Thursday, April 24, 2014

Saturday, April 19

Today I woke up at 10 and was ready to go by 10:30 because Eric had told me that at 11 we would be going to the nearby city of Mendoza. I guess I really shouldn’t have been surprised when 4 in the afternoon rolled around and we had recently finished eating lunch and still hadn’t gone yet, but I was definitely disappointed.
Around 4:30 we left, but on the way we stopped first at the grocery store (which was actually one of the things I really wanted to do because I wanted to see all the different brands and weird products that don’t exist in Chile or the US) to order meat for the asado we were going to have that night, and so we didn’t actually arrive in Mendoza until like 6. Our first stop was the market, where they sold lots and lots of raw meat, among other foods. We stopped first at a discount candy store, where I bought some famous Argentinean candy—Turron and Mantecol for the people of the USA, and chocolate for my friends in Chile. I also bought dulce de leche, which is kind of like manjar but also totally different tasting.
Then we went around looking at the raw meat hanging everywhere and freaking out. Argentina is famous for their great tasting meat and also their asados. Argentinean people have a reputation for not being able to go even one day without eating meat. So basically what I’m saying is that little old vegetarian me would not do well in this country.

After the market, we walked around the center of town. I went into a souvenir shop to buy a mate cup with the word Argentina engraved on it and the special straw that you need to drink the mate with the word Mendoza on it. We walked around a little more and looked through the leather shops that Argentina is so famous for. By that time it was almost 9, and so we decided we should go home.
We arrived home around 10, and they all immediately started preparing the meat we had bought for the asado. More Argentinean family members whom I didn’t even know existed began arriving, and Tio Rolando started meticulously cooking the meat out on the grill.
We sat around talking and laughing and eating meat until like 2 in the morning.
By then I was kind of tired, but suddenly everyone decided that they wanted to go out to a club to dance. I sort of wanted to say no especially since I had only two options: go dancing with all the adults, or go dancing with Seyla and her friend whom I didn’t know at all and didn’t seem very welcoming. I finally decided that this was my only opportunity to go out in Argentina, so I went to the club called Petra with Seyla and her friend. We got in and I was at once glad that I’d come. It was just cool to see the way the people were dressed and how they were dancing and what they were doing and it was all so different from Chile.
The girls there literally where like short shorts, a bra, and the highest heels they can find and that’s all. They stood around half dancing and half texting until like 4 when the club absolutely filled up and there was no space to even move around let alone dance. Seyla is not a big dancer, but she danced with me (her friend went off with her boyfriend) and we actually had a lot of fun just the two of us. The guys there are a lot more daring with the girls, and a lot of them would grab my hand and twirl me as  I was walking by, or whisper in my ear that they wanted to dance with me, or just come up and grab my hips and start dancing with me. It was definitely a new experience.
Anyway, around 5 we got bored, left the club (there were still people outside waiting to enter), and walked a little through the center until we found a taxi to take us home. When we got back to the house, the rest still hadn’t arrived and we didn’t have the keys to Tia Vicky’s house, where we were supposed to be sleeping, so we just went to sleep in Tia Gladys’s bed.

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