I survived being tossed around in a bus all night between San Rafael and Neuquén. Barely. Low points was the lack of shocks in combination with the bumps in the road, the horrible movie about an out of control train (my seat was directly under a speaker - awesome!), and the smell of the dinner meal provided. Oh yeah, and the city of Neuquén. I looked for things to do online and found three: (1) the central park, (2) the museum of fine arts, and (3) the view of the city from a mountain. I arrived at 6am and set out to see these things which looked so lovely in the photos. I skipped the taxis and started walking to kill time and managed to walk for about 45 minutes in the wrong direction. I got to see the outskirts of town, which included factories and many whistles accompanied by kissing noises before turning back and getting a taxi from the bus station. What awaited me at el parque central was dismal. Fountains turned off and covered with graffiti were set off by brown stubs of grass and the most bland museum I have seen in my life. I can´t wait to add a picture. I circled the museum thinking there had to be a better entrance only to be told I couldn´t bring my purse inside. As much as I want to check my passport and all my money for what didn´t look to be that incredible....
And then things improved. I had the first delicious, NOT dulce (sweet) media lunas (croissants) while continuing to attempt to try to learn spanish. Then I used my spanish to find a bookstore (okay so it was across the street) where I replaced The Count of Monte Cristo, which I lost to Diego in Córdoba. I bought Doce cuentos peregrinos by Gabriel García Marquez and walked back to the bus station in the heat. This took me an hour. Reading the prologue, five pages, took me six.
Anyways, I have a book for the next six months and it will definitely be the longest it has taken me to read 200 pages in a very long time. Also, I get to use all sorts of big words in wierd ways that nobody understands including myself. Perfecto. Te amo a ti español. Tu eres sereno y díafono.
Tonight I catch the 23:00 bus to Junín and make a connection in the AM to Pucón where I have booked a hostel for three days. Showers. Bliss. Talking to people again without feeling like a fool? Still won´t happen, but at least I can make some friends!