Sad, but not tragic. A forced opportunity. Maybe even a fortunate adaptation…fuck it. Let's make taco salad.


For a wino such as myself, Mendoza (~200,000 people, ~2,500 feet) was a “can’t miss” on my transcontinental roadie.  And did she ever deliver…as far as I recall.

I remember spending all day wandering through vineyards on a bicycle built for two.  And then I remember doing it a second time.  With a different beautiful girl hanging off the back.  I remember all the Argentinian men stopping as we rode by and looking at me like I was the luckiest man in the world.






I remember a shot of absinthe that I thought was going to destroy my esophagus.  (Seriously, what kind of an asshole takes 140 proof booze, drops flaming hot sugar into it and then tells you to slam it down?)


I definitely remember free terrible wine at Mr. Hugo’s bike rental shop in Maipu.  What a conundrum!  (We chose to drink it.  A lot of it.  It was free, for god’s sake!)


I remember seeing Mormon missionaries on the bus ride back from wine country and drunkenly deciding I’m going to get a photo with them.  I told them I was from Salt Lake City and they got very excited because it is their “greatest dream” to travel there someday.  Okay, that’s just plain stupid.


I remember a pool party at the hostel bartender’s house.  Where we made asado.  Three times.  And had 4 different runs to the store to re-up on vino.



I remember spending a lot of time in the pool.  In fact, I think I slept one night in the hostel pool.  Yes, I’m sure on that point.  (Don’t worry, Mom, it was at least 30 minutes after I had eaten.)


I remember staying up until 7 am with a Croatian dude and a Belgian dude drinking beer and crying over lost love.

I actually wrote down this exchange:  Swedish Dude: “Say something for me in Hebrew.”  Gali:  “Well, what would you like me to say.”  Swedish Dude: “Please say, ‘WHO THREW THE FUCKING BLUEBERRIES!’”

At some point, I remember negotiations in process to export Jesus-related paraphernalia to Israel.  Apparently you can’t get Jesus band aids, Jesus tape, or Jesus bobbleheads in The Holy Land.  Who knew?

I remember there being more Slovenians.  I remember being so wasted with a Slovenian, a Croatian, a Belgian and two Argentinians that they were pouring beer into my Malbec (Malbeer) and beer into my Chardonnay (Chardoneer) and thinking it was actually good (it wasn’t).  I have a growing suspicion that Slovenians will be the death of me before this trip is over.


I remember the taxi ride to the bus station and the driver who gave the finger to all the other taxi drivers when we pulled up to stop lights.  After 3-4 of these exchanges, we pulled up next to another taxi and I asked our driver, “Should I tell him to go fuck himself?”  Taxi driver immediately replies, “Yes” with a nod of the head.  I turn, stick my head out the window, and say, “Hey, go fuck yourself.”

I will never forget the sales guy at the bus terminal telling Ruth, “SHUT UP!  Now look at these pictures.”

I remember buying homemade peach wine from a toothless old lady who answered the door at noon in her bedclothes.  I remember standing in the middle of the pedestrian mall after returning from a wine tour and singing “Wish You Were Here” at the top of my lungs.  I vaguely remember drinking the fourth bottle of that peach wine before passing out on the sofa in the hostel’s living room.  I vividly remember the 12 hours of skull-piercing pain that the last night of homemade wine and Malbeer produced.


I remember thinking, “Damn.  I could live here.  This place is awesome.”





3 Responses to “Mendoza”

  1. Wendy Nuzzo says:

    Ahhhh… I miss Mendoza, and I'm sorry we didn't get to experience it with you, Case! Looks like you did fine on your own, though! Wasn't that cervesaria the bomb?

  2. kathy (Pj's mum) says:

    well you seem to be having a pretty good time 'seeing south america' Will you remember it or just have to look at the pics?
    You are a lucky chap experiencing all this, good on yer X

  3. Sol says:

    and sometimes some people think: mendoza? mmmm … can be boring! …
    now You can see!! .. MENDOZA te ENAMORA y no te deja ir!!!!!!.. very happy that you've had a great time in my province!!..x sol

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