ways I guess.

I think I’m done for now. If I think of something later I guess I’ll boot up and type it up. Be back later, I suppose. It’s hard to end these entries since I’m just talking to myself but someone down the line may (with an emphasis on MAY) read it. Very odd.

– Thursday 2/17/00 1:25am (Localtime)

One of the things that bothers me about traveling and staying with family or going out to dinner is that uncomfortable moment when the time comes to pay the bill and everyone wants to pay. Actually, there are two distinct situations. The first when I really don’t want to pay and I have to make a feigned attempt at doing so, and the other when I want to pay and so does the other person. In the first case I always feel like I didn’t try hard enough but I’m always afraid of trying too hard and getting stuck with the bill. In the latter when I lose I feel like I didn’t try hard enough, and when I win, the other person gets mad because they didn’t get to pay. At any rate, it’s just one of those social traditions that’s really annoying but I really believe in. Say for example, when on a date, a guy goes to pay and the chick just sits there. Make an attempt! I wouldn’t let her pay, but at least try, go for your wallet, or haggle a little, or something! Otherwise it just seems like you are using the person to get a free meal or you take for granted the fact that they (perhaps) pay for everything.

So after I got done with the last entry I started to fiddle with the machine at Elias’ desk. No sooner had I started fiddling, he walks in and I feel like a kid caught with his hand in the candy jar (or whatever the saying is). So he wants me to explain to Alberto (His brother, not Luciana’s father) how this whole thing would work. So I do my best to no avail. I think he understood in the end though. So he asked some questions about playing backgammon on yahoo and based on what he told me it sounded like he had Java turned off or not installed at all. So I walked him through the process on Elias’ machine. He kicked some poor guy’s ass. He seems pretty good to me at least, I don’t know squat about the game. Afterwards we went on a domainname-registering-spree. We registered like 2 or 3 domains. was a bitch and it wanted to process the credit card manually, which sucks, but whatever. The domain we couldn’t register because apparently you have to register owner handles first. At least that’s what we gathered. The only thing that seemed to register okay was the .com that we registered for the company.

We basically sat around and played with domains for the whole time. I kinda freaked out because it was 5:40pm when I looked at the clock and I was supposed to call Martita before 5:30. I was afraid there would be no operator. So I called in a panic, it rang 3 or 4 times and I started to got worried but then the operator answered and passed me to her extension, but it was busy. So I felt like I needed to go find the address that way at least if she would be leaving the building I could catch her. So we looked around in the phone book for the company’s name but nothing. So then, Elias asks, “Why don’t you just call the operator again and ask?” Duh. So I call, get the address, and ask to be put through to her extension again and she answers, I tell her right over and she tells me to check in at the front desk and go upstairs. Doesn’t sound too tough, right? HEH!

So I walk over to the building which is down one block and walk into the building. Normal looking, nothing too bizarre. Security up front.

“Hi, I’m here to see Marta Rodriguez on the 6th floor”
“Okay. Your name?”
“What company do you represent?”
“6th floor?”
(To her neighbor) “Look up Marta Rodriguez”
(Me) “2540″
(Other guy) “Marta Rodriguez. 6th floor. 2540″
So far so good. The first chick calls, no answer. Hrm.

“No answer”
“What?! I just talked to her 4 minutes ago. Try again”
Calls again and Hernan (her neighbor) answers.
(.. Brief conversation with Hernan where just verifies I’m supposed to go up ..)
She hangs up and here’s the good part. Pay attention.
Her: “I need your number”
Me: “My what?”
“You’re number”
“My phone number?”
“No, your document number”
“uhh.. what document? Do you need to see ID?”
“No, I just need your number”
“Okay. I don’t have a number” (Me realizing what she’s talking about, it’s like SSN)
“You don’t have a number?”
“No. I’m not Argentinian. I was one day, but not anymore”
“Do you want me to make one up?”
“Okay, you make one up.”
“I can’t do that”
“Well, I don’t have a number, I can give you my driver’s license if you like?”
“*SIGH* No. I guess that’s okay.”

