This last week has been one of the most exhaustings I can remember. And that includes the one I didn't sleep, while drinking heavily with all my schoolmates in Bariloche (local tradition, never mind).
Last friday, after finishing work at 21:00, I boarded a bus at 23:20 with Rosario, headed for my birthplace, Santa Fe. That's 450km away, and it took until 5:30 am.
There I was greeted by my brother, who I had not seen in almost three years, and we went to his place to waste some time because I had to go buy a gift for my niece, who was having her 5th bithday party.
So, I slept about 2 hours, and then we went, bought some Barbie make up (my niece is going to be a model, trust me), and we sailed off, in his Peugeot Partner, towards Moises Ville (his town), about 200Km to the left.
Bad news: the Partner has only two seats. There's three of us. So, I went bouncing in the back, in a mattress, Rosario and Santiago (my brother) at the front.
We did that for about 80Km. Then we picked up Romina (ex-nanny of Muriel, my niece) and Martin (Romina's chatterbox, 1.5 year old).
So they went to the front, and Rosario, I, a few pounds of meat, a PC CRT monitor, a few suitcases, the gifts and some flowers went on the back.
Then we arrived at the next town, some 50Km further. I was about to get sick, so, when we picked up the Barney & friends foam suits, I switched places with Romina & Martin (hey, I'm about twice the size of both of them... together).
That's how we arrived at Moises, around 3PM.
Rosario and Santiago went for a nap, I helped Sandra (Santiago's wife) pick up some stuff, like, beverages or whatever, and at 16:30, the birthday party started.
Nice party. Muriel dressed like a princess (she's too cute, really. Princesses are usually uglier ;-) 40 of her best friends (in a town pop. 1800), two inflatable castles to bounce in, cake, and all the sandwiches you can eat.
Good thing Rosario used to work teaching kindergarten, too, so she lent a hand...
Highlights of the day: Muriel waltzing with her uncle Iair dressed as the Beast (Disney version... ok, he looked more like the creatures in "The Village" to me, but to each his own).
Listened at random: "you know, he could have just used a zipper in his belly as a beast costume", which is an absolute defamation of the boy ;-)
Rosario painted every little girl as if they were about to be on TV...
Now, I have been to some 5-year-old gatherings, and this bunch has to be the sweetest-natured children I ever saw, except maybe for the kids at Urdinarrain, who even say hi to strangers on the street.
At 19:30 everyone went away, and we rested a little, then headed for one of Sandra & Santiago's business, a cybercafe/ping-pong den for a nice asado (that's why there was meat in the truck :-).
Awesome meal, laughed until Santiago seemed about to burst something, disgusted the female company with anecdotes, Muriel sleeping in a corner, while kids were playing counterstrike...
The following day more of the same, knishes, empanadas, long nap, thinking of how the hell we could get back to Buenos Aires before monday 18:00, when I had to meet a customer (yeah, that's right).
Sandra took us in a scary pickup ride in the darkness over a dirt road to Palacios, the town on the pavement road, where we waited in the darkness for a bus.
That bus was headed to Rosario (a city, not my girlfriend), and it was full, so Rosario got a seat, I got to stand up (and smooch) until Sunchales (some 40Km) where some people left, and we got seats, and then nothing much happened until we arrived, around 1am.
Then... no buses until the morning. We had almost no money now, but what the hell. We ate a couple of sandwiches, took a room in a cheap nearby hotel, and took a bus (finally a nice one) at 9:15 am.
Arrived at B.A. at 13:30, she went home, I went to work, went home at 21:30, collapsed at 21:32.
Discovered my house was infested with fleas at 21:33 (how? My cat never leaves! It's a 7th floor!)
lost consciousness at 21:38.
And it was still only monday.
Then lots of other stuff, like trying to buy a suit with Rosario and Maria Feray (her sister), and waling about 40 blocks looking for a piece of cloth... lots of work... even some hacking...
And you know... I have a ticket for San Juan (oh, roughly a 14hs bus ride ;-) for tomorrow. Once I get there at 10am on saturday, I will have to dress up for a party (a wedding, not mine), and then we will come back in a car. On sunday.
That means I am going to spend 12 hours in a car with Rosario, her sister and their father. Have mercy on my soul if noone sees me again!
I forgot to mention: I saw Nahuel, a black cocker spaniel that lived with me when he was a puppy... many years ago. He's blind, but he still recognized me. Emotional moment :-(