"Don't Cry for me..."You know the Rest
I'm not sure why. I mean, that there are a number of reasons. Is it that each one of them is reason enough? Or, is just that they are all tied together, in a neat, tidy little bow that is the end of our nearly three week journey? There is something that is not too convoluted. One thing I know for sure. Buenos Aires is not our favorite place.
Buenos Aires. That name, that is synonymous with the Tango. Buenos Aires. Spain, France, England, Italy, together, rolling over each other, like children sharing a bed, on a humid muggy night, where sleep can never really come.
Buenos Aires. Statues, sculptures, palaces, tombs. Protests, street hustlers and police, lights ever flashing. Everyone attempting to out do the others. Siblings, struggling for a single parents affection, or at the very least, attention.
A land of soft leather, succulent beef, passionate rhythms and sophisticated dance. This place should secrete sex and swagger like pheromone glands and full wallets. It does not.
The city is dirty (keep in mind we've just been trekking through Patagonia, one of the most pristine places left on Earth). The streets are packed, the sidewalks crumbling under foot, the hustlers are aggressive (but, polite I'll add), and the air smells. This last fact is not necessarily the cities fault. Well, it's the founders faults. It doesn't smell of garbage, or waste, it's just that half the city was built right on top of a water table. The musk of the city is that of stagnant water. Either that, or it's me, with clothes that haven't been washed in weeks, walking the humid, 90 degree streets. Everyone's a critic.
Highlights? Uhm, the Four Seasons? Yes. Graffiti? Yeah, some of it. The public art? Definitely, some pretty cool statues. Tango Rojo? Ha! That was a trip! This touristy, burlesque, Vegas style show was cool. You know how those heart shaped jacuzzis at Niagra Falls, make you giggle (yes, giggle), and the quizzical look you get on your face the first time that you stare up at the Hollywood sign in LA and wonder, 'am I there?' The stupid Ferris wheel on the Thames. That kinda cool. Pure 100%, processed, Velveeta. Rock on.
Like I said, the Four Seasons was nice. Okay, that's just like calling Frank Sinatra or Aretha Franklin pretty good singers. This palace of decadence is like putting on the very best haute couture and checking yourself out in every passing reflection. Damn I look good! Of course you do, fine quality will do that, and from the lobbey to the turn down service, The Four Seasons is quality.
With cold precision and warm smiles, you are made very comfortable within the manned security perimeter of this hotel. The decor is reminiscent of a Golden Era, with its fine Argentine leather, colored chandeliers and iron work. Across this magnificent 1940's private eye back drop is splashes a sense of the uber modern. In fact it is neatly sewn into the fabric, like a wormhole that shares two different time periods in the same space. Pretty darn swanky. With a security detail, in full evening dress, standing in the 90 degree heat, walking the perimeter, and taking refuge in the shade by the fan behind the bar, you can almost see Madonna, standing on her veranda of the suite across the from us, imagining her next big scene. The finale, the coupe de grace, her song, no, Evita's song to the people.
Our last night, before an early rise with a day of plane travel, the thunderstorm rolled in, drowning the city in a purple lit fury. The rain continued through the morning, while we headed to the airport. Only, stopping, to let the sun say it's goodbyes as the plane lifts off of the Tarmac, bidding us farewell, or sneering, sharing a moment, like a memento of our journey, or a fat middle finger as we soar towards, single digit weather, snow, to home. I'm sure it was the former, maybe even a peace offering, a token of goodwill, as if to say, 'I know Chile was wonderful, that you didn't get to spend enough time in Argentina. You didn't get to really know us, here. Return, someday. Any day. We'll teach you to really dance! Bon Voyage!'
Next time, I'll pack my dancing shoes.