So I get a visitor’s badge and go up. No big whoop upstairs, looks like a regular accontants office except there’s big candy pictures and crap hanging all over the place (they own a candy chain or two). Made me hungry. So Marta, Hernan and I go down stairs and take a taxi to a place near her house (and his is not too far either). This is where I make a feigned attempt at paying the taxi since I have no intention to really. I figured I’d let him pay.

This part’s a little complicated so bear with me. We were all going to go have coffee but Marta made an appointment at a hair place she figured it wouldn’t take long or something. It’s on the opposite corner to the bar we’re going to, no big whoop. So we go, and it’s closed for vacation. Damn. So he wants to go to the other corner, but now I’m concerned that Marta gets out of her appointment, comes to the place where we are and it’s closed, what would you do? So I say “Well if we knew what salon she was at we could go tell her.” But he did know, so we went and left a message at the desk, we went across the street to have a drink and so forth.

So we sit and chat for a good hour or so. Just sipping a coke, nothing fancy. Everything on the menu looked too expensive to order, even though, again, I didn’t plan on paying. So we chatted and I basically gave him: Starting an Internet Company 101. Which I seem to be giving a lot on this trip. No big whoop. When we are pretty much done talking, Marta still hasn’t showed up, so I’m concerned that maybe the receptionist didn’t give her the message, but she did and we actually met on the corner as we were both about to cross the street. Previous to this, I might add, I also had to make that feigned attempt to pay the bill. Again, no tip for the waiter. Stingy bastards. We only had two cokes anyway, so I guess it wasn’t a big deal.

We walked back here and we stopped at a little bakery type place. We bought like 1/2 pound of goodies which I paid for before she had a chance too. Then she decided to buy some sandwiches and at this point it was the dueling bills. The poor guy was so confused, so I tried to coach him. “Always take the man’s money.” But the shop owner was a woman and she intervened and ruled on the side of Marta. This wasn’t so bad, because a third party decided. Everyone was happy, but I really wanted to pay. I think I have $30 left of my original $100. I’m getting worried that I won’t make it.

We came home, had coffee. Had mate. Had sandwiches. Then we laid around bored for a while and we decided to take a walk to Blockbuster, just in half fun to see if they would take my card from over there. Before we left, since it was late like 11:30 Marta suggested leaving behind the wallet and cash.. *just in case*. She did so as well. So we went with just my card and a couple of bucks. We walked about 10 blocks or so to the store.

“Hi. I’m wondering if this card will work here”
“Hrm.. No it shows inactive, but I can activate it for you. Are you…”
Dumbass me. “Pablo Averbuj”
“No it says Victor”
“Oh yeah. That’s my dad.”
“Oh, then I can’t activate it.”
“Fine, I’ll be Victor”
“No, I’d need documentation. But if you have ID I can just give you a new one”
“Sorry, didn’t bring any ID with me.”
Marta: “Hrm. This wasn’t such a good idea”
So we came back without any video, but we got some exercise nonetheless. Marta wasn’t feeling well and so she went to bed pretty much. I tried fiddling with the internet but her dialtone is funky and wasn’t cooperating. So I thought it was her voice mail type system. So I woke her up to delete all her messages, after all, my internet fix is more important than any sickness she might feel. Alas, it was fruitless. I still had the same problem where the modem wouldn’t grab a dialtone. But her phone worked just fine. Oh bother.

I think I’m done for the night. Just gonna finish up the journal entry and maybe fiddle with the phone a little bit more. My stomach is starting to growl but I think I’ll do without for the night. Tomorrow we are going to the pool.

Oh, my parents called tonight. They are such a pain in the ass sometimes. I think I’ll leave you with that.

– Thursday 2/17/00 3:15pm

Martita woke up a few times during the night to get something to drink and in the process of rumaging around in the kitchen woke me up. I’m not sure what the times were because I didn’t have my pilot nearby and I couldn’t see the clock. No big whoop though. As predicted, the morning light turned out to be more of a problem than the interruptions. I hate sunlight in the morning.

Not too much to tell about the morning. We ate the left over sandwiches from the night before, went to check on the apartment of a vacationing neighbor and eventually came to the club (where the pool is).

