Published: March 18th 2010January 26th 2010
Notice the plain concrete wall through the door. We definately needed a discount for that!
We had heard good things about Buenos Aires, but it was just a little too posh for us this time around. Instead we decided to spend our last week of the trip hunkered down in nearby Rosario, saving money and preparing to re-enter the "real world" (or the closest approximation we can come to to the "real world" in our life right now!)
After following the book to a noisy, expensive hostel full of party goers, we decided to spend a day scouring the city for cheaper and quieter digs. Armed with a notebook of addresses procured online, we were off. After a few disappointing places, we were about to quit and move on to afternoon foraging when we stumbled upon the very cute Art Hostel. It was covered in pretty murals and had a nice host who spoke english. We immediately figured it would be too costly. But - aha!- lucky for us they were discounting one of the rooms because it was near a wall that was "under construction" (i.e.: not yet muraled) so we ended up getting a private room with cable and AC for the same price as a dorm room down the road! Score!
The first few days it was empty, quiet, and blissful. Once the weekend came, the hostel filled with very loud very rude party people who boozed from 8pm till 9am the next day, breaking dishes and making a general nuisance of themselves. Each day we roamed the city for as long as we could stand the heat, then lounged around in the AC watching bad cable. Yup, we are classy travelers. We went to an awesome free museum with crazy creepy old taxidermied animals that had been through a fire. Sundays they have a supposed craft fair down by the river that turned out to be a clothing swap meet and antique bazaar! We browsed South American antiques and watched men practice fly fishing in a tiny pond that some children were swimming naked in. Such a strange mix of things to catch your attention.
The main event each day was finding food, and we did well in this town. Solo Empanadas was a big highlight... only empanadas! We made a feast of carne picante, carne suave, pollo, and even a crazy rich bleu cheese one. We were also close to a supermarket, and made some weird and wonderful
You can see where they were cut open then stiched back together!
pasta dishes for ourselves, including a pesto made with olive oil mayonnaise!
In our search for nice cheap food, we finally discovered a wonderful restaurant way across town that served a wicked good menu del dia for about $4, including wine and dessert! (although we usually traded down for pommelo soda...). I accidently ordered liver and onions, which Oliver graciously traded for his awesome steak... thanks bud!
The waitress encouraged us to stop by in the evening for live music. We decided to get out of the hostel one night and do it, and it was a huge highlight of the trip. It was moody and cozy as the band warmed up and friends and family of the musicians filtered in, hugging and greeting one another before getting seated and tucking in to dinner. I was going to order something new off the menu, as I was feeling confident and brave. I did decide to ask the waitress first, and as she was explaining in spanish something about beef in a sauce, she gestured to her head, and Oliver says "it's brain Danielle! You are ordering brain!" I think I looked pretty alarmed as I declined and went
with something safer. Brain will have to wait for another day.
I was wondering if there would be dancing one the band got going, and I wasn't disappointed. A smartly dressed older couple stood up with authority during the first number, and proceeded to wow us with a very formal, very beautiful dance. They wove back and forth, stomping their feet and clapping, slowly building their rhythm, snapping their arms up in the air, moving together and apart, and all the while keeping their eyes locked on one another. They ended just exactly when the music did, and the whole room applauded. Over the evening, even though others danced, this same couple seemed to completely rule the room. Their dances were so precise, so graceful but powerful. You could tell they were proud and in their element. Sometimes the man and woman danced, and sometimes she danced with another woman. I kicked myself all evening for not bringing a camera, but at the same time, I was a little glad. I would have felt intrusive filming it, and now that wonderful scene is kept cloudy and magical in my mind, warmed with good food and dark wine and the
best of company.
There are more photos below