i am here!

I am somewhere in a jungle in Argentina, at the intersection of Brazil, Paraguay, and Argentina, where a magical spot called Iguazu Falls (spelling based on home country) exists. It is one of the wonders of the world. And in a fit of rage about life about two.5 weeks ago, I booked a trip with points to here. By me lonesome.

Most of my expat acquaintance in Rio has already been here to collect their visas, so I had to come sozinha. No bother, I reminded myself. I{ve done Ireland and Colombia and bits of Chile and Spain and England alone. I like it, I think. So I threw a credit card at everything I was feeling, and here I am. Piece of cake! Totally.

Well, it wasn{t quite that easy. As you can imagine, knowing me. Being an even year, the Giants were torturing us through the playoffs, threatening another World Series, and had a game last night that obviously I had to stay up and watch. So I finally starting packing at about 2am. I{m also not exactly known for my packing powers, despite how much I have traveled. Each time I try to go somewhere I end up cleaning the entire house first, doing my taxes in advance, and working on conversational Russian before I even decide which duffel bag will be abused.

Then I realized in the morning that I had never gotten my replacement ATM card, and had no way to get out any money. Hmm. Then I get to the airport, breeze through check’in, am pleasantly surprised at the lack of line at customs, and start thinking about how great life is, and HERE it all really starts.

If you don{t know me well, let me tell you that before this, I{ve been on a flight with an exploding engine_ or the other time it took me four days to go somewhere that takes hours_ or emergency landing for medical reasons three times_ or when TSA took my carryon_so. here is the latest disasterÑ

Computers in Passport control shut down. Twice.

I get sent somewhere else. He asks me, all friendly like, about my life here, rifling through my passport. He stops and asks for more ID. More ID. And then anything else I might have.

Turns out my work visa has expired. TWO DAYS AGO. And my residency has also expired.

I could see the money figures in my head of what I paid for this trip in a spontaneous moment, a moment of fury and {I deserve this[. I felt God{s punishment. I was already back at square one ‘ how do I get home now, what do I do to get a refund, etc. But the man very kindly looked at my hysterical tears and made some phone calls and stamped my passport so I could leave Brazil. Whether I can return or not remains to be seen. At this point I do not care and just want to feel free for a few days.

Two bumpy flights (and i didn{t cry even when I wanted to! hashtag growing) and a cab and a bus ride and a lost hotel reservation later . . . I am here! In a jungle, with a huge room and balcony to myself, and a TV! Luxury. And a three day forecast of terrible storms. all lower case yay.

my room is down this hall and honestly i am offended at being called the odd hall.

It used to terrify me, but I{ve learned to like being alone and I was ready to be alone for awhile when I booked this trip. As the hour drew nearer, I regretted my solitude by choice. God, in his sense of humor, saw fit to put three students on my first flight, so I was no longer [aloneÑ. But then He apologized for his sense of humor and gave me a row to myself so I could put in my mouthguard and nap without shame.

Anyway. Alone I am. It was 6Ñ30 by the time I reached the hotel, and I hadn{t eaten all day. So now I sit in the hotel restaurant-bar, eating all the steak and drinking all the Malbec, because when in Rome. And even though I left my laptop in Rio by choice to have an unplugged weekend, I find myself in sweats amonst the suits, in the business center at the hotel, blogging about nothing to I am not sure who.

Matchbox 20, Dave Matthews, Nathalie Merchant, and Semisonic have made plays on the hotel speakers, but it is mostly an unhealthy dose of Michael Buble. At this point I would punch him on sight.

feeling like a G on this currency! oh, and look, women and things besides men on the bills and no one died. hmm.

I can hear some English being spoken a few tables away and I am tempted to reveal myself as a fellow English’speaker and make some friends. But even as I question the prudence of a solo trip when my head and heart are in such turmoil, I am in fact enjoying the challenge of being alone. The quiet. The fluidity of speaking Spanish or Portuguese or English to suit my needs and fly under the radar as much as I want.

I{ve pulled out my ipod and Eddie Vedder is telling me there will be Better Days and I can believe it. I just want one good day at the Falls, with a million rainbows of God{s promises, and finally a reason to use my selfie stick, and another story to tell. So stay tuned.

hot dog spirit
here is me as a mama hotdog with her hotdog baby to cheer you up.

The world is hard. But we are here. So if you haven{t heard it today and you need to, you{ve been so kind and generous to read this.