Due to my utter ineptitude with technology I have managed to wipe all the music from my ipod -3 weeks into a year long trip. Now all the people that said I should have got an I phone rather than a blackberry are feeling quite smug and I am facing the prospect of some long and lonely trackless night buses. Luckily the aussie couple come to the rescue and I plug my pod into their itunes and download some of their tracks. I decide to go for all new music for an all new adventure. Now I have something called Alabama Thunder pussy on my nano and officially Rock.
That night I see the sociable side of hostels as myself and the Australian and mauritz a gangly blonde with a wry smile fond of roll ups...end up drinking massive bottles of beer and playing drunk jenga. The oz (shane – a stocky little surfer with a shaved head and backwards baseball cap and toothy grin) regales us with tales of Fiji. I've heard before how happy the Fijians are. Apparently they have only two words for everything. Somehow that seems incredibly appealing.
I worry that i'm not going to get much sleep in a shared dorm what with the young people going back and forth. However this is because I have momentarily forgotten that i'm...well...me.
Over the coming weekend I will get in at 4.30am and 6.30am respectively – leading the Austraian to exclaim “this is the Twilight Dorm!” as I wince and cringe from the sunshine trying to filter through the curtains.
On the Saturday I hook up with Nico a friend of Sarah's who is from B.A that she met at a hostel in Rio and some British friends and we go out to a succession of Irish bars (seems unavoidable in pretty much every city I go to.) I bail at 4.30am which apparently is early.
Nico suggests dinner the next day and to email if I feel like it. As i'm still suffering I really don't but see that he's messaged me asking what time he should pick me up. I think in negotation that's called an assumptive close.
Portenos (people from Buenos Aires) appear to have the most unhealthy lifestyle on the planet. Not only does their diet consist of cow, caramel, carbs and very little else but they seem to have four meals a day. Breakfast, lunch, PRE - Dinner around 4- 5pm and then supper at around 11 o clock at night. They will head out to clubs at around 2 and get back as the sun is coming up around 5 ish just in time for a couple of hours sleep before their day begins. I think this city might kill me.
We meet at a cafe called La Poesia on the corner of (streets) Chile and Peru. Its one of the "cafe notables" in the city famous for writers such as Jorges Luis Borges who frequented it to while away a few hours, summoning the muse whilst drinking their coffee.
We share a Picadie – a traditional sharing platter of cold meats, cheeses, and olives. One of the cold meat's is Lengue – cow's tongue which I try for the first time. It is thinly sliced and smooth textured (no nubbly tastebuds to navigate) but the overwhelming flavour is briny as its been pickled.
And we drink Malbec...of course....
Later we go onto another bar, he knows the bar man... and talk for a long, long time. I will later always remember him -face lost in a swirl of Marlborough -bottom ip stained by Malbec - just talking passionately about everything.
We talk about his mother– who was a women's right activist and debate whether or not women can expect equality if they don't want to pay their way...(for someone who vehemently believes that women should he lets me pay for very little all night.) About Christina Fernandez – the president. She is popular with the working classes, in the same way Evita was, through making populist decisions such as free football for all, but has been damaging to the economy. He is proud that Argentina was one of the first countries to legalise gay marriage - believes that marriage is a right not a privelege.
Then he talks about his ex. He was about to propose, had bought engagement rings and everything and then she dropped off the face of the earth and stopped returning his calls. He was so distraught and angry he went to the river and threw them in. Then he had to move back in with his mother to pay them off. I can't decide whether its wonderfully romantic or the most stupid thing i've ever heard or perhaps both. He tells me he has searched through the Complete Works of Shakespeare to find a way to say "Fuck You" to her. But in the end sometimes just the words "Fuck you" are the simplest and the best.
I haven't had many pre requirements with the guys i've hooked up with before - if anything my standards have been far too low - as long as they are not fucked up on drugs or blatantly homosexual they've been in with a chance. But i love the fact he at least tried to say Fuck You via the medium of Shakespeare. It might become a new standard.
A guy's opening line to me once was “Dominique on a scale of 1 to 10 how politicised would you say you are?”
My answer (apart from wanting to say - on a scale of 1 to 5 how much of a total penis do you think you sound?) was that I have lots of opinions that I feel very passionately about but none of the are actually supported by anything ressembling knowledge or fact.
So we are talking about the Royal Wedding which I was entirely against. What can I say I don't like the royal family and I don't care about marriage (– which is also why I am like an alien being to my mother....) I tell him I don't support the royal family and wanted to be out of the country when it happened so I went on a yoga retreat in South West france.
"Wow" he says.
"That was your protest? If only Che Guevera were alive today he could learn a thing or two...what are you going to do the next time they do something you don't like...? bake cookies?"
I can't remember a time when any guy ever took the piss out of me. I decide its good thing...so yeah then we kiss. Of course!
On the way home he buys me an Alfajore. Its a little sponge cookie with dulce de leche in the middle and covered by chocolate. I don't have a very sweet tooth and prefer savoury foods but take it anyway. Little do I know how much my palate's going to change in a month.
I get home at a sprightly 6.30am only to be woken by the australians packing 3 and a half hours later.
“Why are you packing?” I moan,
“ we have to check out at 11am” they explain.
I have to check out today too.
"Why what time is it now...?...
Shit. I pull myself up and say i'm not moving until the forcibly evict me. Then lie down again til 12.30.