Partying the Argentinean way

Trying to keep up with the Argentinians

Although we cannot, by any stretch of the imagination, refer to ourselves as experts on the subject of Argentinean nightlife (note the one small picture we managed to scrounge up for such a topic), we have noted some cultural consistencies.

After a full day of exploring a city or hiking a mountain, we often find ourselves at 6:00pm looking for some serious nourishment. Our low blood sugar kicks in and we mope through the town inquiring at different restaurants about the prospect of them serving food.

“The kitchen doesn’t open until 8:00pm” is the answer we get at each establishment.
“Silly turistas”, others will say.
“Por favor”, we beg.

It gets desperate, painful, and frustrating when all we’ve eaten that day is some Activia and a banana.

And even if we manage to wait it out, when we arrive at 8:00, the restaurant is deserted. No self-respecting Argentinean would ever think about eating until 10:00pm. So we eat alone until 9:30 when the locals trickle in, dressed up and expectant of a wild night. Dinner isn’t just about being fed; it’s the beginning of an all-night social event of endless meat, vino, and eventually dancing.

Movement to the bar doesn’t happen until (at the very earliest) 1:00am where the drinks will switch from wine to Fernet con Cola. Fernet is a sweet, herbal, 40-proof liquor from Italy that is mixed with Coke from the U.S. to create this Argentinean specialty.

At 3:00am its time to dance and the party moves to a nightclub. Only once have Leah and I made it this far and by 4:00am, we’re done. The smoking, the heat, the strobe lights, and the electro music are wonderful for about an hour and then it’s time to take our leave.

Perhaps we’ve just become too old and lame to dance until 7:00am and then go straight to breakfast. Perhaps the siesta, which we have never quite fully mastered, has something to do with the Argentinean stamina. Perhaps the reason why most stores are closed from noon until 5:00pm has something to do with it. Whatever the reason, the endurance of the Argentinean nightclubber is a marvel in itself, a worthy sight to be witnessed first-hand during a trip to South America.

Photo credit: Dave Rosin