Sunday, December 17, 2006

Argentina Revisited

Alas, I have disappointed my faithful readers. Promises for updates were broken. Comments went unpublished. Mysterious links to foreign lands were unexplained. Poker Chick disappeared into the black hole of shooting with not nearly enough commentary. Dearest friends, family, loved ones, I come to you with humble apologies. I hope this post will rectify things and bring the trip to life. Some of you will have the added pleasure of savoring an inside joke. Yay for you.

Following this post, you can continue to look forward to updates and commentary from time to time. I know you can't wait.

Highlights from Argentina

Believe it or not, the trip was stressful, exhausting and an insane amount of work. But rather than kvetching to those who will just roll their eyes, I thought I'd try and be positive for a change. Enjoy it. It won't happen again.

Here's a top five list of Argentinian memories. Those who think this is a tad verbose should perhaps reconsider their complaints about lack of updates next time.

1. Meat. You'll claim this is not news, but you cannot comprehend the amount of meat. Beef at every meal; nothing wrong with that! Beef empanadas, yum! But meat is not just beef. There's goat. And rabbit. And llama. And of course, let's talk jamon. Jamon, jamon everywhere. Ads for it everywhere. Jamon at breakfast, raw and cooked. Jamon sides. Jamon appetizers. Nothing screams "I'm a Jew!" more than passing up almost every shared dish at every meal. Though Poker Chick is of course used to this (and hey, it caught the attention of all the Argentinian Jews who secretly 'fessed up to their identity as well), she hit a new low when she enquired as to the rather unpleasant taste of the potato chips she was eating in desparation one day. Guess what? Yes, they were jamon-flavored potato chips. Can a culture really love meat this much? If the words "bacon, bacon, bacon, bacon, bacon....!!!!!" mean anything to you, then I guess so. So why stop at potato chips? Let's think line extensions! I see jamon-flavored yogurt! Toothpaste, butter, cheese, bread. Yes, there's a fortune to be made with jamon.....

2. Senor Tango. What can I say about Senor Tango? He is a one-of-a-kind. The short story is that Senor Tango is the touristy show to see in Buenos Aires. The picture on this post doesn't do it justice, but it's the best one I've got.

My take on Senor Tango was this: mix Las Vegas, Broadway, Moulin Rouge, and the Spice Channel - and there you have.... Senor Tango! Needless to say, I loved it.

3. Shopping. Ah, shopping. Hooray for the undervalued peso! In one-and-a-half hours, Poker Chick managed to purchase the following: A leather jacket, a dress, a skirt with matching tank, a leather belt, a necklace, a handbag, and a Lacoste polo (they're less than half price!). This was all for less than the equivalent of $300 USD. In the brief time spent souvenir shopping the other days, Poker Chick managed to purchase three additional polos, three boxes of Argentinian moon pies, two childrens' shirts, one more t-shirt for Poker Chick, a pink leather-studded bracelet, four pairs of earrings, a bracelet and a few local souvenirs. All for about $200 USD. Hence the $500 misc. items claim on the US Customs Form. Now, many of these purchases were actually for others. And before you call Poker Chick a hypocrite (remember the post on Black Friday?), remember the golden rule: ye shall never pass up a good once-in-a-lifetime bargain. Or twenty of them, as the case may be. All it would take is one look at the leather jacket alone, and you'd understand.

4. Tango! Buenos Aires is the sexiest, most passionate city I have ever been to. People have personality. The city is such a blend of cultures. Everyone is proud of their country. And they know how to party. All of this can be summed up in one word: tango. We had the opportunity to take tango lessons one night at the Armenian cultural center. Yes, you heard me. Imagine a church-type social hall. Part club, part junior high dance. Women actually have to wait for a man to ask them to dance. And the men really know how to dance. The awkward part was letting the man lead, and the fact that you're supposed to press your chests completely into each other when you do it. No joke. It was all quite bizarre, but fun. Well, aside from Mr. Claudio Bartholomew's dog breath. But I couldn't understand a word he said anyway. Lucky for us, we have his email address.

5. Adventure! Poker Chick is all about adventure. And if you know her well, you know just how much she enjoys venturing from the big city and going off into nature. Leaving BA was the best part of the trip. Everyone loved Poker Chick - every fly, mosquito, hairy spider, beetle, and flying cockroach, that is. Poker Chick made more and more of these friends every night. Many have still left love bites on her appendages. The lack of internet access or the ability of hotels to connect international calls produced a much needed respite for Poker Chick. The broken locks on her doors felt like freedom in the quiet dark of night. The Andes mountains were breathtakingly beautiful, and the lack of oxygen up there only made them more so (think double the visuals). The smell of Deep Woods Off brought back fond memories of summer camp. And the dust that immediately settled on any food served outdoors enhanced the flavor of everything. Particularly the jamon-flavored potato chips.

That's it for now. I'll honor select readers with shout outs in the future. Let's start with one for my highly intelligent brother and his lovely wife: you need to actually save your comments in order to get them published. Some people, sheesh.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Dear "Poker Chick",

Since there is a chance (however minimal) that Poker Chick Jr. may read this blog one day, I will refrain from using your extremely revered expletives to express myself. Your "highly intelligent" brother and his lovely wife certainly saved and published their previous comment in the appropriate fashion!

P.S. The movies in Chicago were fun. Remember, I was there too...