The time is currently 5:56 AM and I’m posted up in Miami International Airport. … I’m alive. Proud to say I’ve made it back from Mendoza in (close to) one piece.
Things are poppin here.
And by poppin, I mean I’m posted up at a terminal bar alone drinking double Mojitos. Thanks South America.
As I sit through this next grueling layover, I can’t help but smirk at how high strung these airport hooligans seem after spending 2 weeks in the capitol of IDGAF Argentina.
Thoughts on first arrival in Argentina: did we miss the city? Is this a town outside Mendoza…? There are more dogs on the streets than people. Crap this is actually it. 2 Weeks?
Ohhhh was I wrong. This perceived “ghost town” took on something entirely different once I realized we had arrived during Sunday siesta…. Aka the entire town gives up on doing ~life things~ and sleeps from the hours of 1-4 while everything shuts down. Sometimes they sleep longer. Or even the rest of the day. It’s ridiculously impressive.
Over the next 14 days I would come to appreciate the four main food groups of Argentina: meat, wine, every form of bread imaginable, and more wine (sorry body stay away from mirrors). But hey, I’m not complaining. I got to serve as an external consultant for Lagarde Winery, one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever had the privilege of “working”. When we weren’t improving their social platforms or email software… wine. Hotel downtime? Wine. Woke up from a daily nap? Probs time for more wine.
I’ve discovered this siesta routine is gold. Pure genius, in fact. You recharge halfway through the day with everyone else in the city and stay out until the sun sends you home… unless you don’t want to head home. Then (like many Argentine youths) you keep going until 7-8-9 am. I have to hand it to the people of Mendoza; they may not have the glitziest city but they make up for it in vino and stamina.
Overall, this trip left me in an entirely different place then where I was before heading out. The breath of fresh air that came with meeting 20 new, amazing people was one thing. The growth of my already monstrous stomach size was another. But it was the ability to let go and live momentarily that set this excursion apart from any other I’ve had. I have never visited a country where the “stay calm” mentality is so refreshingly apparent.
Hungry after leaving New Years parties at 7 AM? Cook a family style barbeque in a shopping cart… on the side of the road.
20 minutes late for a meeting? Take another 40. Your party will still be happily waiting without concern.
Stuck at a downtown casino due to record flood conditions? Take your shoes off. The walk through the river road will be more exciting.
Everyone is genuinely content. That’s something you don’t see unanimously across a city much anymore. How many places can you find a group of people screaming and cheering after “winning it big” at a casino…. when you’ve only left ending up 90 pesos? (Ps. put everything on red. Always. Literally always.) If I’ve taken anything away from this experience it’s that I need to take life farrrrr less seriously. I worked at a vineyard where “profit margins” and “annual sales growth” meant close to nothing in comparison to quality of public engagement. … who says that to hired consultants?
I fell in love with a town that collectively leaves work everyday to spend afternoons with family. A town where the average waiter is 60+ years old because he/she still wants to contribute to society. A town where EDM music plays in hotel lobbies, craft stores, and restaurants… and never stops.
Long live the Gringo Traps. Long live Malbec. And long live David English.
Argentina I will miss you dearly,