It's actually kind of nice that we don't notice each other's routine activities. Usually we go to sleep and get up together and pretty much spend the whole night wrapped around each other. But a few times he's awakened early, showered, dressed, eaten, and gone off to work while I snoozed away. We're comfortable enough together that we don't react to every sound and movement of the other one and I like that feeling of easy familiarity.
Earlier yesterday evening we went to a birthday party in Recoleta at the home of one of Luciano's friends, who I'm told is someone fairly high up in the national government. There were 30+ guys there, all Argentinos and all gay. I don't know why it's so obvious that I'm a yanqui (American), there are tall Argentinos with fair hair. All I said was hola (hello) to the group but everyone knew instantly that I'm an American and talked to me in English. It was pretty much like a typical American birthday party with a cake, singing the same happy birthday song (but in Spanish), drinks and snacks, laughter and conversation. Other than the language and empanadas (meat-filled pastries), you wouldn't necessarily realize it wasn't somewhere in the US.
Last Sunday we were out and about, as usual on the one day of the week when Luciano's store is closed. We walked over to the Bosques de Palermo (Palermo Woods), a large park reminiscent of New York's Central Park, with a lake, rose garden, golf course, and other amenities. We stopped in at the clubhouse and ordered banana sundaes. They turned out not to be an ice cream dish but more like a parfait: sliced banana layered with wafers and whipped cream and topped with a maraschino cherry.
In the evening we walked down Avenida Cabildo as we tried to decide where to eat. Luciano had an inspiration and said he knew just where to go for an inexpensive but good meal. When he started to enter the Coto supermarket, I thought he was surely joking. We weren't going to buy a few things and stand outside on the sidewalk to eat them, were we? I was astounded when we rode the escalator to the upper floor and saw a buffet restaurant, children's arcade, and bar-café. Luciano had a milanesa and I enjoyed a beef brochette, both accompanied by potatoes au gratin, beverage, and fancy pastries for dessert. Who would have figured we could eat like that inside a supermarket?
Price for 2 entrees, side dishes, pastries, and beverages: 39.56 pesos (US $12.55)
We had watched a documentary on the History Channel the previous night about mass murderers. I told Luciano that the song I Don't Like Mondays by the Boomtown Rats was based on one such episode and we watched the video of it on YouTube. As you may recall, it's quite a catchy tune and ever since he periodically sings and claps to the chorus part, "Tell me why!", as in this photo at the Olleros subway station while we awaited a train after dinner. We headed back uptown in Belgrano and saw a late showing of the Bourne Ultimatum as an end to the weekend.
During the week, I've roamed about Belgrano, exploring the neighborhood. It has a bit of everything. There are quiet broad streets with large private homes near Cramer, commercial chaos pretty much everywhere along Avenida Cabildo, a thriving ethnic enclave in Barrio Chino (Chinatown), and some very elegant parks and plazas.
It looks like Belgrano will be our home for a while. I've sampled life in the four upscale barrios (not including Puerto Madero which is too isolated for my taste) and so far I prefer Recoleta or Belgrano. Since Luciano's business is in Belgrano, it seems like the obvious choice of where to live. Because we'll be moving again in just two months, we're already starting to look for a new apartment in this area. We had a long talk about future plans a couple of nights ago so now we're considering a more permanent arrangement, a longterm rental contract instead of the temporary furnished apartments I've been using. A real home and a husband, all I need next is a dog and I'll feel almost like Donna Reed.
Addendum: OK, perhaps my life isn't the Donna Reed show, unless there was an episode when Donna and Alex spent time in a funhouse/madhouse. Luciano came home, put on satin running shorts, a hoodie, and rollerblades, then skated into the kitchen to cook ravioli. Now it's after dinner and he's lying on the bed watching TV, still wearing the rollerblades. I never cease to be amused and amazed.