03.03.09

Cordobans, Asados & Good Times

Posted in Northern Argentina at 12:37 am by Jackson Lee

One of the most rewarding parts of backpacking is meeting and getting to know the local people. My last 24 hours in Cordoba turned out to be one such experiences. (The map below shows the Cordoba region in red, Buenos Aires is on the coast to the east).

Using powerful clan contacts made while staying in Buenos Aires I organised to meet and coach the local ultimate community. Here, I firstly met a loco local Cordoban who had colourful stories about a game show he was recently involved in called “Wipe Out” (filmed over a week however the audience is led to believe it happened over a single day), and also Tomy, who quickly invited me to his friends Asado (BBQ) and who kept his family tradition of being a incomparably brilliant host.

Little did I know that Tomy’s friend lived in one of the wealthiest neighborhoods of Cordoba. The Mansion like house worked into a large backyard complete with a crystal blue swimming pool and a grass lawn where I took the liberty to coach correct rugby passing technique (Argentines seem to be stuck in the Grant Fox era).

A large group of Tomy’s university friends had gathered to enjoy the summer’s evening. If you are wondering the kind of personality people have (and let me generalise a little) who grow up in a city surrounded by oceans of beef-grazing farmland, great weather and neither-hemisphere brained politicians, then I would say simple ‘bloody excellent’.

Interestingly, the Argentine university system has many different styles of examination. The most common system sees the exam period spreading across the entire summer break. In New Zealand, they give us 5-6 weeks to test our nohow, Argentina give its students 4 months to set and pass exams. It is also common to sit some exams more than once during this time. I can not speck from experience, but my guess is the exams are substantially more difficult than equivalent kiwi exams. It is during the one week break from exam and classes recommencing where I met everyone.

Fernet is a drink who’s origins are from Italy but who’s main consumer is Argentina. The real blokes style of drinking Fernet is called ‘90210’ and is made as follows –

  • 90% Fernet
  • Two blocks of Ice
  • 10% Coca-Cola

An unexpected but very enjoyable traditional evening of great food/meat (yes, I still hold vegetarian values), enjoyable conversation (mostly about Argentine and Chinese politics), a bunch of new Spanish slang (tell me the papa!) washed down with good ol Fernet. My memory’s of Cordoba are set in stone as great ones!

Leave a Comment