Sunday, July 20, 2008

Fairy godmother & co.

Dan's father Henry was born at sea on a boat between Italy and Argentina. He was named after the captain of the boat (middle name Patrick) and the captain introduced the new parents to a prominent couple in Argentina who became Henry's godparents.

On Saturday night, we went to visit the godmother (the godfather is now deceased), along with her son Juan and his family at Juan's house. And what a house it was. It was an absolute stunner; my favorite part was a dining room with walls and ceiling of glass and a green, leafy garden of trees and bushes that grew inside the house. The glass ceiling was also on the top floor of the house so the garden received natural light from above. So awesome. Just about as awesome as the fact they had a DRIVER come and pick us up and drive us there in a 16-person van.

Juan welcomed us by taking us outside to show us our food being cooked on a giant outdoor grill. It was an absolute meat heaven. And don't think that Juan was doing the cooking. They had a cook to do such things.

Our dinner cooking on the grill. That's the cook.

These people also had live-in maids, which apparently is quite common in Argentina (if you are well off) and I must say it was sort of strange to watch these two women wear the stereotypical maid uniforms and serve us our food. When we first sat down to eat, I nudged Dan, "why is there a bell on the table?" For the maids. Duh.

Dan at dinner. Yes, that's a bell on the table.

We never did use the bell.

Dan and I sat at the "young persons" table, with David and Monica, and Juan's daughters and son, who were our age but seemed so much older than us. It's probably because two of the three already were married with children. We had a very pleasant conversation and delicious food to eat (oodles of meat and potatoes and for dessert ice cream and a cooling lemon custard).

Things I thought were interesting--they talked about how unlike Americans who tend to drift from place to place, most Argentines stay in the city they were born with all their lives--even to go to school and many live with their parents until their 30s. I also learned that while it used to be common to have up to 10 kids, now the Argentines settle on having ONLY five or so.

After dinner chatter.

It was a pretty terrific night and great to reconnect with locals and of course, to see Dan's family history so up close and personal.

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