Hostel Hopping, Visa Vetting, Rock & Rolling, In Uruguay
March 1, 2014 by admin
Here I am again under the lovely, green tree-arches of the sweetest town in Uruguay – Colonia del Sacramento. It’s so good to be back! Of course I said that just a few days ago when I returned to my original hostel in the Old Town of Montevideo and felt like I had come home to Kurt and Txepi’s Hanging Gardens of Babylonia Hostel. I did have a small flat but the wi-fi was so poor that I returned to the more convenient hostel life.
I was only there one night before busing West to Colonia in order to cross the border into Argentina to get my visa renewed for another three months. I took the fancy ferry over to Buenos Aires the other day and am good to go for the next three months.
Now, I have a bunk in a dorm room at El Espanol Hostel and I’ll be here in this cute little historic town of Colonia del Sacramento, Uruguay until Carnival is over next week in Montevideo. Not an empty hostel bed in town right now. But, I’m using my time here, in addition to playing tourist, to type some of my old trip journals. Just now, I’m in a time warp…. myself, reliving early 2013 and my visit to New Zealand. I’ll share an article I wrote for the Rotorua, New Zealand newspaper about a Fifties Musical that I absolutely loved. Now I’m a Time Traveler, too!
1958, The Musical, Nails It!
“Okay Gang! ‘Ya gotta see that show! I’m 75! Graduated from Winter Haven (Florida) High School in 1955, and I’m here to tell ‘ya that there’s been a Time Warp right here in Rotorua. It’s even better the second time around. That production is incredible….absolutely fantastic! I don’t know what generation the Audience Manikins filling the Blue Baths Dinner Theater seats in front of me come from, but they just couldn’t cut it. Nobody was bouncing around, jiggling their shoulders and feet to the great Rock & Roll happening up on the stage….just me and another 70-something in the back row.
Kiddies, it’s okay to let go and live a little! What happened to you, Post-Twisters? It’s time to bring back touch dancing, if this is the result! Take yourself to this fantastic live musical, showing Tuesday through Friday, through February 15th.
You see, ever since the 1960’s, all we’ve had in the way of dancing is to face each other and shake our bodies. The male partner doesn’t have to lead anymore and there are no defined steps. Where’s the art in that? What did the Beatles do to mankind?
The playbill calls 1948 – 1958 “The Happiest Decade In History!” And, that is the truth! This Rock & Roll period has affected me all my life and I become a Dancin’ Fool when that particular music starts….except that only geezers know how to do it, these days. Ten years between World War II and Vietnam, and we didn’t waste them. But, what happened after that? Somebody dropped the ball, dancewise!
Well, go to see this musical! The kids in the cast have caught the bug permanently. They are so, so, so good and can out-sing Elvis, Bobby Darin and Little Richard….put together. And they’ve got these full skirts and bobby sox and tight jeans and tee shirts and leather jackets. And such good voices! But, where were they after curtain call?? I wanted to hug them all and tell them, like the Time Traveler that I am, just how beautifully they had nailed it. But they stayed backstage.
So, kisses and kudos to the cast and the crew and, especially, the musical director. You are sooooo good, Gang! And when you’re 70….. hmmmm, right around 2063….. you’ll be the only geezers in the room still with it, after all those years!
This is not idle bragging. I can prove it: I celebrated my 75th birthday in Fiji, in a South Pacific Island village resort, six months int my second, solo, around-the-world trek; which could still take me another year, or two, to complete. In Rotorua, I’m staying in a four-bunk dormitory at Planet Backpackers Hostel and the very night before I stumbled across this fantastic musical, I had taught a young guy from Cali, Colombia, a mere 41-year-old, how to Jitterbug to a YouTube tune. How crazy is that?
With these credentials, I could surely have already claimed to be a Time-Traveler; but after innocently wandering towards the Millennium Hotel last night after the rain; picking up a flyer for the musical; crossing under a sunset rainbow, while wandering the paths along your steaming shore; arriving at the Energy Center’s deserted and darkened parking lot at dusk…. where I toyed with the idea of post-millennial, planetary abandonment… thinking it would feel just like this… and then, finding myself drawn towards the happy welcome of the Blue Bath Theatre… to be instantly transported back to high school…? Well now, that just doesn’t happen every day!
Surely, I must have died and gone to Heaven! Go see the show!”