Have been in Colonia for a couple of days. Is cold, nice, and drunk. Another World Heritage sight, due to old city being prime example of colonial city. Got a wall with a drawbridge too. More cobblestone streets, old buildings, lighthouse, museums, etc etc. But most interesting part of here is the people I’ve met, as follows:
– English Peter. Nice guy, on bus with me from Montevideo. Reckons Colonia looks just like Europe, but heaps colder.
– South African. Reckons he’s in exile from South Africa. Loves New Zealand, hoping to settle there later. Also – “You know those movies where guys put a notch in their riflebutt for each person they kill? I stopped counting at 300.” And his grandfather owns 20% of Lloyds Shipping. And doesn’t need a visa for New Zealand, as a maori chief called John gave him a ‘Golden Key’ which allows him to visit some island chain just outside of Bay of Islands. etc etc. Scary thing is, his stories stayed remarkably consistent, even when very very drunk.
– Belgian girl currently located in Buenos Aires. Very very energetic, talks lots. Rather attractive, very ‘liberal’, and liked the Kruse. Got very animated during a romantic comedy – yelling at the characters.
– Finnish guy. Judged me by my face, and was remarkably accurate. Very drunk, so couldn’t remember what he’d said one minute later when I asked him to write it in my journal. Gushed about how happy he was to have met me though. Fair enough.
– English couple. Travelling around in a combi-van. Am very jealous.
– Locals. Very drunk crazy girl the first night. Very drunk. Very crazy. Pool players. Back to nearly normal pool rules. Sweet. Except have to sink the 8-ball in the same pocket as you sunk your last allocated ball. Makes it interesting. Finally figured this rule out last night. Had previously thought the pocket I’d been told I had to sink it in was arbitrarily chosen. Â After pool last night, suddenly several tables were set up – and everybody in bar sat at them – one big long dinner table type arrangement. I was invited in, and soup was served. Free, to my understanding. Was pretty cool – part of the family after only two nights.
I’ve kitted myself out with all the gear for drinking maté. Supposed to be amazingly healthy. Got myself a thermos, tin to hold the maté, a gourd to drink it from, the weird straw-type thing to drink it with, and today finally got a container to carry it all in. Look very much like the traveller who pretentiously makes himself look like a local. Mission accomplished. Now I just need to mock people doing organised tours, talk about the ‘Real South America’, and disparage guide books – and I’ll be a real travel-wanker.
Tomorrow, am hoping to leave. But will depend on how much I drink tonight, and whether I sleep in again. If I do manage to leave, will head to Fray Bentos. Off the Beaten Track. The REAL Uruguay. etc etc
And have been offered to meet up with the French woman I met in San Rafael way back in March. She’s going to hire an apartment in Bolivia, and has invited me to join her in it. I’m hoping her motives are pure, but suspect I’ll have to clarify the fact there has to be two beds. I may have unintentionally led her on a bit in San Rafael – accidentally kissing her on the lips when doing the kiss-on-both-cheeks thing. May have to let her down gently, so her offer of free use of her apartment in Paris isn’t withdrawn.