Monday, January 19, 2009

¡che boludos!

The international rodeo championship opened with a spectacular display of ultra-nationalism (although the beer in the VIP lounge was thankfully imported):

typical of most domestic sporting events, but this time compounded with a disturbing and pointless tribute to the US border patrol (who are hiring!), which had all of the Latin American rodeo stars shaking in their cowboy boots:

I couldn’t believe my luck when I scored an exit row all to myself on the plane to Buenos Aires, until I realized that everyone else had three seats to themselves and my armrest was the only one bolted to the floor. I was also right next to a bathroom with a broken door. I did manage a little shuteye on the redeye in between flushings, slammings and the occasional butt in my face.

I arrived to a rather odd, even for here, financial crisis where a one-peso coin now has more value than a two-peso bill and candy is legal tender. Edible money, very Marie Antoinette, but it only goes one-way: not-so-strangely, you can’t pay the bus driver in bonbons.

I stayed with Keith and Michael my first night and we went to a milonga in the hood. On Wednesday, they helped me move into the adjacent apartment from where I'd lived two years ago and just three blocks away from their place:

We had an ad hoc housewarming party when my French neighbor, Julien, popped by as I was airing out the place from its former tenant. I finally got my mobile working after a one-day, one-way battle with the boldface liar of a not-so-interactive voice response system of the not-so-‘es simple’ non-folks over at mobile operator, Claro. My number here is: +54.911.6131.9074.

We went over to Sarah and Diego’s house for delicious full American breakfasts and anti-depressants at 10:30 PM on Thursday:

and then to the karaoke / cantobar at 'Loca Bohemia' that still hadn’t started by 2:30 in the AM. They don’t really get the concept here, which is a good thing, as you get a professional live band instead of the usual Muzak™ rip-off version and cheesy vacation video (no offence, Steve):

Yesterday we hit the San Telmo street fair and tomorrow, we’ll watch the inauguration with other expats at the local version of the Globe. Go Obi-Wan-Obama!


Ingrid said...

May the farce be with you! ;-)

Jiffz said...

I'm jealous of the live band karaoke! Can they play New Wave? Great post, Mikey! Worth the wait. I will now humbly request a picture of a genuine Argentinian steak and the amount you paid for it. Please also include side order/trimmings and a beery beverage. I want to drool.

Tim said...

Mike - Sorry I missed you in the U.S. I got your SMS saying you were in San Francisco about two weeks after you sent it (since I now live in western Massachusetts [the land of *really* no mobile phone service], it wouldn't have done much good).

Enjoy Buenos Aires! I only spent two nights there, but it was lovely!

And let me know the next time you're on the east coast of the U.S. and I'll come find you.

-Tim B.