Red wine in Buenos Aires, and other glories

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I love, love, love Buenos Aires, with the food and the wine and the people and their outrageous accents, like characters in a Fellini film. Here I’m sitting at a beautifully laid table, awaiting the pouring of the vino.

And there it is! Wine has left the bottle. The fellow who organized this event gives the proceeds to charity, and we buy a bunch of wine and that goes to charity too. His charity of choice is a school in a disadvantaged corner of Argentina, not blessed like we were at this get-together.

The really weird bit of all this is it’s part of a hobby I’ve gotten into, through a website called FlyerTalk. It’s at It’s a forum for people who are trying to maximize frequent flyer miles. I know, I’m a nerd. This is not news to anyone reading this blog.

I’d gone to Argentina for a little break, right after having been in Cambodia for work. The timing was too close – I think the jet lag stuff that I used to mock is now beginning to catch up with me. I arrived with a head cold, an attitude, work to finish, and money worries. What I forgot to bring were a coat, boots, and sweaters. It was still cold this Labor Day weekend. Crap.

Fortunately, I was able to locate some Argentines willing to sell me locally made goods in exchange for my Cambodian rieles. Soon I was fitted out in fine style, the cold was going away, I remembered what a great economical option Buenos Aires is, and there were cute guys.

Why did I come home?

Every week the tourism board puts on a couple of free plays in the street. It was a bit cold for these poor performers, but they gaily acted out their tale of immigration to Argentina.

New friends in Argentina, at the historic Cafe Tortoni, where (among many other memorables) Jorge Luis Borges sat to write and drink bad coffee. The two guys are FlyerTalkers too – on the left a bloke from Ireland and the guy on the right is a New Yorker. I learned a lot from them about getting MORE miles, faster.

Enough for now. More sites and sounds and smells to come.

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[…] my way across Georgia (the ex-Soviet one, not the grits one), drank my way around Buenos Aires, Argentina, saw the statue to Bill Clinton and late-season snow in Pristina, spent Father’s Day in […]

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