Salta is the farthest up you can go into Argentina without seeing any inbreeding with the less attractive Bolivian race. With the eye of a sociologist and a liver of an alcoholic, I studied Salta’s nightlife for almost one week.
Wednesday. I was lucky enough to meet Keith, an Irish guy committed to going out more than me. We go to Salon VIP where they played reggaeton, salsa, and cumbia, apparently like most other clubs in town (two or three American hip hop songs are thrown in, always including the American classic “Yeah” by Usher). Coming from Bolivia this club was paradise, with cute girls averaging 17-24 years in age. A group of four Argentine English teachers approached us and kept us busy until the club closed at 5am. Similar to a problem I had in Lima, we debated if we could do better, but when you roll in at 3:30am you don’t have much time to work the crowd. $4 cover with free gigantic beer.
Thursday. I tagged along with a few French twenty-somethings to Line Out, a club way out in the suburbs of Tres Cerritos. This was the first night that I got to witness the horrible game of Argentine guys, who seem to be more concerned with proving to their guy friends they are macho than actually getting girls. An opener I saw a few times is pulling a girl’s hair (big surprise—it never worked!). Argentine girls, especially the young ones, are not familiar with indirect game, which means there is nothing stopping me from cleaning up in Argentina if I run into ones that know English and don’t mind my hairiness. $3 cover.
Friday. Two Dutch girls and I started in a club called Mao Mao, a place where 40-something Argentines come to get laid (on Friday night anyway). “Everybody Dance Now” played alongside Madonna as I stood in shock watching the Argentine version of my parents grinding with each other on the dancefloor. We stayed there for 45 minutes, mostly to wait for our next destination to get good since it was only 2AM (things get started late in this country). $4 cover with free drink.
We end up in Metropoli, a club packed with young people dancing to reggaeton and cumbia. It’s here I learn that it’s efficient to go after gigantic groups of girls because there is always one bound to speak English, though it’s usually not the cutest one. On this night I couldn’t drink because I started a course of cipro to kill remaining stomach issues that started in Bolivia, but it didn’t matter much because the girls themselves don’t drink like they do in the States; they have their free drink then just dance the rest of the night. Being sober in an Argentine club is easier and more acceptable than at home. $5 cover with free drink.
Saturday. We have a winner! Club XXI (Veinte Uno) is on Balcarce, the Adams Morgan-like strip where all the gringos and young Argentines go. There were three girls for every two guys, most of them in their early 20’s. Excellent house and reggaeton set the mood. It doesn’t get much better than this, and while the girls were of average friendliness, a little effort goes a long way into finding one that is both nice and cute. With another Irish clubbing partner, I’m finding that they are the only people who like going out (maybe because they all have drinking problems). A dozen or so people in my hostel didn’t go out on Saturday night because they were “tired.” $5 cover with free drink.
Sunday. Back to Salon VIP for their pre-Columbus day bash. Not liking the block long line, me and my Dutch wingman decided to bribe the bouncer with a 50 peso bill (about $16 US). Hilarity… uhhh.. ensued, but we did get in with high fives. Quality took a massive hit from the night before and there was some discomfort when I ran into those English teachers from my first night out, but this was the most lively night yet. The girls here were the least friendly of all the nights even though they were the ugliest, but I’m starting to think it’s a response to the aggressiveness of the guys. It was so packed that the only way to get through is to hold up your full beer like a torch to clear a path. For the first time ever I saw music video mixing (perhaps with these).
A strange policy of Salta’s clubs is that you must keep the same glass for the entire night or pay $0.75 for another one. You must also pay if you try to leave the club without a glass. What this means is that you have a bunch of guys walking around with empty cocktail glasses in their jean pockets. As a relatively wealthy gringo I am unaffected by the puny fine so I just pay the charge repeatedly throughout the night.
While Lima had more head-turners, Salta has very good foundation of cute girls in the 7 and 8 range with few fatties. I could live here for the girls, so I can only imagine how much better it will get as I move closer to Buenos Aires. Also, when someone needs a light, they don’t ask if you have a lighter, they ask if you have fire. It reminds me of The Fifth Element.
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