Polo and Parties Buenos Aires Style
Squashed onto wooden slat bleachers with my bum touching my companions’ either side, we await the start of the Argentinian polo final. We arrived early to poach our planks and still only got perches at the top of the entrance stairs. Some handbag head hits, a trillion flutterings of sky blue and white confetti and one 10 minute national anthem, then calm pervades the arena. The horses look like elegant streaks of chocolate, and against the stripes of perfectly mown green grass their effortless speed is strikingly emphasised. Legs rhythmically twitch across the pitch and necks arc, glistening with sweat.
Two well-loved teams: La Dolfino and Ellerstina are battling it out, here in Buenos Aires. Adolfo Cambiaso is the crowd’s darling, and yep, totally gorgeous. (Click here girls) It’s my first day in Bs As (as the locals abbreviate it) and despite four hours sleep and a punishing sun, I’m loving being at one of the most exciting games in the world. It’s a game with echoes from another world, it reminds me of the Romans: the passion and the way horse and man play as one fluid entity.
As the game goes on for two hours (and anyone that knows me is aware I’m pretty much ambivalent to sports) I people watch. The crowd holds the inevitable Argentinian male – white or blue shirted, shiny leather belted with slicked black hair, quaffed and cologned. The ladies are not quite as smart as I imagined, but then we are sitting on the plebs bench, as pleb as polo gets anyway. They’re in lovely dresses, but summer ones, not black tie. Of course there’s plenty of gold jewellery and aviators as far as the eye can sea over the rippling surface of faces… There’s a smattering of polo shirted children being lifted over the heads of the sardined crowd, but generally the fans are good-looking, well-to-do and between 25-45 years old.
After the game, the entire crowd disgorges onto the pitch and beelines for the incredibly raucous and rather wonderful Chandon champagne bar. Pink champagne, strange berets and oodles of sexiness – TICK!
The rest of the story…
I’m at the end of an 11 month round the world trip, but while Bs As is my final destination, it’s also my soon-to-be new home. So I’m doing a wow new city, new home scope out. Bs As is twice the size of London, but that means it has even more gorgeousness in it. So I’ve only seen areas which look like Knightsbridge so I might need to have a bit more of a look around… apparently there are severe political issues which are metaphorically illustrated by the decaying grandeur of the city centre.
So that’s the background, back to the night. My gorgeous wonderful hosts in this city, Corinne and Fel sneaked off to bed, while Becky and I ran off to a Mexican restaurant for a spot of dinner and some strawberry cocktails.
I think it was called Lupita. Judging by this clue below. SO the roundup is, good first day in Bs As, here’s to many more – Salud!