Contrary to what I had expected, the pool is not salt water this time. I guess I was a bit disappointed but the water is DAMN COLD. Basically we’ve been laying aronud in the sun a lot and (I in particular) getting burnt. It’s a very beautiful day. I have to admit the weather has been very cooperative my whole trip, although I hope I didn’t jinx it with that last statement.

We took a taxi to the club here and paid $20(!) to get in, $10 apiece. That’s a little too expensive even for _my_ taste. I would have just as well sat out on the sidewalk than pay $20 to go swimming. But still, she didn’t seem to think this was odd at all. Before they let you into the pool area you have to have some type of medical type employee has to have a look at you, particularly feet, hands and armpits to make sure you are not a leper, I guess. They say it’s to check for fungi. That’s just crackheaded, but whatever, if it makes them feel better, why not.

Once inside the pool area it’s $3 for a chaise lounge chair, and $3 for an umbrella. We forewent the chairs and just opted for an umbrella. I’m not even sure how this is legal. They are selling you shade. All the umbrella’s are already scattered about and propped up. You pay $3 for the right to open it and sit in its shade? and $3? That’s just silly.

Tonight we are going to Martin’s house for dinner and I’m sleeping there. Marta has to work tomorrow, it seems. So it’s just me and Martin’s family going to the BBQ but I wasn’t even sure if his wife is coming. After that I’m going back with him to his house in order to save a trip to Marta’s house and then on Saturday, I guess we’re doing something.

Last night I thought of something useful that Marta needed… coasters! So tomorrow when I’m with Martin I’ll try to pick some up. The other news, in case I didn’t mention it earlier is that we are only staying one night in Gral Belgrano. I have triumphed! Now I have time to visit more of my father’s family. I called Luciana’s house (or what I thought was Luciana’s house) last night but I guess I had a wrong number, I’ll have to try again tomorrow and see how I fare. I woke some poor guy up instead.

I think that’s all for now. Marta wanted to type some letters while we’re here at the pool and have some free time. So I guess I’ll let her do that. Till next time.

– Friday 2/18/00 11:45pm (Localtime)

To say that I’m burnt is an understatement. I look like a lobster, although probably not quite as tasty. Before I forget I have to point out there are some ideas here that are not exploited in the states maybe for good reason. When they show movies on cable TV here, they do the first hour without commercials so that you get hooked, then the second hour they have commercials, but in theory you are already hooked.

Right now we are watching a subtitled _Matrix_. We take for granted how nice it is to go to a theatre and listen to the original actors recite the lines and be able to understand. After we spent the afternoon at the beach yesterday we took a train to Martin’s house. We had dinner, and sat around and talked about stuff back in the states. Cars, work, cars, etc. This morning I was awoken mighty early by the screams of Christian (Martin’s son, my cousin) as he woke everyone else up.

We took the usual train-subway-train-bus ride to Nono’s house where we had lunch. I went to take a nap around 1pm but didn’t wake up till 6pm. I would’ve slept more but it was getting late. I think Nono was kind of disappointed because he wanted to hang out more but we (me and Martin) were both pretty tired. We had an afternoon snack played some ball with Christian and headed home. On the train ride home Martin and I had a nice heart-to-heart talk. Came home, had dinner, and we’re now watching Matrix. Since I can’t remember anything I wanted to tell about now, I’ll just leave it for tomorrow.

Tonight I talked to Mirta and tomorrow we are going to another pool/club. My skin was very sensitive to sunlight today, I’m hoping tomorrow will be less so and not hurt myself. I’m going to watch _Matrix_. Maybe I’ll be more creative tomorrow at the beach.

– Saturday 2/19/00 11:30pm (Localtime)

What a horrible day. We finished watching _Matrix_ last night and it was quite enjoyable. At about 1:30am we all went to bed because we had to meet Martita at the train station. I think I forgot to mention this but on the way to Nono’s house the other day, a guard stopped Martin to ask him how old Christian was. Turns out, once the kid hits 3 yrs old he has to have his own ticket.

