Vista de Salta y dos de los tres cerritos, desde del tercero

It well may be that before long I will be gone from this part of the world, but for this June day, I am still very much in the heart of South America. For nearly two months I have made my home in Salta, in the northwest of Argentina, my first stop across la frontera last time around, and what turned out to be my favorite place in this country. This would also appear to be the last stand of my migration. If a last stand is to be made, this is rather a good locale to make one.

We…


Endings are hard for me. Perhaps they are hard for everyone. To be more specific, I mean the endings of things that you’ve grown attached to, things that aren’t finished. It is both a strength and a flaw of my character that when I set my mind on something, it’s very hard for me to give up on it. After a year and a half and ten thousand miles fixated on this place, when it has come time to let go of the dream of Uruguay, I am finding it quite difficult to do so. …


The day I planned to leave Cabo Polonio, it is dusk, and I am still here. I have indeed made a move, but only a kilometer east from the Viejo Lobo hostel. Sitting on the beach, just after sunset, a giant moon rising pink over the sea, the rabbit so very clear until you look too closely at it. In South America they don’t have a man in the moon; they have a rabbit. El conejo en la luna. …


Cabo Polonio 4/17/19

Having found myself here, I wonder if this is what I was looking for. To get away from it all? Escapism? I wanted to write “ to get away from the world”, in the sense of an external world slowly and inexorably bearing down, but that phrase doesn’t seem right when it was exactly “the world” that I wanted to get out into. The endlessly varied, chaotic, beautiful world. …


She went on. “Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?”
“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,” said the Cat.
“I don’t much care where — ” said Alice.
“Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,” said the Cat.
“ — so long as I get somewhere,” Alice added as an explanation.
“Oh, you’re sure to do that,” said the Cat, “if you only walk long enough.”
— Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

When you travel long enough, life is stripped almost entirely of the things that…


In 1890 a man named Francisco Piria founded a resort town at an auspicious location a hundred kilometers east from Montevideo. The coastline juts out there into the Rio de la Plata, and on either side are long, curving beaches. Just inland is a roundish green hill, Cerro San Antonio, and ten kilometers inland is Cerro Pan de Azucar, a hill that looks like a mountain. Piria was an architect and developer who happened to also be an alchemist. Naturally, the vision for the town that bears his name was to harness “bioenergia” and provide its visitors with spiritual well-being…


My sixteenth day here, just after sunset. The twilight dissipates out over the Rio de la Plata. Most nights I wander a ways along the waterfront to take my evening mate; tonight I am on La Rambla right down from the Contraluz. If you drew a line from the hostel’s front door on Calle Juan D. Jackson straight to the water, I would be sitting at the end of it.

It’s quiet out here tonight, in terms of humans. I’m not sure why, as it’s lovely, that kind of slightly brisk fall evening that brings a quickening of the heart…


“trump piñatas are still selling well” by jima is shared under Creative Commons License CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Sometime very early on election day, Riley told me his plans for the Hillary for Nevada Victory Party that night. It was just after six in the morning and the adrenaline and cortisol were already flowing. I was trying to get out of the house and down to the campaign headquarters.

In retrospect, it should have been a red flag, calling it a Victory Party ahead of time, but I didn’t think much of it. Perhaps election night parties are always called something like that; I hadn’t paid close attention before. The party was to be held in the Silver…


For a year and a half, I had a singular purpose in life. Whether I was momentarily staying or going, working or studying, following paths climbing the Andes or grinding out interminable days riding on buses, I was on my way to Uruguay. For the last week, I have been undertaking a very different mission, one which would seem closely related to the first, but in practice is almost the converse. Staying in Uruguay. At first I was trying to do everything fast. Figure out the city. Get a job. Find a place to live. But Montevideo exists in its…


3/27/19

When you have pursued something for long enough, reaching it has a natural way of feeling anticlimactic — even disappointing. This may not have anything to do with the thing you were seeking, but rather the change in your existence necessitated by the end of your quest.

By my count, getting here to Montevideo from Virginia took five hundred and twenty-five transit hours: on buses, busetas, sprinters, combis, colectivos, taxis, moto-taxis, motor and ferry boats, tuk tuks, cars and trucks, both semis and the back of pickups. Across parts of thirteen countries. This Montevideo isn’t a bad place at…

Gabriel Goldstein

Writing about my experiences in this strange beautiful heartbreaking world.

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