Confessions of a Drunken Welsh

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South America » Argentina » Buenos Aires
January 26th 2016
Published: March 6th 2016
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I took off my eye mask and checked the time, it was one in the afternoon. I wonder if Leo is regretting anything right now? I let Jon sleep a little bit longer as I went downstairs to work on some writing and go for a stroll around Buenos Aries. The city itself has an interesting collaboration of new design contracted inside of old buildings. It was a young city, thriving off of twenty-somethings all in the spirit of wanderlust. The weather was hot, but with a breeze which made walking around much more bearable. It surprised me how many pizza shops there were, but I guess that’s what you get in a touristy city.

Jon was sitting in the lounge with two coffees on the table. When I walked into the room he looked up and smiled. With a surprised look on this face, he handed me one of the drinks. It had gone cold.

“Oh look, a princess!”

I beamed. “How long were you up?” I asked.

“Maybe a half an hour. Good morning, my darling.”

“Good afternoon.”

“I’ve been asking around on places we should see today. There is the planetarium that looks pretty cool and its right next to the Japanese garden. All we have to do is take the metro a few stops.” He handed me the map, “Sound good, tour guide?”

“Perfect.” I said.

While on the metro, we became hungry. We decided to get off at a random stop and find a bite to eat. To this day, I don’t know where we were or what restaurant it was called. All I know is that we both shared delicious spaghetti bolghnase and red wine. It goes to show that no matter where you go in this magical city, you can always find good food and a bit of romance.

I navigated us back to the closest metro station. We got off at the stop that would lead us to the Planetarium. We walked up the stairs and into the crowded street. Before us was a large statue of a man on a horse. Beneath it was a large gathering of high school kids dressed in all black. Behold, the goth kids. It was an odd juxtaposition, centuries old historic figure made of white marble towering over about 15 kids in black, with dyed hair and too much eyeliner. However, these kids weren’t filled with teenage angst, they were smiling. Laughing. Listening and bobbing their head to whatever heavy metal band was blasting out of their pocket-sized speakers. They even waved to us as Jon and I walked by.

Drums. Lots of drums. A local high school was raising money for some after school club, I suppose. Not sure, couldn’t read the signs. And instead of a bake sale or car washes, they were performing. They created their own tiny marching band. About seven boys were banging on drums that slung across their shirtless backs. They were lead by one kid, similar in age. They couldn’t have been over 17. Together they played an ever changing beat that reverberated throughout the park Jon and I were walking through. The high school girls were along side them. They had choreographed a step dance to go along with the drums. Even with a changing beat, they all felt when to hop, jig, and slide in unison. It was fascinating to watch. It felt like an early preview of Carnaval.

The planetarium was closed, so was the Japanese gardens. I guess we got there too late, even though it was still daylight outside. That’s one thing I did notice about South America, a location’s hours are so random. You can’t predict them. We decided to get some ice cream instead. The ice cream in Buenos Aires needs a special mention: it is so good. I highly recommend it to everyone. Freddo’s Ice Cream is the big thing down there, delicious. I was in the middle of taking a bite of my strawberry/mango concoction (I had-gesture-directed to the server,) when Jon gets message from his older brother, TIm.

TIM: Hey, so this girl I met awhile back, Dani, lives in Buenos Aires. She want to take you guys out tonight. She’s crazy, like you. You’ll like her. She’s going to be getting in touch with you soon. Oh, by the way, she’s a paraplegic olympic swimmer. *click*

Not that it was a phone call, but I feel it adds to the story.

We taxi back to the hostel and get ready. Dani does reach out to us and tells us to meet her at her apartment at midnight to pregame. Great, another long night ahead of us. Jon and I went down to Milhouse bar and loaded up on Redbull Vodkas. The taxi dropped us off outside of Dani’s apartment. It was very nice, overlooking the park and the stadium. The security downstairs called for Dani. Jon and I didn’t know what to expect. Tim didn’t say what exactly made Dani paraplegic. Honestly, I was just standing there wondering what she was missing? The elevator beeps open and out she comes. She was wearing an adorable white dress, and her long black hair resembled anyone thats ever been on a shampoo commercial. Her face was perfectly contoured and highlighted and her smile was wide. Her left arm ended where her forearm began, leaving her with the cutest little nub.

