Play of the day

Comrades! I spent a fine Sunday afternoon drinking maté and playing chess in the riverside neighborhood known as Puerto Madero. It was hot and sunny and Puerto Madero, particularly the area alongside the nature conservancy, is a good place to be if you can find a spot to sit in the shade at one of the parrillas there, outdoor grills or restaurants where they serve grilled meats. (It’s also a good place to eat a chory-pan, which I indeed did.)

I also purchased my very own maté gourd today in preparation for a brand new stimulant habit (I am already a terrible coffee addict but I feel varying the sort uppers I intake will assure better health). Everybody here has a maté set which includes a gourd, like the one pictured above, with a metal straw whose base serves as a filter and a thermos to keep hot water in. You fill the gourd to the brim with the tea, pour in the water, pass it around among those in attendance, repeat ad infinitum. A single gourd-full of the stuff lasts for several refills of water.

Because we were so near the San Telmo Sunday market, we took a little stroll down Avenida Defensa where I purchased a pair of vintage Argentine cowboy boots. These are exactly like my nearly-dead American cowboy boots. In addition to caffeine, I’m addicted to boots. Good thing leather is cheap in this town.

Now the play of the day to which the title of this post refers is neither my purchases, nor any of my chess moves (my game is improving, but I lost) nor even the fact of enjoying a lovely Sunday afternoon outside. No, the play of the day was not a play I made at all, but rather that of an Argentine dude I saw walking in Plaza Dorego. His was perhaps the greatest rat tail yet spotted in this city so full of them. His head was entirely shaved except for a horizontal strip clinging to the lower back of his skull, a skinny little rectangle of hair. It was more the representation of a rat tail than an actual tail, but absolutely and astoundingly hideous.

I must give proper thanks to one Nicholby Howe for spotting this atrocity. His vigilance in the realm of the rat tail is unmatched.

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