April 20, 2008
So,… I’ve joined the circus…

Hey Folks; not much news down here, just that I JOINED THE CIRCUS! Not really.  Well, sort of. I did go to the circus, and then got "volunteered" and "caught up in the action", if you know what I mean (I'm quicker than my friend). This all turned out to be an incredible stroke of luck and not a moment too soon. Stuck without a tent - and here they have this huge one! In all seriousness I have been hanging out with the circus folks for the last three days and loving it. Plus, I got to meet Sponge Bob Square Pants, who is actually a lot easier to have an intelligent conversation with in person than his on-screen performances would lead you to believe. All of this wonderful time that I spent being made to feel right at home in their world inspired me to attempt hosting my first real Argentine asado, so that I would have some means of returning their hospitality. I hosted this at the municipal camping site where I have been holed up working on my writing ever since my tent was destroyed by the tree. Unfortunately I will have to say goodbye to my new friends tomorrow when they pull up stakes and head off to the next town, but I can honestly report that whatever inclinations I might have felt in this time to go with them were pretty easily quashed. Circus life is way too wild for me. Last summer a good friend recommended that I read a book called Water for Elephants, not my usual cup of tea genre-wise, but in this case a great find. The author's portrayal of antique circus culture was fascinating, and amazingly fits over my experiences with these folks the last three days just like a stencil. The friends that I made when I got dragged into the show the first night are sixth-generation circus performers, people who have known no other life and who have grown up entirely within this strange nomadic micro-culture. Their stories are AMAZING. The asado came off quite well I am happy to report. No real idea where I am going next; for right now I am sort of learning what it is like to be a resident of Patagonia (as opposed to a nomadic fly fisherman) and live in a sort of crappy little town on the pampa where there is nothing much to do. In the mornings I work on the things I am writing, and edit the things I have written, and in the afternoons I walk about and see what there is to see. I know it's weird. What did you expect?