Buenos Aires mi amor

by

By the time we were heading to Buenos Aires Marc and I had been on the road for two months. Sixty days of seeing new places, eating new foods, meeting new people. All of this discovery had been exhilarating but we were both missing the presence of familiar faces and conversation not our own.

Specifically, we were very excited to see of our friends Zaheer, Alex, Jethro from Paris and Brian from Hong Kong who would be in Buenos Aires to attend the wedding of Felix and Agustina, also Paris friends. And we couldn’t ask for a better location for a reunion.

Le Crew reunited

Argentina is well known for many things (tango, gauchos, Eva Peron, a particularly vicious military dictatorship, Cortazar and Borges) but we were most interested in – rather predictably – the food. Luckily, our friends had the same priorities. A million emails flew around weeks before the reunion date discussing the exact dining agenda of our four days together in Buenos Aires. The overarching theme would be steak, and lots of it. In every meal, in fact. Washed down with litres of delicious vino argentino.

Just a regular breakfast in Buenos Aires

And boy did we stick to the agenda! So much beef was consumed in those four days that by the second day – and I am not making this up – my pillow smelled strongly of steak. I was literally sweating the steak out of my pores in my sleep. We would go home after a giant carnivorous dinner, go to bed and it would be like having to eat a whole steak all over again. I kind of got used to it though.

A perfect ending to a perfect meal: Creme caramel with dulce de leche!!!!

We interspersed our steak consumption with other activities. Namely, attending Felix and Agustina’s wedding. But that was just a little blip in our steak-eating radar. We hardly noticed it…

The happy couple

But seriously, the wedding was beautiful and we all felt very fortunate to be part of such a special event. The evening ceremony was held at a church in town, with both an Argentine Catholic priest and a German Pastor based in Buenos Aires officiating. The groom looked dashing and the bride stunning, and more importantly they looked utterly in love.

Felix puts his Friskys moves into practice

After the ceremony we all walked to the reception, held at a beautiful old theatre in the elegant neighbourhood of Recoleta. There we got to enjoy the gastronomical experience that is the Argentine wedding. And this one was particularly well organised.

Felix gets in touch with his wild side

There was not a moment of boredom, every minute was accounted for with food, dancing, tango show, more food, more dancing, dessert, fancy dress disco party, then a surprise pizza-and-beer nightcap at around 5:30am to send us all home satisfied. A fantastic time was had by all.

Caught red-handed

We were also enjoying living in our rented apartment in Palermo Viejo for the week. Palermo Viejo is a residential barrio in northwestern Buenos Aires. It’s a relaxed neighbourhood of leafy streets dotted with cafes, restaurants and independent boutiques – a true shopper’s paradise. We loved making our temporary home in this charming neighbourhood, especially in our own flat which we were sharing with Alex and Zaheer. After two month of living in hostels, having our own apartment, where we could cook our own meals, wash our own clothes, and lie in our own lounge may very well have been the highlight of our stay.

Marc and Jethro infiltrate the Boca Juniors, hoping nobody would notice their steak guts.

More wining and dining - El Obrero in la Boca. We nearly got mugged before this.

Sadly the Paris crew left shortly after the wedding, but we were left refreshed at having spent some quality time with dear friends in the middle of our travels. It was truly a treat to see them all. We did, however, take the opportunity to go on a vegetarian diet for a few days to compensate for all the meat-eating we had done.

The last supper - empanadas!

Mmmmpanadas again!

But no sooner had the Paris friends left that my friends from Toronto arrived. Luke and Geoff were in town to promote their film, No Heart Feelings, which was screening at the Buenos Aires Independent Film Festival. They hooked us up with some tickets and we got to see their film which was super enjoyable. Bravi, guys! Short synopsis from their site:

“29 year-old Melanie (Rebecca Kohler) is in love with her life in Toronto, but out of love with her long-distance boyfriend (Jonathan Goldstein). Her breakup throws her easy life into mild existential crisis, but the arrival of a new boy on the scene, Lewis (Dustin Parkes), diverts her attention and helps her rediscover the joys of a lazy summer in the city.”

Fingers crossed that the film will come to a screen near you! We met the rest of the crew involved in the film – they were all so fun and cool! Sarah and Ryan directed the film with Geoff, and Luke produced. Sarah’s husband has also just come out with a book of his own, Jew and Improved, chronicling his conversion to Judaism, which we will order and read as soon as we have a permanent address. We also had some more steak with these guys.

Mafalda!

I also met my father’s long-lost buddy from his youth, Alejandro, who very kindly took us under his wing and gave us a place to stay for a few days. It was very funny because he is so much like my father, they evolved in basically the same direction, despite their thirty years of non-communication until they found each other on Facebook. Alejandro is a writer and teaches Borges at university. He is also incredibly generous and interesting to talk to. Thank you Alejandro for taking such good care of us!

Rogue bench at the MALBA (Buenos Aires Museum of Latin American Art)

Other Bs As activities in which we partook:

Wine shopping!

Worshipping at the altar of wine.

Football match!

We were not allowed to bring in any objects that could serve as missiles, and they confiscated my pot of Carmex. Little did they know of my high-precision banana-throwing skills.

Like a 5-year-old in a candy store.

Recoleta Cemetary where Eva Peron is buried!

Don't cry for me Argentina, etc.

Legendary cheese-oozing pizza at El Cuartito!

Would you like some pizza with your cheese?

Improv La Bomba del Tiempo drum show!

Gaucho heaven at Feria de Mataderos with horses racing down the street!

Cowboys on concrete

Outdoor parrilla in Mataderos

El Ingles

Delicious Milanesa breaded beef!

We could not get enough of this stuff. Here at the "Palace of the French Fry".

Cazuelas!

Corn, cheese, cream, pumpkin. Magic combination.

Digesting!

Floraris Generica

And so much more. Buenos Aires was our cozy comfy home for a total of two weeks, which is like an eternity for long-term travellers. It was sad for us to leave such a vibrant, fun, tasty, relaxed city. We would move there if we could. Please hire us, people with jobs to give!

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2 Responses to “Buenos Aires mi amor”

  1. cynthia cutler Says:

    Thanks for that Manna, That was a amazing description. You are so lucky to have friends all over th world.

  2. lyn Says:

    always a wow! wot a steak!!!! x)

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