Wednesday, November 4, 2009

BsAs FuN

Ahh, Buenos Aires. I knew I would make it there someday, and that day was October 14, 2009. Through the dirty plastic of a bus window, downtown Buenos Aires is the spitting image of Washington DC: bustling businessmen in dark suits carrying leather briefcases, elegant brunettes in black pea coats and Coach purses, and an enormous obelisk monument in the middle of an eight-lane thoroughfare. I stepped off the bus and felt the same biting chill I felt last Thanksgiving in our nation's capital. But then I heard a street musician playing tango on an accordion, saw a vendor hawking hundreds of Argentine flags, smelled fresh churros rellenos ("reshenos") and empanadas de pollo ("poysho"), and knew my BsAs experience would be refreshingly unique.

The night we arrived was the Argentina-Uruguay World Cup qualifier, and Argentina HAD to win. David and I grabbed some pizza near the hostel and then returned to cheer for Argentina (don't tell any Brazilians, por favor!). We won, 1-0, and celebrated into the wee hours of the morning with the crazy/beautiful hostel staff and a fantastic DJ in the sister hostel a few blocks away. Both of us were delighted to run into eight PUC students we knew from Rio who were also at that dance (the more I travel, the smaller this world becomes!).

The next day we went on a hostel tour to La Boca, the birthplace of Argentine tango and home of the Boca Jrs soccer team. Kinda cool, really touristy. That night David and I met up for dinner with two friends from Harvard and Brown studying abroad in Buenos Aires. All four of us ate at a delicious parrilla ("parrisha", haha that never gets old!) and caught each other up on our South American adventures. I adored seeing Emily, one of my sweetest friends and a neighbor last year in Claverly Hall of Adams House.

On Friday David and I explored the city center and San Telmo neighborhood by foot, getting purposely lost and taking pictures of all our discoveries. We watched outdoor tango, found an antique market with old toys and soccer jerseys, prayed in extravagant churches and tried calling Emily on every public phone we saw (nope, our cell phones didn't work in Argentina...). Eventually old technology proved successful and we met up with Emily to party at the hostel downtown. Between the Milhouse Hostel, where we stayed, and its sister Milhouse Avenue Hostel, there was a free party for guests every single night of the week, complete with DJ and drunken British dance partners, if desired. We had tons of fun bustin' moves to American and Brazilian hits (are there Argentine dance hits? --> if so, I never heard them...), and went to bed around 3am. Early, yes, but only because all three of us were catching the 9:30am ferry later that morning to Montevideo, Uruguay!

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