It’s our last day in Buenos Aires. Sad. We decided to forego taxis and trains today in favor of walking around our neighborhood. We’re close to Avenida 9 de Julio, an avenue with 16 (yes SIXTEEN) lanes – the world’s widest. We’re also near La Casa Rosada (where the president works and Evita Peron gave her famous speech years ago) as well as the church where Pope Francis used to celebrate mass (I’d completely forgotten he’s Argentinian). You can see both on either end of the photo above – the church, on your left, looks like a government building with columns and the Casa Rosada, barely on your right, is rosada, or pink. The church was beautiful inside. Found a small chapel behind purple velvet curtains. Assumed they were doing construction but when I looked in (of course I did) I saw people sitting in pews, praying, meditating, just being. I joined them, listened to the oscillating fan in the corner and the otherwise pure quiet in the room — it was so peaceful. The warmth and stillness of the air reminded me of visiting my grandfather in the Philippines as a kid. His house would be cooled in large part by those same standing fans, and it would be hot as an oven outside but so relaxed and pleasant inside. The bedrooms in his house had the wall or window unit ACs and to this day when I use them, the louder they are the better because it reminds me of his home. Maybe it’s the marble churches (good for staying cool in hot climates) or the building courtyards or the wrought iron gates or the language or the merienda (one of the best Spanish traditions ever) or the hundreds of snack shops that look like a Sari-sari (a filipino 7-11)… but this city reminds me of Manila so much and spending time there growing up. And I’m sure it’s another reason that I love it.
Now here we are, sitting in a park enjoying nature. Anthony says I haven’t unplugged very well and we should just spend the afternoon outside reading, relaxing and watching the people. I agree wholeheartedly except that I snuck along my iPhone so I can take pictures, and in case wifi pops up, that would be an added bonus. I keep looking over at him, reading so contentedly, and all I can think is I just want to take a nap. Last night I didn’t pass out until after 4am — we went to dinner around 10:30 then had drinks after, then I just couldn’t sleep — and I find myself doing this a lot. I think it’s simply because I can. I used to go into work at 4am; now I can watch crap tv and surf Facebook and research our next destination and answer emails late at night, all while the man is passed out. The next morning I wake up late and he’s already off to the gym, so I get back on email a while til he gets home. Hence him thinking I need an intervention. But that’s really the extent of my e-life. I no longer have a phone (number) and I don’t carry my iphone normally as I need wifi to get email or Internet access. And we head to Patagonia tomorrow and I don’t foresee having a ton of great connectivity. So my justification is I have to get it all in now before I am cut off completely from the other world (unless I can find a coffee shop).
Tonight we are heading to a puerta cerrada for dinner. Literally, it translates to closed door restaurant, and it just means dinner served in the private home of a chef. The concept is not a new one (they’re in NY and a handful of cities in the states) but it’s a huge thing here — we actually booked this months ago. All of the food in this city has been outstanding — think steak steak steak, big simple salads and all of this coupled with insane Italian food — and now we are going into someone’s home for his offering of a 5-course meal with wine pairings. BRING IT ON. Will write about it tomorrow and post pics of all of the comida we’ve had on this trip.
To be continued…