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You are from where?? | Argentina Trip
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You are from where??

By David. Filed in Chile, Patagonia, Uruguay  |  
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I get asked a lot what city I’m from, but most people haven’t been familiar with St. Louis (or “San Luis” as I’ll sometimes say).

I usually add something like “en el centro”, or that it is next to “el rio Mississippi”, which many people know about. If it’s still not helping, and they want to know more, I’ll settle for saying Chicago, which always works.

In Chile when I mentioned the Mississippi, several people nodded their heads and said Tom Sawyer. The book is required reading in some of the schools.

On my last day in Bariloche, I got my biggest surprise yet regarding international awareness of St. Louis. I had spent the afternoon taking a ski lift up the side of a mountain, where as you can see I enjoyed an espresso while admiring the view.

Espresso above Bariloche

Ski liftLocal bus in BarilocheI also used the local bus which is good for this type of short excursion outside the city, but is dusty and hot, so I figured I could use some wine from a sidewalk cafe. The waiter asked what city I was from, and I told him St. Louis.

“Ruta Sesenta y Seis,” he said.

I didn’t think I heard right, so he said it in english: “Route Sixty Six”.

He had never been to the United States, so I asked him how he knew about Route 66. “I read”. Then he sort of shrugged his shoulders and walked back to the kitchen like it was no big deal.

I figured if he wanted to give me attitude about knowing St. Louis and Route 66, he probably earned it. I got a little more out of him later, which is that he read it in a tourism book.

It was a very impressive detail about St. Louis. If he ever does visit the United States, maybe I’ll take him to trivia night.


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