The Tango originated in Argentina, and the love for the traditional dance is still flourishing. Our very first day in Argentina, we saw people performing the Tango in the street, not inhibited by the tourists and others passing by.
The Argentine’s love for dance, however, is not strictly limited to traditional forms like the tango. The nightlife reflects the culture’s love to move to the groove (of a wide variety of music). Within a 30 minute period, the DJs at various clubs would play songs seemingly randomly. One time we were enjoying some salsa music and then were surprised to have that followed with “Who Let the Dogs Out?” then “Living on a Prayer” followed by a song in Spanish into some Madonna. While we were a little caught off guard and confused by the musical choices, we still had a great time and tried to continue our dance moves seamlessly like the locals were doing.
On our last night in Buenos Aires, we visited a Tango Show at a beautiful restaurant. The show went on while we enjoyed a very nice meal and we were lucky enough to have front row seats. As a dancer myself, I enjoyed the technicality of the movements, the grace of the transitions, and the variety of styles within the show. What made an impact on everyone was the passion that everyone on the stage shared. The star dancers were being matched by the less experienced ones and by the in between vocal acts as well. It was clear that these people loved doing exactly what they were doing in the show and it made it that much better for us to watch!
One of our advisors with CEA was named Nahuel. He was a walking encyclopedia and comedian all in one. He overheard me talking about the blog on our way to Colonia, Uruguay. That’s when he helped spark the idea behind this post.
The following is a list of quotes from Nahuel….
Nahuel is so hot…”
“I am banned from driving in Uruguay … When I was young I was stupid and drove a golf cart into the water.”
“I used to think YOLO was a thing that girls who did weird things said.”
After visiting the cemetery… “I don’t think YOLO is a good saying; you live every day. It should be YODO because you really only die once.”
“They were ninjas and they were turtles… It’s a win-win situation.”
“From coast to coast, from soda to pop, from hipster to gangster, I know it all.”
“I lost my swag today.”
Nahuel was a great guy to lead us on the trip! He was so funny and really knew so many interesting and slightly bizarre facts that most wouldn’t know. He helped make the trip the experience it was for us – he understood our culture and made it easy to adapt to Argentine ways. I know we all miss him, his sense of humor, and his Argentinian sarcasm!
This photo captures his sense of humor!
This weekend we enjoyed a major contrast to the city life of Buenos Aires.
We began with a 13+ hour journey via bus to northern Argentina. Our first stop was at the most beautiful ranch house I have ever seen. Green land as far as the eye can see in every direction. Here they grew tea and mate. After a tour of the outdoor factory where the mate is processed into the final product, we enjoyed a BBQ and poolside relaxation. The serenity of the whole area was so powerful and necessary after a first crazy week in the city. The food we were served here was fantastic – empanadas, chorizo sandwiches, salad, four cuts of meat, lemonade, tea, mate, fruit, the list goes on. And every bite of it was delicious.
The next day we tackled the Iguazu Falls. Countering the majesty of Niagara Falls, there were so many beautiful waterfalls ranging in size and monstrosity. We paid about $30 US to go on a speed boat which took us right up underneath some of the falls. It was insanely fun. However, our group could not get enough, so we began chanting “Mas! Mas! Mas! Mas! Otra Vez!” and eventually found ourselves getting an additional second and third splash!
Ending the weekend, we visited the local Guarani tribe, who are living in their traditional ways, living the simple life. These people were so healthy and happy, oblivious to the chaos of the outside world surround them. Our guide, a 62 year old leader, did not look a day over 45. He described to us the daily life that his people lived and showed us their hunting rituals. He also mentioned how there are no deadly illness or cancers in the community, impressive.
Needless to say, and up close and personal weekend with nature was exactly what we all needed.
Small meals are seemingly nonexistent in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Each meal begins with an appetizer, followed by a (very large) main dish, a side item, and of course, dessert and beverages served exclusively in glass bottles. All that per every individual person. Keep in mind that saying ‘no, gracias’ is not an acceptable answer that your residency mother will accept. So caloric intake will be ignored for the next two weeks.
The portions are enormous and the food has been quite tasty. The menu variety is reflective of the range of immigrants who first made up the population. Of course you can count on meat, meat, and more meat to be on the menu. Side note – meat cuts are not limited like many Americas are used to, and the Argentines are NOT wasteful. Some meat options have included cow tongue, liver and intestines, llama parts, … The list goes on and on.
Pictures coming soon…. Hopefully we can maintain our figures with all the hearty eating we are doing/have already done with no regrets. Good, cheap food- why should we not indulge????
While there were MANY McDonald’s in BA, we chose to skip this in our list of foods to eat.