Saturday, June 26, 2010

THE END OF THE AFFAIR?

Last night was a Buenos Aires classic. First stop: Dinner with Cara at Rave, which I was reviewing for Time Out Buenos Aires. The food was spectacular, though I'm still not convinced that the salmon blanco wasn't whitefish, and the company was even better. Cara coined the term "vacationship" to describe holiday flings, and I fell in lust with the apparently married guy who was sitting at the table across from us and kept smiling in my direction.

By the end of dinner, I was wiped out. I tried to rally with Michael and his friends at the second stop: Give, a nearby bar. But after two unfortunate bathroom episodes too disgusting to detail here, Cara and I were on our way home. One second wind later, I ended up at the third stop -- Glam -- with Michael and his friends. Aside from the normal occurrence of strangers approaching me and addressing me by name, Glam was enlightening. And not because I realized that I never again want to hear "Gloria," "Love Shack" or any Michael Jackson song on the dancefloor.

Several people congratulated me on the U.S. team's World Cup win, as if I had anything to do with it, or as if I even care. One guy in particular, chanted "waka waka" every time he saw me, and I still have no idea what that means. All of this, however, was incidental to the night's epiphanous moment -- well, three of them. Throughout the course of the evening, three different people, all porteños whom I hadn't seen in a while, asked me the very same question, "Why are you still in here?" That's here, as in Argentina. One of them still can't believe that I would leave New York City for Buenos Aires. The others just couldn't believe that I was still here. Did they think I was merely passing through in the first place and hence their line of questioning, or were they unconsciously suggesting what I've suspected for a while now: It's time to move on?

I know the day is coming -- probably sooner than later -- where I will pack up and hit the road. There's one little problem. Where will I run to? I loved Istanbul. But I could never grasp the language. London is so expensive that it still seems like an unattainable dream. I'm checking out Australia in September, so we'll see if that makes it onto my wish list. Or maybe there is somewhere out there that I have yet to even consider. I just signed up for a year-long membership at a new BA gym; I have a new pilates instructor; and I'm about to change my health-insurance coverage, so my bags are not as good as packed.

But can three people in one night be wrong? Is it time for me to fly?
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