Saturday, June 06, 2009

Besotees y Una Puerta Cerrada

One of my most favourite things about Buenos Aires is that everyone kisses everyone here. It's like a handshake or a casual wave, only it's always a cheek-kiss; right-cheeks, please. And absolutely everyone does it, everywhere, to say both hello and goodbye. At the gym, big muscly guys greet each other with a kiss. It's how I say hi to my trainer, Adrián. (I'm not complaining; it's the closest I'm going to get to making out with a 24-year-old again in this lifetime.) When we had our party a couple of weeks ago, whenever someone new showed up, it took him or her 10 minutes to make their way around the room, smooching everyone up. Just this week, I went to a spinning class*, and as I was setting up my bike the instructor came over and greeted me with a kiss. And our really really awesome Spanish teacher, Sofía, signs all her emails "un besote". Beso = kiss, and besotee is a littleBIG BIG kiss (per Sofía, who just corrected me on this important matter) - which happens to be my favourite kind.

On Wednesday we went to dinner with Sofía and a bunch of other teachers and students from her school. The "restaurant" at which we dined is a puerta cerrada or closed-door restaurant, a phenomenon pretty common here in Bs.As. It's like going to a dinner party that you pay for (the restaurant is really someone's apartment). Usually a puerta cerrada restaurant is only open 2-3 nights/week, and is by reservation only. In fact, when we visited Bs.As. in 2007 we dined at an excellent puerta cerrada called Casa Felix that had just then been noted in the NYTimes.

Anyway, on Wednesday we went to ¿Dónde me trajiste? which translates to "Where did you bring me?" - so named because the restaurant/apartment is on a quiet street and doesn't have any signs outside to indicate that you might be in the right place. We had a lovely meal of red-pepper and eggplant bruschetta (served on the bread of my dreams, seriously, if I ever find the source of that bread I will need more than spinning classes to save me), homemade pasta with a rich olivey sauce, and a panqueque (crêpe) filled with apples and served with perfectly-whipped cream. We were treated to the guitar-and-vocal stylings of Tango not for export con la Orquesta Onírica, and their invited guest, Pablo Fayó.

All this, with wine and fellowship, ran us only 50 pesos (around $15) each! Oh, and totally worth the cost of entry was sitting beside Ceci (one of Sofía's co-teachers) and learning that her best friend (also named Ceci - confused yet?) lives in - get ready! - WATERLOO. Yes, that Waterloo. El mundo es chico, indeed.

*I actually went to 5 spinning classes this week (dig my bad self!), which was a direct result of Adrián making me weigh myself on Monday morning. Let's just say, I guess it doesn't matter how many vegetables you eat if you slather them in dulce de leche.

P.S. Having my own puerta cerrada, wherever we may end up, is my current #1 dream. Dare I say goal? OK, I'm going to say it. It's my #1 goal. Hello, Universe!


stephanie said...

Hello, I am new to your blog but I am ADDICTED! I just love reading everything and am sooo interested in your stories!! So glad to have found you, hope you're enjoying the day, write more soon-the food sounds amazing!!!

jillian said...

That sounds like a really amazing goal!

kajal said...

I will be at that puerta cerrada cada noche.

MoM said...

Goals ARE good! I am so proud of all your goal-achievements!

Bon Vivant said...

Hola! Soy argentina y me siento muy alagada por tu nota de los besos. Es real nos besamos y saludamos todo el tiempo para nosotros es una muestra de afecto! Te felicito por el blog esta muy lindo y nos veremos en DONDE ME TRAJISTE?
Besoooooteeesss!! jajajajaj
pd te escribo en español para que practiques el idioma

Tiernan said...

Great post. I felt like I was there (eating not spinning)

Julie said...

OMG! Jeal-ous! In such a good, loving, give-my-left-arm kind of way. And I really do need that arm.

Did you mean have people to your apartment as a puerta cerrada, or go to someone else's puerta cerrada near you that you love? 'Cause either way, I'm in! :) My place, your place. Doesn't matter. No doubt in my mind the food and company would rock. Though, sorry to say, you'd have to get your arse back to the 'Loo!

I'm still mortified about the last time we saw each other... as I currently wallow in the most amazing effect of your lavender apple scrub. HELLO!!!!!!

Miss you. So glad to always connect through UFF.

terra said...

My sister would laugh at the Waterloo connection because she says that no matter where she goes in the world, she always meets someone from K-dubs!

If you ever make it to Vancouver, you'll have to check out this "restuarant" and see how it compares :)