Friday, December 19, 2008

So Long, Argentina

Well, I didn't exactly get around to those last two blogs but I'll start with this one and maybe I'll do some more writing from the various airports I'll temporarily inhabit during the next 26 hours.

I'll start with a recap of my last few weeks. First, I became friendly with one of my neighbors, which is normal for me: I always find out I have a cool neighbor when I'm on the verge of moving out. Anyway, he very kindly agreed to do all sorts of touristy stuff with me. First, we went to Caminito in the La Boca neighborhood, quite possibly the most overtly touristy thing I did during my entire stay here. I hope to never go back as they practically try to charge you for the air you breathe there. Here we are in one of those photo-ops. The guy charged me double since we took two pictures, I kid you not.
Later that week we went to Costanera Sur, this time on a weekend so we could rent bikes to do the full circuit of the park. We brought mate like true locals and enjoyed a few cups next to the river. From there we walked the 3 kilometers home, which was no small feat in 90 degree weather. We did stop to tour one of the historical boats in Puerto Madero, free that day since they were having mass open to the public. We also walked by a giant parade/protest of sorts, and figured that it was in celebration of the 25-year anniversary of Argentina's (concurrent - they were democratic before the dictatorship madness) democracy.

One day last week I went to the opening day of a tennis match, the Peugeot Cup, with Flor (who got us in for free) and Sol. Per usual, we ate a lot and they talked at inappropriate times. It was the first time I went to a tennis match and probably the last; vaguely interesting, not really my sport. I'm embarrassed to say that in all my 10 months here I never once went to a soccer match. Next time...

Sol also hosted a rad event last week which was a blind dinner. You're led into a pitch-black room by also-blind waiters to a table, where a mystery five-course meal awaits your fingertips. There was also a reallly entertaining show with a beautiful singer (the voice, not the person - how could I tell??) and smells and sounds used to transport the sightless audience to other locations in the world. It was a really fun experience and I can see such a new fad catching on in the U.S. Here's what we found out the meal looked like after the fact:
Kirsten, the only Yanqui I befriended here in BsAs, left two days before I did. On Monday we went to a fancy dinner at Roof in Palermo, and on Tuesday we had her despedida, or good-bye party, at Aca Bar, also in Palermo. I love this spot because of its board games (see previous refernces to Jenga) and we had a good time.
Wednesday night was my own despedida. We started it at a happening 'after office' spot called Opera Town, even more booming than normal due to the end of the year parties most offices are having this week. From there we moved on to the floating casino, where Flor, Nico, and Diego watched, Sol broke even playing blackjack, and I won about 50 pesos ($15) from the original 90 I put in. Finally, we made a last stop by Costanera Sur to eat those devilishly delicious sandwiches. We also got some dancing in.
Thursday I did relatively little (though Thursday night I did fit in a movie with Marcos, the new Guy Ritchie flick, only because the new Bond had already started) after dealing with the frustrating drama of having my flight to Santiago cancelled, changing two reservations, and spending more than I ultimately needed to but not too much and I've made my peace. So today, instead of a 12 hour layover in Santiago in which I was going to trek into the city to see my friends, I'll only have 3 hours before getting on a plane to LA. I land in LA at 6 am and then in Seattle at noon, weather permitting. There have been buckets of snow, very unusual for Seattle, but apparently Saturday is suppose d to be clear. If not, my LA relatives may get an unpleasantly early phone call begging them to pick me up.

By this morning I was all packed and the apartment was semi-cleaned, which technically wasn't necessary but I hate leaving a mess. The real estate agent came at noon, didn't look at a thing (so I got away with the marks I left on the wall from hanging a map with extra-sticky tape), didn't ask about the internet (meaning I also got away with not paying for the internet the landlady tried so hard to cancel out from underneath me, a fair trade), and gave me back my depost in dollars. I'm rich! Until I land and hand it over to my parents, that is.

Now I'm sitting at Sol's kitchen table, full from an incredibly delicious last lunch of homemade, cheese-stuffed gnocchi courtesy of mama Lydia (easily the best gnocchi I ate while here, which if you read the last blog know that that's saying a lot) and a bit exhausted from the stress, physical and emotional, of leaving yet another place. I have another two hours to relax in the sun here before we have to head to the airport and the very long process of arriving stateside begins. Hopefully there's no drama with my having two suitcases in this era of 'only one for free,' or the fact that they're probably both over 50 pounds.

There should be new pictures on Picasa soon, internet connection willing. The next time I write I'll be in a winter wonderland, I hope! Speaking of, the holiday displays here continued to strike me as odd in the hot weather. This was by far the most emblematic, erected next to the famous obelisk (much prettier when lit up at night, though).
Merry Christmas if I don't blog before then! Can't wait to see so many of you, so soon.


Sunshine said...

Hi, Sweetie!
I just left u at the airport... Can I say I'm really sad?!? :-(
Love u girl! And getting to know you is one of the top 5 things of my year!
We had a blast, we've collected tons of memories and we'll keep creating new ones!
Be happy, keep smiling & receive all the love your family is willing to give you!
Safe trip :-) Try to sleep & choose the right movies :-P (I know, you won't see this until monday probably but still... these're my whishes!)

Renée said...

That tango picture is worth every peso that you had to pay. I swear I laughed out loud when I saw it. Your face is priceless. Why doesn't Santiago have cool, cheesy stuff like that with two people dancing Cueca?

I'm going to miss our BsAs - Stgo chats. Cuidate amiga.