South America 2007: Where did the time go?

Dec 31, 2006
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Revelers party on New Year's Eve at a hostel in Montivideo, Uruguay
Above: Revelers party on New Year's Eve at a hostel in Montivideo, Uruguay.

I just wanted to wish everyone a Happy New Year and let you all know that I am alive... We never did end up making it to Brazil, even the embassy in Buenos Aires wouldn't get us a visa until Jan 4th...

The Brazilian Crew
So instead, we spent a couple days in Buenos Aires when we first got here and then headed to Montivideo, Uruguay for what we had planned to be a short two days / one night trip. However, when we got here, we ended up meeting a great group of brazilians that were a ton of fun and decided to change our return ferry tickets to Buenos Aires until Jan 1st and to just stay here for the New Year. This would have been a fine idea... Had we not left our bags in a Buenos Aires Hostel expecting to be back the next day! We decided to stay anyways though and ended up buying some tacky Montivideo tourists tshirts since we had no other clean clothes with us! We really wanted a "I <3 Uruguay" Tshirt but couldn't find one.

The trip has been pretty fun so far. Everyone in South America seems to be pretty geared up for new years... And we are not sure how much of the lifestyle we are experiencing relates to that or if to a large extent it is just the way people live here. To give you and idea, we have been here for 4 days / nights... During this time, we have not gone to sleep before 6 am once (if at all) and we usually eat dinner around midnight with another big meal just after sunrise. Then we either go to sleep for a couple hours before we need to get up to do something, or, in the case of the other night, we hop in a taxi and head straight to the ferry for another country. There have been a couple days where we were able to sleep for a little bit, but overall, it seems like people approach sleep differently here. Instead of sleep 8 hours, up for 16 hours... The general operating practice is sleep 2-3 hours at night (really, early morning), wake up around 9 or 10 and start drinking Matte (a highly concentrated tea that people carry around with them all day), work or do stuff until around 2 or 3 at which point everyone goes to sleep again until around 7 and then the night begins all over. It is a really interesting lifestyle... One that would take A LOT of getting used to.

They also lack the any concept of the "importance of time." When we got our ferry tickets changed to go back to Buenos Aires on the first for example, we went to the port at 9 and were told that it wouldn't open until 10. When we went back at 10, the opening time had changed to "eh 10 or 11." And we have never once gotten a straight answer regarding times that things will occur or anything involving planning. It has taken a lot of patience...

So from here, we will return to Buenos Aires tomorrow, but only for a few hours. We have a night bus scheduled to head to Iguassu Falls (some amazing water falls on the border between Argentina and Brazil) on the night of the first. And After that, we have no plans! Having not gone to brazil, we have a lot of time to kill before Peru. We are still thinking about heading down south in Argetina, but we have also heard a lot of really good things about Bolivia. I'll keep you posted.

Hope all is well with everyone, and have a great New Years! Oh, and Fight On SC in the Rose Bowl!

People party on New Year's Eve at a hostel in Montivideo, Uruguay

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