Friday, November 24, 2006

Latin Fever

I left the house this morning and everyone was in a good mood. I'm still a touch amazed that we reached this point, but it sure feels good. We even managed to pull of a great Thanksgiving, though it was all quite against our will. The holiday seemed to have it's own momentum that trumped the best opposition we could muster.

We had originally planned on having a cook for breakfasts and dinners. No one showed up Tuesday night, but that was fine. Wednesday morning I jumped the gun and cooked. We decided we didn't need a cook afterall ... and then Guillermo showed up with bags full of food. And he was a very cute Guillermo, I should add.

We decided that maybe we could hire him to at least do a big Thanksgiving meal. At the time it seemed like a good idea. Wednesday's dinner was painful, and that was when things exploded. Some members of the party announced that they had been through enough disfunctional family dinners in their lifetimes and they didn't need to do another with a group of people who weren't even family. End of argument. Thanksgiving was cancelled. Guillermo could keep the money. He could leave the food in the fridge and we'd eat whenever each one of us got home.

Thursday night came. I wanted to at least stick around until he showed up, at least as a token gesture. Ron, Mike, and Rogelio were also all lingering. Soon it was 7:30 pm, and there was still no sign of Guillermo. We started making plans to head out. There was a pool party at the Cora, after all. It was a party with a reputation, and it was time to start making ours.

Then Guillermo showed up. With his mother. They dive into the kitchen and take over. Shoots. I didn´t know how to tell them that Thanksgiving was cancelled - I had no skills to handle this. Apparently no one else did either. We put off our plans, figuring dinner couldn't take much more than an hour.

Ninety minutes later we sat down for the first course of chicken enchiladas. It sounds plain, but I loved the way Guillermo's mother cooked them. She dipped the tortillas in red sauce so they were wet, but beyond that the enchiladas weren't drowing in sauce like they are state-side. She topped them with sliced red onion, julienned tomatoes, creme fraiche, a bit of chopped lettuce, and parmesan cheese. They were great, and I am totally copying when I get home.

We were quite full, but we hadn't even gotten to the rice and fish and vegetable courses. Then we heard the latch on the door open ... and the the Australians were finally here! I was so happy to see them. Alastair's a great friend, for sure, but even beyond that we have the same rhythms when we travel. My fellow American's were all going to bed at midnight every night - well before the clubs even get going. I had no one to dance with all week. Life is so rough.

But now my boys were here! Dinner was delayed while we regrouped. We finally did finish, and made it to the Cora around 10:30 pm. It was too late ... the party had peaked hours earlier and what was surely fabulous and decadent at eight pm was tired, old, and borderline senescent at 10pm.

We trudged our way home. The Americans went to bed (I'm currently in a bit of denial about my own nationality), and the rest of us hit the clubs. And ... it worked. The men were beyond hot and quite friendly - the angry crackheads stayed in the North! - the music has hard and pumping with just the right amount of vocals to keep you moving, and we danced until 4am.
That was enough for me, at least for one night. I saw a few shell-shocked veterans of the night stumbling home at noon, so there must have been quite an after-party. I'll save that one for tonight.

So damn if it didn't all come together in the end after all.

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