An excerpt from An Irish Road Trip ’08
The Players: Fernando and myself
The Location: Outside Sligo, Ireland
Another Small World Story
Mid afternoon was still feeding us some pretty erratic weather as Fernando and I chilled in Colin´s living room bullshitting about Argentina. Fernando, a born Porteño (native of Buenos Aires), was a mountain of information for me as I would be moving to the ‘Paris of South America’ in less than a week. We both happened to be taking advantage of that famous Irish hospitality at the same time: my new Argentine friend was crashing with Colin for a couple of nights before he moved into his new place, while I was freeloading at my old buddy’s digs for a night or three while touring around the Emerald Isle.
During the routine ‘getting to know you’ bullshit that strangers seem obligated to engage in upon introduction, Fernando curiously asked where I´d be living in Bs. As. I had arranged a home-stay with an Argentine family for my first month in the city, but not being familiar with the area wasn’t exactly sure where it was. Having nothing else to do, I rummaged through my mess of luggage and eventually found the crumbled paper that would lead me to my future dwelling. It read: Azcuénaga 227, 1B, Once. Thinking my Spanish held at least a little functionality, I forced Fernando to endure my grotesque pronunciation until his face had creased into an undeniable state of confusion. Finally accepting defeat, I surrendered the location over to Fernando to make out on his own. His face instantly opened up in a display of delighted surprise as he pulled out his Argentine ID and tossed it into my lap. He had grown up but a few blocks from where I would be living and proceeded to fill me in on some of the subtleties of the neighborhood – most importantly the correct pronunciation of Azcuénaga.
Soaking up as much as possible from the fountain of advice spraying my way, it took a
couple minutes before it dawned on both of us what a peculiar coincidence sparked the conversation. Colin’s cottage resides 15 minutes or so outside the small Irish city of Sligo on a sleepy, unmarked road in rural Ireland – basically the middle of absolutely no where – real close to East Bumble if you’re familiar. I’m randomly visiting Colin, an Irish amigo I had worked with at a pub in New Zealand 2 years previous, en route to my ultimate destination of Argentina. It just so happens Fernando, who currently works with Colin, is in-between houses at the same time of my visit and needs a place to crash for a couple nights. Of course he grew up down the street from where I’d be living in Buenos Aires, a mega-city with a population of 13+ million. As immense as our planet can seem at times, it never ceases to amaze me how small of a world it really is.