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50 Things To Do in Argentina

1. Wonder whether they painted the president’s house pink because they just elected a woman for the first time.

2. Learn about the Argentine custom of throwing all your unwanted paperwork out of your office windows on New Year’s Eve.

3. See Eva Peron’s grave, and subsequently have the tune of ‘Don’t Cry For Me Argentina’ stuck in your head for the rest of the day.

4. Drink to the passing of the New Year in seven different timezones.

5. Learn how to say ‘cheers’ in Spanish, Italian, Hebrew, Russian and Arabic.

6. Drink mate in true gaucho style (the key rules: always pass mate clockwise, don’t touch the straw, add fresh hot water for each person and, most importantly, don’t scrunch your face up and say ‘ugh’).

7. Eat lots of steak.

8. Eat lots of dulce de leche.

9. Eat lots of ice cream.

10. Eat lots of dulce de leche flavoured ice cream.

11. Briefly consider steak flavoured ice-cream, but conclude that there is probably a good reason that it doesn’t exist already.

12. Go for dinner at 10.30pm and arrive at clubs at 2am.

13. Sleep on buses, boats, airplanes, couches, benches, grass, rocks.

14. Marvel at how a restaurant can take nearly two hours to serve the first round of drinks
15. Have a paper airplane design competition in a restaurant while waiting for the food to arrive.

16. Make a dog out of breadsticks in a restaurant waiting for the food to arrive.

17. Make a catapult out of silverware, a salt shaker and a napkin holder in a restaurant while waiting for the food to arrive.

18. Discover the expression that appears on someone’s face when you replace the water in their glass with vodka.

19. Find out what the expression ‘dog in a bathtub’ means.

20. Watch an amazing tango show.

21. Try to dance tango.

22. Realize tango is harder than it looks (and it looks pretty hard).

23. Give up dancing tango.

24. Meet up with one of the other six groups of HBS people that are in Argentina (because vacations are all about broadening your horizons, right?).

25. Get licked by the President’s dog outside her summerhouse in El Calafate (at least, it may have been her dog).

26. Learn some jokes about Argentineans.*

27. Have a faintly pompous BGIE-style discussion about the chronic shortage of small bills after a barman refused to take a 100 peso note to pay for a 35 peso round of drinks.

28. Decide to avoid the problem by ordering
more drinks in future.

29. Discover that one of your classmates is obsessed with Professor Tedlow.

30. Be repeatedly lied to by the guides (the second half of that walk was not ‘flat’, ‘easy’, or ‘only an hour’).

31. Swap iPods and discover whole new worlds of music (Mylo’s fanbase has pretty much doubled over the last week).

32. Gossip about the quite astonishing number of trek romances.

33. Make a mental note to check who is standing behind you before you gossip loudly, unless you are speaking in Hebrew.

34. Take the guides’ advice and dress like an onion (meaning in layers, not in an onion costume).

35. Get on the bus, get off the bus, get on the boat, get off the boat, get on the boat, get off the boat, walk round the lake, get on the boat, get off the boat, get on the bus, get off the bus, get on the boat, get off the boat, get on the bus, get off the bus, go to the bar.

36. Eat empanadas and alfajores for lunch every day, except for the days you eat alfajores and then empanadas.

37. Be repeatedly awestruck by the incredible scenery.

38. Stare in equal awe at the beautiful people.

39. Become worryingly blasé about the absolutely amazing scenery remarkably quickly.

40. Start giving glaciers marks out of ten for how impressive they are.

41. Sit waiting for a piece of glacier to fall off (this can take a long time).

42. Be surprised at being served scotch on the rocks in the middle of a glacier hike (served with fresh glacial ice).

43. Hear pretty much everything in Argentina described as the biggest, best or first in the world.

44. Walk up what actually does feel like the biggest mountain the world, and find a bar at the top.

45. Get very irritated with Argentine napkins, which seem to be designed to be an unabsorbent as possible.

46. Shout Ira’s name repeatedly until he stands up and toasts Rafa and Iggy.

47. Watch the sun rise over Lagos Argento after dancing all night, and conclude that coming on this trek was definitely a good idea.

48. Drink ‘Speed con Vodka’ (speed is an infinitely superior drink to Red Bull).

49. Start recognising your co-trekkers’ luggage after the fourth transfer.

50. Write an article for the Harbus while waiting for coffee to be served in the hotel cafe, looking out over the beautiful Argentine countryside.

*My favourite one: How does an Argentinean commit suicide? He jumps off of his ego.

January 14, 2008
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