Chef and I knew that in the next few days before our scheduled March 26 flight, a lot could change. And like everyone else on the planet, we were trying to salvage our sanity. We were isolated and in the wrong hemisphere, but we had each other, and now a hotel and bar to run!
Cooking for ourselves was a great way to unwind, but we reminisced about the killer empanadas we’d enjoyed here a few short weeks ago. So I called the taxi driver who brought us here from the airport. Alejandro thought he could connect us with the tasty treats. Would we mind very much if his girlfriend made us a dozen using her grandma’s secret recipe? This is the difference between a pleasant surprise and an unpleasant surprise.
On the morning of March 25, Iron Chef was putting in his telework hours as travel agent, monitoring our flights back home. I overheard him say, in his professional incident commander voice, “Well, what are our other options?” Which I knew to interpret as “What the f*%! are we supposed to do now??” The flight from Buenos Aires to Panama to San Francisco to Idaho was no more. Cancelado. No es bueno.
Just then we got our daily US Embassy alert, telling us one airline was scooping up travelers in South and Central America to get them back to the States. The Embassy advised the had every reason to believe this was the last commercial flight out of Argentina for a long time. Subsisting on green olives from the bar would start to get very salty.
Chef booked the flight for 1:30 am in the wee hours of March 26. By the time he’d worked out our US connections, the exodus airline with the direct flight to Miami said just kidding, we meant March 27.
Chef issued the austere order that the bar would be closed until 3 pm.
Is it unlucky to have an Episode 13?