300 Km of fame
It started when with my mother Pia in the town of General Alvear we approached the nice lady working out of a Swiss chalet type tourist office. You find them in most towns these chalet type tourist offices. Leaving with what information we could gather from the nice lady we made our way to a shopping centre. Water, cheese, honey and walnuts on the buying list. In a long cashier queue wait I ask the elderly lady in front of me, what requirements one needed to fulfil to be able to join the always-empty preferential cashier. She told me to forget it; only half dead people and pregnant woman had the right to that cashier. The shopping done, outside the mall a TV crew (a journalist and a cameraman from the local TVCOA) are waiting for us. The nice lady from the Swiss chalet type tourist office tipped them about our passing trough town. They had done pieces on groups of foreign bikers crossing trough town, but never on eBike bicyclers. This was considered more suffered and therefore more news worthy, we had to participate at all costs went the argument. After the talk we were asked to simply move on out of town on our journey, so that they could film us in movement. After about 2 km they had enough footage and left with the promise to send us the video that never came. Two days later we’re having a coffee break under a tree on the national route 151, nibbling at some nuts with honey, when a small white car coming from the opposite direction pulls over. A complete family, husband, wife and son come out and approach us. They saw us on TV and now live on the road and decided to turn around to say hello and to check on my mother’s well being. A song by one of my favourite Italian cantautori Enzo Jannacci, came to mind: «La televisiun l’ha gà una forsa da leùn». meaning “Television it has the strength of a Lion”. Indeed the strength to make people be concerned for total strangers. Regrettably we didn’t manage to cash in on our newly acquired social standing. The TV appearance didn’t translate into barbecue or cocktail party invitations. Fame, which we measured in the amount of honking and cheering we’d get from passing drivers, lasted for about three days or for about 300 KM.