So in the morning I was awoken (again) by Christian. Several times in fact, but since I didn’t have a clock I have no idea how much I slept. We figured it would be just as cheap to take a remis to the station than taking a bus (because now Christian has to have a ticket). So we took a remis and got there just as the train was arriving. Martita was already there waiting. So we all took the train to the delta of the Tiger River. Remember, this was supposed to be an economical excursion.

So far we’ve spent like $4 for the remis and another $4 for train tickets. Now we have to take a boat to the club which is on an island. $3.20 per person each way. So boat trip to get there costs $16.00. Before we got on the boat, in fact, as soon as we left the house, I wasn’t feeling so hot. In addition to still being burnt from Thursday, I was very afraid of getting more sun while burnt. Seemed like a bad combo. So we’re standing in line to get onto the bus/boat to the island and I’m feeling woozy. I figured I should sit by a window ‘just in case.’ I didn’t. I got stuck in the middle. No big deal, once I sat down I started feeling a bit better. We got to the island (eventually, this was like a 30 minute boat ride) and it’s time to pay for tickets. $9 each for Marta and me, and $5 for Martin and Marcela. $28 (Running total: $50). We get there and now I’m _really_ not feeling good. I’m trying to be happy and smile and remember they’re doing this mostly for my enjoyment so looking sick as a dog doesn’t help anyone. So we find a shady spot, sit down, and I lay down to take a nap. I figure at this point I should get something into my stomach and Marta offers me an apple. I should have realized that acidy food was the wrong way to go, but I figured it was sugar. At this point I _know_ I’m going to throw up and it’s just a matter of time, so when I feel the special time coming, I quietly put the apple down, get up, and start looking around like a dog for a tree to do my business at. I find a suitably located tree and start pacing. Let’s just skip the next few minutes because we all know exactly what happens.

So I go and lay down and basically do my best to stay out of the sun the whole day. At around 3:30, someone finally goes to get some Coke from a kiosk and I ask if they can hunt down some aspirin. Marta comes back with caffeinated aspirins.. Yum! We thought the schedule for the boats was something like 3:15, 4:15, 5:15, and 7pm. So at 4:30pm I make the suggestion that we leave on the 5:15 one before everyone tries to leave at once on the 7pm one. Apparently, the come around far more often. That schedule must have been the direct boats.

This place we went through on boats is basically a series of islands separated by canals. It’s totally huge, like a big Venice. There are very nice houses all up and down the main canal that we used and a boatload of hotels and camps and places to stay. So at 5:25 or so we take a boat back to the mainland and the boat stops like every 5 minutes. It took far more than 30 minutes to make the trip back — the original trip was direct.

So in case you lost count, the trip back is another $16 (total: $66 plus anything we spent on the island for food/beverage). I still hadn’t eaten all day but the aspirin started kicking in and I started feeling much better. We went to Martin’s house the same way we came. Train/remis combination to Martin’s house. Marcela’s parents were already waiting there and we got the bar-b-q started. I didn’t eat very much during dinner and (as always) was critized for it, but it was very delicious. Just recently we took a remis home from Martin’s house and we are now laying around trying to decide what we are going to do tomorrow.

It was suppoesd to rain today but it didn’t, so smart money says it will rain tomorrow so Martita and I are making plans to hang around the house and watch movies and do some housework. I want to get her files transfered and her internet set up tomorrow too so we have a nice laundry list of things to do. Tonight she is going to let me sleep in her bed so I can get a good night’s rest which I haven’t had in quite a while. Everyone says that it’s because I keep changing beds so I don’t get used to one. I think it’s just because I keep getting woken up early. At any rate, I think I’m going to play online a little bit today and see if I have better luck than the last time. And I’m feeling much better now at the end of the day which makes me feel guilty about making them leave early, but they say we had to leave anyway. Doesn’t make me feel any less bad tho.

– Sunday 2/20/00 7:35pm (Localtime)

Sleeping in Martita’s bed was a very welcome change. I slept straight through the night until 10:15 or so this morning. Martita cleaned the apartment while I played with the computers and tried to get tutopia to work. The problem I’m having on her machine is that using the modem isn’t detecting busies, which is a problem with Tutopia. So I haven’t been able to test my connection script because I have to keep hanging the modem up by hand instead of the modem just realizing it got a busy on it’s own.

