Scorcese´s Casino isn´t full of moral lessons but one of the most important ones comes as Robert De Niro´s trustworthy character, Sam Rothstein, is sitting down eating a blueberry muffin (possibly raspberry or blackberry, who knows?) in the casino he’s managing. Rothstein is appalled by the lack of blueberries (or maybe raspberries or blackberries) in his muffin, fortunately as the boss he can go to the kitchen and tell the chef an equal number of blueberries (there´s a chance they were raspberries or blackberries) should be in each cake.
I was subjected to the same shitstorm of a situation on a flight only a couple of days ago. The complimentary packet of nuts and raisins Lan had seen fit to give me only contained one fucking raisin!! How the fuck was I expected to carefully balance the sweetness of the raisins with the salty peanuts when my packet only contained a single cunting raisin!? For anyone who knows me you will probably already be aware that I am not Robert De Niro, Sam Rothstein, a casino manager or (more importantly) the CEO of the peanut and raisin company. All the things that I am not placed a serious burden on being able to right this wrong so I just ate the packet with a frown and went to sleep.
Fortunately the peanut and raisin company had chance to make amends as I had a connecting flight and connecting flights in South America generally mean more peanuts and raisins. It was with great anticipation I opened the second packet, desperately hoping for a reprise from the Peanut & Raisin co……
TWO COCKING RAISINS! What is wrong with this continent when a sufficient amount of raisins can´t even be put in a packet!?
A little, raisin sized, piece of my died inside that day.
In my last post I was pretty angry with some fucking moron who couldn’t deal with pre-sliced cheese. Today the fucking moron was either me or the Medellin metro system (probably the latter). In most cities; London, Berlin, Rio, Buenos Aires etc if you get on the wrong subway train you can get off, change platforms and try again. However (sin embargo) this is NOT true in every metro station in Medellin, only SOME of them. Now at the moment I can’t say Im really a busy man, so all I had to lose was money and things are pretty cheap in Columbia. Staying that though the lost 53p would go a long way here. With it I could have bought some kidney with entrails which looks like pasta from afar, some mango with lime juice and salt (amazing) or another metro ticket. In the end I went and bought another ticket as they don’t like you wondering around hospitals in foreign countries for too long, even if they are a free tourist attraction. The trip home passed without incident.
It was during a trip with a bunch of fucking tourists that a breakfast was served. The options were several and none; cheese, ham, bread, eggs and cocaine tea. After dealing with the new energy level my tea had given me I turned and spied a lady struggling with some pre-sliced cheese. It was totally obvious that the dairy snack had been cut into thin slices but the fucking moron, wearing fingerless gloves, was trying to pick up the cheese with a knife and fork. Aside from the glaring stupidity of this move it also left an uneven amount of cheese for everyone else to share, especially as the cheese had already been pre cut into thin portion size slices, preventing the need to further cut it up.
(I did speak to the lady in question after and she was actually very friendly)
As an aside, while I write this I´m drinking Anis Tea, which thankfully tastes less like ass and more like mint
After perfecting the shaggy dog look for about a month I finally decided it was time for a hair cut. Fate, it seemed, had brought me back to Santiago for what would be a monumentus job. But where would I go to get my locks cut? If I left this mop for a week, maybe even a day more, it would be too wild to be tamed by my Crew paste (great product by the way, leaves your hair smelling great too!).
So after about half an hour trying to avoid one certain hair dresser´s I stumbled again across the only place I could recall, Princess Di´s Unisex Salon. Sadly this was somewhere I knew I stood a better than 50% chance of walking out looking like Chris Waddle in his prime, so I would have to be on my guard. This isn´t just a bit of mulletophobia here, plenty of guys in South America have modeled their look on Pat Sharp, of whom I´m yet to see a statue in Santiago…. yet.
To be sure I wasn´t going to be Waddled the only thing for it, given the language barrier, was to reel off a list of people I didn´t like who had mullets, oh and Sting (from experience people will respect you more if you mention your disdain of Sting early on).
The picture I showed when I came in probably helped as well.
While Lady Di´s was a fine (and very cheap) establishment I did feel robbed by the lack of Di related material on show inside. Alas there wasn´t even a commemorative plate hanging from the walls. But thankfully after going in with hair that somewhat resembled Princess Diana I left looking pretty respectable. Life does have happy endings!
