As soon as I confirmed that I was traveling to Buenos Aires, I emailed my friend Deby to see if she was available to get together. As it turned out, Deby was also celebrating her birthday last weekend, and she invited me to take part in the festivities.
I got to know Deby through her blog, which chronicles her life in Buenos Aires. Since Deby is a tanguera (tango dancer), many of her posts focus on the tango social scene in the milongas (tango dance halls), which I find fascinating since I'm completely unfamiliar with the world of tango. She is spunky and vivacious, and her personality really comes through in her writing.
When I arrived on Friday, I gave Deby a buzz and we got together for lunch. During the course of our conversation, I mentioned that I would like to go to Barrio Chino (Chinatown), and Deby kindly offered to accompany me there.
She led me to a store called Casa China, filled to the brim with spices, sauces, noodles, teas and various imported products like Dijon mustard, Heinz ketchup, and peanut butter that are difficult to find elsewhere. Though the place was heavenly, I somehow managed to keep my spending in check. I bought a few spices, soy sauce, and brown sugar, and I left Barrio Chino with a smile on my face.
On Saturday night, Deby invited me to have dinner with her and a few other friends at a Korean restaurant. I had not eaten Asian food in months, so I was very excited at the prospect of going to this restaurant.
Deby, her friend Deirdre, and I shared a cab to the restaurant, and the three of us were thoroughly entertained by our conversation with the taxi driver. He couldn't wrap his head around the fact that we were looking forward to eating at a Korean restaurant, where surely the main course would be a dish of dog or cat. He went on and on about Koreans and their cuisine for the entire cab ride, culminating his rant with the following statement: "There are only two things I fear in this world: gays and Koreans." At this point, Deby, Deirdre and I were roaring with laughter, but this guy was dead serious.
We hopped out of the cab, and upon entering the restaurant we found three more of Deby's friends waiting for us. I was pleasantly surprised to find Fred there, another American that I have gotten to know through my blog.
I had a great time trading stories with everyone, and the food—a fusion of Japanese and Korean—was fresh and delicious. All I can say is, if I ate cat at that restaurant, it was the best damn cat I ever ate.
The next evening was Deby's birthday party at her apartment in Palermo. When I first arrived I did not know anyone there except for Deby, but I easily struck up conversation with the other guests, many of whom know Deby through tango. I was introduced to two Australian women, Sharon and Rosa, and they invited me to go to a milonga after Deby's party (more about that in my next post!).
Later in the evening, I did get a chance to meet Sammy, a chef, website designer, and writer who I'd come to know through his very helpful website called Good Morning Buenos Aires. I also got to know Gina, whose reputation as an amazing baker of all things yummy preceded her. The chocolate cake she brought with her was divine.
A huge thank you to Deby for showing me such a good time! I'll leave you all with a few photos from the party.