When our landlord talked to us Thursday night I heard, “blah blah blah BBQ blah blah blah Sunday.” Jeff, who actually speaks Spanish heard, “What are you doing Sunday, I’m having a BBQ, why don’t you come.” I can’t help but worry about everything. What if he misunderstood? What if she really said, “Hey, I’m having a BBQ on Sunday. Can you please bring your drying laundry inside and keep your obnoxious North American voices down.”
By the time Sunday rolled around I had almost convinced Jeff we weren’t invited. We lurked inside our apartment (which is in her backyard) while she set up tables, got the grill going, and brought out chairs. This is where traveling is hard for me. I’m adventurous enough to go to an Argentinian BBQ, but not confident enough to crash an Argentinian BBQ. Finally we migrated outside onto our porch and were quickly invited to sit down, introduced and cheek kissed by everyone. Either we had been invited all along, or they were extremely welcoming to party crashers.
We sat down and were showered with food. First it was chicken and salads. Next was ribs and chorizo sausage. Then came pork and more meat. As food was ready off the grill it was like a meat auction. Mario, the asador (griller) would take something off the grill, hold it up. “Chorizo? Chorizo?” Then if you wanted it you’d hold up your plate. I tried to pace myself in order to have enough room to try everything. It was all so good, it was hard not to just keep eating.
It’s funny how some things are the same and different. Watermelon for dessert seemed so North American to me. But then it was brought out “upside-down” to my USA eyes.
I was concerned that we would be served something really weird that I wouldn’t be able to eat. But, the most unusual thing I saw was a glass of malbac wine, ice, and diet coke. My favorite part of the day was when they toasted with “to family” It made me miss my own family. But, as I clinked glasses with our new Argentinian friends I was thankful that they included us in their family for the afternoon.
After desert everyone broke into song.