Following a meeting of my other cult, I began the search for a stand still open and selling fuegos. During the walk I passed numerous cambios and they were split between 1.10/1.80 and 1.10/1.90 on compra/venta for the Argentine Peso. After a few kilometers, one lonely vendadora con fuegos was located in front of the devoto and a mortar with six shells were had. When I returned to the hostel with my fuegos, there was substantial joy.1
Finally, after more than 3 weeks of waiting there were finally sufficient Argentines populating the hostel to get some Spanish practice, though this was probably a side effect of most of the Brasileros having the means to venture to Punta Del Este. They cooked delicious Asado and were amazed by tales of how Estados Unidos is not as rich as it pretends to be. I explained that meat this delicious from cows that ate grass could not be had in the United States at anywhere close to the same price, that while gasoline es muy barrato insurance for a car es muy caro, but the revelation clicked for them when the discussion turned to construction methods and building materials. They were familiar with pictures of tornadic destruction, and had long been puzzled by where the houses went. When I explained with a picture that the sticks and trash were what the houses were made out of it clicked.
After the Asado the party shifted to the hostel roof where there was a toast2 and the girls danced while everyone watched the fireworks. Compared to the Navidad the New Years display was much more intense, concentrated into a shorted span of time. As is typical of gatherings the world over, the girls tried lure the guys to dance while the guys shyly watched, waiting for a girl to pick them up and make everything happen for them. Incidentally, that appears to be usually how those things happen here. Similarly there's surprise when the man ends things because the girl's honesty and ideas failed to calibrate to the scale opportunity while being blinded to the existence of the buffet that is other pretty girls of ergonomic height and weight.
A tremendous advantage of being the sober fellow at the hostel is your reliability. Small gestures make a big impact. The occasional candies for the free for all bin, willingness to offer rare language practice as a Native English speaker, a little humility, and leveraging your advantages goes a long way. ↩
Naturally my toast was water ↩