Mate. Tango. Fuck me Forever, and all else Buenos Aires

Woke up in my bed. Yes, I can officially call it my bed. Iza and I have signed a lease for a studio loft apartment in the heart of San Telmo. The blanket smells and the pillows are yellow, but from today on it’s my bed. No more packing and unpacking, we are living in Buenos Aires for the next three weeks.

“This is nasty!!!” I made a grossed out face after drinking my first sip of mate. How in the world do these people drink this shit all day long, in the park, on the bus, while walking, while driving and I am sure while fucking. Its official name is Yerba Mate, in another words, herbs.

Argentinians are freaking hooked on all sorts of herbs. Their official alcohol drink Fernet is made out of herbs. Weed! everybody smokes marijuana in BA, from the 13 year old skaters to the 70 year old ladies standing on the corner and puffing away while wearing “fuck me forever” t-shirts. Mari is not legal but might as well be, as the smell of freshly sparked ganja fills the air on every corner. What’s the best? They love to share.

Buenos Mari-Aires, “I think I am going to like this place” I say as Iza and I started our urban trekking through the streets and BA’s habits.

Every morning we run to the Ecological Reserva in Puerto Madero, 35 minutes of intense run, followed by sit-ups, occasional yoga, stretching and weight training. Home made breakfast, fruits, oatmeal, veggie omelets and whole wheat bread, is our daily routine. “We got to loose these bellies” is a common topic. Too much sweets, after 8 months of traveling and eating everything it all stores in the belly.

But how can we refuse the delicious sweets. Dulce de Leche originated in Argentina. One man, was cooking milk with sugar and forgot about it, when he realized he forgot he found what is now one of man’s best creations, Dulce de Leche.

To the list we can add Alfajores, two part cookie with dulce de leche or marmalade in between, covered with chocolate in oval shape. Has orio’s build but way bigger, thicker and it taste different.

We tried many Alfajores, as it was the best thing to buy in Kioskos in order to change money for coins. BA has a shortage of coins, they are precious as the city’s buses only runs on them. Coins are gold.

And so is ICE CREAM, I love vanilla ice cream, and these guys know how to make it. It leaves me speechless, as I eat it. Common first date destination “Let’s have ice cream”, more common then the movies.

How can we refuse such temptations, so we improvise, eat eat eat and workout.

Our BA’s trek and life started with San Telmo where Tango, funky boutiques, bakery’s and artesenians are the norm. Cobble stone streets with forgotten trolly tracks make this place unique to the rest of BA. I like to compare it to New York’s East Village where the funky life lives. Sundays, in San Telmo is when the neighborhood’s peak is at its highest. Thousands of people stroll on Calle Defensa, where artists sell everything and anything, from mate sets to old antique spoons. I got my hands on a funky pair of shades, paid 200 pesos and my world is much more vivid. Literally.

My funky ladies, head down to San Telmo for some cheap half price funky cool outfits with even funkier accessories. (some PR-ing here)

Best yet, on Sundays after dark on Plaza Dorrego, one bloc from our loft is where all the lovers meet to dance tango. From young to old, short to tall everybody dances with eyes closed and feels their partners lead. Legs are twisting, holding tight the music shifts everybody right. “I need to learn how to dance this love dance, looks awesome” I said after 2 hrs sitting mesmerized. But as unique tango is to BA, and dance is very popular here more people choose to dance modern tango, jazz and hip-hop, rather then the classic tango. Tango shows are mainly pushed on tourists.

“Ok mate, let’s give it another try and buy a set, we going to do this right” as we talked to the mate set and a lady who sold us our mate cup with a straw. She also suggested what brand of mate we should try, Amanda Classic it is.

“Wait, what? Tomorrow is Mothers Day?” Iza read a promo on the window as we drank cafe and ate 3 medialunes (half moon) croissant like pastries, classic set in all cafes. Sunday, November 17th, Mothers day, I guess it makes sens as BA is in full spring and it feels like May.

So on Mothers day, we took a stroll in the park, while walking, people just stare. All through our travels in Central America and most of South America, Iza and I stood out like a sore thumb, we were simply too colorful and too white. We tough in Argentina we would finally blend in with the rest. Apparently that’s not the case, people stare more intensely then anywhere else. Guys don’t take their eyes off my ass and woman just stare. I think it’s a call for a staring contest.

