I played tourist while roaming the city solo, gawking at the Obelisk, perusing the Feria de San Telmo, and wandering in and out of the shops of Once.
I admired the tattered elegance of San Telmo, the neighborhood where I stayed during my visit.
I strolled with my friend Beatrice through Parque Lezama, and we smiled and suppressed a few giggles at the sight of some old folks doing tai chi. The twisting branches of the tipa trees overhead offered protection from the blazing sun that even those of the canine persuasion seemed to appreciate.
I ate traditional Argentine favorites done right at Bar El Federal; a slice of fugazza (onion pizza without cheese) at Güerrín while standing at the bar chatting with strangers; a soggy, disappointing margherita pizza at Siamo Nel Forno; tasty and creative crepes at Lo de Carlitos; and flavorful papas a la huancaina and ceviche at the Peruvian restaurant Mamani.
I discussed the merits of tongue marinated in vinegar with a butcher at the Mercado de San Telmo and sized up the offerings at a Saturday morning market that springs up near the corner of Chile and Balcarce each week.
I sweated (did I mention the stifling heat and humidity in Buenos Aires last week?), necessitating at least two showers per day to remove the layers of perspiration, sunscreen and grime of the city from my skin.
In a city with nearly 40,000 taxis, I managed to hop into the cab of a nutty, wild-eyed driver I first encountered over a year and a half ago, who delivered one of the strangest monologues I'd ever heard, which compared men to different brands of alfajores (Argentine sandwich cookies). I instantly remembered him when he launched into his well-worn, practiced shtick once again.
Cherie of Tangocherie invited me to a fantastic asado that she and her partner Rubén hosted at their home. I got to meet Tina from Tina Tangos and Sally from Sallycat's Adventures – two lovely ladies I've known "virtually" for some time but had never had the pleasure of meeting. Cherie wrote up a great post with photos about our get-together.
I even danced tango (badly) for the very first time after a 15-minute lesson from Rubén.
Hey, you only live once, right?