CRACK BANG BOOM CON, Argentina -- PART FOUR
Day starts early for once as we’re told to muster at the convention hall to take a bus tour of Rosario. Of course, it leaves like 45 minutes late for no apparent reason...seems Marcelo’s not the only one with “an interesting notion of time.” We pile on this crazy old bus and the tour is off. We shamble up the main road, take a U-turn at the big bridge, stop to look at a statue of a wrestler (?) and learn all about Rosario’s past as center for gambling, prostitution and vice of every kind. Azz and the Brazilian twins look like they might barf and i’m left wishing i had a time machine.
After more EMPENADAS and a quickie nap, it’s back to the con for the last day. Tear. I meet my last group of portfolios and say goodbye to my stalker. What? I didn’t tell you about my stalker?? Yeah, somewhere about Day 2 i grew a stalker. Young art student named Javier complete with a fauxhawk and impeccable English who followed me around for HOURS. All kidding aside, he helped me translate quite a bit and was a great kid and a huge help! Gracias!
Later that night there’s a wrap dinner of...wait for it...ASADO! Its more huge cuts of meat and the highlight is when someone says JIM LEE and it comes out sounding like CHIM LEE and somehow replaces “CHING CHING” when making a toast and you can’t reach the person at the other end of the table. Jim wasn’t there but i think his ears must have been ringing all night! We end up at the “other” Irish pub and wrap the night with more Fernet & Coke. Blah.
Monday – and the plan is to head to Buenos Aires with Eduardo and his wife. I should say that WAS the plan. Now Eduardo insists that we take a ride on his BOAT (no, its not named 100 BULLETS) and have lunch with his family. It’s a perfect day, so that seems like the thing to do. Buenos Aires isn’t going anywhere.
We hit the yacht club where he stores his boat...they keep them in dry dock and just drop them off this pier into the water when you want to take them out. Crazy. He spins us all up and down the river, around these strange islands that only appeared in the river within the last 50 years and under the great bridge. It’s a wonderful trip and i'm amazed once again that comics made it all possible.
Then its off to Lunch at la CASA...Eduardo has three boys (ages 14-22) and they all live in a beautiful, modern home. It’s got an outdoor courtyard and a built in asado grille. Sweet. The kids come home for lunch everyday and they all spend valuable quality time together as a family. Most days I eat alone at my desk in like ten minutes. You tell me who’s got it right.
The meal ends with a MATE. Mate is a special blend of spices that are put into a tiny little cauldron and mixed with boiling water. you sip it through a metal straw and pass it around the table. Its sorta like a Hookah. It’s a huge part of the culture and everywhere you see teenagers carrying Mate kits – like a portable coffee shops. Superb.
Finally it’s off to Buenos Aires! Eduardo drives and narrates. He lived in BA for about seven years so he knows the lay of the land. We decamp at a very sweet hotel in “HOLLY WOOD PALERMO”. Feels like Chelsea or parts of Brooklyn...very hipster, very modern and extremely metrosexual. So in other words, just like me. Haha
Since we’re so late, it’s off to dinner to meet Jim, Carla and Ariel Olivetti. Jim’s staying at this uber swank spot, LA FAENA – looks like it was designed by Stanley Kubrick circa A CLOCKWORK ORANGE. We eat an excellent Italian spot where i get a language lesson from Maria. She thinks it’s hysterical how i talk through my nose when i say “EDUARDO”. “Will, you must open you mouth to speak here,,,EDDDDUUUUUUUAAAAAARDDDOOOOOOOO.” Not gonna happen, dear.
Later it’s back to HOTEL FAENA for crazy cocktails and more conversation. They boot us out at 4AM. Some things never change.
TOMORROW: Super Pancho vs Ninja!