Puerto Madero is a few kilometers away from our apartment near the Recoleta Cemetary, so we left 2 hours early. Seven blocks walk to the SUBTE, then ride the D line to the Catedral, then switch to the A line for another kilometer ride to the Presidential Palace, known as the Pink House (for the female President, Cristina Fernandéz de Kirchner), in contrast with the White House in the USA. This was the building lit in pink lights in yesterday's post. Locals have little good to say about their president, despite having re-elected her quite recently for a second term. Seems like some things are the same around the world. From there we walked another 2 kilometers or so to the restaurant. All in all it took about 1 hour and 20 minutes. Since we were early, we walked past the restaurant towards the water. But Sebastián, who was also eary, saw us and came to intercept. We traded handshakes, hugs, and the like, and took several photos.
Some background: Sebastián and I have never met before, but the internet has made it possible for people on opposite sides of the world with shared interests to communicate freely. In our case, we share a not-so-rare medical condition, and we are both overcoming it quite well, so far. We have traded diagnostic and treatment tips as well as encouragement. And this man Sebastián is a prince among men. When he found we were in Buenos Aires, he arranged to take a 4 hour bus ride from the city of Rosario, AFTER his normal workday, to meet with us and have a dinner. Because he is second in command, he could not take tomorrow off, even for half a day, so he caught another 4 hour bus ride after midnight so he could report to work at 8AM. Even though I had found the arbolito and obtained some extra ARS to pay for the event, Sebastián would not hear of it. He insisted to pay for the entire evening as our host, even the somewhat pricey upgraded wine. What a guy!
Sebastián insisted that he spoke little English, relying heavily on Google translate to communicate between us on the internet. He had, however, studied English in his early schooling. The conversation proceeded late into the night, predominately in English, as he did have a big advantage over our Spanish. For folks with common ground, communication can always happen. And the meal was indeed as legendary as the meeting. Take a look...
|Cold food (salad bar) Part 1|
|Lots of meat in my "salad"|
|Cold food, Part 2, most with meat!|
|Famous and excellent wine! We enjoyed TWO of these.|
To end the evening we shared a cab to the bus station, dropped off Sebastián and said farewell, then continued on to our apartment. The driver was confused about which block was which, so we had a slightly scenic routing. But we knew the streets well enough to see it was a simple confusion, not a scam. We alerted him when to stop, and went up to sleep about 1AM.