This bus trip of almost one entire day didn’t go as I planned. I thought I could take a rest reading some articles that I should cite for my next paper. I surely tried to read some but most time I fell asleep shortly after highlighting some paragraphs. Rather, this day gave me an opportunity to confront my solitude and doubts of my own, maybe because it was the moment that almost everyone I knew in Buenos Aires seems to leave, which I am not accustomed to locate myself in such situation from the beginning, as I was the one who leaves first before others.
Weirdly I had a feeling that my being has been falsified. Yes, I do disguise information of myself to people but with intention. Even though I don’t consider it as a lie, rather a fragmented truth, I ended up believing my own lies. One is supposed not to argue with someone who believes his own lies. People shouldn’t argue with me when I myself believe my own lies. Sitting straight for 24 hours I made this mistake of arguing with my own self. The result became a bit depressive.
Between Argentina and Chile, I used to cross the boarder by airway. I was the one who lived up in the air, with an elegant social necktie. I looked down the cloud and cordillera, as if those were small lego pieces. There came my confidence that I could build something concrete out of those small pieces. This time, I was on the land, crossing the boarder by terrestrial access. I could see new things that I couldn’t observe before.
I saw poverty. I saw people walking above the deck of trashes, picking up articles from the garbage dump. I saw people living next to the Rio Mapuche with their home built with construction leftovers. Even, those houses were unconstructed. I saw an old man, aged around 60s, well suited, walking on the garbage deck trying to pick up the living. Small kids were playing kite. Within such a small territory, one enjoys the lifestyle of Norway, and the other posses that of Congo.
I saw panoramic views of an artificial landscape. Nature was absent, but only remain views designed by people for their convenience to cross the gigantic cordillera. I couldn’t believe that I was already in Chilean side. It wasn’t the Chile that I knew, watching it from the sky high. Rather, it was the Chile whose history accumulated from the trashed earth and mud. Stepping on those vulnerabilities, I witnessed the very need for proper economic policies for development and distributive justice. I am no hero, but I at least should have shared the responsibility as a part. Instead, I found myself complaining of back sore for having sit during the transport, as the inconvenience always is born from convenience.
As the Chile I had known crashed down, in some way I felt a part of my own identity construction fell down with it. Did I became more realistic person then, stepping on something concrete that I falsified myself to be able to manage from the air? Perhaps it was just a tiresome. Perhaps I reached the realisation moment of me not having done much what I had dreamt to build. Still, I conceive myself arrogant that I could ever have done something with my early age.
I finally arrived to Santiago, and around the bus terminal, one of my friends was awaiting. He flew from Uruguay and was heading to the airport to Dallas. I was grateful that he could make some time for me to share the last moment of his staying in Santiago. We shortly chatted about the direction of our lives and the meaningless of reaching what one wants as a stability. He has a decent job, with an enviable salary and frequent movement from continents to continents. He flies everywhere. But one can ever fly higher, as the satisfaction never is to be filled. He cherished my story of 24 hours bus ride.
He said goodbye, paying the bill of the coffee and sandwich I consumed. He called Uber and slipped out with a big hug.
– I might be arriving to Buenos Aires in September, for a business reunion. But that time I won’t be seeing you then.
I nodded. I’d fly to other continent by then; I replied.
– Pity that there’d be no other 24 hours bus ride story for you in September.
As he left, the waiter approached me with a wine glass saying it was on the house. So I cheered.