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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Porteñas

The city is quiet. The Boca Juniors are playing in Boca Stadium. All men are inside. All men.

On the corner of Callao and Juncal I’m breathing in a mixture of humid air and exhaust fumes, probably peculiar to Buenos Aires.
I’m breathing unevenly, not from exhaustion, for I do very little these days, but from amazement. With a grin on my face I recall the streets of Zagreb and my eatery on Makarska, where I used to sit for hours sometimes to see a single beauty (and usually she was Serbian). But here, before me – it is breathtaking – not one, not two, but an endless procession of splendours, each one more beautiful than then next. And note, please: I have not sought out some special observation post to bear witness, like a red-faced Brit with binoculars gazing at gazelle in Kenya. This is an utterly ordinary corner, such as you will find in Boca, San Telmo, or San Cristobal. Simply, they are everywhere: green-eyed, hair raven-black, legs lustrous and tan, like a rare breed from an age-old, mysterious gene pool, as unDarwinian as the peacock, designed only to dazzle.

They are – and do not forget it or they will hate you for it! – the Porteñas.

On the corner of Callao and Juncal I take in humid air and exhaust, and my eye wonders… until


there… she strolls like a ballerina, her sun-bronzed arms, like pendula mark the rhythm of this city. She does not see me. I do not exist. I am a pigeon. Less, part of the pavement below her feet. I follow her caramel toes.

… it is said these women could commit suicide by jumping off their ego. If it is true, this is OK. I will catch them at the bottom – maybe – and if feel like it, take them out for a coffee and a media luna… that’s a croissant.

Me llamo Luis Labas, y tu?