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And, yes, I DO take it personally: Embarrassing moments prior to ringing in the New Year in Argentina
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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Embarrassing moments prior to ringing in the New Year in Argentina


i arrived back in argentina yesterday, a bit worn out from a full day in airports and an overnight flight... the good news was that the flights were all smooth and on-time, my luggage arrived with me, nothing was stolen and it was a glorious summer morning here in buenos aires when i got off the plane...

after a shower and some superficial unpacking, i walked over to the supermarket in the early afternoon to pick up some necessities... i won't define "necessities" for you, just suffice it to say that mantecol was on the list (see below)... i was able to lay my hands on most everything i wanted but when i got to the checkout counter, i was dismayed to find i hadn't enough money... i could have SWORN on a stack of bibles that i did, but upon retrieving the wad of bills from my pocket, i was horrified to find that, in addition to argentine pesos, i had grabbed a handful of macedonian dinars as well... (macedonian currency, while not identical to argentine currency, is enough alike to withstand a cursory glance which is all i had given it when i took it out of the foreign currency pocket in my travel folder... sigh...) the cashier was somewhat taken aback when i announced that i wouldn't be paying for ANY of it... i figured i would come back later and do my own self-imposed version of groundhog day...

(note: mantecol makes another variety called "mega," coated with chocolate, which is, to my way of thinking, incredibly more delicious - and positively addicting - than the regular variety...)

well, after walking back home to nurse my wounded pride and then later walking back to the bank atm and getting more cash, i did go return to the supermarket, tail between my legs, only to find that the store was about 10x more crowded than it had been earlier... hmmmm... by that time, jet lag was rapidly catching up, so i decided to postpone it 'til today and instead marched on to the fruit and vegetable kiosk and the corner chinese convenience store to get enough things to tide me over...

i managed to sleep to nearly 10:30 this morning, something i almost never do, but that's just an indication of not only how tired i was, but how completely being back here relaxes me... so, after a very leisurely late morning and early afternoon, punctuated by a french toast with fresh peaches, scrambled eggs and brazilian coffee breakfast, i moseyed back over to the supermarket only to find it was about TWICE as crowded as it had been when i huffed away last evening... double sigh... needless to say, i stuck it out and was pleasantly rewarded by almost 45 minutes in line enjoying my argentine neighbors chattering with excitement over their plans for the evening festivities...

big holidays, particularly christmas and new years, are celebrated with special relish by the argentines... at midnight on both christmas and new years eves, there is nothing to compare with the explosion of fireworks taking place on every street in every barrio in the city... literally, it is impossible to even walk across a street without tripping over a kid in the process of lighting a fuse... and, lemme tell ya, some of those fireworks are B.I.G., as in H.U.G.E...! two big fireworks companies, jupiter and cienfuegos, are the major suppliers and one of them, jupiter, garners business from all over the world to put on displays...


and, as long as i'm shamelessly shilling, take a look at jupiter's awards...


so, after completing my restocking (even though i have to leave again a week from friday), i walked the two flat tires attached to my bike over to the service station to get them re-inflated and, as i passed the entryway of my neighbor's house around the corner, i was reminded that, for the past three years, i have blown the opportunity to grab a photo of their annual holiday decorating... my intentions have been good, i just never seem to have had my camera in hand before they took it down after new years... so, after riding my back back, i snatched up the camera and finally made good my promise to take a picture of it, offered below for your amusement and edification...


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