Wednesday, January 6, 2010

a case of the mondays

Post-New Year's recuperation was a slow, but great success. The Eve to remember was a hoop-la of hilarity and wonder. The trinamic trio rung in the New Year at our apartment, trying to keep in mind that Argentines have a thing for going out late.

We left for a club, Museum, at 1-ish AM and arrived half-an-hour later, too early. We got in, a respectable $15CA cover + one free drink, and the floor was barely half-covered. We took this 'tranquil' opportunity to scope the place out. Floor to ceiling must have been 4 to 5 stories, straight up. Along the sides, balcony-like overhangs allowed those VIPs to look down on the crowd. On the ground-level, was a confusion of senses, young kids dancing and girating alongside senior citizens. I guess Argentines just love to dance. We decided to pull up some patio furniture, that's right, green plastic chairs, to sit, drink and observe. Beer was still only $3CA, even in the club. Muy nice.

We met some new friends, partied and danced the night away. Eventually, I had an epiphany of fatigue. I told the room-comrades that it was time to go, they obligingly agreeing. Obviously, there are no windows in clubs, but the fact that the bar was still serving fooled my sense into believing we were only at Museum for a couple of hours. When we emerged from the cavernous depths of clubland, mine eyes beheld daylight. Not dawn, daylight. So this is how they are able to party all night. I felt like a porteƱo, even though it was just for a night. Nevertheless, I needed a whole weekend to achieve some sort of alkaline balance.

Thus, for Monday, I arragned a big day. A few weeks ago I had met a guy on a bus who does walking-tours of the city-centre. Over the weekend of detox, I arranged to meet him for one of these walking tours, free of charge. The tour was a three-hour walk around the Plaza De Mayo, then down Paseo Colon towards the CGT, the Worker's Union building where they have a small museum dedicated to Eva Peron. Although both guides were young, they had a lot of knowledge shared between them. Nicolas, animated and detail oriented. Nacho (nickname for Ignacio), informal and comforting. We ended the tour with some lunch, me splitting a pitcher of beer with some other tourists. When it came time to pay, I was shocked and appalled. The tour guides had already left and paid their share, but when the two girls from Finland and the lady from Barcelona handed money over to pay, I was disturbed. No one knows how to tip. On a $62AR bill, the equivalent of $30CA for the two girls from Finland, they left $2AR pesos, 50 cents. The lady from Barcelona didn't do any better. It was rather embarrassing and insulting. Here these people are, experiencing cities to the farthest corners of the world. Traveling, living, eating, not working. Their appreciation is given in meagre pennies.

Nevertheless, I was still content that I got to see the city, although slightly exhausted from the heat and humidity. Poor Canadian can't hack it. I got home and decided I was going to chill for the night, take it easy, read, watch t.v. However, it was not in the cards. A new friend I had met on Christmas Eve message me saying they were going to hit up a Milonga, a place to dance tango. The room-comrades were hanging out with their Benito-kitty, so I decided I would love to see it. Wow, Argentines DO love to dance. Since arriving in this beautiful country, I have seen tango dances on every street corner, I guess that's how they busk here. Nevertheless, I just can't wrap my head around the moves, the rhythm, the style. It's impulsive, but it flows. At the Milonga, one that was a legitimate, non-tourist trap, everyone was dancing tango. The dancefloor filled with the young, middle-aged, old, it didn't matter. What a spectacle.

My friends and I decided to end the night with a pitcher at a bar down the street. We chatted and tried to get to know each other whilst sipping on some semi-delicious Brahma Chopp. Now, I have know people who have experienced life never being shit on by a bird. Unfortunately, my experience makes up for all of them. Sitting there, at 3AM, talking, sipping, nibbling, I got shat on. Twice. Since being in Argentina, my shit-count is up to 3, 2 being on Monday night. People keep telling me it's a sign of goodluck.

The only luck I have had so far is nothing bad has happened. I guess that counts. I love Mondays.


  1. I don't believe I've ever heard of someone getting shat on 2x in one evening. That HAS to be good luck! has to be.

  2. Sounds wonderful, even the shats. Keep exploring & having a wonderful time. Who knows when you will be able to experience life this way again, take full advantage of your time.