Aside from that, I spent some time on the net today mostly surfing around for free ISPs which I’m about to do some more of now, after I make some phone calls.

There’s one thing I keep forgetting to mention that really shows how much of a gringo I’ve become. There is basically no equality in the work place here. On Thursday when we were a the beach, I was looking through some classifieds that looked like personals but were in the job section — they were like “looking for female under 33 … “. So I asked Martita wether these were personals or job ads. Yes, they’re job ads. It turns out you can discriminate for job purposes on whatever basis you would like. If you want to hire a white, single secratary under 25 who is a non-smoker, you can place that as brazenly as you’d like (and most people do) in your ads. I love this country sometimes.

Martita just went for her evening ‘stroll’ of 5 miles. I thought I could make it but in all honesty, I didn’t make it 5 blocks before I turned around to come back. If she walked slower I might have almost been able to make it, but I couldn’t keep the pace and didn’t want to slow her down. Which brings me to the subject of walking, which I’ve been doing alot of down here. Far more than I’m used to, but forunately I haven’t hurt myself too much. Today my nose also started peeling. I’m not sure if the rest of my face will do the same, I don’t think it will, but I’m pretty sure my shoulder will; time to shed some skin. So I guess I’ll make some phone calls before I close up the entry so I can type any results out. I have to have an itinerary for the week done fairly soon. BBIAB.

I just made a few phone calls and talked to Mirta and Luciana. Mirta and I set Thursday aside for dinner and Luciana was too busy to hang out so we just left it so that she would call if she freed up some time. I also called Elias and Graciana, neither of which were home. So the only people I have left to accomodate are Nono, Martin, and Graciana. I figure I’ll see Nono in the morning one day or maybe spend all of Friday there. I’ve tried calling Graciana a few times without success so I think I’m going to give up on her. I talked to someone at Eduardo’s house and we set late Tuesday night for dinner.

I just called Gige to set the time for tomorrow at 10am. Looks like everything is set so I’m going to finish dinner and finish the day.

– Wednesday 2/23/00 12:00pm (Localtime):

It’s been far too long since I’ve made an entry as a result of being so pressed for time in Gral. Belgrano. What a beautiful place. Gige and I had agreed on Sunday night that he would drop by to pick me up at 10am, as I wrote in the last entry. At 9:45 I was standing on the balcony waiting to see if I could see him pull up, and he did, but since he didn’t ring the doorway right away and he was early I figured he thought he would wake me up by coming too early. So I just walked downstairs and met him at his car. We went to his house, sat around a bit. He’s done some really nice work on his house with the garage and other little things. He took my grandma to the doctor and they took forever.

When they got back around 1pm, we had lunch (Milanesa & french fries, very delicious) and we took off for Gral. Belgrano. When we got there my grandma was pretty tired. Gige went to Mariestelle’s house pretty quickly and Miguel and I went to ‘El Siasgo’ which is a ranch on the fringe of town that sells regional leather stuff. I bought some coasters that I wanted to buy for Marta there and I saw a really nice bedcover which was all wool. Totally rocked, but I wasn’t planning on buying it, but I asked anyway, thinking it would be like $300. The guy said he’d sell it for $130 and I was shocked and in love. I nearly bought it right then and there.

So we went back and joined up with my grandma, Miguel’s family and Almelia (who has a motor mouth that just won’t quit — it’s dizzying). We had dinner (Milanesa and french fries (again) — very delicious (again)). We had some coffee, chatted a bit, and off to bed we went.

The next day we took the whole family out to old man Dobos’ house. He’s an old guy on the fringe of town also that does really nice stuff with wood, but nothing overly useful, just decorative stuff, where the stuff from El Siasgo is usually useful. We walked around there for a while. My idea was to go to El Siasgo again also to get final prices on the two items then go to the bank and get the money. Then on the way out of town, drop by and pick it all up.

