(Mildly) Sleepless in Buenos Aires
So, today is the big day. First thing you should know about Buenos Aires is that it’s in developing country. The second thing you should know about Buenos Aires is that traffic keeps to the right. The first trait is pretty self-explanatory once you’ve landed in del aeorpuerto (Ezeiza). The building is no more than a shed with conveyor belts. The second fact becomes more prominent as you’re leaving del aeropuerto. It somehow reminds me of rural Southern China because of bare brick -walled two-storey private condos. It a far cry from the beautiful, arty and cultural centre of South America which I have read so much about. At this point, I have a suspicion that the Buenos Aires I had in mind is completely different to the one I am about to experience.
Check in was breeze and the representative from Buenos Aires Habitat spoke fairly good English and was very generous with local knowledge – he even mapped out the local grocery stores for me – bless him. After freshening up, which included washing my face, brushing the teeth and disinfecting my mouth with a big gulp of my home-made lychee vodka (yes, I took a flask of it with me), I wandered out onto the streets. You know a decent gourmet store when you see it and just so it happens, it is at my doorstep. Tepenade, prosciutto wrapped in macadamia nuts marinated in olive oil, prosciutto wrapped with aged parmagiano marinated in olive oil, marinated bocchinis, the list just goes on. Instant food orgasm!
Aimless wander through Palermo for the rest of the afternoon, took a recess back in the apartment and decided to stroll down Avenida Santa Fe in search of a decent eatery to indulge my stomach. In a true Porteno fashion, I rock up to Duero at 11pm and asked for a table for 1. But even so it proved to be too difficult to understand for the waiter in his late 50s. Fair enough, now I regret procrastinating when I was supposed to learn Spanish. With a bit of body language, pointing and saying “si si” to questions I do not comprehendo, the outcome was a bife de chorizo (a scott fillet), which is bang-on what I order. Hurray to lonely planet. Succulent, tender, juicy and fucking ginormous pretty much sums up this meal very well. To compliment this meal, I have a Las Amosas Malbec. A bit on the sweet side but compliments the sweet juicy bife de chorizo perfectly. Their latte on the other hand, is yet to be desired. Watery like a long black and has a layer of cold foam floating top of the glass. Scheizer it is. I certainly hope that I’ll find a decent coffee shop in BA, otherwise my poor KeepCup will feel unloved. (Yes, even a KeepCup needs a holiday from Rhodes.)
Local time now is 1:10am. I am pretty stuffed and is in no mood to sleep. According to my trusty Time Out BA Guide, a number of bars have just opened their doors for business. Vampires that they are the Portenos. So off I go to hit the clubs on a Tuesday night. We shall see.