Browsing Date

June 2009

Destinations, South America

Is 4 am the morning or the late evening?

June 24, 2009 • By

As I am nearing my last days in Argentina, the party has started.  I am not sure it ever ended but I may have stepped it up a notch.  I will quote Landra who says it’s better to GO BIG AND GO HOME than never to have left in the first place.  My weekend was pretty over the top with 2 nights ending at 4 am+.  Why is the unexpected night always the most fun?  Friday, I had my farewell dinner with Tim who told me my roots, eyebrows and all the other things I complained about for several minutes were really not that bad and that I had to hit the town.

With a glitch in the phones Friday night, I couldn’t find my friends so I decided to venture to the bar we had agreed upon earlier in the evening.  I arrived around 12:30 am and didn’t see anyone but rather than call it a night I headed to the Irish bar for a beer.  It only took me about 30 minutes before I was holding court bar side.  While the bartender gave Spanish lessons, I entertained the mixed crowd of Argentineans and American’s with resume and career building advice.  That is when I decided I had to start my own business and I wanted to live here (in Buenos Aires).  I mean my mind ran wild with business opportunities and it occurred to be Guinness just makes life better.  I’m confident I’m not the only one who developed a business venture over the tasty treat.  When 4 am arrived, it was time to say chau to my new amigos.  I felt right at home on Saturday morning.  Instead of Joyce waking me up, Landra did.  She started phone banking and emailing me since she was worried I had vanished after many texts and no responses.  It’s nice to know I have someone checking up on me.  Phone lines going down in Buenos Aires =muchos problemas.  Kelly in the Irish bar=not surprising.

Saturday, Landra and I planned a relatively quiet afternoon and somehow our trip to the museum turned into a dinner party and another night of dancing until 4:30 am.  This is where it gets good.  Remember trust fund kid?  Well I am not entirely sure Brian is a trust fund kid but he is seriously the most hysterical kid I have met in a very long time.  He is 29, dropped out of Harvard (why???), and is a wildly talented musician, artist, writer and so much more.  After I watched him dance and sing wildly for maybe 5 hours (picture Mr. Robotic), I had to Google him simply out of curiosity.  It was the best information I’ve found on someone in quite sometime.  If I had to describe him he is probably a mix of Johnny Depp and the lead singer from the Cars.  The night began with a Vietnamese dinner and ended somewhere with Madonna, Michael Jackson, other favorites of the 70s and 80s.  I knew my night was over when four Argentinean 23-year-old boys approached me on the dance floor.  They spoke very frankly and somewhat innocently, while pointing out going home with them would be a much better alternative to hooking up with Brian who I was dancing with at the time.  I had pins and needles in my feet and even Madonna couldn’t save me.  I bolted for the door, solo.

As it is my final week in Buenos Aires, the crazies are coming out of the woodwork.  Yesterday, I went to a café to study since my final test is Friday.  I was minding my own business sipping coffee and studying verbs when all of a sudden there was a loud commotion and a lady screamed.  I looked up to see a man grabbing cell phones off a table and heading out the door and on to a motorcycle.  Since Spanish is not my first language, it is very easy for me (when focused) to tune out Spanish speaking people.  I did see the man tap my table but I just figured it was a poor person as many people come into the cafes and place things on the table looking for money.  When four cop cars arrived in less than two minutes and 10 police entered my little neighborhood café, I figured I should probably pay attention.  The gist of it is the man looked like a messenger or a poor person and no one paid much attention to him until he made off with their purses and phones.  I guess he didn’t think my intermediate Spanish books held much value.  The woman who screamed thought he had a gun but lots of folks here pretend to have guns and never have them.  Needless to say, my lunch was on the house and the best part – I was the only person who didn’t get robbed.

