Every year for the past 4 years, my friend Jeet and I have done a Spring Break vacation together where we fly someplace far away and mostly drink and nap a lot. I was worried we’d break the streak this year, but luckily Jeet flew down to meet me in Buenos Aires to keep the tradition alive.
I was really excited to take a vacation, which might seem strange because – well, what am I doing already? While I’m traveling, there are projects I’m working on, things I’m trying to achieve before I go back and I feel lazy if I don’t dedicate part of my day to anything productive. I think about money a lot – trying to stick to hostels and restaurants cheap enough that I don’t run out of money before I’m ready to leave. So I could go on vacation just like anyone could go on vacation – by taking a break from caring about the things I usually care about.
The vacation was a lot of fun and exactly what I’d hoped for. We got a fancy hotel room:
Fancy relative to what I’m used to at least, though I think at this point I’m pretty easily impressed by accommodations. I was overjoyed by things like having a place to leave my laptop always out and online instead of having to grab it out of a locker and wait for it to boot up every time I wanted to check my email or screw around online (and screw around online a lot I did!).
The hotel claimed to have a complimentary breakfast buffet and I was pretty dubious, considering that on this trip I’ve been promised many a breakfast buffet only to have my heart broken when I realize this “buffet” is just a big basket of stale bread rolls and maybe (if I’m lucky) orange juice. This hotel turned out to have the breakfast buffet to restore my faith in breakfast buffets. Fresh fruit, croissants, fruit pastries, cheeses, ham slices, and the most amazing scrambled eggs I’ve ever had in my life.
Jeet was obsessed with the breakfast buffet coffee. So much so that on a night we got home at 7 AM and had breakfast buffet to end our night and were planning to crash immediately after, Jeet had two cups of coffee that kept him up 3-4 hours longer. “Still worth it, though.”
Getting lots of delicious food was a big part of the vacation. Argentina has really good beef, so steak here is amazing and fairly inexpensive. Starting on day 2 of the vacation, I’ve eaten steak eight nights in a row. They’re big on dulce de leche here and I discovered during the week that bananas covered in dulce de leche is pretty much the greatest thing ever. Also, this gigantic ice cream / fruit / wafer tower thing was pretty good, but took both of us out of commission for a while after our unsuccessful attempt to finish the entire thing.
And since it was Spring Break, we hit the bars and clubs every night, continuing to be mystified at how Argentinians can go out as late as they do and return to work the next day. We met these two guys in Recoleta who were getting drunk with us at 2 AM and telling us about the big meeting they had to be at the next day with the head of their company at 9 AM.
They told me the next day that the meeting went great. I still don’t understand how they do this.
We also met this girl whom I felt a strong kinship with because we had matching tiny eyes that always seem closed. She also hit me with this curveball:
Her: Where are you from?
Me: The United States. New York.
Her: No! Mentiroso! [Liar!]
Me: What? I’m American. I’m from the United States.
Her: Mentiras! [Lies!]
Me: Why don’t you think I’m from America?
Her: Your English is too bad.
I don’t have that many “going out” clothes with me and we quickly realized that one of the perils of going out in Buenos Aires is that you come home in the morning reeking of smoke. I still haven’t washed this button down yet and to go anywhere near it at this point, I have to hold my breath (which is why I’ve almost died of suffocation when I put it on to go pick up a sandwich this morning).
So that was Jeet Week. Now: back to the grind.