Argentina

by Jacqui

I did some housekeeping today to get the site up to speed, and came across this entry from over two years ago in the drafts. I hope you don’t mind that I’ve decided to publish it.    

Here we are, five weeks in.  I thought the time would go by more slowly…

I met Joanna, a friend of Natasha’s. We immediately hit it off, and the day after she arrived, three days after I arrived, we boarded a bus to Mendoza to visit some wineries. We had no hotel booked, but we brought along a guidebook and a good punch of spontaneity.

We found a great place to stay, a finca with two bedrooms, a kitchen, and a porch. Four german shepherds snarled at us when we arrived, but by the second day we were all friends. Olive trees lined the rocky driveway leading up to the house. We went horseback riding in San Rafael. Laura, our fantastic tour guide, and her aunt Moni led us through vineyards. We ate cabernet grapes straight from the vine. The horse I rode kept stopping to eat from the trees, holding up the rest of the group. Kindred spirits, we were, always eating, and so I let him instead of pulling on his reigns, like Moni kept instructing me to do.

We rode bikes to different vineyards, and we met Sebastian at his family’s vineyard just before they closed for the day. He invited us to drink wine at his house, which he calls the Flower Power House. The name fits. He’s painted his Fridgidaire pink and left the brush strokes rough. A curtain of beads separates the kitchen from the dining room. After hours around his table, Joanna and I went to dinner in town, and it so happened that Sebastian’s parents were eating dinner there also. The next day, he met us at the bus station and we had a parting beer, a Quilmes, of course. Sebastian, we’ll miss you.

I drink coffee, but I’ve never drank so much as I do here. Every morning, every afternoon, and after dinner, if it happens to be at a restaurant. Espresso comes with a side of something sweet, usually chocolate coated, and a small glass of sparkling water. I always eat the chocolate first, then drink the coffee, and then the water. Is this the proper way? I’ve no idea.

I moved in with Natasha’s sister, Nicky, who has also become a friend. We found an apartment in Palermo. It’s modest and charming, decorated with vases of silk flowers, brass lamps, and a salmon colored tapestry love seat. Very 1960s. It’s nice to unpack my clothes and to put my toothbrush in the same place every day, some place other than its plastic travel tube or thrown willy nilly amidst well-worn clothes. There is also a stereo that we’ve permanently set to the eighties station. We hear this one a lot.

I met someone. He’s flippant and beautiful and vain, and he seems to think I’m beautiful back, and this is a very effective distraction from the person I last loved (and his new girlfriend). Though I’m trying to approach our circumstance as nothing more than coincidence, as two singles in transition who’ve collided for a few weeks, tops, something tells me this. will. end with me reaching.

I did reach. And that was that.   

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