New Year’s in Buenos Aires

Another 20 hour bus ride with alfajores, medialunes, bad movies … though much better, and plush seats, back in Bs As it was for warm weather and the anio neuvo.

Like Christmas, everything shuts down early, families and friends celebrate, fireworks are set off in all neighborhoods at midnight (or before in anticipation), and bars/restaurants open back up at 2 am.

Staying low key in San Telmo, had an asado (bbq) with roomies and friends before heading to the Plaza Durrego the main square in San Telmo for fireworks and champagne.  The locals all bought and shared beers and Fernet and CocaCola drinks as bands played in the streets, people laughing and dancing.  I too joined in the firework celebration, lighting off my only firework that almost hit the policia…. good thing I didn’t have to call home to get bailed out of prison.

It was fun to learn new traditions and celebrate the new year in Buenos Aires

Cold shower, I love you

Cold shower El Salvador

Have you ever thought the thing you’d dread would end up being something you’d love? I’m starting to REALLY look forward to cold showers. Yesterday for example I was on a ‘chicken bus’ for six hours from Leon to San Juan del Sur (both within Nicaragua). The bus was overpacked, with four people in my two person seat. Bags being passed around overhead, sun beating directly on our necks. By the end of it, my pants were soaked in sweat and my white shirt had a nice mix of sweat and dust from the road.

When I finally arrived, I threw my pack (and myself!) off the back of the bus and found a room in a house to rent for a few days, I could hardly wait for that cold shower.

Let me explain the circumstances. There was actually a real shower head versus a pipe coming from the wall and I didn’t need to leave my shoes on in the tiled floor versus a dirty cracked cement floor. It was heaven.

I tried a hot shower in El Salvador and I decided that I prefer cold showers, at least in this weather. I had become accustomed to it in a way I had never expected.  First of all, it’s refreshing and I’ve actually become accustomed to the little ‘shock’ that comes from the cold water hitting your skin. Second, the air is colder if you have a hot shower versus a cold shower. Plus, you don’t take as long and don’t end up wasting as much energy.

I was so used to showers just being an amenity, not a luxury. It reminds me just how accustomed I became to small luxuries in the United States, which really are luxuries pretty much everywhere else in the world. But after that bus ride, a cold shower was all I wanted. Talk about a paradigm shift.

What do you value more because of traveling? Are there any luxuries you take for granted sometimes?