Don't Cry for Me Argentina
I went to Buenos Aires for a week with my wife Sally on an Air NZ package deal with 30 other kiwis. I didn't know what to expect except there will be some Tango and to look after your personal belongings as the strreets aren't safe.
These apprehensions and mindset were similiar going to Barcelona except you can substitiute tango for flamenco.
Fortunately I didn't get robbed, and I found the locals very friendly and helpful. If only I knew Spanish. The level of English and number of English speakers is similar in ratio to the number of Spanish speakers in NZ-not many. I also felt reassured walking in the streets as there were police on nearly every corner armed to the teeth. I was also surprised at how many female police were around and how attractive they were. I felt like asking to be arrested and those handcuffs were appealing..... I wonder if they Tango as well?
We had a great group of Kiwis travelling with us and our guide Silvana was probably the best guide we have come across. Knowlegeable , friendly and very attentive. She wanted to make sure we all had a good time. And she had to work very hard as it rained everyday. Her throw away line was "ïts only a little water..." Fortunately Sally and I were prepared as we are from Wellington. We had waterproof coats and boots so we stayed dry. At least there was no wind which was a bonus.
The guides said they had the best beef in the world. I would agree as the steaks were fantastic. Unfortunately the rest of the cooking were not to NZ standards. Over cooked greens (if you got any) and very heavy on the sauces. They also seen to love their caramel sauce. My banana pancakes were smothered in sauce.
Visiting restaurants all we saw were empanadas, chips , steaks and hamburgers. But the wine was very good . I was drinking Malbecs every night The chardonnay was good as well. The Local Champagne was also very drinkable as I am not normally a fan of sparkling wine. I didn't have one bad glass of wine and the prices were reasoanble as well.
The highlight for me though was the Tango. I always loved Argentine Tango and I have VHS tapes to prove it-yes its been that long ago. Now I was living in the soul of Tango. It's a bit like Elvis fans going to Graceland. We saw a great tango show and all around was tango in the streets. Apart from beef this must be one of Argentinas greatest exports.
The people we met were all very hard working trying to survive. Infaltion rate is around 50%.
I saw an article in the Economist a while ago lamenting the fact that for all its potential Argentina is still a basket case economy over the last 30 years. The every day people complain there isn't any one worth voting for in the upcoming elections as only the rich and influential benefit.
So I wish to make a toast to all you lovely Malbec drinkers with one of my high quality Pinot noirs. You all deserve better and may the future improve for all of you. I really enjoyed the experience and will return for tango lessons!
The title should be Don't cry for Eva but cry for Argentina.