Wednesday, May 13, 2009

This Morocho Takes his Coffee with Legs

I'm finally home after two weeks of cris-crossing through South America for work and play. I'm gayed out, having escorted one very lively group of journalists on a gay scavenger hunt through Santiago, Chile and Buenos Aires, Argentina and then meeting up with my cousins in Cali, Colombia, to explain that yep, much like last year, I'm still gay and quite happy about it.

So, some highlights from this last visit to some of my favorite places in the world:

In Santiago, which is as smoggy, sprawling and devoid of personality as Los Angeles I found that a morning jolt of caffeine need not come from a PhD candidate in a green apron, but rather, a damsel in a g-string and body paint. Blame the trauma of a repressive dictatorship for the phenomenon that is "cafe con piernas," or, coffee with legs. You just rock up to a little cafe in downtown Santiago - there are lots of places like this in the area - and order up your latte or espresso from a busty waitress who, for 1,000 pesos (about $2) will pose for a picture with you (like my friend did here). No one touches anyone and no liquor is served, it's just coffee. With legs. And g-strings. And boobs.

In Buenos Aires, where dark good looks like mine get you called "morocho" (affectionately, of course) I shopped cuz that's what one does when the exchange rate is at a very favorable 4 pesos to the dollar. But the highlight of the trip, which included the sexy Rojo Tango show at the Faena Hotel+Universe, was the Evita suite at the Legado Mitico hotel in the Palermo district. Shopping and gaudy first ladies - this is my kind of town. The highlight of the trip was meeting my new friend Fabian, the tour guide to the stars and the gays, who got me hip to the camp yummyness that is Lia Crucet. See for yourself why I'm obsessed:

And in Cali, Colombia, where I spent many a summer as a kid, I ended a weekend of morning prayers and sing-alongs with cocktails at the Chipichape mall, known to the locals as Chipi-gay cuz it's where the gays go to buy Diesel jeans and cruise. Now, I don't make it a custom to frequent malls when I'm on the road, but you do what you have to for a cocktail in a town where people take their liquor straight up. After two days of pleasantries, it was nice to finally be real with my cousins who said "next time we'll take you on the gay circuit, there are tons of clubs and bars in town." Why no one thought to offer on this trip yo no se, but it was nice of them to think of hooking me up just the same.

And now, back to work...

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