Chez Madeleine

Saturday, January 13, 2007

The Dirty South


On Thursday night, I returned from my last minute trip to South America. On Thursday I stood in 14 lines. I counted each one. Pushed my bag with my foot along the floor, rubbed the dent that had been permanently dug itself into my shoulder from my bag. Escaped into my ipod. Declared my souvenirs. Exited customs and smelled the sweeet Atlanta air and gave thanks that Delta delivered me home safely.

South America was a bunch of round and misshapen adventures strung together in a long necklace. Buenos Aires, the shiny European jewel of the continent. Parisian facades, wide, sprawling avenues, waterfront bars, spicy rich Malbec, and slabs of beef. Greasy empanadas that soak through your napkin. Sexy, sultry, daring, forbidden, fishnetted tango. Beautiful, discernible Spanish.

Sao Paulo, the massive, tall, smoggy skyline. The gemini populations--living not side by side, but on top of each other in socioeconomic layers. The very rich hopping through the city in helicopters, careful not to ever touch the streets. And the very poor running and busing through the streets in Havianas and bright fabrics. The toxic, cunning Caipirinhas. The ever-confusing sounds of Porteguese-Oy! The sheer vastness of a city within a country whose boulbous shape takes over the continent in both size and population.

There's too much to tell. Too much that I can't tell (South America is like Vegas in that way). Too much that seems a blur. But there are bright shiny moments that I can't help but sharing here. Mostly, the people are the bright shiny moments, but as usual I spent most of my time photographing the food. Thank you to all of the students who made me feel so welcomed and so embraced on the trip.

Sarah's South American Top Fourteen

#14. Coffee that reminds you why you haven't spotted a Starbucks in South America

#13. A Vegetarian at a Brazilian Steakhouse

#12. Coca-Light: a sweeter and flatter version of its Atlanta counterpart IMG_1502

#11. Five-Year Olds Dancing on bar tables at 4 am IMG_1483

#10. Outdoor cafes in Buenos Aires that remind me of the Champs Elysees IMG_1393

#9. Steaks the size of your head IMG_1424

#8. Empanadas: filled with spicy beef, potato, gooey cheese IMG_1447

#7.Toasting with friends, and hot Argentinian Sommeliers IMG_1451

#6. Dancing that makes me think of sex IMG_1469

#5. Brazilians cooking their meat on a George Foreman Grill IMG_1494

#4. Caipirinhas (muddled sugar cane alcohol, limes, ice, and sugar to the taste)IMG_1506

And Passion-Fruit Caipirinhas

#3. The Mexican Flag: sipping tequila, spicy tomato juice, and lime juice. IMG_1534

#2. Brazilian Steakhouses

#1. Friends who remind you that traveling isn't about the place, its about the people who experience it with you.
IMG_1404 IMG_1415 IMG_1462 IMG_1452 IMG_1495 IMG_1507 IMG_1526 IMG_1529 IMG_1543 IMG_1544 IMG_1536 IMG_1564 IMG_1570 IMG_1587


Anonymous Anonymous said...

The drinks look fabulous. I wish I could climb through my screen for one right now.

6:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Beautiful description of our taste of South America! Thanks for the memories, Amy

1:28 PM  

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