My final weekend in Buenos Aires is spent in a whirl of smoke...( – yes i'm smoking again when drunk - an ominously titled brand of cigarettes called "Next" - Next what? Next stop the cancer ward?)... Steak and wine.
My skin is finally staging a protest at the cow, caramel and carb diet. The whole of my lower chin feels like its hardening into one big spot. Nice. Its time to ship on out and get somewhere hot for a detox.
Nico and I go to the Feria again at San Telmo – the antiques fair that happens every Sunday and have Choripan. It's another Argentinian speciality - a large bbq'd Chorizo style sausage served sizzling in a bap - delicious. We go to La Poesia one last time and then back to the room.
It's all unbearably sad - saying goodbye. I wasn't expecting to fall for anyone so soon into such a long trip. We are staying at AyresPortenos - on Peru and Chile in San Telmo. Another hostel - but mainly frequented by South Americans. It's pretty - in the communal areas they have decorated the walls with the old fashioned illustrative art style of B.A Fileteado. Its another type of street art - that uses bright colours, enamels and motifs such as scrolls and flowers. Like Tango it was developed by Italian immigrants and is used to decorate everything from vehicles to street signs. It looks a bit like the font and art style used in fairgrounds...They also have some 3d La Boca -esque caricatures hanging off the walls.
In the room there is a little balcony with shutters overlooking the street lamps and cobble stones of San Telmo. Its very romantic if it weren't for the fact that the room smells of dead bodies. I cut an orange in half to use as a makeshift air freshener (yup that's right - survival skills Ray Mears would be jealous of) but unsuprisingly it doesn't work. I request a room change the next night from the earnestly bearded Receptionist Izkiel.
Nico announces he won't kiss me anymore because he doesn't want to think that every kiss may be the last. (Very Latin American...) And then – an hour before he has said he will leave, he goes. It happens so quickly I'm taken completely unawares and even though he does come back – for one final kiss and to tell me that I "need to go show the world how beautiful I am" - it is still so sudden I fell in shock. I go onto facebook and write– "if you cut me now i'd bleed Malbec."
I've tried to read a little of Argentina's most famous author - Jose Luis Borges - although the selection available in translation for Kindle is limited. But this particular quote resonates right now:
Being with you and not being with you is the only way I have to measure time...
Then I make pasta and sleep for three hours in a cold room and a big, empty bed.