Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Experiences in only 30 minutes in Buenos Aires

Sometimes I get surprised about all that can happen to you in only 30 minutes…

Last Thursday I arranged to meet a friend for a drink after work. Since I arrived early, I decided to sit and wait at a bar on Esmeralda Street. I entered the bar, sat down, asked for coffee, took out my Chinese notebook and started reviewing the last lesson.

After a couple of minutes, the waiter approached my table and told me: “Excuse me Miss, I wanted to let you know that the gentleman over at that table just paid for your coffee."

Blushed, I looked over to the given table to thank the men for the treat, only to find an empty table; the men had left without even asking for my name; a gesture that did not prevent me from enjoying the anonymous invitation.

After finishing my coffee, I realized I still had some time, so I continued to study until the owner of the bar started screaming at some customers, and I could not study any longer.“¡Rajá de acá!,” screamed the bar owner, “¡Callate y rajá! I’ve already told you I don’t want to see you around here anymore. ¡Tomatelá! ¡Tomatelá!”


After witnessing such a scene, I felt so uncomfortable that I didn’t even want to breathe. I wanted to disappear. But at that point, I did not know what was worse: to move and call people’s attention, or stay put trying to hide behind my books.

I chose the second option. I breathed deeply and kept studying until the bar owner approached me with mediaslunas and said: “I'm sorry miss. Don’t think I am a bad person. I don’t treat all my customers that way. But this guy always comes asking for money and I am tired of it. Please accept these mediaslunas as an apology. They are the best mediaslunas of Buenos Aires!”

“Thank you, Sir, “ I told him, “they will be great for breakfast.” I put them in my bag next to my notebooks, said goodbye and left to look for my friend. It was still early, but I had collected enough anecdotes for one day. I preferred to wait outside.

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