Monday, July 21, 2008

It takes six to tango.

Dan and me in front of the Casa Rosada (the pink house).

Six is a big group to travel with. It's hard to make everyone happy.
However, when it's a dreary, rainy and cold day in Buenos Aires like it was today, no one complained that we slept in. No one complained that after standing outside for five minutes to see the Casa Rosada and dodging rain drops, we ducked into a coffee shop for an hour and a half.

After a morning of inactivity, we decided to shop the very crowded Florida Street, which reminded me very much of the bumper to bumper people traffic of Cologne, Germany, only this time it was bumper to bumper people with umbrellas--a much more dangerous combination. Since we have been here, Dan has made us go inside of every single sporting goods shop to look at the same national Argentina soccer jersey (I am begging him to just get it already so we don't have to go into these stores anymore, even offering to pay for the stupid shirt). On Florida, we popped into one of these stores and that's when our six became two. Dan and I were adandoned by the others.

We figured the group went ahead and so we walked ahead but in all the masses of people, all wearing black jackets and carrying black umbrellas, we never spotted our fellow travelers. We continued walking in and out of stores, seeing more Henry lookalikes than ever thought possible, and then a huge downpour left us under an awning for about 25 minutes. We eventually found them--with the help of some common sense and an internet cafe. Phew.

Lost and wet.

We went to see a tango show tonight at Cafe Tortoni. The show was geared toward tourists so it was kind of cheesy, but I really dug the dancing and the music and everything. I am thinking of trying to convince Dan to take some lessons with me, but I know that he will be hard to convince.

We had dessert and drinks at the bar upstairs, and that's when I decided that I love Argentine waiters. The waiters here are mostly male, older types who you can tell have been waiters their entire lives and treat it as a real profession. They never write down an order, no matter how big and complicated. They carry their platters as if they are an extension of their hands. They open our glass bottles of water and soda by putting down the glass on the table with one hand and using that same hand to flip open the cap with the opener. I love watching these men do their jobs as if it were a dance around the room. The waiters at Cafe Tortoni even kept a white cloth under their arm, old school style. So classy.

I am not sure if I would do well in this city because at 11 pm, all the restaurants are still packed with people, even on a Monday, and I have heard nothing about siestas. When do these people sleep? But I could live with all the ice cream, for sure.

Waiting in line at the tango show.

A blurry view of one of the awesome waiters I saw tonight.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Some clarification here!! "Lost and Abandoned" were neither lost nor abandoned. It wasn't hide and seek. It wasn't abandonment. In fact, the other four felt abandoned, not to mention worried we'd not be able to reconnect. Just saying...