Sunday, March 15, 2009
A wonderful 24 hours in Buenos Aires
A beautiful thing about my life in Buenos Aires is the lack of planning that pervades my days. While it has caused problems a couple of times, it has also opened the door for many unexpected adventures.
Last night I was supposed to meet my friend Diana and her boyfriend visiting from the U.S. for dinner at 10PM; I had a feeling she wouldn't show because we had made the plans the night before when she was drunk off of but 2 glasses of white wine. Instead, I dressed up to go for sushi with two friends. I felt so gorgeous in a coral dress I bought a few weeks ago. Amber (in the red dress) said it looked like it was made just for me!
Initially my compatriots were disgusted with the bitchy waitress, but this sentiment subsided quickly. We had a great time, chatting about life and love while slowly savoring our delicious Japanese food and warm chocolate volcano with "American-flavored" (vanilla) ice cream. By the time we left, it was already 1:00am.
We returned to the Residencia, and even though my girls were tired, we headed out for the salsa club Azucar ("sugar") around 2:15am. In the taxi, Amber was swearing like a drunken soldier, and got the young driver involved: "Azzz ohhhhl," he said, getting sucked into the fun (Amber never fails). The bouncer outside asked us for our documents (i.e. our licenses), but we didn't have any. "Where are you from?" he asked. "The U.S. and Ecuador," we said, and he let us proceed. It's all basically a show of authority; no one really cares about anything here.
In the club we tried to dance salsa, but my skills are still in the development phase. There was a hilarious spectacle where the Cuban dance professors went onstage and gyrate for a good minute and mandate that the club-goers do the same. It's a type of warm-up, I suppose. Just that was worth the 30 pesos entrance ($8). It was a fun night/morning, and I did not get up until 3pm today.
People in the Residencia often use the daylight hours to recuperate from the night before, so I could not find anyone to go with me to the Japanese gardens this afternoon. I headed out solo, but bumped into my friend Lyle and Steve, who were walking to a nearby park. We went to the Palermo botanical gardens together, where there are lakes with paddle boats, various species of roses, rollerbladers, etc. It seemed like eden.
We shared cotton candy that was twirled on the spot, and sat down with 200+ people for an "urban comedy show." From what we could understand, the two guys were very funny, albeit absurdly crude by American standards.
Even though there were babies and rows of young people (like these preteens), the comedians joked about having sex with the random girl they selected from the audience (the one standing in the mid-ground), among other raunchy subjects. When we gave them money and told them we were from the U.S., they joked, "Concha tu hermana!" (you can guess what that means).
Later I went to a Chinese restaurant with some friends, and it was moderately delicious, despite a mix-up about a shrimp appetizer (I thought we were getting shu-mai, but we really ordered blown up shrimp tails). Then I had chocolate cake, and my friends enjoyed ice cream while we gawked over an attractive Argentine ice cream scooper who wore a DJ Tiesto shirt.
Nothing that could be compared to fireworks made my 24 hours wonderful: a relaxed dinner with girlfriends, cotton candy with random peeps I bumped into on the street, and a street show were enough to make me appreciate being in Buenos Aires now, just as the days begin to get a little shorter, and the wind makes me think twice about leaving my sweater behind.