Day of the Virgin, Sweet Caroline and Delicious Foods

8 Dec

We had a nice hump day holiday today, thanks to Argentina taking the time to celebrate the Day of the Virgin. I’m not Catholic, but I appreciate a day off in the middle of the week in late spring. Without checking the archives I have absolutely no idea what I did last year on this day, but I’d imagine it was somewhat similar to today in that I spent it alone and walking around. The day started off well when I flipped on the TV with my Golden Grahams in hand and saw that Seinfeld was on. Since I’m never at home at 10:30 am during the week it’s a mystery to me what is shown, but this wasn’t what I was expecting. Add to the fact that outside there was a bright blue sky with not a single cloud and a fresh breeze coming in, we were picking up steam quickly.

I had to head into the Microcentro, the last place I wanted to be on a day off, because I needed to get a new pair of pants. After the fiasco with the pair of pants I bought a couple of week ago, my dad advised me to just start from scratch and get a new pair of khakis. I quickly found a shop that seemed legit, tried on a pair and was told they’d be hemmed and ready in a half an hour. To kill the time I walked down dreaded Calle Florida for a moment before deciding to spoil myself and get an ice cream at McDonald’s. I never go to McDonald’s, but I figured why not, it’s a day off and it’s hot out.

Inside the mega-Micky D’s, a familiar song came on. But what was it? Neil Diamond? Could it be “Sweet Caroline?” The last time I heard it was undoubtedly when I was last home almost a year and a half ago, and the song nearly brought a tear to my eyes. Suddenly memories of Fenway Park and a bunch of sloshed Massholes yelling, “So good! So good! So good!” came to my mind, and it made me nostalgic but content. Rather than feeling sorry about missing it, I was glad that an old memory like that was stirred up.

After leaving McDonald’s I realized that I was only a block from Las Cuartetas, one of the best pizzerias in Buenos Aires. It had been months since I’d been there, and though I just had ice cream, I figured why not. It’s not that often that I wander down to Avenida Corrientes, anyway. The fact that a slice of mozzarella went up to $5 ticked me off but I was already there. I ate the slice quickly and took a moment to appreciate the restaurant, then bounced.

With the pants picked up, I came back home to touch base and figure out what I would do with my entire day ahead of me. 2 pm, well I’ll just have a little Fernet and cola. After all, it’s a day off. My mind was made up, it’s off to the Costanera Sur, where I hadn’t explored in a while. Even though it’s basically just a swamp by the dirty Río de la Plata, after being surrounded by concrete for a while the green is a welcome relief. I moseyed over and began a slow walk around the perimeter, taking my time and stopping occasionally, working on a tan/burn. I was getting very tired by the time I made it to the row of parrillas boasting the widely accepted best bondiola (pork) sandwiches in the city. I really wanted one but didn’t have enough cash, so I could only afford a run of the mill choripan (sausage) sandwich.

I still had a ways to walk to the bus stop, and after the long walk as well as running about 18 kilometers in the last couple of days, I barely made it. It would have been nice to pass the day with a friend or two, but I’ll take what I can get during the week on a gimme day off in the spring.

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