Published: June 24th 2012June 24th 2012
I have never liked mayonnaise. The white globs of goo that folks from our part of the country pile high on their lunchtime foodstuffs make me gag. When looking at the list of ingredients, one spies things that should go nowhere near each other nor a turkey sandwich- I have even discounted potential suitors on the basis that they appreciate this most despicable of condiments. Yesterday, as I was walking innocently down Avenida Belgrano, an entire packet of mayonnaise reared its ugly head and threw itself up all over my back. It dripped, and it globbed, and it was if I was re-living a scene from my youth in which a bird shat on my head. But to tell this story the right way, we must start at the beginning.
The day started out like any other (if any other day I could be found walking around Buenos Aires). Heading out from my hostel, I was completely prepared for the day. I had snacks and a map! My camera was tucked inside my pocket-oh so inconspicuously! I walked with purpose! I knew where I was going!
Getting off the subte in the Palermo Soho neighborhood, I knew I was exactly where I should be. Trees lined the streets, and dogs were being walked every which way by old women with huge sunglasses and too much pink lipstick. When an older gentleman approached me, taking off his glasses to show me his blind eye and asking for help across the street, I kindly obliged. He took my arm and off we went, talking as we walked about the fact that he was the child of a gringo. I told him that I was too and we threw our heads back with a hearty chuckle. When we reached the other side of the street he patted me on the head and gave me a piece of candy out of his pocket. I was fitting right in!
To further this sense of belonging, upon stepping into an empty bookshop the owner proceeded to talk me up for half an hour about the reasons why my intended route was not the best. We looked at pictures on facebook of his friends traversing the northern regions of Argentina, he drew me a map of what I should be doing, and he asked me about NC. I was making friends all over the place!
And then... and then. Two ladies from Brazil (why is it always women?) approached me to ask the time. We commenced to have a lovely discussion about all of the Brazilians in Argentina and they even said ¨thank you¨to me in English after learning I was from the states. So friendly! To truly show their thanks, the youngest one proceeded to pat me on the back and squirt mayonnaise all over my person. Obrigado! As they do, another (seemingly completely different) woman came over to help me. Her kleenex was at the ready, and she informed me that something had shit on me. I allowed her to wipe me off, fussing all the while and getting very handsy... and then! When that familiar waft of white devilishness hit my smeller, an alarm went off. I hit the road, and my valuables were safe... except for my dignity and my vest, the latter of which was clearly covered in Hellmans. Upon returning to the hostel I learned (over a Quilmes) that the same thing had happened to four others. One poor gringo got his camera stolen.
All of this to say that my stay in Buenos Aires has been lovely, truly. But now it is time to go. Cordoba awaits- and Becca and I have some catching up to do.