Here's a snippet from something I wrote over two months ago, because my current self couldn't have said it better than my past self. I love it when that happens.
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.
The only difference is that I now get to kiss my new trainer, Matias, and that when we text to arrange our meeting times he will often reply, "Dale [OK], un beso." I'm also happy to report that the threat of swine flu doesn't seem to have diminished the amount of kissing in the least.
We're about to embark on a many, many hour bus trip, and then another many, many hour bus trip, and my good intentions of writing stuff to auto-post over the next couple of days drowned in a glass (or three) of Malbec last night, so it may be a few days before I have a chance to wrap up this list. Stay tuned!