Yesterday, the 21st of November, was a momentus day for my trip, for it was on that day I finished my first bar of soap. After leaving the UK on 29th of September the said bar of Simple Soap had been used (almost) everyday over a 53 day period. Making a quick guess there have probably been three days it hasnt been used. From this I can quite reasonably assume that everyday I use 2% of a bar of soap, in the shower (normally Id use whatever hand gel is on offer to wash my hands etc). Initially I packed five bars of Simple Soap for my trip, as normal soap gives my oh so sensitive skin a bit of a rash, but I have since lost my newer bar of soap and the soap box I was using. Soapwise this leaves me potentially with a rash towards the end of my trip, hopefully itll all be ok!
In other bathroom product news I am still on the same bottle of shampoo (Pantene Pro V for dry or damaged hair) and Im on my second tube of blue Colgate. I did go through a bit of a lottery when buying new deoderant though, just pointing at one behind the counter in Buenos Aires. Thankfully the gamble paid off and it smells fine. Phew!
There is no picture with this post, my original plan was to use a picture of my soap box but alas that has been lost to the sands of time. Deal with it.
Upon taking a bus to Mendoza I was reminded of the variety of food available on the public transport over here. Instantly catching my eye was the instant coffee the bus conductor had passed my way which was, rather surprisingly, in a tea bag (Im aware the term “coffee bag” would be more correct but it just isnt used enough). On previous bus journeys this would have been washed down with probably the worlds driest sandwich, coming with one satchet of mayo and another of ketchup. They help to compliment the thin slice of ham and cheese almost perfectly. For this bus trip we were instead issued with a chocolate buscuit, kind of like a round Penguin.
Pictured below is the offending instant coffee bag. Not pictured are the Andes, however photos of them are apparently available online
You can only imagine my horror when, after about 40 days into my trip, I stop off at a Kiosco and purchase my first Milky Way in Latin America for $7 pesos, but upon biting into what I expect to be the delicious vanilla middle I discover to my absolute shock that what Id bought was actually a fucking mini Mars Bar!!! I dont know if you can fully hide the shock from an unexpected Mars Bar but it does feel like a kick in the balls from Mars (Ive looked on Wiki this time so I know that Mars own Milky Way).
It is with a nervous tension that I await the next cultural surprise South America will throw at me.
(The Mars was actually ok and I would probably have one again)
On Sunday I went to a show which can be best described as a cross between a circus and a tribal rave. All of this was overshadowed, however, by the packet of sugar (pictured below) I found in the coffee shop before the event.
It seems as though the guys at Alsina Depot are trying to slowly start their sugar and sweetener empire from humble beginnings. My Spanish isnt that great yet so I dont have a direct translation for @hotmail.com but I am certain it will be easy enough to contact them. Sadly I didnt actually open the packet of sugar but have it on good authority that it was “ok”. There was also a corresponding white packet of Alsina Depot sugar, which I also didnt open as I prefer coffee with just milk (leche!) unless Im feeling sleepy and at this point I wasnt. Argentina does also have an abundance of powdered milk which is definitely not “ok” but thankfully my coffee came with the proper white stuff.
Homer Simpson did say it best though: “First you get the sugar, then you get the power, then you get the women”
Coke this, coke that. Its all about coke in South America. Here in Buenos Aires you can get a third type of Coke – Coke Life (which I have invested in solely for this blog). After conducting a brief market research session in the hostel (the place the previously mentioned giant toilet) standard red topped Coca Cola has been described as having a “more poignant” flavour, while Coke Life has quite a bland and almost Diet Coke like flavour.
However, Coke Life is a more ethically sourced product but as Im currently balls deep in Nestle snacks I hardly think morality is an issue Im that concerned with.
“Is there anything worse than drinking a bottle of coke that was happy?”
*All Coke products sampled were taken from the 600ml bottle and not the European size of 500ml.
Right, I know what youre all thinking: “Tommy as youre in Argentina I just cant live another minute without knowing what the Subways are like over there”
Thanks for the question, I can confirm they are pretty………………. good. In fact if you like your sandwich a bit spicier then the jalapeños (Spanish spelling) are actually hotter than the ones you get in the UK. There is also this chipotle hot sauce which some people, but not me, would probably describe as an explosion of flavour. To top it all off you can get the “sub del dia” for $20 pesos which works out at about £2.
I would have updated this yesterday but I was busy doing interesting things which were unfit for this blog, then I was busy being hungover watching Quadrophenia. (If you dont want to know that the movie ends with Phil Daniels riding his scooter off a cliff, after falling out with everyone he knows and necking a load of wizz, then reading this bit is probably best avoided)