Jennifer Dulos

The Argentine Sleep Tank

We were so sleep deprived at home, that this hotel room has become the Argentine Sleep Tank Experiment, 2012.

No, really, after the flight, we went to our hotel, had a tea, went to our room, and slept. For hours. Then Fotis worked out, and I slept some more, unpacked, did some some emails. Then he came back. We took a walk to explore the city. Our bodies were so incredibly drained. It was like walking through a pool. That much heaviness and resistance. Slowly pushing forward.

We took a taxi to another area of the the city, the posh one: Recoleta. I went to a pharmacy there to get things I always think I won’t need when traveling, then unpack and I do.

Argentinians move slow. There is no rush. No rush walking down the street that is essentially their equivalent of 42nd Street in New York. No rush checking six women out in a line, all holding the same “ob” tampons.

There is no rush in bringing you your check, or even getting you through customs. This is because most foreigners have to pay an entry fee. Instead of getting a visa in your home country before you go, prior to customs here, there is a line like for a toll booth, and each of you from the US pays 140 dollars to be allowed into Argentina for 10 years. I told Fotis that if we come 14 times a year for the next ten years we will redcuce that charge to one dollar per trip. He said it’s retaliation to the US for fingerprinting foreigners who enter now after 9/11 and Bush. That the US makes it so unpleasant that other countries retaliate like this. I see it as a nice way for Argentina to make some steady money.

Buenos Aires?

I don’t know yet. Good sleep. Not good wine, according to Fotis, who had something our carpenter recommended. He’s not Pinocchio’s father, but he seemed to know his stuff. Fotis wanted to throw up last night. Which made me excited. At least you’ll lose weight! I said. He did not laugh. Then we recalled this ridiculous song they play in Greece that goes, But first be a woman, and we both sang that. Then I gave him Advil and water, and he went to sleep for 8 straight hours. I stayed up (I’d had two sips of the evil brew, which did not taste so great, but maybe we ordered wrong.) Fotis has a theory that only French wines don’t give you hangovers. I told him that he was getting the hangover even before he fell asleep — a jump start bonus!

I never drink anymore. Ever. I just don’t enjoy it. I never enjoyed the feeling of being fuzzy or submerged, removed any step at all from your real life. I have a good time, a better one without it actually. Also, who wants to lose one day to not feeling well? Even one morning or until 4 p.m. the next day? The kids eat dinner 5.30 p.m. at home. In Argentina dinner out starts at 9 for the early bird special, then the cool people eat closer to 10.

Why so late? Like Greece? Why?

As we were leaving our hotel to go to dinner, a group of Americans were just coming back. They’d found the one place to eat at 7, but it was for tourists, who’d all paid their 140 dollars to be here.

Today: more sleep. Maybe a massage. (Though I hate strange people touching me.) Or even some pool time. I thought about getting a guide to walk us around the city and point things out. But that could be annoying. Plus, my legs are too tired.

Maybe a nap.

Oh, p.s. Argentine chocolate is terrible. What a disappointment! Last night I was settling in to eat some I’d bought that looked promising, but instead tasted like it’d been made at Three Mile Island — in 1979! Thank God I’d packed some extra packets of peanut M&M’s — super wonderful — while Fotis slept off all that Argentine wine aside me.

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