I want to let you in on some of the inside jokes that have emerged from our weeks in South America. I realize that as inside jokes, some of my explanations will fall flat but I’ll do my best. It’s part of the fun of traveling with someone. Travel jokes emerge and amazingly they stand the test of time. I mean, the ones from my junior-year trip to London with some of my college friends are still crystal clear in my memory: “Get out of the water.” “You stupid, woman.” “Cheers, !@#&!@face.” Any of those ring a bell, Ladies? (Oh, I wish I could dig up a picture right now!)

Here are some of the jokes that have found their way into our daily conversation so far:

The first: “We’re here for the tour” emerged from our trip to Plaza de Mayo and La Casa Rosada. We’d heard that you could get tours of La Casa Rosada, the Argentinian White House (except its pink). And that these tours were so good, you got to walk through our equivalent of the Oval Office. Except when we got there on Sunday May 1st, it appeared to be closed and deserted. (Who knew May Day holiday was big in Argentina!?) We spent a few minutes walking around the building saying to each other in our dumbest American tourist voices, “We’re here for the tour,” before abandoning mission.

Even little Jimmy McMillian was excited for the tour. Photo by Nellu.

Now since we really don’t do a lot of tours, this expression carries with it a little irony. But I like to use it now when we’re arriving somewhere for the first time and feeling incredibly out-of-place. I also like to use it when we do every day stuff like go to the post office (“we’re here for the tour”) or grocery store. Nellu’s even nice enough to let out a little laugh when I say it. Sometimes he chimes in.

The second inside joke is inspired by one of our favorite comedians, Lewis Black. (Warning: If you don’t like when people swear, don’t watch this video. You won’t like it.)

Now this one comes in handy a lot. Nellu routinely asks me if I would like to go see the big f-ing thing.

La Floralis Genérica, Buenos Aires…a really big f-ing thing

We also routine climb big f-ing things, most recently the Cerro San Cristóbal in Santiago. It’s a big hill in the northern part of the city where you can see great views of the buildings and I’m sure on some days when the smog settles, the Andes Mountains. Oh and of course, we hiked up the San Cristobal to see another big f-ing thing: La Virgen de La Inmaculada Concepción. (Pictures to come!)

Quite the applicable phrase…

Update: I’ve thought of three more, which I realize means that we’ve been traveling together for way too long. But here they are…

1) “You bring me to the nicest places.” This is what Nellu says to me in a faux ladies voice (Think: Kids in the Hall) every time we’re in the slightest of sketchy places. I’ve started to retaliate by saying, “No, you brought me.”

2) “Bruce Willis (or movie star X) speaks Spanish sooo well.” This is what we like to say when we’re watching US movies that have clearly been dubbed into Spanish. The flip side  is that we’ve watched an abnormal amount of bad movies that haven’t been dubbed over just to get our English fix.

3)  “It’s like Romania with palm trees, ” or “It’s just like the Champs-Élysées.” This is our attempt to compare what we’re seeing with what we know. The first time I ever said, “It’s like Romania with palm trees” is when we arrived in Sao Paulo. Nellu likes to say, “It’s like the Champs-Elysees” often which is funny for us because he’s never been to Paris.

~ Molly