And a good time was had by all.
Trip Start Sep 26, 2011
54Trip End Feb 20, 2012
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Where I stayed
We’ll start with the average – Argentinean cooking course was just so-so. I did meet a nice couple from Tennessee who implored me to come and stay with them, which I am SO going to do. I really want to go to Tennessee. On Friday night at the hostel here I met two fantastic Australian girls – Jess and Gab. Two of the most likeable girls I have ever met, they have such a close friendship and it creates such a nice space of the hostel. They’ve been travelling together for two years, spending a bit of time in London and now heading home via South America. I’m not so keen to go out to the trashy nightclub the hostel has organised for Saturday night and so Jess and Gab and I and a few others head out to a couple of bars in Palermo. It’s so good. We share a bottle of red, chat about life and travel, relationships and music. It’s such a good Saturday night. Once we are back at the hostel we get caught up in the party in the bar downstairs though, which is hilarious for so many reasons.
There’s a rumour that the taxi parked semi-permanently on the street outside the Milhouse delivers much more than backpackers and their luggage, if you catch my drift. I was chatting to two Australian guys earlier that day who seemed incredibly vague but I thought they were just hung-over. When Jess and I split another bottle of red and settle back to take in the crowd we realise that three-quarters of the guys there are absolutely buzzing. Hilariously so…Apart from the guy asleep on the couch next to us that is. So it’s a party, you know. The music is awful, we are reunited with two Irish guys – Sean the Lovely and Mitch the Not-so-Lovely-Actually-Really-Misogynistic-Arrogant-Guy-Especially-That-Part-When-He-Demanded-We-Tell-Him-What-The-Australians-Have-Ever-Done-For-The-World-And-Other-Such-Not-So-Lovely-Statements, I make best friends with a young dude with a great hairdo (I only remembered this just now as we had a fond farewell moment in the stairwell), a stand-up comedian invites me to a comedy night on Tuesday (it could be dromedy, or even lomedy but I’m pretty sure he said comedy, after all he was a stand-up comedian. Oh hang on! Boom tish…), I spill red wine on Jess, we bond over daggy music, there’s some dancing and lots of extravagant smiling, standing in the wrong queue for drinks etc. A really great fun night.
I wake up at 7am though, woken up by two men having an extremely loud conversation outside my door (suspect one is Mitch) before one of them (not Mitch luckily) comes into the female dorm I am in. This is our conversation;
Realise I am only wearing knickers and quickly pull up sheet. Man looks around the room and studies all the scantily-clad sleeping women (it’s really hot here; this is not just some debaucherous house-of-sin.)
Me: Um…hi there.
Have no clue what to do next, still half asleep and feeling effects of red wine. He keeps standing in the doorway and staring around the room.
Nothing more is said.
One of the reasons I try to stay in female dorms…I felt really bad for my Chilean roommate at my first hostel here in Buenos Aires when I caused us to meet in awkward circumstances. I’d come in from Uruguay in the afternoon, exhausted from travel and hot and bothered from the unexpected humidity. Slamming my bags down on the floor of my empty room I collapsed on the bed and dozed, waking up every now and then to sleepily strip off a piece of clothing. Scarf, cardigan, jeans…it was just when I was pulling my singlet off that I opened my eyes and spied poor Felipe sitting on the far bed staring at me in horror, probably hoping to hell I’d wake up before the final layer. Oops.
Back to this morning. I have a really strong café doble to compensate for my tiredness, the two things combined rendering me delirious for most of the morning. Jess, Gaby, Sean and I head down to San Telmo markets alongside thirty thousand other people. There’s some type of dress-up theme today, something that only hits me when the giant piece of lego I am zoning out beside comes to life and blinks its eyes at me. It’s all on from there, I try to escape the Plaza but garden gnomes, witches, tin-men, and freaky green creatures pop up at me from every possible angle. Arghhh! Everywhere I turn there’s either a man selling fake plastic chickens or a bedazzled courtesan blocking my turn. Escape comes in the form of – ooh! Café Havanna! I probably need another coffee right about now!
No, you’re right…more caffeine is not the most widely-accepted cure for delirium. Despite a half hour relief break lying down on my bed in the hostel I’m still a little ker-azy when I show up to my next appointment – a 5pm opening night session of Manon! at Argentina’s famoso Opera House – the glorious Teatro Colon. I’ve procured a seat for 40 pesos (about $10Aus), and it’s high in the arches, the seventh terrace to be exact. I have a clear view of the stage and the beautiful graceful dancers but as cures for delirium I don’t know that vertigo, swelling orchestral sounds and a mood-lit heritage theatre work either. Plus I really can’t understand what’s going on. It’s essentially a tale about some floozy who’s playing around with the hearts of three men I gather – one whom she loves, one who gives her ermine and diamonds, and one who…wears his green tights really well? I know she loves the one in blue because she’s also wearing blue and as we know love is all about symmetry right? If you don’t believe me then just check out your partner there. Wearing the same colours? I thought so! You guys were made for each other, well done you both. But back to the tale. Pretty sure this is mostly a tale about floozy courtesans and the impacts of such. One huge all-in dance is primarily based around girls showing the audience their thighs, and also there is a hell of a lot of quaffing and gambling going on (elegantly so I may add). Floozy arrives with Rich Man, falls in love with Green Tights who was previously in love with girl in green...Blue Man has a Moment with Eminent Floozy…Cut to bedroom scene. Men come in and out, Eminent Floozy cavorts, gets her legs kissed, back to the bar…Green Tights gets drunk, drops girl in green who then drops him, they make-up, get it on, possibly fall in love before he gets shot by Rich Man which doesn’t make sense because pretty sure Rich Man paid off Green Tights to leave Eminent Floozy alone...Blue Man dances alone by the light of the moon, unpacks bag (why has he packed his bag?) before sweeping floor with Eminent Floozy who was going to write a letter to someone, maybe Rich Man? There’s a sword fight. I don’t know. It’s all very beautiful anyway and everyone wins in the end, except for evil Rich Man, well and Green Tights as he died a bloody death on the bedroom floor. And girl in green who is a bit sad. And me too actually as I manage to locate two vegetarian restaurants in the area which are both closed. But Blue Man and Eminent Floozy win, and that just seems like it’s enough for a Sunday evening.
Back in the hostel now, minus a blanket but plus a lovely mango which will be my breakfast. Delirium has passed (mostly).
Wait I forgot to mention the Mardi Gras! Just on the main street near my hostel, how’s that for timing? Those drag queens had some fabulous shoes. I thought I’d done well with my purple suede tango shoes but man! And the make-up…good times.
I never got to the part about the person who didn’t have a good time. I think that was because that was a lie actually, sorry about that, designed to reel you in. This is Buenos Aires! It’s impossible not to have a good time!