Saturday, May 15, 2010

Retro Garage

It's my last weekend in Buenos Aires and tonight I went to see one of my favorite bands here, garage comics Los Peyotes. They mix Peruvian chicha and Rosario-area cumbia with 60s dirty rock. Songs include hooks like "cure my scar" and "smoking is bad for you, you're going to die." Both of which sound cooler in Spanish. They played a party at Niceto, Nave Jungla, that was this notorious 90s weekly, famous for its midget acts. Freak show is the theme, tonight there was a taxodermy special with thematic movie bits and a strip show by an 80-yr-old exhibitionist.

But the real freak show for me was being in a club with people my age. For the first time in years, I looked around and wasn't older than the crowd. The music was old, some of the men had gray hair, and the drunks were not attractive in any way. Since it was a party that peaked over a decade ago, a lot of the crowd was older than me. The friends I went with are older, cool Argentine girlfriends who handle themselves youthfully. One invited her brother along and this brother showed up in a middle-aged man's body.

Basically, I was in a sort of time culture shock most of the night. I looked around and thought, am I that old? I don't feel like I am. And maybe I'm not quite, but I am close. It was an eye opener. I think I continue to see myself like the people in their late-twenties that I'm usually surrounded by. And that isn't an accurate picture.

Being here for the past three years, I've been out of context in an unnatural habitat for myself. It's been free and light and fun-loving riding my chrome cruiser around and reviewing restaurants and music. I was spoiled, even when I was working all the time. The past year was a struggle with school and work but I had the luxury of being away from the pressures I would normally face. Going back scares me, but I'm glad to get back into real time and stop pretending. Or that's how it feels. Looking at the wrinkles around me tonight was a shock and I'm awed. Time passes and has its effect, I can't hide out in Buenos Aires and think I've somehow stopped the clock.

I will miss them all, the young friends from England, the U.S. and France and the Argentines who have nurtured my heart. I will miss this city with its dysfunction and chaos and grace.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Monkeys and Dolphins, Brazil

Pipa is a little surf town in Northeastern Brazil, about an hour from Natal. I stayed with friends at their house and met some interesting characters pictured here.