So here goes:
- The wine. Period. I could write essay upon essay about how much I love it, and it still wouldn't do it justice. Some of my favorite bodegas from right here in Mendoza are O'Fournier (see previous blog post), Pulenta Estate, Doña Silvina, Gimenez-Riili, Sangre de los Andes, Vistalba, Enrique Foster, Mil Vientos, Atamisque, Mauricio Lorca, Azul, Qaramy, Renacer, and Las Perdices.
- The Andes. Walking around centro, you don't see them all too often, but they're right there, looming to the west of the city. It's an amazing sight, and I don't think I'll ever tire of it. When I'm feeling homesick, going to the park or plaza to see the mountains in the distance is one of the best cures.
- The piétonal and Plaza Independencia - there are always street performers and artisans selling hand-made goods lining the plaza and the pedestrianized shopping street known as the piétonal.
- Just now, the little man on a bicycle who goes around sharpening people's knives rode by. How do I know that, without even looking out the window? Because he plays this signature tune on his pan flute as he rides. It's pretty freakin' cute.
- Did I mention that I live in wine country? And any given weekend, I can go winetasting in any one of the three valleys here (Maipú, Lujan de Cuyo, Tunuyán).
- Sometimes I hate her because I can hear it in the early morning and I get grumpy, but there's a sweet little old lady who lives in my building that sweeps in front of the building every single day, getting all the leaves and dirt off the sidewalk. Every morning. Without fail. And she's a sweetheart. I just wish I could understand more of what she says.
- The little mom and pop vegetable stores (verdulerias) and kioscos, where the ladies on my street know me. Also if you don't have a peso or five, and they don't have change, they'll let you pay them the next time you see them. I'm not sure this would ever happen at home.
Oh, Mendoza. I'm glad we'll get to hang out a little longer.