After a ten-day vacation with the family in Argentina I was surprised by what I did not see as much as by what I did see. Our vacation took us to three cities: Buenos Aires, Mendoza, and Bariloche. The sights, the food, the wine, and the people were all wonderful, but conspicuous in its absence was the che propaganda I fully expected to be bombarded with. It seems the rest of the world is more obsessed with el carnicero de la Cabaña than his own country. I have been subjected to much more che propaganda here in the US and in Europe than I ever was in Argentina.
During our visit there I had a total of three che sightings: One was a postcard with the murder’s image in a souvenir shop in a very touristy area of Buenos Aires; another was a poster of the beast in a music store in Bariloche; and the last was a DVD being sold at the Buenos Aires airport that purported to tell the “incredible story” of this “legendary man.” Other than this, at least from what I saw, Argentineans do not seem all that infatuated with their infamous countryman. Even when I brought up the subject of che in casual conversation with a few of them, they all seemed uninterested in the assassin. I am sure that I if I tried and asked around a little more, I could have found a few statues or memorials dedicated to che somewhere, but I was not really interested in seeing anything glorifying the man. I was more than happy to be relatively che-free during our visit.
As you can see from the picture I took in Bariloche of the famous Llao Llao Hotel and Resort above, it is the beginning of winter in Argentina. The flight to get there is long (9+ hours), but it was worth the effort. All throughout our trip we found the people to be cordial and helpful, the food to be incredible, the sights to be breathtaking, and the exchange rate quite favorable.
Nevertheless, it is good to be back home—even though I have to deal with more che crap here than I ever did in Argentina.