Protesting, Shopping, and Dancing... Argentine Style
Buenos Aires Travel Blog› entry 1 of 1 › view all entries
Before I start my blog for Thursday, I just want to take the time to personally thank Luqman and Brandon for my birthday gifts. I was so touched by both of these wonderful men’s generosities. I felt like a princess with my bouquets, yes I used the plural form because they bought me not 1 but 2 bouquets of flowers, and my beautiful cake. Ladies, find yourselves quality men like them. They are scarce these days, but they do exist! I also want to thank Deona and her grad school buddies for coming out and celebrating my birthday as well. It truly was a birthday to remember. I mean how many people can say that they celebrated his/her birthday in Buenos Aires playing bridge until the wee hours of the night….
Thursday started off somewhat on a late note for me. I woke up a bit later than
usual due to the in vigorous birthday bridge games that kept me up until the
early hours. After I got changed and got ready to go, I asked if either of the guys
wanted to come with me to see the Las Madres de la Plaza Mayo.
La Asociación de Madres de Plaza Mayo/ The Association of the Mothers of Plaza Mayo, is a group of Argentine mothers whose children “disappeared” under the military dictatorship between 1976 and 1983.
In the past, the protests have been more aggressive and more intense, but since January 2006, the Madres have declared that they will only be marching for a symbolic nature because they do not think the current government is hostile or indifferent. Much of this sentiment is on account of President Kirchner’s measures to try and bring justice for the more than 30,000 people who suffered during the Dirty War. In recent years, the Senate, with the President’s backing, has voted to abolish amnesty laws that had protected members of the former military government from taking responsibility for the human rights violations and abuses.
If you want more insight on how life was during this era, I highly recommend a movie called “La Historia Oficial” or “The Official History.
Okay, now that all of you are caught up with my fantastic mini history lesson, let’s move on. Luqman and I arrived at the Plaza around 3:20 PM. We arrived to a somewhat chaotic scene. There had been a junior league chess tournament earlier in the day and so there was a flurry of children that were in the Plaza. There were people who were trying to tidy up and put up tables and such in order to clear the area for the weekly protest.
We proceeded to walk towards the subway, but made a detour when we noticed the historical buildings around us. On our tour last week, our guide had told us about the Metropolitan Cathedral in the Plaza that was the burial site of national hero, José San Martín. Since we were in the Plaza, we decided that it was the perfect opportunity to explore the cathedral.
Once we were inside, we were both
taken aback by the detail and meticulous nature of the cathedral. Luqman
described it as immaculate and the vast structure of the church made us feel
very small. This beautiful cathedral was designed by Antonio Masella in a
neoclassical style. It was constructed starting in 1753, but was not completed
until almost a century later. We walked by the mausoleum of San Martín and
spent some more time looking at the various stained glass windows, artwork, and
ornate altars. Afterwards, we decided to check out one of
This unique café is located on
Avenida de Mayo, which is less than a 5 minute walk from Plaza de Mayo. This
café was first launched in 1858 by a French immigrant named Touan. It was named
after a French café in
Luqman and I sat down at a nice table by the corner and ordered some traditional café cuisine of submarinos, croissants and churros. My favorite were the submarinos, which consists of hot milk in a cup and a chocolate bar that you mix in yourself. In essence, it’s a glorified hot chocolate, but oh so much better!
After enjoying our tasty beverage
and treats, we started to make our way back to the subway station near Plaza de
Mayo. However, Luqman saw a sign for an artisan market and of course, could not
resist the opportunity to shop. We went in and to Luq’s delight, there were crafts
galore. We both ended up purchasing gifts for some of our friends. Luq even got
a custom made necklace for himself. We glanced at the time and realized that we
were running behind schedule. We knew we had to get back in time to see
We got back on the Avenida de Mayo
and tried to hail a cab. We kept trying and trying but could not get one. I
knew we were trying to hail a cab during rush hour, but this was ridiculous!
Finally after 20 minutes or so, we were able to snag a cab. Our cab driver was
a very pleasant, animated man. He was a huge River Plate fan and equated the
performance of the Atlanta Hawks with Boca Juniors. After a long ride home due
to the incessant traffic, we finally arrived at our apartment to say good-bye
We walked him to the main road,
After a rousing dinner of empanadas, we both sat down to watch the Boca vs. Libertad game in the Copa Liberatadores. Due to the liveliness of the afternoon and not getting as much sleep as I needed from the previous Birthday night activities, I bid adieu to Luqman and went in to take a nap before the night’s festivities.
I set my alarm for midnight and get a much needed rest. I woke up to the sound of the television in the living room. I walked into the living room to find Luqman, fast asleep, curled up on the couch, wrapped up in a blanket. I hated waking him, but I knew I had to so that we could make it to the hip hop club with Deona. We both showered and got ready and then hopped in a cab to go pick up Deona at her apartment.
We picked up Deona and made our way
to the club and arrived around 1:30 AM. This may seem like a late time.
However, the clubs in
We all looked at him and could tell he was an American. He was dressed in some baggy jeans and a jersey. If that didn’t give it away, his nationality was sure given away when he started speaking ENGLISH at an ARGENTINE club. However, when he said “Let me hear y’all scream…,” the crowd did react. The mix this DJ played was interesting. He had some random songs on there that NO ONE knew. I almost felt as though he was playing his cousin Ray Ray’s demo tapes or something…. Anyways, we all had a great time dancing and partying.
Okay folks, now for those of you who know Luqman, I know what you’re wondering. Did he dance? Did Luq get down on the dance floor and strut his stuff? Well unfortunately Luqman did not dance. He actually sat in the balcony area and read about ancient Egyptian culture while articulating his thoughts through prose. He took intermediate breaks to ponder about the fate of mankind as well as quench his thirst with some Sprite. Thus, Deona and I were left to find other male partners to dance with. As Luqman protectively, but not in a creepy manner, looked on, we danced into the wee hours of the morning. Finally, at 6:30 AM, Luq and I decided that we needed to call it a night/day. We carefully pried the big Cuban man off of Deona and took a cab to drop her off at her apartment. Luqman and I finally arrived home and both collapsed in bed after a very eventful day and an even more eventful night. (The above is based on a true story. Any exaggerations or omissions were a result of an imperfect memory or an attempt to protect the innocent. For an alternate ending to this saga, please contact me to purchase rights to the “My Life as Luqman Abdur-Rahman” story and we can work something out. All rights reserved. Holla at yo girl!)