One thing I have learned since arriving is that Paraguayans love to party and be with their friends. Last night I was invited out by a few of the chicas from WWF to dance and maybe even sing Karaoke. Sadly, the karaoke place was full so we weren’t able to go, but we did head down to Paseo Carmelitas, which is actually a beautiful part of the city with a ton of bars, restaurants, clubs, and stores for shopping- also to my delight, they have a Freddo! For those of you who don’t know, Freddo is god’s gift to the world, aka Argentine Ice Cream! I was surprised to see such a nice place given the run-down nature of the rest of the city. It was definitely good to just relax and enjoy myself instead of being so stressed out about all that is unsavory about the city. When we arrived, the people who had already been at the bar for a short while had ordered milanesitas, (milanesa is thinly pounded meat that is then breaded and fried, which means the milanesita is this same dish but cut into small pieces to share.) They had also already ordered beer.
I should probably point out here that Paraguayans like to share everything, and beer is no exception. They order a bottle or two for the table, (a 40 oz bottle, give or take) and place it in a bucket of ice in the center of the table. For the earlier part of the night we each had our own glasses, but as the night goes on there is one glass of beer passed among everyone to share, while on the dance floor. Everyone takes their sip and then asks if you’d like some as well. Of course, having a slight cold, (and being American and probably germ-fearful,) I politely declined numerous times though no one could really understand why and replied, no you should just have some it will help make the cold go away, (sounds like a familiar sentiment from home.)
At a certain hour, around 1 in the morning, the bar moves all of their tables to the side and opens up the floor for dancing. This also involves shutting the TVs, blasting the volume of the music, and lowering all of the lights. The music changes from classic American bar tunes, to nonstop Reggaeton for the next 4-5 hours. My cold was keeping me down and by 1:30 I was ready to call it a night, but mis amigas were in for the long haul, so I kept my body moving until about 4, at which point the rest of the party was disappointed we were leaving so early! This is one of the many things I’m sure I will acclimate to, resting up after work to party hard in the night!