This weekend is shaping up to be considerably better than last weekend. For one thing, the weather is nicer. It was 52 and sunny today when Maria and I went to Recoleta Market, a flea market only a short walk from the Residencia. Like the fair in San Telmo (which, as it turns out, is only on Sundays, otherwise we would have gone there today), it's every weekend. Booths with handmade merchandise line the sidewalks of the Paseo Recoleta, generally with reasonable prices. There are some booths with cheap touristy stuff, but there are also a lot with really beautiful, genuine, hand-crafted products: jewelry, paintings, small wire sculptures, mates (the special cup that you drink mate out of), clothes, shoes, leather goods, and loads of other things. For today we were mostly looking, though I did buy a mate. While we were around there, we stopped in at El Cementerio de la Recoleta. It's a famous tourist attraction, entry is free, and yes, it's a graveyard. It's one of the most bizarre places I've ever seen. The cemetery is honestly like a small city: there are streets lined with tombs and mausoleums as if they were houses or businesses. They sell maps of this place. It's enormous. And it's a very exclusive place for the deceased to reside. Not just any corpse can rest in the Recoleta cemetery. It's full of famous people, most notably Eva Peron.
While we were walking around, we watched a trio performing music on the street. I'm going to try to upload the video to either YouTube or Flickr. I think they were called Aqualatica. They all play electric string instruments that were designed specifically for them (according to the flyer we received). It was very impressive; Maria wanted to buy their CD.
Tonight the girls on the floor are going out to a boliche (nightclub) for someone's birthday. We actually ended up going out last night, a bit unexpectedly. Melanie, one of the girls from the U.S. who'll be heading home next week, came into my room and asked if I wanted to go out to a nearby bar "por un ratito," just for a little while. She said she didn't want to stay much more than an hour. I think she just didn't want to walk over and arrive by herself. Since I wasn't really doing anything, I agreed and we went. The bar, Porte Zuelo, was very cool and apparently very Americanized. Almost everyone we met was speaking in English and many of them were from the U.S. We got there a little before 12, at which point we sang Feliz Cumpleaños to Sofia, whose birthday we were celebrating. We stayed for a bit longer and then Rebecca (my roommate, who will also be leaving next week; she's finishing her semester here) and I went to a nearby boliche with some people we'd met.
I would say my first boliche experience was a positive one. I don't really have much to compare it to, as I don't go to clubs at home, either. This place was pretty relaxed, though. There was music playing, but not a lot of dancing. People were mostly standing or sitting on the sofas. We didn't stay too long, maybe an hour, and we got back to the Residencia at 5:00 this morning. This is apparently the normal schedule for such a night, which is why I'm going to take a nap now before we go out again tonight. Make sure to check out the pictures of the cemetery on Flickr. The place is outrageous.