This Saturday, I did something I had not been able to pull off yet here in Argentina. I stayed out late like an Argentinian–but added some definitely different elements.
T and I hosted a wing night–where we introduce our Paraguayan and Argentinian friends to the joy of barbeque chicken wings and watch them squirm when they try buffalo sauce. Apparently wings are the cheapest of the cheap food down here–only the poorest people eat them–so it was an odd invitation to say the least when we invited them over for a whole meal composed just of that! However, they were all mighty impressed. American mistake number one: feeding the guests peasant food.
In the past, T and I would be ready for bed at 1am and the South Americans would leave our house and head to the club. This time, T was still pooped, but I still had some energy left and decided to tag along. Since I don’t drive stick (which is the only option for cars down here), and I wanted the freedom to come back to the house if I got tired, I decided to take my bike. Once I arrived at the bar (Deja Vu–which appears in a few pictures in previous posts), I got a few funny looks for riding to the bar on my bike. My friends quickly told the bouncer, “She’s American,” which I guess appeased him. Apparently only the poorest of the poor ride their bikes around willingly. American mistake number two: riding the peasant transportation to a fancy night out.
After a bit at the bar, we decided to cruise around town and see what else was going on. Around 3am, we ended up at the gas station (which is surprisngly nice and serves good food). While everyone else continued to drink screwdrivers (with vodka and OJ bought in the gas station, which also has a full wine section), I made the mistake of ordering just seltzer water. Hydration, inexplicably, just isn’t a thing that happens. They actually ended up asking 1) whether T had imposed a curfew on me and 2) whether T required that I come home completely sober. I (obviously) was a bit flabbergasted that that was even an option. No, T does not dictate my curfew or my consumption of any liquid alcoholic or otherwise. American mistake numbers three and four: Ordering water in the middle of the party night, and not having my husband issue a curfew.
By 4:30am, we were back at Deja Vu, and by 5am I decided to call it a night. Despite some protestations from the rest of the crew, I convinced them that I was lucky just to be awake right now and that my warm, fluffy bed was calling to me. The crowd tried to convince me to stay out with them the “whole night” until 9am, when apparently the bar serves empanadas and croissants. I calmly told them that I can make my own darn breakfast at home after a few hours of sleep, and that no empanada or croissant is good enough to warrant four more hours in a pair of heels when I’m dead tired. American mistake five: Not staying out until breakfast is served the next day.
I grabbed my bike, and apparently confused them again. “But you’ll be riding back alone!” I rode here alone–and I do it all the time! “Are you sure you don’t want us to follow you with our car?” It’s 5am–the only thing out right now is you people downtown and about 25 assorted cats and dogs. I relented by saying I’d text as soon as I got back to my house. Needless to say, in my five minute bike ride back, I encountered no people, no cars, no motorcycles, and about five cats and dogs. American mistake six: Riding the peasant transportation back home alone.
Was it fun? Sure! Would I do it again? Definitely! Will it be my new weekend “thing to do”? Um, no. I don’t have that kind of stamina.