Saturday, July 4, 2009

Peña Mania!

Tears were shed, meat was consumed, wine was downed, and guitars were strummed last night at Peña de Colorado where we headed for Erin's despedida dinner. Having never been to a Peña I was very excited to see this traditional Argentine dining option. A Peña is a place where one can go to dine on typical Argentine fare and as the night wears on and the vino keeps emptying itself into people's ever extended glasses, the guitars come out and patrons begin to sing and play traditional folk songs from Argentina.
We were a big group of 12 , a mix of people from the US, England and Argentina going to show how many people from how many different backgrounds Erin has not only met, but who liked her enough to join her at a restaurant and part with some of our precious pesos to enjoy a big dinner with her one last time.
Cast of characters:

Josh, Erin and Rogelio (Erin's flatmate)

Myself and Jeremy

Erin, Rogelio, Yasmin and her boyfriend Sebastian

We ordered and shared some delicious Bife de Chorizo, Vacio, Provoleta, lamb empanandas, salad and dessert. Oh, and lots and lots of red wine. Oh do it to me every time...
After dinner and sometime towards the end of dessert, guitars magically appeared in the hands of two men at the table behind us and song books were pulled out of backpacks. They started singing beautiful folk songs, and their pepper and salt haired friend sang harmony while holding one ear and staring at me. It was creepy and Jeremy made fun of him mercilessly. More guitars appeared and other tables joined in on the action and I wished I had known the songs so I could join in as well. When I swaggered over to the bathroom I discovered a back room with more people, more guitars, and more folk songs. I love that this stuff isn't for the tourists, but for the Argentines themselves who all seem to be talented and who aren't ashamed to sing in public. All I could think of besides my full bladder was how much I love this country.
I only cried a little when we toasted Erin, and after we paid our complicated bill we headed back to Erin and Rogelio's for some more wine and then Dan, Josh and I took the twenty-nine home and arrived at the house around five am. It was a great evening and I had a wonderful time. I am still in serious denial about the fact that Erin is leaving but at least we still have one more day to sell banana bread together before she leaves.

An end of an era

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