Recuerdo de Cordoba, Argentina

 “We travel, initially, to lose ourselves; and we travel, next, to find ourselves.” 


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Past turbulent skies and brown and blue-green eyes, I met and befriended forty-something Cuban nurse Eneida (folks call her Anita, she said), forty-four-year-old Brazilian professora Adriana and thirty-something Jamaican English teacher Carla. I also met a thirty-something estranghero named Mario and another young Argentino whose name I did not get to know.


Anita and Adriana promised to keep in touch. Now, I’m reminded to check on a Tracy Chapman song called The Promise as Carla wanted me to; I had her listen to Ani difrranco’s self-evident to her delight— “this song is radical” she laughed heartily. She wants Obama to win and asked me what I think.       


Mario gleefully told me that I am the estranghera- that I was in Cordoba– when I questioned how a stranger like him whom I just met in the past hour along Av. Vélez Sársfield could be holding my hand as if we were stars of serendipity. I had been wondering if a fixer or a snatcher in Argentina could look as decent and as charming as he did. I am not sure if I should be sorry that I met him roughly two hours before I had to leave for the airport but I am not. Still, he was some kind of an icing to the cake.


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I had my picture taken with Anita but my camera ran out of battery charge while I was at the airport lounge with Adriana. I didn’t have my picture taken with Mario; and my two good friends Carla (The Barla) and Charmian (The Miming) can’t seem to forgive me for that. I didn’t get the chance to go back to Cordiez Supermercado to thank the young Argentino who helped me buy goods sold in Argentine Peso with a twenty-US-dollar-bill. The banks were closed at that time as it was a holiday.


“When I travel alone, I find myself having one-on-one encounters with people and places that leave my heart shaking and my sense of direction turned around,” said Pico Iyer on solo travel.


I stayed at Windsor Hotel in 214 Buenos Aires Street; and reported for work in a building near that corner where Entre Rios and Independencia streets cross. I went there for work in the hope that I may add value to a team who had to trust that I had something for them. I am very glad that they did.


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I met some whom I discovered to be really warm, and that made me realise how little I know about people and nations- what more the whole world?


It is liberating to come back after looking at things from a different perspective. It is liberating to come back knowing the things you don’t want to go back to. Walking away is easier this time. And I am braver.


I vowed to travel for the joy of “leaving” my “certainties behind,” to “journey toward possibility” and “pick the places we don’t walk away from.”


But there are also places we want to go back to, and there is a place I want to go back to.


Someday, I will break silence like a glass.


  1. markku said,

    February 5, 2009 at 11:19 pm

    Wow, Argentina! =) Nice photos.


  2. Mon said,

    April 23, 2009 at 9:08 pm

    wow Recuerdo de Amor en Cordoba. hehe


  3. August 16, 2009 at 10:07 pm

    […] I traveled to Argentina. And that tells me how little I have blogged with only two entries after Recuerdo de Cordoba…Now this is my attempt to document, on a daily basis, what transpired in the two-weeklong travel […]


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