November 13th, 2009 - THE POWER OF SIESTA
When North Americans think of Latin culture 3 important things come to mind: food, dance and siestas.
Yesterday, we have never been so sure about the power of a siesta. A sizzling 26ºC plus humidity to top it around 32ºC is really nothing. Ontarians in Canada are probably laughing at such a pitifully temperate attempt at summer heat. What if I told you that the UV index was 10?
It felt like the sun had puked hot oil all over our bodies. Walking around La Boca and Puerto Madero felt like all the energy we got from our morning coffees was being evaporated. Most shops and restaurants were closed for their siestas.
The flop and crash that we experienced when we got home was only followed by a barely conscious dinner. Lids closing all over the place. Heat-exhaustion slumber ensued.
November 14th, 2009 - FRIDAY THE 13TH
Yesterday was Jameson´s birthday so we decided to do the night right by eaeting laste and staying out even later. We really are trying to integrate into the culture. And, of course, it was Friday the 13th. A day that superstitious older people fear and the young revere.
We kept it pretty low key throughout the day. A little t.v. here, a little siesta there (lesson learned). It was muy nice. We built up our energy for the night.
Come 11.30pm, we headed out for dinner and beer. We decided on a place in La Plaza Dorrego. It was still bustling. The plaza was filled with patios and lined with people drinking on the small wall that encloses it. We decided to go the spendier route and get a patio table. We sat, we ordered, we sipped the first sip of beer then looked upward. An interesting observation was the light pollution. For a city of 16 million, one owuld think that the sky would be an electric orange. Three times bigger than Toronto, which has a healthy glow. No. The light pollution was white. A city raised among the clouds.
After dinner and a drink, we (Maggy and I) decided that we needed to go dancing. We were directed to a couple of places where, at 2am, had line-ups around the corner. I know, right? So, the next best bet was this place up the street where beats were pumping.
Inside, it was smokey and old. I killed the dance floor, as in it completely died as soon as I busted out my flaily, no-flow moves. The only one that seemed half interested was this 50-something year old man with bad breath and who, apparently, had a soft spot for 20-somethings who don´t know any better. Well, I did.
As soon as he went to the bar to order us a round, we torpedoed outta there. Phewm!
To finish off the evening, we night-capped at a bar beside the plaza. A jug of Quilmes con tres vasos, por favor.
Head buzzing and room swaying we conversed until 3am. Then home. Then pillow. Then passout.
November 16th, 2009 - BUSY DOESN´T REALLY MEAN YOU´RE BUSY
What a past couple of days it has been. Post-birthday partying madness has finally opened a window. Again, the days have become longer only because I am experiencing more sun, not less sleep.
Saturday was a slow day in a good way. Hangovers are easy to recover from but still not pleasant. Saturday night, Angela and her boyfriend John invited the trio out for la noche de museos, a night at the mueseums, which is an event where the mueseums of Bs. As. keep their doors open until 2am-ish and it´s free.
We started off in Puerto Madero, an easy 2 blocks from where we live and the hub of Buenos Aires´universities. We were on the way to the Frigata when we stopped in at the Christian college´s gallery. Tobin would have been in Heaven looking at all those etches and drawing of Satan and Hell. Every image seemed to be from the 17th-18th Century. All dark, all sinister, all really detailed. So cool.
We moved onto (quite literally) the Frigata, a comande ship based out of Bs.As. that sailed up until the 1920s. When I say an assault vessel, I don´t mean a steel tanker. This was nothing like that. It looked like a well-kept pirate ship. A white bird that would glide on the sea of blue.
Inside the hold, it was hot, stuffy and cramped. I couldn´t imagine being a crew member aboard one of the 40,000 mile (yes, miles) expeditions. But, oh the wonders you would have seen! Planes are easy (unless you are flying them). Picture being a part of a crew, having the sea swing you to sleep. Experiencing land-sickness because your heart and feet belong on water. Walking on water.
I think I was a pirate in a past life. One that couldn´t swim.
Sunday was a differect pace. We went to the street market where the thousands met. Street vendors, samba, a man on stilts, shoppers, viewers, eaters. All meeting on Defensa just because of the festival. That and all other barrios are probably closed on Sundays. Oh, but the samba. I wanted to bust loose. The heavy drums. Tha-thud-thud-thud. Pitter-patting of the feet. The hips begin to move of their own accord.
I think I was a dancer in a past life. One that never got lessons.
Movie night. Spanish subtitles for those learning. Cheesey potatoes and a snuggle with Kongito.