You Know You’ve Been in BA a Long Time When…

18 Apr

Last night was sort of an early night, and by early night I mean we were leaving the club at 3:30 am. It’s kind of a rare thing to be leaving the place just as tons of people are showing up and the line is forming. The music was good, we were talking to some girls, but me and the guys had decided that we’d seen enough. It wasn’t a full night out anyway.

But thinking back on these kinds of nights always amazes me. How on earth did I get to the point where I look at the clock and think how early it is, when in fact it’s very early morning? The night started with a wine tasting with Anuva Wines, which I’ll write about in depth in another piece. The tasting was at 6 pm and by the time I left at 8:30 pm, five wines later and with a bit of a buzz going, I went home and what did I do? Well, if this was the United States, I could have either met up with friends right then and began the night or gone to a bar right off.

We live in Argentina, so things are a little different. I went home and took a little nap. Then I wrote a review about the wine tasting. Later, I made some mate to wake myself up and ate a few snacks. I started talking to some friends online, and by 11:30 pm I was getting ready to meet up with a couple of the guys I know here. Over time you can adjust to anything, and I’ve definitely reached the point at which a porteño lives by–that is to say, awake for almost the entire day. They just don’t like to waste time sleeping.

On the rare occasion in college that I was awake around 3 am my body was destroyed the next day. I’d probably sleep until 1 pm and then be useless the next day. And keep in mind that hangovers get worse with age. I went to bed around 4 am last night after all was told. This morning I woke up around 10:30 am and stayed in bed until 11, but feel fine. The main difference is also in the way we drink here. Last night, apart from the wine tasting earlier on, I only had three beers. This is partly because of money, but also because in order to last the whole night you can’t be wasted in one hour. On the contrary, back home the idea is to drink as much as possible, so if you reach 3 am it means you’ve probably had 10-12 beers by that point just to keep pace.

At least that’s the way it was anyway. This kind of lifestyle can’t sustain itself, obviously. If you go out like this too frequently you’ll just waste your body, but doing so once in a while is normal for the youth in Buenos Aires. I stayed in Friday night taking care of the last day of a cold, and on Saturday I went out with the guys. But this is by no means a five day a week excursion for me. The main difference that I can see is that in the United States you might head out at 7 or 8 pm and be home by 1 or 2 am. Here, you follow a similar time line but later, so you leave around midnight or 1 am and get home at 5 or 6 am. The early night nap is essential, as well as a late dinner.

I fear the day when I go home to a Puritan Boston, where people are wasted by 11 pm and bars stop serving at 1 am. It’s like seeing Paris and then returning home to the farm. Again, I’ll eventually get used to it again, but I feel like a bitter part of me will always be complaining that just as we are getting home people are finishing dinner and heading out in Buenos Aires, and they aren’t even hours behind. One day, anyway.

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