Adventures Abroad: Chapter Four
Day Five: Mendoza, Argentina
Following a piece of farewell travel advice from our Chilean friend Alan, “there’s less pigeons in Argentina because all the Bolivians came and ate them”, we made it to Mendoza and kicked off the day with a 4am flight into the wine town for an 8am tour. Frankly, this is singlehandedly the greatest decision I have ever, and will ever make. Anyway, I’m writing this now 24 different Malbec’s/Cab Savs/Cab Francs deep and full sentences aren’t much of an option, so here’s a highlights reel in the following anecdotes:
- I think I have discovered the world’s TALLEST man! He was huge! His name was Evaldo and he was Brazilian but married a Greek woman and was an MMA fighter but then retired in Argentina to teach people about wine and he lived in a huge bodega but it made sense because he was literally two metres tall and probably four hundred kilos of wine. He was so big!!
- Hit the height of bourgeois-ness. Had 24 different wines across four architecturally breathtaking bodegas, and the only thing I admired more than the sommelier’s knowledge was the interior design. North Shore housewives would DIE at this décor!
- I met the most Australian man I have ever met in my life as well. His name was Gerard and he was from the Northern Territory – white in race, but permanently red in flush. Decked out in RM Williams from hat to shoe. What a rock star!
- This five course lunch we had to end the trip came one glass of port too late and if it wasn’t for an entire bread basket clogging my esophagus, Roula would’ve been holding back my hair!
Day Six: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Okay I’m hungover but that’s fine because so are my parents so no one is lecturing me. Excellent. It’s also our first day in Buenos Aires because somewhere between a sizzling headache we made it onto a plane and into the town. I feel like even though I’m dusty I’m trying to be as cosmopolitan as possible and be my generations Truman Capote, and not just because I’m travelling and writing but because I’m well dressed and drunk.
It’s the little things that are outstanding about BA to be honest. Little things like full bread baskets complimentary to every meal, alcohol available any time of the day without judgement, gelato at every corner and a vibrant city scape partitioned with just the right amount of foliage. I’ve read a lot about BA discussing its crumbling economy, and while it is noticeable, you can’t judge the vibrancy of this nation on its economic stability, but on its richness of culture. That’s such a cliché, but it’s accurate and I’ve acknowledged it. Peter keeps pointing out all the marble statues that litter the city and has come up with this conspiracy theory that countries must call each other up during their peak tourist seasons and borrow monuments from others because he ‘swears he’s seen this one before.’
Anyway, in my parent’s delicious and successful attempt to remain ‘hip and young’ they took me to a nightclub tonight. I was suffering PTSD from my nights at World Bar, The Beresford and the total of thirty minutes I’ve probably spent at the Sheaf across four occasions, but was pleasantly surprised at the experience. Clubbing with my parents was possibly the best night out I’ve ever had (sans anytime I’ve ever been to El Loco – that place rocks). We walked into an event called “Fueza Bruto”. Think all black warehouse. Hundreds of people. Deep house music mixed with kitsch 80s beats and Latin drumming. All while watching performance art ranging from a ceiling pool water dance performance, suspended rhythmic gymnastics on the walls and traditional Argentinian drumming bands – all while you move and shake. I hope this concept comes to Australia, because it made a night out in Newtown look like a macroeconomics lecture.
Day Seven: Buenos Aires, Argentina
I adore this city’s daring sense of style, it’s inspiring, particularly when you visit some of the hubs where emerging artists and designers go to smoke, chat and do nothing productive. Cue Café Tortoni, a brilliant establishment. Its aesthetic is somewhere between the bar Jack Nicholson hallucinates at in The Shining, and the Crystal Champagne Room at The Winery in Surry Hills on a much grander scale. It’s a space absolved of all natural lighting so it permanently looks like a boozy dusk, with every type of alcohol on shelf, from Aperol to Whisky. However, if I have one more croissant with ham and cheese I will have a coronary. Also, went to the fine arts gallery and largest bookstore in Recoletta. I feel like Audrey Hepburn in Roman Holiday, only in Argentina and more cultured because I have a grand total of zero male love interests in this city. I did get to see Eva Peron’s grave though, even if I was thinking of the opening lines to Coolio’s Gangster’s Paradise the entire time I was walking through the valley of the shadow of death. Amazing. I digress,
Considering the day was filled with cultural experiences, we decided to indulge in another kind – a River Plate football game. Think A-league in Australia with an EPL grade fanaticism. For you soccer novices, go watch twenty minutes of Green Street Hooligans, and then you’ll understand the kind of emotions and fervor I’m about to tap into, because the only analogies coming to mind are explosive ones – and I fear that’s a bit too zesty to write considering the international conflicts springing up at the moment. There were a few interesting things to note in attending this game – six segregated security checks, constant drumming, chanting and cheering, and a sea of red, white and Adidas. Also, it was funny to note the fan support – apparently in Argentina it’s illegal to attend a game and not support the home team. I mean, it’s not statutorily illegal, but for you law students out there, I’m sure it’s written up in the Latin Common Law somewhere. Check it out.