Thursday, December 31, 2009

Bach on a Bandoneon

Today, the day of New Years Eve, was a day of transportation adventures. I needed to take a long subway ride to a major bus terminal to purchase a ticket to Paraguay (more about that later).

When I arrived, there were, like, almost 200 bus ticket offices! It was the friggin' O'Hara of bus terminals ... I've never seen anything like it. It made me aware of how buses are how most people in South America travel.

I booked something called a "cama suite" and supposedly the seat reclines into a bed. With enough sedatives (luckily have some left over from my dental work), I should be able to get some sleep. It's an 18 hour trip but my friend in Asuncion assures me I will be comfortable.

Wanted to fly, but I waited too long to book and reasonably priced tickets were all sold out ... my usual modus operandi.

On the way home I had a mostly charming experience. A dread-locked man in the subway tunnel was playing the most exquisite Bach on a bandoneon, an instrument I've only heard played in tango music. I was utterly delighted.

While waiting for the train a man dressed as a santa came ambling through ... wrong holiday, tattered suit, and a truly repulsive rubber mask. And then, of course, he had to sit next to me. I called him "Creepy Claus," in my mind.

But when the train arrived, I stepped into another era. I was on the famous "A Line."
Built in 1913, the wooden cars rattled and the lights cast a vintage glow from their old fashioned fixtures. It reminded me of the little antique steamship the plys Lake Minnetonka back home.

Ah, home. A new year, a new country, a new life.

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