ARGENTINA – ARGENTINA

Argentinski strajkovi-Argentinian protests

Argentinski strajkovi-Argentinian protests

La Casa Rosada je zgrada argentinske Vlade-The Pink House is the location of Argentinian Government

La Casa Rosada je zgrada argentinske Vlade-The Pink House is the location of Argentinian Government

Najpoznatiji glecer-The most famous glacier Perito Moreno

Najpoznatiji glecer-The most famous glacier Perito Moreno

Najvisi vrh u Americi-The highest peak in Americas

Najvisi vrh u Americi-The highest peak in Americas

Poznati kvart Boka i ulicica Caminito u Buenos Airesu-Neighborhood (barrio) La Boca, Caminito alley, in Buenos Aires

Poznati kvart Boka i ulicica Caminito u Buenos Airesu-Neighborhood (barrio) La Boca, Caminito alley, in Buenos Aires

Prizor sa pampe-A scene from pampa

Prizor sa pampe-A scene from pampa

Spomenik generalu San Martinu-Monument to Jose de San Mart+¡n

Spomenik generalu San Martinu-Monument to Jose de San Mart+¡n

Stanica Kraj sveta na jugu zemlje-Train station The End of the World at the South of Argentina

Stanica Kraj sveta na jugu zemlje-Train station The End of the World at the South of Argentina

Tango bar u Buenos Airesu-Tango bar in Buenos Aires

Tango bar u Buenos Airesu-Tango bar in Buenos Aires

Tango je nacionalni ples-Tango is the national dance

Tango je nacionalni ples-Tango is the national dance

Tromedja na vodopadima Iguasu-Iguazu Falls triangle

Tromedja na vodopadima Iguasu-Iguazu Falls triangle

U tipicnom restoranu-In a local steak restaurant

U tipicnom restoranu-In a local steak restaurant

Usamljeni jahac-Lonely rider

Usamljeni jahac-Lonely rider

Vodena palata u Buenos Airesu-The Water Palace in Buenos Aires

Vodena palata u Buenos Airesu-The Water Palace in Buenos Aires

Vodopadi Iguasu-Iguazu Falls

Vodopadi Iguasu-Iguazu Falls

Zabava gaucosa na pampasima-Gauchos entertainment at the pampas

Zabava gaucosa na pampasima-Gauchos entertainment at the pampas

Krivine u Andima-The curves in the Andes

Krivine u Andima-The curves in the Andes

Na putu za Argentinu-On the way to Argentina

Na putu za Argentinu-On the way to Argentina

Poznati kvart Boka i ulicica Caminito u Buenos Airesu-Neighborhood (barrio) La Boca, Caminito alley, in Buenos Aires

Poznati kvart Boka i ulicica Caminito u Buenos Airesu-Neighborhood (barrio) La Boca, Caminito alley, in Buenos Aires

Spomenik vojsci generala San Martina-Army of the Andes Monument in Mendoza

Spomenik vojsci generala San Martina-Army of the Andes Monument in Mendoza

Tango je svuda-Tango is everywhere

Tango je svuda-Tango is everywhere

Tek što sam završio medicinu, zaljubio sam se u Argentinku. Zvala se Ana Lia
i u pričama je počela da mi otkriva svoju čudesnu zemlju, koju nisam stigao
da sa njom upoznam. Ali, zato sam svim srcem počeo da učim španski i ponekad
vežbam tango. Šetajući mnogo godina kasnije glavnim gradom Buenos Ajresom,
prisećao sam se oduševljenja sa kojim mi je opisivala osvajanje demokratije
u toj zemlji, iako je njen otac bio diplomata u vreme vojnih režima.
Slučajno se dogodilo da sam poslednjeg argentinskog šefa vojne hunte,
generala Galtijerija, video i držao u rukama njegov pasoš na beogradskom
aerodromu, kada je predvodio delegaciju svoje zemlje na sastanku
Konferencije Ujedinjenih nacija za trgovinu i razvoj (UNCTAD), a ja radio na
organizaciji dočeka delegata. Tada sam i Anu upoznao i sa njom u priči
prolazio kroz Mi Buenos Aires querido; legendarni Majski trg,  Plaza de
Mayo, na kome je davno izbila pobuna protiv španskih kolonizatora, a
poslednjih decenija svake nedelje protestovale žene u belom –  Madres de
Plaza de Mayo, majke koje su tražile svoju decu, nestalu za vreme vojnih
režima. Demokratija je odvno došla u ovu zemlju, ali mnogih nestalih se i
dalje ne zna sudbina. Dočaravala mi je lik Evite Peron, koju sam zamišljao
kako drži vatrene govore sa Casa Rosade i svojim neodoljivim šarmom
pridobija naciju. Generali su ipak bili nadmoćniji.
Šetajuci kaldrmom najstarijeg dela grada, koji se naziva Boka, i dokovima
luke Puerto Madera, zamišljao sam atmosferu dvadesetih godina prošlog veka,
u doba imigracije iz svih delova sveta u ovu obećanu zemlju. Zanosni zvuci
bandoneona i muzika Astora Pjacole pratili su me u tango barovima, u kojoma
su se smenjivali pevači u prugastim odelima i igrački parovi u svoj
virtuoznosti plemenite igre tanga. Vodio ih je ritam kroz male zadimljene
prostore sa trošnim drvenim stolovima i slikama Karlosa Gardela na požutelim
zidovim, kao i muzika ostalih stvaralaca koja vas potpuno uvlači u svoj
ritam i osvaja. Limeni zidovi kućica u Boki, ofarbani živopisnim bojama,
vraćaju vas u romantičnu prošlost ovog grada.
Pampasi su beskrajne argentinske ravnice, u kojima se može uživati u
tradicionalnom načinu života gaučosa, u jahanju i trkom za nepreglednim
krdima krava. Čuvena po biftecima i ostalim specijalitetima, argentinska
kuhinja je odavno po tome cenjena u svetu, a sve to vredni gaučosi
pripremaju na svoj nacin, uz dobru muziku i igru i jos bolje vino koje je,
po kvalitetu, u samom vrhu svetske lestvice.
Vodopadi Iguasu lepši su sa argentinske strane nego sa brazilske i deluju
impozantno u svojoj lepoti i snazi. Kada im se prilazi dugim drvenim
mostićima, oseća se postepeno pojačavanje zastrašujućeg huka vode, dok se
ubrzo ne ugleda veličanstveni prizor pada vode kroz ogromnu pukotinu u
zemlji.
Želeo bih da upoznam krajnji jug Argentine, Ognjenu zemlju, Tierra del
Fuego, na putu za Antarktik. Želeo bih da dugo putujem vozom u tom smeru sa
lokalnim Indiosima, čitajuci Borhesa i Kortasara. Želim da upijam utiske o
toj zemlji putujući preko prevoja Kordiljera, Cordillera de los Andes, kroz
gradove Kordobu i Mendosu, Mar del Platu i gradić Rosario, jer svuda tamo
imam prijatelje koje želim da posetim.
Iako Argentinci sebe više doživljavaju kao Evropljane nego Latinoamerikance
i time bude revolt stanovnika Južne Amerike, oni su ipak, u svojoj
uobraženosti, sasvim poseban narod koji volim. Ne toliko zbog devojke sa
početka priče, koliko zbog njih samih, njihovog mentaliteta i posebnosti.
A možda je, ipak, i ona tome doprinela.
Novembar 1998.
_____________________________________________________________

