when I returned back to Puerto Natales, I stayed in the same hostel that I was in before I left. I was in the middle of unpacking, when there was a knock on my door. Odd Man was back. he had been in the park for the last several days as well, but had only gone for 3 days instead of 4. the thing about Odd Man was that he was a bit difficult to understand. he is from America. and he speaks perfectly good English, but he would have weird ways of saying things that made it confusing. Odd Man would often lose his train of thought and start talking about something completely different than what he had started talking about. or, he would start telling me the same thing he had told me just a few minutes before. he often had this far off look on his face and I would wonder what he might be thinking about.
anyways, Odd Man said he was hungry, and seeing as I was starving as well, we decided to go grab some dinner. we went to a small restaurant, and we each ordered a Barros Luco which is this huge sandwich served on a burger bun, with thinly sliced steak inside it. the version we got also had avocado, mayo, cheese, mustard, and tomato in it. it was hella good. we also ordered a couple beers. so, these sandwiches were pretty full of sauces and stuff so they were a bit difficult to eat. they kind of reminded me of the Carl’s JR commercials with the “if it doesn’t get all over the place, it doesn’t belong in your face”. still, I tried to eat mine at least semi-carefully so as not to get sauce *everywhere*. Odd Man on the other hand, didn’t seem to notice that his sandwich was in shambles. soon, it was dripping and oozing all over his hands. dude, it was CRAZY. I mean, like imagine if you took a burger and just squished it completely in your hands till it oozed out between all of your fingers. it was like that. I was hella disgusted. and yet, he just sat there, slowly taking bites and not noticing the explosion of burger that was taking place all over him.
the other problem, was that this restaurant didn’t use the best meat for their sandwiches, so the steak was a bit chewy. so, Odd Man is in the middle of chewing for hella days… and then he just gives up and spits out this HUGE chunk of meat/sandwich mash back onto his plate. UGH! and then he puts the remainder of the sandwich explosion that is still oozing in his hands on the plate as well. but it gets worse. after eating a lot of my fries, he decides that it is not yet time to give up on his sandwich. so… he starts digging into the huge pile on his plate with his hands to eat some more… yes, the pile that is partially chewed and spit up food mixed up with the mush from his hands and dirty napkins. wow. I just couldn’t believe it.
after this, he suggests we go to a bar. I was planning on getting online, but sure, I’m down for a drink or two. so we start roaming the streets and he is looking for this bar that he went to before. we find it and try to get in but the door is locked. finally, someone comes up and opens the door for us. we enter what is probably the Chilean equivalent of a dive bar. there is what sounds like mariachi music playing, and the small amount of clientele is visible intoxicated. the decor is random like engine pistons and such. I’m not sure why, but they make sure to lock the door after each customer enters… are they trying to keep out undesirables? Odd Man orders us drinks, and the bartender pour us a HUGE amount of clear alcohol… like two or three shots worth, and then tops off the glass with sprite. I ask Odd Man what’s in the drink but he doesn’t seem to know himself even though he ordered it. the drinks are hella strong, and pretty soon I’m fairly buzzed.
the atmosphere in this place is hella cool and everyone is talking to each other animatedly about something. at this point, a guy on my left, Julio starts talking to me. Julio looks around 40, has half a finger less than the standard issue, and he keeps talking to me in Spanish despite me telling him I don’t understand. I dig deep into my Spanish vocab and manage to tell him I am from America, and to ask him where he is from. he is from here (I think). he then asks to see a map of Torres Del Paine park, which I happen to have on me. he animatedly starts discussing the map, pointing at things and speaking rapidly in Spanish. I tell him I “no comprende”, but this doesn’t satisfy him, so I change tactics to the “smile and nod approach”. this seems to work and he lifts his glass to me. we clink glasses and everyone seems to be happy. the drunk next to Julio, who has 3 half fingers less than the standard issue start yelling across the bar to me excitedly and lifts his glass as well. I have no idea what I’m doing, but I guess I’m doing it well.
I get another beer. the guy on the other side of me starts handing out cigarettes excitedly to everyone in the crowd. another man is so far drunk that he is somehow managing to slide around on the floor rather than walk, but still doesn’t fall. Odd Man keeps trying to hit on one of the bartenders, but it seems Odd Man´s Spanish is worse than he thinks cause she just keeps telling him she doesn’t understand. one of the bartenders asks if I have a woman, and I say yes. she passes this news on to everyone else, and they all grin and look really happy. well, at least I *think* she was asking if I have a woman.. the only word I understood was mujeres which means woman. I guess she could have been asking if I am a woman or if I want a woman. who knows. after a while, I take off.
later I meet Odd Man back at the hostel. I ask him if anything else happened while at the bar. he said that he managed to score a date with the bartender after work which seems odd seeing as she didn’t seem to understand him at all. he also tells me that the guy Julio from the bar, invited Odd Man back to his place because he wanted to give him a “present”. hrmm. Odd Man wasn’t positive what Julio’s present might be, but definitely didn’t want any part of it. in the end, Odd Man just goes to bed instead of going on his date.
man, what an odd night…