Bowling in Belgrano
Our intercambio adventures continue with the adorable father-daughter duo, Eduardo & Paula. This week's intercambio journey landed us in the bowling lanes of Belgrano. Amazing! I don't think I have been bowling in years, and it felt great! With a cold beer in my hands, clunky bowling shoes on my feet, and bad 80's music blasting over the loud-speakers, I felt like I was on summer vacation in northern Wisconsin. And, what is most exciting is that I didn't bowl too badly! True, I came in dead-last...Eduardo reigned, Nick took the silver, and Paula the bronze, but I ended with a respectable 87. For someone who once bowled a game with a grand tally of 17, 93 ain't half-bad.
With our oven 3 weeks out of commission, Nick and I have been treating ourselves to a once-a-week noche de pizza y empanadas. And we have discovered the perfect place that does the trick: a hole-in-the-wall joint two blocks away, family-run, cheap, and delicious. The tiny and tough matriarch handles all the biz, negotiating the orders, check, and change, her purple eye-shadow somehow reminding you not to mess with her. All the while, Pops is in the kitchen, shoveling pizzas and empanadas in and out of the ovens, and the sons shuttle back and forth on motorbikes delivering the goods. One thing is for certain: the pizzeria on Avenida Jonte can't be beat.
For Leonor's birthday, we went to Puerto Pirata, a pirate-themed bar downtown. Nick and I decided that we really love over-the-top gimmicks. What can I say, the kitch just charms us! (No, readers I am not being sarcastic...For all you Sanibel veterans, think The Bubble Room. That's our preferred way to roll.) Needless to say, we loved this bar, with its giant treasure chest hanging from the ceiling, its fishing nets and ship masts protruding from the walls. The waiter's gold hoop earrings may or may not have been a stylistic choice OR a uniform requirement (I could really see it going both ways), but regardless, they were also a nice touch.
The setting was great, and so was the company. 5 months after meeting Leonor, 5 months after she began to help fill our Buenos Aires lives so much, it was rewarding to celebrate her birthday as a marker of our friendship. Her friends and their Spanish conversation floated around us, and we did our best to keep up. Leonor and her friend Paula joked about the first time we hung out and all Nick and I could say was "Donde vives?" Now we can't say much more than that, but sometimes we trick them into thinking we can (mostly through convincing head-nods thrown into the right conversational moments). And even though we can't understand everything happening around us, you realize really how much can be said through hand gestures. Really, whole friendships can be made!!! What a realization. :-)