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Refreshing is the Air of Bariloche!

December 6th, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

I mean I know I just came from a city whose name literally translates to “Good Airs”,

But man, somehow the lake-laden and mountain-surrounded environs of this next town have a lot over the well-trafficked city streets when it comes to air quality.

A few wrap up notes from the big city!  Turns out I enjoyed a more proper Thanksgiving dinner after all (thank you to all who expressed concern over my well-being regarding the sushi/hot dog/ice cream combo described earlier).  Liz and Julia put on a fantastic meal for 7 last Saturday, and though turkeys and pumpkins are hard to find in these parts, two well appointed chickens with rosemary rub and a smartly spiced butternut squash pie really narrowed the gap between my experience and the traditional fare (especially relative to the aforementioned sushi/hot dog/ice cream).  Add culinary moxie to the stack of my gratitudes.

Last Tuesday I had a man date with Christian, the fruitteria guy who works at Roberto’s stand.  The fellows there all seemed to think it was cute that I liked beer when they noticed my being muey tranquilo: I guess the Japanese Asahi beer that I’d enjoyed with sushi just before really brings out the mellow in me.  Christian said we should go for a beer sometime, so we made a plan for me to come back at 10pm and do just that.

There’s something magical about two people coming together to shoot the breeze over beers and with a language barrier.  We talked and toasted liberally to the things in life that matter: our respective loves, family, beauty, good beer, and what a neat thing it is to be able to kick it over good beer and connect with another in spite of language differences and vastly different cultural backgrounds.  Christian has a wife and a four year old son (whom I was invited to come by to meet the following day after yoga–super cute).  He’s from Peru and his whole family is still there.  His plan is to return there in 2 years, and I’m heartily invited to come visit and meet his family and be shown around.  Peru 2012 sounds like a great option to me.  We agreed that if he and I were able to communicate this well now with my current level of Spanish immersion, it should be fantastic by then!

Now Tracy and I are in Bariloche.  The chocolate shops here are as fantastic as they are abundant.  First recommendation from the trusty Lonely Planet is Mamushka, a Russian-themed chocolate shop complete with those cool nested dolls everywhere.  Most note-worthy was the tiramisu chocolates modeled after the famed Italian dessert.  My literal first words to Tracy after the first bite: “oh my God, it’s like Italy just made love to my mouth.”  Even in retrospect, them’s about the most fitting words I can think on in my clumsy efforts to convey such flavor bliss.

I’ve learned that I really love architecture that prominently features wood: big, oft gnarly and imperfect logs that convey cozy and quaint like little else can.  The other night we ate at a restaurant that looks as though pulled straight from the hobbit village of the Lord of the Rings universe: finely finished cypress logs, ascending stumps of a staircase, and a big rounded wooden door that swings lightly on it’s hinge despite being 5 feet wide.  With food and wine fit to match the grandeur of the space I might’ve surmised I’d been thrown into a fan-fic plot where Frodo settles down after that whole ring nonsense and makes it big as a restaurateur.

Yesterday Tracy and I spent some quality time on the lawn of the town square enjoying the live music juxtaposed against a “Jesus es el camino” parade and a passing through motorcycle rally.  I gained the title of “dog whisperer” for having a troupe of 4 of them hanging out beside and being petted by me for like an hour.  I believe I asked the phrase “who’s a good doggie” (and “quién es un buen perro”) about 80 or so times.


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