Thursday, February 7, 2008

The plan

If you've looked at the photo above, you've already seen all the Buenos Aires content this post has to offer. It's the Aguas Argentinas building on Avenida Córdoba. I'll come back to it soon, because it's worth a few more shots for anyone who hasn't seen it before.

But from here on out, this post is unabashed navel-gazing.

I started selling off my things today.

My old digital camera was collecting dust, so I Craigslisted it and made enough money to pay my share of the building expensas this month. Score!

There's more to sell: a 35mm SLR camera, an iPod nano, an espresso machine, some great computer speakers, a wi-fi router and a cordless phone.

Everything must go!

Well, not everything. But I look around my apartment and realize that in seven weeks, it all needs to fit in two suitcases.

My mom asked me the other day if I had a lot to do before I left. I told her there was stuff I was trying to do — loose ends to tie up, restaurants to visit, articles to sell, etc. But if I had to, when it came down to it, I could just fill two suitcases (jeans, T-shirts, socks, underwear, Campers), call a car and hop on the plane.

That's kind of a great feeling.

* * *

I'm not a huge fan of surprises or spontaneity, so I get really nervous when I don't have a plan.

That's why I'm glad to have a timeline coming into focus for me. You may also find it interesting. Or not. Perhaps it will serve as a guide as to whether you should furiously reload this blog or delete it from your bookmarks.

Now through March 31: Buenos Aires

April 1-5: Mexico City

April 6-30: Chicago

May 1-10: Los Angeles

May 11-June 1: Japan

And then it's back to Chicago to sell fruit and look for a real job.

About that last item: I told a friend the other day that I was more anxious about rejoining the rat race than I had been about coming down here three years ago with nothing lined up.

Then I started thinking about how it would be nice if I didn't have to rejoin the rat race at all. I don't want to sound too precious here. I understand that life sometimes involves doing shit you don't love in order to pay the man, etc.

But part of me also feels like I've taken myself off that track — which is not easy — and I'm not dying to get back on it.

When the Slow Food couple was here, they asked me if I'd be staying here longer if my circumstances were different. I hadn't bothered to ask myself that question because my circumstances aren't different. But I realized the answer was yes, I would be staying here longer if I could.

That answer rattled around in my head for a few days and I felt a little rotten about it.

But why would I be staying here exactly? Because I love it here? Or because of inertia?

The answer is probably a little of both.

In any case, I felt better when I reminded myself that it's better to leave someplace before it wears out its welcome with you — while you still feel like you'd love to go back.

That is, after all, why I'm so excited to return to Chicago, even as I dread leaving Buenos Aires.


Matt said...

Well it's good to see that, along with your material possessions, you're also selling your soul by going home and looking for one of those "real" job thingies.

And no Valparaiso on your list of places to visit? You'll regret it...

Dan said...

I know! Honestly, I already regret not being able to hit Valparaiso.

If I find some cash in my mattress or can get a decent price for my soul on Craigslist, I am so there.

And trust me, I wouldn't even be contemplating a "real" job if I didn't want "real" health insurance and "real" money in my bank account. It's a "real" bitch.

Dan said...

Oh, and for what it's worth: The stop in Mexico City is a little random, but I actually saved hundreds of dollars by buying a BsAs-Mex flight and then a separate Mex-Chicago flight. So as long as I don't spend hundreds of dollars in Mexico City — and I won't — I come out ahead.