Today, I went to see my private tutor for the last time.  She is this amazingly beautiful, successful, hard-working woman who has a heart of gold.  When I arrived, her boyfriend of 5 years was breaking up with her. I didn’t quite understand what was happening.  I asked him in Spanish where he was going (he was holding two small bags) and he said Palermo.  Then he kissed me good-bye and left.  All the sudden my tutor was whispering, “hombres son loco.  Estoy triste.”  I couldn’t figure out what the heck was going on and I replied “si, por supuesto todos los hombres son loco.” And, then she started to cry and I realized something more happened and I walked in on it.  Oh Vey!  My tutor and I talked in Spanish for a while but I found myself holding back tears especially since we were talking about me leaving Buenos Aires and I became emotional.  I had brought her a bottle of wine as a thank you and when we were both teary-eyed I said maybe we should drink this now.  It was cute.  Later, she told me about her boyfriend and some of his life experiences.  It made me realize how hard it is to be an Argentinean.  To honor her privacy, I will not go into it but we should be thankful for the opportunities we have in our countries.  It is not the same here.

Tomorrow, my hips don’t lie and I’ll be salsa dancing for the last time in Argentina(this trip anyway).  I consumed two rounds of dulce de leche, picked up my tango shoes and purchased otra botella de vino tinta.  I’m ready to bring Buenos Aires back to home sweet home wherever that might me.  By the way, winter has arrived.  It’s a balmy 55 degrees.  Winter South American style is pretty darn fantastic.

Destinations, South America

EL BOLICHE – El CLUB –LA DISCOTECA – BAR (You get the point)

June 19, 2009 • By

If it’s 9 pm the night after my trip to the famous club MUSEO (Museum) and I still have a headache is that an indication of a great time or simply too much vino tinta?  Hmmm maybe don’t answer that question.  Landra and I, being the big kids at our school, decided it would be a good idea to plan a school outing to the club.  We thought it was pretty hysterical that our classmates chose to go to another friend’s house for pre-party drinks rather than come to dinner with us.  I am sure that was possibly a sign of our age or maybe our strong desire for a plate full of food despite our budgets.

I started my adventure at a restaurant in San Telmo called Melano with 9 friends: Landra, Bryan and Tal from Spanglish, Arash my credit card hero, and a few other friends from school.  After a few bottles of wine and our tummies full, we headed to the club.  Museo is a well-known spot because it has two levels and on Wednesday nights it sponsors a happy hour special from 9 pm – 2 am.  Everyone comes dressed in work attire and parties until the wee hours of the morning.  I was psyched because they play 80s music on Wednesdays and that is about the only decade I am still celebrating.  Once in the club, there were about 25 of us dancing in a circle.  The 80s music was blasting and everyone was having a great time.  If one is suffering from self-esteem, this is the place to go.  The men are hungry and the music is blaring and if I didn’t have my wits about me I am fairly certain I could have been groped by several Argentinean men.  Wait that did happen!   Did I mention this place was quite the scene?

Finally, my girl Madonna made her debut and all my problems slipped away.  The younglings from my school seemed a bit scared by my dance moves and my zest for singing, Like a Prayer but then I realized something horrible.  These kids were 5-years-old in 1989.  AHHHHHH!!!!!  After one local Argentinean burned my arm with her cigarette and another spilled his drink on me, I decided if you can’t beat them join them.  Alas, the clock struck 2 am and Landra and I quickly headed for our pumpkin carriage aka taxi.  I would say it was a fairly successful evening.  There was German breakdancing, one lost wallet, one hook up, several Kodak moments, and necktie. No one remembers how I obtained said tie but my souvenir proved to be a great lasso to get my classmates moving on the dance floor.

How impressive is this?  This morning every one of us made it to class and believe it or not on time at 9 am.  I had to take a cab but don’t worry I still had time for my daily visit to Starbucks.

The other good news…I’m the only one who had a camera so there won’t be any disturbing photos showing up on the Internet.  Ash(short for Ashley from Gone with the Wind), our crazy English friend, should be worried….very, very concerned.  🙂