Friday, March 27, 2015

Bulletins From BA #40

Bulletins From BA #40
27 marzo 2015

¡Hola! there… Rodger French here.

If you’re part of the Foreign Service, transition is a particular constant. You start off as a tourist in a foreign land and segue into being an actual, if temporary resident. Then, just when you’ve gotten fairly comfortable and know your way around, it’s time for the next assignment. One day you’re just going about your bidness, the next you look up and realize that in less than three months, you will be gone. And that’s where A.J. and I are now.

We will leave Buenos Aires sometime in June for the States, spend several weeks TCB, both official and familial, and then ship out. Incidentally, we don’t have the “official” word yet, so I’m not at liberty to “officially” say where we’re off to next. (Burma).

But until then, we’re still in Argentina and currently hosting our final visitors, A & T (or T & A, if you prefer), two mejores amigas from the ATL by way of Florida, “Gateway to Havana.” They’re here for almost three weeks and, in addition to seeing the sights of BsAs, are taking a couple of side trips. Last week, the four of us made the journey to Mendoza, the epicenter of Argentina’s wine industry.

I feel obliged to confess that I am somewhat philistine on the subject of wines. I do enjoy a glass from time to time and genuinely appreciate the combination of horticulture, technology, and art necessary for its production. But I’m OK with pretty much anything decent that comes with a cork and costs ten bucks or less. And wine snobs simply put me off. Call me a lowbrow, if you like. I can take it.

However, if one goes touristing to Mendoza, the whole idea is to cruise from one vineyard to the next, taking tours and participating in tastings, which we did. And, it was very interesting. We visited vineries ranging from small family-owned operations to huge corporate affairs. We beheld holding tanks both concrete and stainless steel. We marveled at acres of oak barrels from both France and the U.S. And we sampled A. Lot. Of. Wine. All in all, a perfectly pleasant experience.

[Wine Snob Sidebar - My personal favourite was a very nice blend: 60% Malbec, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon. Hey, I was paying attention.]

After Mendoza, T & A (sorry) took a bus north to La Rioja (long story), while Anne and I returned home to work and get ready for a House Concert I’ll be presenting this Sunday. Sadly, in my rush to collect our luggage, I left my daypack - including my camera - in the back seat of the taxi. Nothing that can’t be replaced, but that is why I have no photoz to accompany this posting. My apologies for being such a dumbass, but these things happen. And at least I did not violate the Prime Directive of International Travel: DO NOT LOSE YOUR PASSPORT. Good thing; I’m going to need it pretty soon. (Burma).