Empanadas on a weekend

The day was Friday, it was humid and we were being moved to the room next door to share living quarters with a blonde Swiss guy and a kiwi girl. No one farted and everyone got along peachy in the 6-bunked room. We had been in Argentina for only day, but what had we learnt? Firstly to never as a foreign girl wear a skirt unless you’re screaming for attention, a pizza slice would only cost you 4pesos and that the hostel’s telephone number should only be given out in emergencies.

Our Tangol city tour with a group of mostly senior citizens proved to be more entertaining than I initially contemplated. As Emiliano, our guide rambled on in his argentine Spanish lilt; my eyes ran across plazas, purple jacaranda trees and teatros of art in the neighbourhoods of Palermo, La Boca and Recoleta. My camera tried to keep up as I snapped rather obsessively. We were the youngest two on the bus, but happened to always be the last, late ones hurtling ourselves through the door. I was a wonderer and rather resented having to abide by a time restriction in which to take it all in.

I didn’t even attempt to tango here, but instead launched myself at the chance to visit a salsa club. There’s only one thing to do after hugging the edge of the dance floor, surveying the writhing, agile bodies working up a salsa sweat and that is to join in. You may not know the technique, but move your hips and you’re half way there. Benoir the Belgium led us down the right path of tasting some delectable chicken and beef empanadas at a lovely restaurant: Cumana.

Sabado (Saturday) arrived all too soon and this signaled our delusional window shopping session. For a South African, there are very few places where you can let it all hangout from your wallet. Avenue Cordoba was one of those places where cheap met with beautiful in the best of fashions. Leather products, shoes, bags and clothing called to us from all the shops and we had to face the fact that we were not just looking and planning but actually buying. In bulk. It’s only when you find yourself sending “I’m broke” emails to your parents that you feel the need to curb your extravagance or at least until the rain stops you.

When we were invited to go check out Opera Bay’s music selection and building fashioned like the Sydney Opera House, we aimed to head out at 11pm. Wish someone had given us the heads-up that Argentines don’t even think about dinner before 10pm. By 12pm, I needed a “disco” nap, followed by Red Bull if anyone was under the impression that I would dance thereafter. Turns out, the 4 dance rooms, pool deck and lounge area kept us there until the sun literally burnt my skin and the taxi returned us to the hostel at 8am.