Published: September 13th 2012September 13th 2012
Powering through the blg entries while I have the time, as I´m sure these will be even less interesting for yáll when you know I´m actually safe and sound at my folks house in east London. Mind you, everyone is so lovely and friendly here, I´m pretty sure I´m much safer in Argentina than I am in London... anyway.
I have come to the internet cafe without my camera battery or photo USB, and without my prompts we have only my memory to rely on, which as I´m sure you all know, is poor at the best of times. Still, I´ll give it a whirl...
Getting to BA from Salta involved a 21 hours us journey. Lovely. Given the level of seat recline you gert on these buses, and the fact it was mainly empty, its actually significantly more comfortable than flying, and as I´m quite a pro at the ol´24 hour journey between Sydney and London, it wasn´t that painful for me. Hell, they even had bingo. I actually think I won but I didn´t really understand what was going so thought it was best to leave it be. I made friends with the bus assistant man, Christian, who wanted to sit and watch the films with me. Was all good until he asked me for a kiss... (beso?). Smooth. Ah, those Argentinians.... Its so strange, when you´re on your own especailly, the first question any man asks you, tour guides, taxi drivers, people you ask for directions, is Soltera o Casada? Single or Married? Apart from the obvious, its a weird thing to ask as I reckon, if you did a survey, the majority of the foreign girls you find on their own in Argentina are not going to be married. Its a waste of a question - you may as well just hedge your bets and crack on. Anyway, yes - they sure are forward.
The bus journey gave me another new experience - my first entirely yellow meal... ok, so maybe there wasa little colour hidden under the top layer, but first impressions are everything. My bus dinner involved: A cheese (and ham) sandwich, canneloni (just pasta and cheese), tortilla/omelette, and for dessert, a quite impressively bright yellow flan (is that the right word? Is was kinda like solid custard?). Yum. All washed down with some orange (they obviously couldn´t find any lemon) fanta. Obviously I ate it all.
I arrived at 11am to find that i couldn´t check into the hostel until 2pm, so I, unwashed and sleepy, sought out Sofia (who had come a few days previously). We went shopping (Palermo, where we were staying, is fashionista central.... I didn´t quite look the part in my manky bus clothes and hiking boots, but still), before meeting up wth her friend from uni Lily, who I vaguely remebered, and who got on my good side straight away by thinking I was Italian. Sara arrived in the evening, bless her, all knackered and manky... though me, freshly showered now, wanted to go out, and so we hit Palermo´s bars for a couple of quiet ones. Of course, in Argentina, noone actually goes out to dinner till 10/11pm, so a quiet night still doesn´t get you home till 2am. It was just so lovely catching up... though in my heart I knew that I had in fact messed up Sara´s jetlag for some time to come!
The next day we went to San Telmo´s antique markets, where Sara and I both fell in love with expensive bits of jewellery. If anyone ever wants to buy me some antique jewellery, turns out I really like red coral. It wasn´t even that THAT expnsive really, but being unemployed, it seemed a little much. After snapping my trusty belt (came free with the crappy trousers I bought on sale from new look the day before I left), I spahed out on a new one, froma lovely lady you punched the holes in it herself. I also bought a really cool 60s style second dress, which will be no use at all on this trip, and probably not even when I get back to the UK presuming its cold, but hell, it would´ve have cost 5 times as much at home!
That night was Sofia´s last, and she would be hitting up the tango clubs again... as its the done thing we thought we´d pop along. We thought we´d Poteño it up and didn´t finish dinner till about 1am, before going to find Sofia for a tango all nighter. Its so slick... ladies basically have to just wait at the edge of the dance floor, trying to catch someones attention, waiting for a bloke to give you the little nod of the head which means you´re on for a dance. Sofia seemed to do alright anyway... while sara and I tried our best to make sure we didn´t make eye contact with anyone. Tango looks hard. Well, it is hard, as I actually found out at the end of the night (well, about 5.30am) when a lovely old man who had been dancing with Sofia insisted that I got up and give it a go. At 6am, its all finished up, and off we went home to bed... Well, as Sofia´s flight was in a few hours she just stayed up, but poor sleep deprived Sara and I crashed and burned.
I actually really liked being in Buenos Aires, though I can´t really recall the details right now... we went to La Boca, though not the football stadium, which was bright and colourful and photogenic, we went to Recoleta, including to the cemetary to see Evita´s grave (and where I ran into my other friend from Salta, Lisa from North London), and we accidently wandered into a cuple of university buildings (seriously one looked like it was a horror film.. at dusk the bulding is so dark you literally can´t see it). We went to the MALBA gallery, which we both loved, despite all the big pieces (Frida Kahlo etc) being on tour in Houstion when we went, and to this amazing bookshop, El Ateneo, which used to a be a theatre, balconies, stage, lights, beautiful - Ah, I´ll add a photo later. Got Sara a steak, but sadly it wasn´t as great as the one I had in Salta... the search continues...
But yes, loving Argentina so far!