>Thanks to Sara’s magic pills (a Chilean form of dramamine, I’m pretty sure) nothing bad happened on the bus. In fact, I was so drowsy I barely remember going through customs on the way there or the way back. On the way back I contemplated not taking one so I could enjoy the breathtaking scenery, but as soon as the bus started moving I started to feel a bit queasy (I think it was the enormous gelatto I had eaten right before) so I quickly took one.
I’m afraid this post is going to turn into a story about my bus rides, but I spent almost as much time on the bus as actually in Mendoza.
Anyway, on the way there I thought I was going to luck out and have no one sit next to me. But at the last minute a man got on the bus and sat next to me. Things were fine until we got to Argentine customs (around 2:45 am). They clearly instructed us to take everything off the bus, and everyone did, except my seat mate. So he then got all of his (5!!) bags searched. Turned out he was bringing in LOTS of shoes to Argentina, probably to sell. After that, I was a little wary of sitting next to him, thinking he might like to sell my iPod or cell phone there as well, but soon the pill took over and I fell asleep.
I was pretty confused when we got to Mendoza, because it was pitch black out, yet my cell phone said it was almost 7:00am. I did not want to walk to my hostel while it was still dark, so I sat on a bench and decided to wait at least a half an hour. By 7:30, it showed absolutley no signs of getting light out, so I decided to try to walk to the hostel, following some vague directions on their website and tips from Sara. But, I went out the wrong exit and ended up on some random side street. And I didn’t know what random side street because Mendoza annoyingly does not clearly mark their streets. But, there was a policeman there so I asked him for directions. He told me, “Esperáte un momento, señorita.” (What a second, ma’am) Then he went to talk to his partner in the cop car. He came back. “De dónde sos vos?” (Where are you from?) he asked me. I told him the US. He asked if I was alone, I said yes. Then he said he didn’t want me walking on the street in the dark alone. I asked if I should just go back to the bus station and take a cab. He said, “No, señorita. Jjjjo te voy a jjjjjevar al hostel.” (No, ma’am, I’m going to bring you to the hostel).
So that’s how I ended up arriving at Hostel Lao at what I thought was a very dark 7:45am escorted by two policemen who insisted on walking me to the door.
A very suprised young guy opened the door and the police made some jokes about being my personal body guards. Then I thanked them and left. (Should I have tipped them???)
The hostel guy escorted me in and seriously asked, “What happened?”
I can only imagine what was running through his mind…he was probably questioning if he should let this would-be delinquint into his tranquil hostel.
But I reasurred him that I had no criminal tendencies, paid for my room and went to rest in a hammock.
To be continued….