Play-by-Play of a Typical Saturday Night in Buenos Aires

5:15pm – My friend and I chat on facebook, and decide what we want to do for the rest of the evening. We decide to head to the Galileo Planetario in Palermo to catch a free telescope viewing. We look up colectivo routes to the planetarium, a map of how to walk from the planetarium to a Mexican restaurant, El Cielito Lindo (“The Little Pretty Sky”), we’ve been wanting to try, and then a colectivo route back from the restaurant to our apartments.

5:30pm – We meet by the colectivo stop, and the bus actually comes pretty quickly – within two minutes.

6:00pm – The colectivo stops somewhere in Palermo, although not where we thought it would, and the driver says that this is the end of the line and that everyone has to get off (even if buses all have the same route number, some may stop in different places, or take slightly different routes, and so the final destination is not always obvious). We figure out that we’re only a few blocks from where we thought we would be – not so bad. We start walking in the direction of the planetarium, speaking in Spanish to pass the time (also to practice). Earlier that day, we had learned the phrase “al azar,” which means “at random.”

6:20pm – We arrive at the planetarium in Los Bosques in Palermo, and find, al azar, that there is a large concert going on right there as well. After doing a loop around the building, navigating around the hipster youth of Buenos Aires, trying to find the entrance, we find ourselves in what appears to be a promising line. We enjoy the music, a mix between Spanish and English (I believe the band played a rendition of “Hotel California,” replacing “California” with “Patagonia”) as we wait for something to happen. The website we looked at online said the telescope viewing was at 6:30, but 6:30 comes and goes with no apparent progress. At some point, they start setting up a few telescopes on the patio outside the planetarium; we keep waiting.

7:00pm – They finally let us in, although in this case “in” means moving the line from outside a fence to inside the fence, where the telescopes are set up.

7:15pm – It’s our turn, and we get a quick glance at Saturn through one of the telescopes. The planet looked small, but we could see the rings, and it had a slightly orange tint to it – probably the best view of the planet I’ve ever gotten, and perhaps the best view I ever will get. As we are quite cold by this point (it’s probably less than 40 degrees and a bit windy), we start walking very quickly toward the restaurant, which is about ten blocks away.

Also around this time I check my phone and see a text message from a friend who we are trying to meet up with that night. She says to go on facebook, and I reply that I will when I get home in a couple hours.

7:40pm – We find the restaurant but it hasn’t opened yet, so we decide to peruse a nearby book store for awhile (the book store was also warm).

8:00pm – A website I had checked earlier in the evening said the restaurant opened at 8pm, so we go back, but it’s still not open and all the staff are folding napkins at a table. I not so casually walk by the windows a couple times until one of the them comes out and tells us they open at 8:30. We walk a few blocks up the street, looking for someplace else to chill for a half hour, but eventually end up going back to the bookstore.

8:30pm – Third time’s the charm! Starving, we gobble down the nachos (they had nachos!) that were already on the table, dipping them in the side-dishes of rather spicy salsa and what seemed to be a gespacho dip. We split another serving of nachos as a starter, and each order a quesadilla, which turn out to be much smaller than we had expected. Oh well.

9:15pm – We pay the check and head back out into the frigid night, making our way toward the colectivo stop a few blocks away. Luckily, we only have to wait about ten minutes for the bus to come.

10:00pm – Back at our respective apartments, I check facebook and see a message from my friend that says she and her roommates are having dinner cooked by some Argentines they had met, and that we can meet them at a club around 1am. I text her back saying that we’ll see them there later. Still hungry after my mini-quesadilla, I make some squash soup from a very orange powder, and a soy-patty sandwich.

11:00pm – I fall asleep, curled up next to my space heater, watching a dubbed version of Ice Age.

12:15am – Best nap ever! I wake up, have a cup of coffee, and get ready to meet my friend again to head to the club, which is back in the same neighborhood where we were before.

12:45am – We meet and walk to the colectivo stop. After spending the earlier portion of the night shivering from the cold, I had resolved to put on “all of my clothing” for the second part of the night. While I didn’t actually put on “all” of my clothing, I did bundle up with two pairs of socks (one of which was a pair of knee socks under my pants – classy, I know), jeans, a tank top, a long-sleeved shirt, a long-sleeved sweater, and a coat.

1:30am – We have to walk for several blocks after getting off the colectivo (but I’m not cold!), and finally make it to the club. I get in free because I’m a girl, but my friend has to pay, albeit a reduced price because it’s early. The club — Crobar — is practically empty inside, so we chill by a wall.

1:45am – Another group of people come in, and my friend says he recognizes them — al azar — from the university where we took classes last month. We start chatting, and realize that we all know the other girl — the one I was texting earlier — as well. (She and her friends never end up coming to the club).

2:30am – The boliche starts filling up, and some American music comes on.

4:05am – By this point the club is really, really crowded — people are bumping into each other and we can hardly move. We decide to call it a night, and head out.

4:30am- We find the colectivo stop, and wait…My friend and I make a bet on how long it will take for the bus to come; he says 12 minutes, I say 15.

4:59:am – Twenty-nine frigid minutes after we make our bet, and after seeing what seemed like every other bus line in the area go by, ours finally appears.

5:35am – I get back to my apartment. For some reason, I’m actually not that tired, so I pick up my Kindle and start reading Jeffrey Toobin’s “The Nine.”

5:50am – Sleep.

4 responses to “Play-by-Play of a Typical Saturday Night in Buenos Aires

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