Conflicted and Ashamed

The Not So Long Affair

Woe is me. I’ve done something terrible, simply horrible tonight and I feel the need to repent. I had an affair. Ok, I’ve said it and now I feel better!

Tonight was the long-awaited premier of Samantha Brown’s new series, Passport to Latin America. She took us to Rio de Janeiro from 8:00 – 8:30pm and to Buenos Aires from 8:30 – 9:00. I was anxiously awaiting these two shows. As you may know from reading my blog or from conversations in Chat, I lived in Buenos for a year and a half — until this past September — and so I had a special interest in this particular episode. I wanted to see what Rio was like from her perky perspective, so I watched that as well. And then … then … that’s when it happened. Throughout the show she was promoting her site on The Travel Channel and inviting viewers to join her chat afterwards. Well, I could not resist. The show was so sexy, so shiny, glossy and slick and — it worked the entire time! No down time, no audio without video, video without audio. It was just as expected, a travel show about two cities in Latin America.

I had to show this after the convo we had with Yalie this morning about good grass-fed beef in Argentina — I purchased this meat for $3.00. Yum yum! Of course I did NOT eat it all in one night.

Now, I watch Samantha Brown, I know she does the tourist stuff, but it’s still fun. One of the reasons I happily accept positions overseas is because I want to experience the life of a resident and not a tourist, where you get the full experience — assimilating into the culture as much as possible — going to the grocery store, fighting for a cab with a neighbor on the street in the morning, going through the hassle of a 2 person elevator with no air conditioning on extremely hot and humid days, learning about the not so great parts of the cuisine (balut and offal boiled blood to name a few) and undestanding how to do business in a totally different culture and more. Tourist travel is not quite the same, but I love watching shows about the places I’ve been to or lived. So I tuned in at 8:00. It was what I expected in terms of content — all the usual tourist spots were covered and she was cute and humorous and perky as always.

Futbol in Argentina — Vamos Vamos Argentina, Vamos Vamos A Ganar

After the show I ran over to the TravelChannel.com/samanthabrown and dropped into chat. It was interesting. It was heavily moderated chat and it was handled as a Q&A hour. You could submit a question in the message bar and questions would be screened and asked in the room and Samantha would respond. Now, I know it was not candid, it was not off the cuff or random, but the questions asked were a breath of fresh air. In the entire hour I saw just one question that was what I felt, in my opinionated mind was stupid. The questions were relative and I was interested in her responses. I felt better informed at the end of the hour with questions and answers such as: “What first went through your head when you caught a glimpse of Machu Picchu? If you were to live outside the US, where would you live? I’m a vegetarian, is there any one country you found catered more to vegetarians than others? How different was filiming in Latin America compared to Europe. “

Spending two hours with Samantha Brown, although not live or totally interactive was something I could not resist after having spent a day in front of this laptop immersed in the world of JTV. My interest in Justin and the gang is waning. I barely watched any video today and when I finally tuned into Justine tonight it was the usual. Justine in front of her laptop, engaged in iJustine chat while sitting in a coffee shop. Dez off to the side somewhere. Behind Justine was a young woman in a white hoodie and the chatters were going wild over her. Franktly, I could not see her well enough to tell what she looked like, but the kiddie-pervs were going gaga. It appeared that Justine did not know her, but she was on camera and did not seem that jazzed about it.

Flag of Argentina — Plaza de Mayo, 2006

At one point someone posted the phone number of the coffee shop and the phone started ringing. Justine seemd flustered by it all and a I had to wonder why she continued to sit in front of her computer chatting with people if she truly wanted the calls to stop? Justin lived through those childish pranks and made the decision to keep the names of the restaurants he was going to out of chat and just dealt with it.

Justine finally made the smart move and packed up the computer and she and Dez headed toward the car. A police officer was outside and I don’t know if the ladies asked for him to escort them to the car or if he made the move, but at one point he said that it was something routine for the police. That they often walk women to their cars as they are leaving work for the night. A nice gesture — a good service. The went to the car and the feed died.

Well, with that all kinds of specualation started. Talk of Justine quitting. Talk of Justine being all worked up about the incident. What? She was all giggly before leaving the coffee shop and left. What I think was about the most ridiculous thing about the whole incident was when she read some text and replied with the comment, “I carry a gun … and some knives. Just kidding about the knives.” WHY, in this day and age of wacked out, horrible violence, would a person say such a thing? Is common sense so lacking that she doesn’t think before she makes a statement like that?

Puente de La Mujer (Women’s Bridge) in Puerto Madero — 2006

Well, it’s not for me to analyze, or to speculate on. It’s just something that I saw and heard and have questions about. I don’t think I can manage to spend my days and nights here much longer. I need more mental stimulation. I need more than the daytimes of adult talk in chat. So, tomorrow I will be having lunch with friends — former colleagues — and will talk about things that are no JTV related! I don’t tell many — So far just 3 people — about this strange life I am leading, so I will talk with them about what I’ve been doing the past 6 months in terms of travel and other things and, I am sure, will all the while be wondering what’s happening in the land JTV.

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