And I stood there wondering the same thing, what was she missing?

She gave us both a big hug, “Welcome to Buenos Aires! I am so glad you are here! Come, I will show you my apartment.” We followed her up the elevator and around the corner. “My friend, Jessica, she’s here too. She shy about speaking English, she doesn’t know it very well.”

“That’s alright,” Jon said, “We don’t speak Spanish very well either. A few drinks and we’ll have a go! How do you know my brother exactly?”

“We met in Beijing, at the Olympics. He’s awesome. He said you party more though.”

“Yeah, my brother isn’t exactly the life of the party.”

“Are you kidding?! He was so fun. He was funny. He couldn’t handle the liquor.

We walked into her apartment. It was a studio, small, but separated by an island of shelves that stretched from the floor to the ceiling. Her friend, Jessica, was sitting at the table, texting. She looked up and flashed a shy smile.

“Hola! Como estas?” I said proudly, still the only line in Spanish I feel comfortable using.

“Bien, y tú?” She said softly. She was just as gorgeous as Dani, with the same long and shiny black hair down to her back.

“Bien!” I smiled.

“What do you guys drink?” Dani asked Jon and I.

“Whatever.” We said.

“Have you had Fernet Branca yet?”

“No,” we said.

“Agh! It is the real gringo killer, this one,” she proclaimed and poured two cups with coca cola. “Be careful!”

Jon and I took a swig. Not bad. …Not great either. Still, it did the trick. I was salsa-ready in no time. We let her apartment at two and taxied to the club. As the taxi drove deeper and deeper outside of the city, I knew we weren’t in touristy land anymore. Dani told us to stick by her throughout the night, “just in case.” The salsa music was blasting outside the club. Absolutely no one spoke any English and Jon and I stuck out like a sore thumb. Dani was friends with the bartender and got us a round of free drinks. We spent the night on the second floor, trying our hand at salsa — trying to blend in. We didn’t do so hot because when it comes to dancing, Jon is as white as they come. Plus, Dani was using her nub as a limbo stick which we all had to go under.

It was around 3:30 when I was introduced to ‘hopeless drunk-romantic Jon.’ He grabbed me mid-dance move and held my shoulders, so I was looking at him dead on.

“I love you, Jamie. I really love you. I know its only been a few days, but I really love you. Its amazing how we can just be together like no time has passed. I’ve enjoyed — ugh, words! I’m never letting you go ever again,” he held me closer, “I love you so much, say you love me too.”

“I love you too…?” He caught me off guard. Did I love Jon? Or have I only experienced him through the magical eyes of travel? Are people the same when they are traveling as to when they’re not? I know I love the characteristics that make Jon, Jon. He treats me well, he is friendly, outgoing, gentle and honest. I decided to deflect the conversation and leave it for a time where time wasn’t in the threes. I will say though, if you haven’t had a man from the UK whisper sweet nothings in your ear, you totally should. Their accents are the cherry.

Once the time hit the fours, we took a cab home. Dani messaged us a bajillion times to ensure our safety, which was so sweet. That’s how it is down here — once you’re friends, you’re family.

We departed Buenos Aires the following day, determining we had had enough of the city life and wanted to get back into nature. I do regret not staying a few days more, but that always just means I will have to return again. We headed for our next stop - Iguazú Falls, deep in the jungle.

Traveller’s Tip: Buses aren’t always the cheaper option! We found that the 18 hour bus was more expensive than the $130 hour and a half flight there.

Iguazú airport was not like any airport I’d ever flown into. We flew right into a dirt runway, in a very tiny airport, surrounded by the jungle. We were Indiana Jones, excited for the adventures that awaited us!


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