Friday mid-day I returned from a truly satisfying Southern Cone hopscotch, which took in Buenos Aires, Asunción, Montevideo, and Chihuahua, a beach settlement near Punta del Este. It was one of the most exciting trips I've taken in a while, full of moments of reconnection with favorite cities, exploration of new places, and the discovery of good new friends and acquaintances. I've got a lot to write about here and elsewhere on the jaunt.
Here, some highlights:
• Riding Asunción's public buses with anthropologist Christine Folch and learning a lot about Paraguay's sheerly fascinating cultures, economy, and history very quickly.
• Wandering through Punta del Este during the day and discovering that the South American Hamptons has far more charm and cute corners than the sterile corner of Long Island to which it is compared. (Apologies to any readers who enjoy the Hamptons, sort of.)
• Discovering new corners of Montevideo, including Cordón, Pocitos, and the Feria Tristán de Narvaja street market.
Preparing to be away from home for 15 weeks, it turns out, requires the completion of many tasks. Thus, the reduced posting pace of late.
Over the past week I've had the happy fortune to snack on an entire box of Havanna alfajores, brought back from Buenos Aires by my sister. I've had alfajores in the past, but honestly they just didn't thrill me. These Havanna confections, however, are a different story altogether. They were exquisitely delicious, and I loved their presentation, in a bright beautiful yellow box of individually-wrapped alfajores. I'll leave it to others to parse the magic of the alfajor. I'll just say that the approximations found in Manhattan pastry cases aren't even in the same ballpark as these babies.
Also from Argentina via Marisa: current issues of Pronto and Paparazzi. I admire the full narratives on the cover of Pronto, a magazine that does not believe in the gentle tease. Paparazzi trumpets "¡El Embarazo Del Año!" on their cover, claiming that the pregnancy of the year belongs to Argentine actress Dolores Fonzi, the girlfriend of Gael Garcia Bernal. In actuality, it appears that the two haven't even acknowledged being in a relationship. Also, her pregnancy doesn't officially exist. Great cover, though.
What else? I'm glad that I bought my June London-Isle of Man air ticket from Flybe rather than Euromanx, as the latter has gone belly-up.