We went to the butcher shop, to the bread store, and on the way to El Siasgo there was a turned-over truck on a sharp turn that was carrying produce. We went to El Siasgo, got prices on the two bedcovers and started heading back. A note on the bed covers, my grandma didn’t want me to buy them. They are absolutely beautiful but she doesn’t think that they’ll be useful in the states. The final price on two bedcovers was $120 each. I could have made the guy go lower but he’d been robbed a few times lately and I didn’t have the heart to take all his profits.

So on the way back Miguel pulls over to see what kind of stuff fell out of the truck – corn, lettuce, cabbage, tomatoes, and so he goes to his trunk pulls out a bag and joins the people who are out there collecting produce from the grass. I just stayed in the car during this part. There was also a guy removing the alternator from the truck and the battery had already been removed. By the time we drove by it later in the day it was pretty stripped.

We drove back into town, went to the bank, got out the appropriate sum of money, and went back to the house to have lunch. That day I ate like a pig. I had like 3 pieces of beef and a milanesa plus mashed potatoes and tomatoes. Afterwards I was getting ready to go to Mariestelle’s and as I was walking there I saw this motorcycle comings towards the intersection. As soon as he was crossing all these kids ran out with buckets and water ballons and drenched the guy. I did an about-face and went right back and asked someone to drive me there instead. When I got there they were just finishing up packing some fish they had caught in ice. I waited for them to finish that and Gige, one of Mariestelle’s sons, and I went to El Siasgo to pick up the stuff. While there I showed Gige the 4 ft. long knife they had. The thing was huge. I also bought a case for glasses to take back as a gift.

We went back to Mariestelles house and loaded up the fish into the car in coolers, went to Miguel’s house to say goodbye but Sunilda was gone so we left our farewells with Miguel. Then we went to Amelia’s house to say goodbye to my grandma and Amelia (as I wouldn’t see my grandma for a few months after this) and we took off down the road. This was at about 5:15pm.

We got to Marta’s house at 7:15pm or so and since I wasn’t sure if she had locked the top lock of her door, I didn’t want to be hauling that crap up and down the stairs. So I just took one bag up with Gige and thankfully, she had left just the bottom one locked. (I don’t have a key for the top one). We carried the stuff upstairs and I said goodbye to Gige. Marta wasn’t home, obviously.

I had planned to have dinner with Eduardo at 8:30 so at 8:15 or so I went down stairs and caught a cab to his house. A very nice apartment. And we ordered dinner in. A very nice quiet dinner with the family. At midnight or so I came back and Marta and I just spent some time talking and I showed her the stuff I bought and I gave her the coasters I had bought for her. She seemed to like them enough, I guess. It doesn’t really go with her decor, but hell, it’s better than nothing.

In a little while I have to get going to Elias’ office. I’ve spent most of the morning mostly relaxing and laying around the house but I think it’s time to have lunch and get going so I think I’ll do that. I spent a good deal of time online too just reading mail. God damn power went out at my house and secs doesn’t seem to have come back up. I guess the UPS didn’t make it through the outage. At any rate, hopefully I’ll be able to make another entry later.

– Friday 2/25/00 9:15pm (Localtime):

Wow. It’s been a significant amount of time since I’ve written, hopefully I can remember everything that happened.

After the last entry I took a cab to Elias’ office. I think it cost like $8 or somesuch. He wasn’t there when I got there so I sat in the waiting area until his assistant offered me to go into his office. I sat around played on the net a bit until he showed up. We did some work with the domains and he went into a meeting for about 30 minutes. There was an Argentina/England game at 5pm so we watched that on a TV but the color kept coming and going. Which was pretty humorous but the game overall sucked. The whole game I spent trying to download an SSH client so I could read some mail.

Afterwards we went to Port Madero which were some abandoned docks that they renovated and put restaurants, apartments and office space into the old warehousing building. We had some ice cream on the dock and headed to Elias’ house where we basically, had dinner. Nothing overly exciting other than just good conversation.

