Hitches and glitches

Subtitle: Cuba, here we come!

If PTA was our faithful companion before we left, this first leg of our trip has been dotted with hitches. Not too many, to be honest, but pretty major ones.

Lack of organization, on the other hand, is another good friend of ours, and is getting on quite well with Laziness and Procrastination. Lack of organization sticks with you all day long, so that by the end of the day you’re tired, weary, and wondering what the heck you have accomplished. The answer isn’t nothing – it’s less. Less than what we could have done if we’d had a plan, for example. Let’s say that we’ve become pretty familiar with this feeling during these first few days in Buenos Aires.

We have contacts, a large and comfortable house, and relatively little to worry about – yet ten day have passed, and a lot of stuff is still pending. Such as deciding where exactly we’re going once we leave here, who we’re going to meet, how we’re going to travel, who is going to host us. And as if that weren’t enough, we also have to visit three recovered factories, meet the mothers and grandmothers of Plaza de Mayo, and check out two cooperatives and two independent newspapers. And we have never even gone out at night! Luckily, Panic will be here soon, he’ll bring Efficiency along and everything will be okay. That’s how it always goes.

We encountered two hitches. And especially the first one teamed up with Lack of organization to make us waste some precious time… The story is quite bizarre: as you might have noticed, the website suddenly disappeared. And then it came back, but it was different – one might even say prettier. All of this wasn’t due to technical problems, but to a total misunderstanding, and to a hefty dose of selfishness from somebody who’ll definitely be punished by karma. Or by a hit man, who knows. Thank goodness, St Antonello of London spent a whole day transferring content and making the new website even shinier, while we recovered passwords and provided support from our end. We’re only missing the translations and a few other minor details, and then we should be set.

Hitch #2 is worth telling because it’s pretty funny, and is linked with the subtitle of this post. Upon waking up on an anxiety-ridden, we-leave-in-ten-days-HELP Monday, we finally made up our minds to go to the car dealership and look for our future brum brum car.

I was decidedly worried in this respect, as a taxi driver had told us that we wouldn’t find anything under €7,000. And the taxi driver was spot on. The most suitable vehicle, although not red, was a €7,800 van. Because we liked it, and because the dealer looked trustworthy, we decided to ask for more information. The dealer was one Mr Jorge, hailing from the city Alessandria in our very own Piedmont, who punctuated the demonstrations with anecdotes on his Italian abuelo and who – after finding out where we were from – took quite a liking to us.

In his tiny office, lovely Jorge explained to us that the car couldn’t be registered in our name, as we don’t have residence in Argentina – an obstacle that could easily be overcome by registering the car in our cousins’ name, if they agreed to it. But, more importantly, a car bought in Argentina can’t be re-sold abroad. Not in Uruguay, let alone in Mexico (‘We’re not like you European folks, here in Latin America!’). At which point, seeing the blood drain from our faces, that helpful gentleman suggested we took the car, loaded it on a cruise ship, went up to Mexico and followed our rute backwards.

Although we were tempted for a second by climate-related considerations (it would be a year of non-stop summer), we realized it can’t be done. So we’re planning our itinerary again, from scratch, with different means of transport. We have to admit that, on the one hand, not having to worry about the car is a relief. Especially when you’ve just discovered where’s the motor (I thought it was underneath – turns out it’s in the front. Now I’d like to know what’s underneath, though). On the other hand, there are a few things we need to re-think and re-organize.

But we’re going to Cuba! And we won’t cross the Amazon rainforest and Bolivia by car.

Bottom line: hitches make you waste your time and are a bit of a bummer, but in the end it’s often better this way!

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