As much as they love to stare they also love parks, and I love them for that. Big open spaces with parks on every other corner. Wherever there is a park there is a half naked person tanning. Hmmm, I should have said, Argentinians love to tan, no matter where they are all they need is a small piece of grass and they are baking “They love to look orange” said Julie our Colombian friend who is living in BA for the past 8 months. “Is the carrot look”. But I like the way they look, orange or not they have style.

Everybody is styling, young, old, man, or woman they all are wearing red converse. It’s a trend, and I like it. Except maybe the older ladies who are wearing “fuck me forever” t-shirts, without knowing what it means. It’s hilarious.

The people are nice, easy to talk to and very happy to help out. My type of peeps! Most man are good looking and they know it, hence why they are so up front. Every other guy has the Micheal Bolton hair dew.

On the hair cut subject, so Iza’s hair grew and she decided to chop it off. Since BA is so popular for it’s hair salons, why not do it here. We walked to one of the first salons we saw in San Telmo, talked to a lady that just wouldn’t shut-up and in the process of cutting Iza’s hair I got convinced to get a Brazilian.

Earlier that day we read in Time Out that everybody gets a Brazilian in BA, hairless all the way. My experience?! Ammm ouch!! I have never been touched by a woman like the way she handled me, no fucking mercy, she wiped out all the hair with three moves, and left me breathless. She also left about half of the bottle of wax in my ass where for the next few days my butt cheeks were totally glued and my farts sounded like a Harley Davidson taking off.

On to another topic 🙂

We all heard that steaks are the best in Argentina, after eating half of a cow at once, I have to agree. I am not a big red meat eater, but wow its so good we can’t resist. No need to go to a fancy restaurant, you can have a good steak in any restaurant. Perfect with a $4 bottle of red wine, will erase any of the heart attack cholesterol.

But who has cholesterol here? A typical Argentinian, is as healthy as an avocado, only the good fat. They eat steaks every night and are fit. Iza and I are slowly turning into Argentinians.

“Aga, do you want some mate” Iza would shout while in the kitchen, making sure the water doesn’t boil. “Sure, pass it on” I would say forgetting how I dislike the taste.

Like I mentioned in the previous post, BA = rehab time. I would say that our rehab lasted a week or so. Then we bought one bottle of wine and another. Checked out a tango show, which sucked so we stoled a bottle of wine, and a flower from the tabel. Met the local artesenians on the corner, drank their wine, shared ours and that is all I remember. I woke up with a fat lip and a bruised cheek.

“Iza, WTF? What happened last night?” I asked. “ammm I came out of the bathroom and you were laying face down in the flowers right next to the pipes. I tried dragging you up the stairs but you were a bit heavy so I dropped you twice, the second time you hit the pavement.” she said laughing.

There went our rehab!

These people know how to party! All night till the sun comes out. Dinner time is at 10pm, small siesta and let’s party. Average drinking and drug intake starts at 2am, all guest-lists are till 2am. You show up at 12am or 1am and you are the first one there. Clubs and bars are also opened way later, sun is out and party still is strong.

Towards the end, our hours of operations slightly started shifting. We went to bed in the morning and woke up in the afternoon. Day light became limited as we danced, danced and laugh.

But wow clubs, this alone needs a separate blog post.
A. Music from the 90’s is the shit, in all genres, including electronic. They shout like it just came out.
B. Way to many young people. Early twenties.
C. Everybody got balls, Iza was approached by an 18 year old who proposed, since she is traveling and trying different cultures she should let him fuck her, so she can experience an 18 year old Argentinian.
And D. I am too old for them here!!!

It all started on Monday, at La Bomba de Tiempo, a 2.5 hr percussionist improvisation, in Konex. A group of 12 members being led by a conductor who got some interesting moves, and leads the rest to beat their drums. Together they form an unforgettable beat and mesmerizing experience. After grooving to it on Monday, It was a must to check them out the following Saturday as they had a special night.

