A Broad View is written by different international students each week who wish to share their impressions of their time here or unique experiences. Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you are an international student wanting to tell your tale.
It’s midnight at Pequeño’s down an alleyway off Moray Place and the crowd’s jiving to a cool live band playing a mix of old classic jazz, new-age rock and some interesting funky music that was probably written by the band members themselves. I see friends and family members of the band, obviously familiar with the music, making known their support and presence over the blaring music. Others, not as familiar, were getting into the groove with empty pint glasses and satisfied smiles on their faces. I was there some Saturday nights back, and having just come back from a year-long exchange in Argentina, I marvelled at how, if I closed my eyes, I could perhaps imagine a scene like this in an old porteño bar in San Telmo, Buenos Aires.
The capital of Argentina is obviously very different from good ol’ Dunedin, but us scarfies and them porteños do share some similar traits. They bond over Fernet and coke, an Italian liquor that tastes oddly like cough medicine, while we combat the bitter cold with crates of Speights and the occasional bottle of Smirnoff (or whatever’s cheapest at Liquorland that week). The Argentines enjoy the sun as much as we do, even though it’s a scorching 45 degrees throughout the summer compared to us huddled out on whatever grass patch is nearest on a rare sunny Dunedin day. Oddly enough, for a country that’s constantly in social, political and economic turmoil, the various Argentines I’ve met were a happily contented bunch who never failed to wear a smile or have a dirty joke to tell.
Back at Pequeños all properly warmed up after knocking back a couple of pints, I set out to enjoy the yet-to-be exciting night that 10Bar and co. had to offer, knowing that my friends on the other side of the world and their fellow porteños would very likely be doing the same.