Just as I graduated in Medicine, I fell in love with an Argentinean girl.
Her name was Ana Lía and through her stories I started to discover her
wonderful country, even though I never had a chance to visit it with her.
That was why I started to study Spanish with zeal and occasionally to
practise dancing tango. Many years later, walking down the streets of the
capital Buenos Aires, I recalled the enthusiasm with which she described the
fight for democracy in this country, despite her father holding diplomatic
posts abroad during the military regime years. Incidentally, I met the last
Argentinean dictator, general Galtieri and held his passport in my hands at
Belgrade airport. That was when he led his country’s delegation to the
UNCTAD (United Nations Conference on Trade and Development) conference in
Belgrade, where I worked greeting the delegates. Also, that was when I met
her. In our conversations Mi Buenos Aires querido cropped up, as well as the
legendary square Plaza de Mayo, the site of the uprising against the Spanish
colonialists, and more recently, the place where mothers, clad in white,
Madres de Plaza de Mayo, have protested every Sunday, requesting that their
children, who had disappeared during the military regime, be brought back.
Even though democracy prevailed in Argentina a long time ago, the fate of
many disappeared people has remained unknown. She painted the picture of
Evita Perón in my mind, and I imagined her giving fiery, inspirational
speeches from Casa Rosada, her irresistible charm capturing the nation, as
if by a spell. Yet, the generals were stronger.    Walking on the tarmac on
the streets of Boca, the oldest part of the city, and on the piers of Puerto
Madera I tried to imagine the atmosphere of the 1920s, when immigrants from
all over the world flocked to this promised land. The bewitching sounds of
bandoneón and Astor Piazzolla’s songs followed me from one tango bar to
another where singers in pinstriped suits took turns while dancing couples
masterfully performed the noble dance of tango. They were carried away by
the rhythm of Carlos Gardel, whose yellowed photos hang on the walls, and
other musicians who equally enchant with their beat; the bars were small and
smoky, with decrepit wooden tables. The tin walls of the little houses in
Boca, painted in lively colours, vividly depicted the romantic past of this
city.
Pampas are vast Argentinean plains where you can experience the traditions
of gaucho everyday life, such as horse riding and chasing the enormous herds
of cows. Argentinean cuisine has been renowned worldwide by its beef and
related dishes which are all made by the hardworking gauchos, in their
style, with good music and dance, and with even better wine which is at the
top of the list for quality amongst world wines.

Iguazu Falls are more beautiful on the Argentinean side than in Brazil, and
they appear surreal in their splendour and power. As you approach them via
long wooden hanging bridges, the frightening sound of torrential water
intensifies, until you see a magnificent sight of water falling from high up
through a massive chasm in the ground.

I would like to explore the very South of Argentina, the Fireland, or Tierra
del Fuego, on the way to Antarctic. I would like to set off on a long train
journey, with local Red Indians, and read Borges and Cortázar. I would like
to soak up the atmosphere of this country, riding through Cordillera de los
Andes, and see the cities of Córdoba, Mendoza, Mar del Plata and Rosario, as
in each place I have friends I would like to visit.

Even though Argentineans see themselves as European people, causing much
outrage amongst other Latin American peoples, they are quite unique really,
in their conceit. And I like them for that. Not so much because of the girl
from the beginning of the story, but because of themselves as they are and
their own mentality, their uniqueness.

Perhaps, the girl has contributed to this too, after all.

November 1998

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