T-Minus Sixteen Hours
on the Bus to Salta...
I'm the winner of Bus Bingo!
March 14, 2006


I gave myself a little treat. I spent the extra seven dollars or so for the actual ‘cama’ on the bus vs. the ‘semi-cama’. Since I have
never been on a semi-cama before, I am not really even sure about how much extra leg-room this even gives me. But now that I
am on the bus, all I can say is that it feels like I’m in an on-land ‘Business Class’ section of an airplane. And at a fraction of the price!

In the first hour of our ride we were all given little Bingo cards. Yes, folks. Bus Bingo was about to begin! This was something I was
very seriously. I love games like this. But mostly because I really want to win them. This would also serve slightly as an
educational purpose for me. Talk about on-the-spot training for getting more familiarized with my Spanish numbers. The problem
was that he was going really fast and using the typical ‘Bingo language’ where he would say the full number and then the individual
numbers that the number consisted of (for example: ‘Thirty-one. A three and a one.’ But in Spanish. And really fast Spanish). I was
sure I was missing a few numbers. But then he called out another number and that was what I needed to get one-line across. I
raised my arm up and he called me up to the front of the bus. This was when I would learn that it took ‘dos’ lines to win the game.
But while I was up there, I looked at the other numbers that were marked off. There were three numbers that I missed. With this,
I actually had tres lines across and down! He checked my numbers and it was confirmed that I was a winner. After I got a round of
applause from my fellow bus-mates, I received my winnings of a bottle of
vino tinto.

We were served our dinner shortly after. It was a kind gesture…though I think hospital food would be more appealing than the stuff
that was put in front of me.

Then it was time for a movie. In our bus full of adults where I am by far the youngest, we were given the viewing pleasure of ‘Benji
the Hunted’. All I could think was ‘Is this the Benji that I grew up with?’ And then he appeared. Benji! It
was the Benji of my youth!
It was funny because I know I must have seen this movie when I was a kid. After all, I know how much I loved my Benji stuffed
animal I had as a child. While it teaches kids about wildlife and how wonderful it was that Benji was able to act as a parent to little
cheetah babies, there are some scary moments in the movie. Not that I was necessarily ‘scared’…but I’m sure as a kid I would have
been. Oh well. I tried to stay awake until the end of it but my body protested and I never found out what happened at the end.

Seven-and-a-half hours into the ride I was woken up by the tingling pain of my leg that was completely asleep. Talk about pain. I
tried to walk around a bit but that wasn’t helping much. Gradually (
very gradually) my leg was starting to get some feeling back.
Minutes later I was able to feel both legs that I was standing on. Ahhh. Since it was 4am, it was now time to go back to bed. But not
before admiring the lightning storm that was taking place outside.


Twelve hours have gone by! I am on my computer now so that I can hear a bit of music. Oh, how I have missed my Black-Eyed
Peas and Pussycat Dolls! Sadly, my computer battery is almost out of juice. Oh well. At least I am going to enjoy every minute of it.


I am now being treated to music videos. I guess this kind of takes the place of an ipod. Except for the fact that even I wouldn’t put
some of this music anywhere near my ipod. Let’s see what I have heard so far: ‘Listen to Your Heart’ by Roxette, ‘More Than
Words’ by Extreme, ‘Everything I Do, I Do It for You’ by Bryan Adams…

Finally something decent came on. ‘Hotel California’. I had to go pee but I felt like I would be disrespecting my state if I did such a
thing. I wonder if they played this on purpose since I told one of the guys I am from San Francisco, California? Hmmm… Anyway,
the song right after was some crap by Michael Bolton. Perfect bathroom-break material.

When I stopped by the bathroom, the driver’s assistant called me up to their area. He shared some of his ‘mata’ with me. All I know
is that it was some type of tea. But they were getting a kick out of having me drink some. This makes me wonder what it
really is.
Hmmm, again…

I went back to watching some videos. I then realized something that might show stupidity on my part. They showed a video of John
Lennon’s ‘Imagine’. Was I the only one who had no idea that people made music videos back then?

Anyway, another video that came on was Michael Jackson’s ‘Heal the World’. I have to say that this video definitely tugs at the
heart strings. All of those little kiddies watching all of the violence going on around them. It actually made me a bit sick to know that
Iraqi children are going through just that right now because of our country. I honestly just have no idea how people can justify that
it is right to be doing that.

Anyway, enough of that. I saw that we are just pulling into Salta now. A very pleasant bus ride indeed…especially since there was
nobody in my row of seats or the row in front of me. Space…on a bus. Quite a new concept.  
Back to Argentina.
Splurging on a 'cama' bus.