My Cusack moment

Rain in Buenos Aires © Andres Pi

If you are a John Cusack fan, you know he gets wet. In almost every movie (The Sure Thing, High Fidelity, Say Anything, Identity, Being John Malkovich, Pushing Tin, 1408, America’s Sweethearts, to name a few) there is a scene where John is walking through the pouring rain for various reasons; to brush off frustration or express his love to a woman out of his league.

As a film fanatic, and a romantic, I have always pictured myself, and hoped to find myself, in a similar situation: Somewhere, fully clothed, in the pouring rain.

Last night, I had my Cusack moment. Caroline and I were off to visit one of the best bars in the world. According to World’s Best Bars, Gran Bar Danzon sits at 78 on the list. The night was warm, with clouds in the sky, nothing menacing.

Off in the Subte we made it to a new part of Buenos Aires. Two steps out of the station, my Portland instinct came alive, telling Caroline we had but a few minutes to get to our destination. Like most times, we went the wrong way.

Moments later, a crack in the air, a flash in the sky, and we were immediately soaked. The streets were packed with people, young and old, as it is a ‘fin de semana largo’. A three-day weekend, giving Argentinians the excuse to start early in the night, and end early, the next morning. On cue, people scattered, trying to find the closest refuge; an internet cafe, apartment overhangs, restaurant lobbies, it didn’t matter as long as it was near by.

We had seven blocks to go, and rain wasn’t going to stop us from reaching this historic place. We are Portlanders. So, we stripped down to our undershirts, stashed our clothes in Caroline’s purse, and broke away from the covered bus stop. Instantly, we were soaked; our clothes, drenched with rain, tightly hugged our body. I was in bliss. As far as I was concerned, the cameras were rolling, capturing the surrealism of the scene. The streets were empty, filled only with puddles vibrating from the heavy rain.

The Porteños laughed at us when we arrived to the bar. We stripped out of our soaking shirts and put on our dry sweaters. Hair still dripping, as well as our pants, we entered the bar to the jazz version of Black Hole Sun to find the bar as empty as the streets. There we were, sharing the 78th best bar in the world with another gringo couple.

We had our one drink (bars in the top 100 have very expensive drinks) and made our way back home. Lying in bed, we dozed off listening to the storm. The storm was not holding back, taking advantage of its course. And so were we.

This tale won the 2011 Quirky Guide strange travel story competition. See the shortlist here.

Written by - Edited by Antony Barton - Photo by Andres Pi

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