That Saturday, was something else, just as good as the previous Monday even better. We danced, we smoked, we drank and we danced. It’s inevitable not to meet anyone here so I met Marcelo, a good looking Argentinian who is about 25, and doesn’t speak a word of English. He was easy to talk to, very happy and I understood most of what he was saying. He gave me some tickets for another club the following day and told me to go.

Leaving La Bomba de Tiempo the sun was out and Marcelo offered us a ride home. “Fuck it, why not, only if it’s on your way”. We got into his car, the kid had no idea where he was going, he gave us more herbs to smoke and the ride kept going. Eventually he pulled out his GPS and we were on the right way. It felt like the ride was taking forever, Iza was beginning to get impatient, and paranoid as the weed kicked in and we were all super stoned. If we wouldn’t have reached a familiar street soon, I think she was ready to do some karate kid moves and jump out of the car.

Marcelo, turned out to be a cool kid, end up coming with us one day to Fuerza Bruta, drove us home, showed me the real Argentinian pizza and gave me shit load of weed.

Then there was Club One on Sundays, which is an early night-er. The place opens at 7pm and goes on till 2am. Now that’s a bit different then the normal BA’s style, but since it was Sunday and the place was totally packed, it meant that it’s all about the party.

Club One is in the Alsina venue, the talked of electro partyland, thanks to the hi-fi sound and consistently strong lineup of international DJ’s.

Marcelo had free entry tickets, so he picked me up with his friends, and we were on the way to one of the most interesting nights I had in BA. Iza took it easy and stayed home.

“Aga, do you want some?” Marcelo looks at me and passed me a fat joint. “sure” from that moment on I was completely in a different world.

After entering the club, I was shocked, the place was huge, open space with multiple balconies above and thousands of people dancing. The music was full on blasted, it was only 9pm and everybody was swinging to the beat.

“Where the fuck am I, ohh man I wish Iza could see this.” I tough while observing, the late teens and early 20 something year old, loosing their shit to old school electronic music, tunes that I used to listen to 15 years ago. So I placed myself back in time and tried to partied like I used to.

Marcelo introduced me to more people including to some chick that was totally feeling the Ecstasy peek. “OMG, you are Polish!?!? That is so cool, I love you”

Prior to this night, while eating pizza, Marcelo told me all about the drug faze in BA. Ecstasy is super popular, LSD even more and coke is like coka-cola. He even showed me his stash of different pills he had, “This white one is the shit! Half and you are flying” he said. So at one point during the night, he came up to me, gave me the white pill and told me to take half.

Ammm. I broke it in half and gave the other half back to him. Since I was still super stoned and paranoid that he will drug me, I pretended that I took the pill and just kept dancing. “I am going to see how these people are feeling and then maybe I will try it.” I danced till the stonesss evaporated and I was left to a natural state, the music high.

Marcelo’s dance style was quite unique, moving his head and body side to side he managed to pass his crazy energy to me. Together with heads moving and my hair flying, we looked like total idiots on shit load of ex. His friends who came with us were as equally feeling nice loving life.

At one point I took a tour of the club, when i came back I found Marcelo and the Ecstasy girl kissing passionetly, I laughed and kept dancing.

At about 1am, I did not feel my legs as this was yet another night of just dancing, my brain operated my body and I became a robot. I decided not to take the half as I was not fully comfortable with the environment.

As we were leaving the club, I saw Marcelos friend running towards me. He ran up close, grabbed my face and kiss me. “what!!!!” my natural reaction I pulled away and stood there in shocked. Took me a while to register what happened. He apologized and smiled. “I can’t believe he just tried that, where the hell am I?!”

Man where these people on a different level.

When I got home, Iza was still awake, as this was perfect time to catch up on her e-mails.
“Iza, guess what? I got a half an ex, and more weed.”

We had few more dancing nights, where the music was from way back, and the place was filled with youngsters. Got home while the sun was shinning and slept till the sun was winding.

As we all say, holy crap how time flies, I agree, but if I look back there is so much that happend in that time, we just need to have open eyes and a good memory stick to remember and store all the encounters and minutes.

As our urban trekking was coming to an end, we were greeted by my parents, who were full of energy and ready to explore the south of Argentina, Patagonia. But before we headed south I need to show them BA.

“Iza!!! Please make some mate” I smiled “Lets get this started”

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