the argentine reception



The flight was quite ordinary except I was lucky to share my seat with an endearing and beautiful Argentine girl, Carmen Perez Rodriguez. She was flying back home, after a year in Tokyo, to attend the marriage ceremony of her eldest brother. Tokyo is one of the most populous cities and it was no wonder that though Carmen and I lived very near to each other, we never got a chance to stare at each other’s face. During that quixotic flight she told me that she was working as a junior chef in a nearby Mexican restaurant. By nature I was very diffident while dealing with strangers; especially girls, so I only told her that I was doing my final years of under-graduation in natural sciences and I was on my way to Argentina for a vacation. I was invited by an Argentine pen-pal friend whom I had never met.

I was extremely elated on my arrival in Buenos Aires after tiresome flight of about 30 hours. Carmen led me out of the airport. I longed for my mysterious host but nobody was there for me. I could do nothing except to smile at Carmen who was carefully examining the dark sky above. ‘The weather’s quite chilly, isn’t it? Mañana creo que va a llover.’ she said quite softly. ‘I agree. It is a bit cooler than Tokyo.’ I replied promptly though I didn’t understand the latter part. Nothing was heard for next few minutes except the hustle and bustle of the night city. I was not quite sure what to do next; meanwhile, I heard her say, ‘I will be with you until you meet your host’. I was quite surprised yet relieved by her amicability. ‘Nobody wants to be alone in a strange city, isn’t it?’ she added landing down her luggage. ‘Le agradezco con toda mi alma’, I replied. I wondered if I got it right. She smiled as beautifully as ever. I felt something within myself.

‘¡Hola! Andy!’ I heard someone yelling my name. I was sure that it was my friend and I turned anticlockwise to see her. I didn’t know how she recognized me for we had never seen each other before. Sussana Garcia was so elegantly cute. She had royal features, pitch black eyes framed by long, heavy lashes. Her skin was tanned-white and soft, her hair a scintillating black. Her figure was rich and firm. She was wearing an open necked, creamy silk shirt and a grey-stripped skirt and also grey-colored sandles. She was an angel mistaken for earth. I had never seen such an outstanding and stunningly appealing figure before. ‘I’m extremely sorry for being late’, said Suza (Sussana’s pet name) hugging me dearly. Her aroma was invigorating. She smelt of roses and jasmines. I was completely flabbergasted by her beauty. Yet I managed to regain my senses and said ‘It’s ok. Meet my new Latin friend, Carmen. We both flew from Tokyo.’ They smiled at each other and hugged and began their gossip. I understood none as they spoke Spanish and I was very poor at it. After a while, inviting me and Suza for her brother’s marriage, Carmen hoped into a taxi and bade us goodbye.

Suza then lifted my suitcase and started dragging it towards the pavement. She said, ‘It’s about 10 minutes walk to my home, say it our home’, she smiled. ‘How was your flight? Do you like Argentina? How do you feel?’, she was prattling. Knowing that she was not giving me any chance to speak, she blushed and turned her face towards the dark sky. ‘The weather’s quite chilly, isn’t it?’, she said softly. ‘I think I like the place and also the people here,’ I replied with a sincere grin. She glanced at me quite queerly. I was cautiously taking small steps and as if she had known the reason of my dull pace she said confidently, ‘Don’t worry Andy; I’ll not leave you so soon.’ I didn’t know what she meant but whatever she meant I felt something within myself.

After few turnings down the main street we reached a small, white painted, temple like house with a beautiful rose garden. ‘This is our palace’, she said leading to the small entrance. The door was open and I was so surprised to see her parents and a familiar face with bouquet of flowers. It was Carmen. Her parents greeted me warmly and I was still astonished when Carmen said, ‘Hola! Andy! Welcome to Argentina,’ as if she had never known me. Suza ran from behind and held Carmen’s hand and both of them laughed heartily. I didn’t know what was going around until Suza’s parents disclosed me that Carmen and Suza were best of friends and they had played a trick on me. All of them were smiling and I was feeling happily stupid.

After spending two weeks of absolute merry time in Argentina, Suza asked me if I wanted to visit the neighboring Brazil. I just smiled and she understood what she had to do. Three days later we were in another Latin paradise. After a week in Brasilia, I left the place for Tokyo. Last time I saw Suza was when she came to drop me at airport. She was still very fresh despite a month’s restless job as a tourist guide. ‘Andy! I’ll be waiting you next year,’ she said with teary eyes. I just smiled back at her and headed towards the Departure Section with a heavy heart. I really hated these good-byes ever since I was a kid.

During my wonderful stay in Buenos Aires; the Paris of South America and Brasilia, I was successful in verifying that ‘Latins are tenderly enthusiastic; in Brazil they throw flowers at you and in Argentina they throw themselves.’


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