My new flat was 25 blocks from my hostel so I cabbed it. Quick and easy, I arrived and was buzzed up to the 3rd floor of the building. Vicky was out of town for work, so it would only be Nico and I for a few days. He was great. He gave me the lay of the land and was off to work shortly there after. He and his brother own a catering company and has done quite well for himself. His office is in nearby Palermo and he rides a bike to work..and it has a motor too…very cool!
I would find a market and a coffee shop to start my day…bought some veggies and a couple strong cups of joe. Then back to la casa to unpack my things into my room and set up my “office”. I had a ton of work to do. Unpacking didnt take long and I was up and running online soon there after.
I would work for 4, or so, hours and then head out to read and feel the city. Nico called to let me know that we’d be having the boys over for a BBQ and to make sure i was back by 8ish. Done! I was back, helped him clean up the terrace, which is about 2,000 sq/ft and his brother, father, and high school friends came round for beer, dinner, and plenty of laughs. They were so warm to me. Of course english isn’t there first language, but would go out of their way to include me in conversation. Explaining something in spanish and then repeating it for me in english. We drank Quilmes and vodka tonics and Fernet. The Fernet was a bit like Jager, but smoother and was had with ice and 7-up. Tasty, if I do say so.
Nico’s father was cool. He had on a white linen shirt, unbuttoned about half way and what looked like blue seersucker pants. He owns and writes for www.rugbytime.com. We hit it off instantly! I was telling him of my rugby experience in the states and the differencesI had experienced between american football and rugby. He asked how much I weighed and I replied and he told me I was fat. I laughed!!
We had ribeye and t-bone and blood sausage and intestines and pork flank and pork shoulder and who knows what else..the meat just kept coming and it was all so incredible. Nico is obsessed with his grill and I wasn’t complaining. We drank a few more cocktails and slowly some of the guys began to leave. It wasn’t the same as home though. Much the way introductions are carried out, when someone would leave, they would make a point to come to each person at the party to embrace, look in the eye, and exchange words of hope to see one another again. At home, it was a bit more efficient and less personal, with a group “Take care” and then departure.
So at 1:30am one of the guys said to me, “Aaron, are you going to wear that?” …we were going out 😉 We were headed to the 10 year anniversary of a bar that Nico was connected to. We had VIP tickets and arm bands for inside the club, which made things nice. Unexpectedly, we met Pache, Victorias sister, and a few of her friends. Bouncing all around the hot club, we laughed and drank and attempted dancing.. More than once, people would try engaging with me in Portuguese, perhaps because of my eyes, but my of course my Portuguese is about as good as my Spanish. I retired to just watching…soaking it up.
I’m not sure when we got home, but Nico acted as though it were nothing, to have to be up and at work in less than 5 hours. I smoked the day’s last cigarette and faded away..