A Warm Christmas Eve
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Checking out of Estoril, Esteban graciously allowed me to store the main part of my luggage there
My room mates consisted of four Australians (two males, two females), two Dutch girls and Otavio (Brazilian). Although the two Australian lads were friendly, I only bonded with Otavio. It was a shame he worked at the bar as that meant hardly any time to mingle outside of work.
With the part of relocating out of the way, it did not take me long to return to Estoril for peace and quiet
Being that we were three hours behind U.K. time, I made sure to text message a selected few with holiday wishes. Why so early you ask? Surely reading what I get up to in the night and how my condition is the next day, you should not be baffled. An added advantage to this is keeping in touch to those, who do not have internet access.
Along with Heidi, Amanda and Robert, we whiled away the evening talking on the terrace. Such a simple thing felt so good for the soul To illustrate how good this way I was so at peace during this time.
Late in the evening we headed out to dine. As we were told earlier, that reservations this evening were needed, we wondered where we would end up given we had not made one. Nevertheless we are out on a whim and went via cabs to a variety of places. Most of the time, we received responses of that they did not have a free table and the wait would be long. One of the places the girls vetoed was ’Hooters’. Was that because as Americans they did not want to go to an American restaurant or was it due to its’ 'reputable' reputation? Probably both were true but the latter had more weight in this discussion. However I could not resist pretending I wanted to go there. I let them know I was ‘ribbing’ them a little later. No matter as with Mike, I had been there a few days ago for a drink and did not want to consume a meal there. Also the chicks were not hot and nothing based on their counterparts. The short time we spent there and there was not even one smile on display. Maybe, someone told them Diego Maradona would manage their football team. That would explain their frowns.
From Puerto Madero we took a cab towards Congresso and checked a few more restaurants. More of the same and we diligently carried on in our quest. We found a Chinese buffet restaurant and as it was 10:30 P.M., we went in.
The buffet consisted of chicken, pork, potatoes, vegetables, fruit, pasta, noodles, dumplings, rice, spring rolls, duck and sweet pastries. The only low point was looking at a severed pig’s head with an apple in it’s mouth. Sometimes I question why I eat meat and should I become a vegetarian. A discussion for another time.
The next two hours consisted of a lot of return trips to the buffet table. Having to go up and down the steel meshed and sharply twisted staircase was a tad tricky with a plate. I guess you can look at that as both physical and concentration exercises. Not an ounce of food was dropped nor were there any balance issues. A great moment was the countdown to midnight and wishing everyone. At that point unexpected fireworks adorned the skyline. When things were a tad calmer, we were presented with a fruit cake as a small gift. For sixty pesos, the buffet had been great and with the service and gifts; I had to leave a large tip. In regards to the fruit cake; it was probably not the best but a nice gesture from the restaurant
What happened next will long live in the memory. Around Congress we posed in front of a Nativity scene. (This along with the restaurant pictures are some of my favourite travelling images). It felt great to just enjoy the moment and have no constraints what so ever.
We headed back to the hostel and continued celebrating with the staff members on the terrace. Sitting on ‘bean bags’, I decided to wrestle playfully and pin Amanda whilst she put a headlock on me. Thankfully neither my hair nor my sunglasses were affected by her actions.
A tad later, Robert and I engaged in a spiritual conversation. What we talked about is not known to me. We laid on our ‘bean bags’, looked at the taupoline scattered with blue lights and conversed. This confused Heidi, as when she returned, thought we had both passed out! I called out for her to join us but she did not hear me. In fact, Robert drifted off around this time. Wary of falling asleep myself I awoke him and went downstairs to wish everyone farewell. (Remember that I was staying elsewhere). The short walk to Milhouse hostel was made and the streets were very quiet but nicely lit up. Arriving back towards 4 A.M., the room, like the lobby was eerily quiet. Washing up and changing out of my clothers, I ‘tip toed’ around. Finally I was in bed and closed my eyes. My last thought was of how much of a contrast this was to last year’s Christmas.