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River taste

My Scholarship entry - A local encounter that changed my life

WORLDWIDE | Monday, 23 April 2012 | Views [1021] | Comments [5] | Scholarship Entry

Five minutes before departure, I position myself at the stern of the “Buquebus” anxious to reach my new destination: Montevideo, Uruguay. I gaze at the streets of Buenos Aires, as we leave Puerto Madero, and I find myself humming a very famous tango, that up to this moment, had no intrinsic meaning to me: “ las callecitas de Buenos Aires tienen ese, que se yo, viste?” (The streets of Buenos Aires have that, I don’t know, got it?”. Suddenly, I understand the gravity of Tango, its seductive power and sense of melancholy.
I seat at the shadow of the sun, accompanied by a rich and complex Cabernet Sauvignon and savoring a quite strong -for my taste- cigarette “Particular”. The “Rio de la Plata” (River Plate) presents its flowing and ever changing self, that gathers and elucidates one of the most recognizable characteristics of the Rioplatenses: they are bittersweet. Just like their music, –nothing more passionate and distant than a milonga-, just as their drinks, -nothing sourer than a "mate", but nothing sweeter than the sense of community it creates- just as their literature – the grave faces of Benedetti, Quiroja, Cortazar, Sabato yet their detailed, accurate and loving writing-. This estuary, symbolizes the freshness and pungency of the people that live close to it.
I spill my wine, and a few burgundy drops amalgam with the once called Mar Dulce (Sweet Sea), as it tells me about the great battles fought in its waters, such as the Battle of Punta del Este, and between nostalgic and anecdotic it speaks to me about the hundreds that have lost their mortal bodies to blend in the eternal back and forth of its waves. As I listen and imagine, I see reflected in my new friend each and every of the kind and haughty faces that I met, and as I finish my wine I keep with me -forever- this bittersweet taste in my mouth.

Tags: argentina, buquebus, rio de la plata, travel writing scholarship 2012, uruguay, wine




What a nice and poetic piece about this fantastic place. Keep up the good work, your writing took me to the wonderful River Plate and brought me back. Looking forward to read more posts from you.

  Maria Apr 24, 2012 3:55 AM


Y que querés que te diga!! Argentina is magic... I think your description is just perfect....Rioplatenses are bittersweet. Ay mi Buenos Aires querido....cuando yo te vuelva a ver!

  Fernando Salazar Apr 24, 2012 12:16 PM


Beautiful description of what it seems to be a magical and romantic place.

  Lourdes Comellas Apr 26, 2012 8:17 AM


The appealing suffering of tango, the bittersweet taste of wine, the sound of the river and the sight of Benedetti in the memory make us dance as the lines spread, as the tango goes: "que un corso de astronautas y niños, con un vals, me baila alrededor... ¡Bailá! ¡Vení! ¡Volá!"

  Camilo Eduardo Apr 29, 2012 8:27 PM


Like a good wine memories and reflections of a trip are denoted by their sudelties and notes of taste. A very well written piece by a "world nomad" that appreciates the beauty of a journey and not it's destination.

  Edgar Comellas May 1, 2012 1:40 AM

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