I got back to Marta’s place at around midnight, maybe a little past and we stayed up talking and whatnot till about 2 as usual. She overslept in the morning as she had the previous day but this day I was wary of the same thing happening and noticed she overslept again and promptly awoke her. She didn’t say it but I knew deep down she was grateful. I figured I had time since Gige and I had arranged that I would call when I wanted him to pick me up and so I lazily cleaned up the apartment, showered, watched TV and then the buzzer for the door downstairs sounds. It’s Gige and I’m still kinda in my boxers. Since he tried calling and nobody answered since I had the phone unplugged, he thought there might have been a miscommunication so he went to see if I was at the apartment. So I got dressed and we drove to Martin’s house. He told me he wouldn’t be home in the afternoon, so I would have to just stay at Martin’s until Mirta could come pick me up, contrary to previous plans.

Martin and I sat around chatted, Christian was being a pain and during lunch got put into the shower (dressed and against his will). I’m not sure if that’s a common treatment in the states but here, that’s the common cure for temper tamtrums. So we pretty much sent him to bed and kept on doing our things. We played with the fax machine and deduced it was a problem with the optics rather than the thermal printer and we set the correct time/date. After Martin left I took a nap for like 4 hours and sweat like a pig. The weather has been very humid, very hot, and not at all windy. So it’s been heavy more than anything. At 2:30pm I had called Mirta’s office to tell her she had to pick me up at Martin’s and her daughter told me she was at the hospital that Rodolfo (Mirta’s husband) was in the hospital for heart problem. She gave me the cell number and I told the daughter that if I didn’t hear from Mirta by 3pm I’d call on the cell and at 3:15pm or so I did so. Turns out it’s some recurring problem from something he had last year and he’s just waiting on permission to leave which he was supposed to have that day but they wanted to get some test results before they gave him leave. So I talked to him on the phone a bit and he just mentioned he was disappointed to not be able to see me. I told Mirta that if she wanted to we could skip the dinner but since we had no other opportunity she said we should do it tonight.

She picked me up at Martin’s at about 7pm and we went to her house where I met Nicolas, Mariano, Diego and Fernana, from youngest to oldest. Mostly I hung out with Mariano since he’s my age and computer oriented so we had dinner and then we went to some local places he likes to hang out at mostly to look arond. At 11:30 or so Mirta took me to Marta’s house and dropped me off. We said our goodbyes and I went upstairs. Marta said that she and her neghbor-friend Patricia had been waiting for me and that Patricia had just recently left. So I felt bad about that, but what could I do, I didn’t know they were waiting. We chatted till 1:20 or when I suggested we go to bed lest she oversleep yet again. Of course, I didn’t get to bed till like 2am and I was too tired to write an entry. At like 3:18 Martita was roaming around doing something or other and she turned off her lights at 3:28. I think she got hungry or something.

This brings me to this morning. I woke up, cleaned up, and called the remis. It was a fairly nice car. A white volkswagen golf or something. But the guy sucked and wouldn’t listen to my directions so we passed where we were supposed to turn so we had to come back. The trip was more costly than I had thought $36 instead of $21 they had told me the night before, but I really wasn’t in the mood to argue about it so I just paid and got out of the car.

One thing I forgot to mention is my meals for the past few days. At Elias’ house we had room-temperature chicken and some other vegetably stuff I didn’t like. At Martin’s house I had milanesa’s with french fries and mashed potatoes. At Mirta’s I had milanesa with mashed potatoes and for lunch today I had (surprise!) milanesa with french fries! I don’t think I’ve ever eaten this much milanesa in a long time. We just finished eating pizza and empanadas for a change.

Earlier I also took another long nap. I don’t get much rest at Martita’s house. Marta is working late tonight. It’s like 10:30pm and she just left work. Fortunately when they work late they pay for taxi’s home, so she doesn’t have to ride the train-subway-train-bus combo to get here. She should be here in an hour or so.

I also talked to Aerolineas Argentinas today which was not a pleasant experience. To save you the story I had to get a new ticket and Martita wasn’t able to do it since it’s just a sticker that goes over my current one. So I just have to show up an extra half hour earlier to the booth at the airport. We already ordered the remis for the morning and everything seems ready to go. All that’s left is to get some good rest and go to the airport in the morning. The trip has nearly come to it’s intended conclusion and save perhaps an entry or two about the flight tomorrow, this should be the end of this log.