Published: March 31st 2012March 31st 2012
Well, boarding the plane from Qiuto was weird. No special extended corridors. No bus. Just a long walk across the tarmac to a plane. Consequently, I wasn’t 100% sure this was the right plane.
“Buenos Aires?”, I said to the hostess at the bottom of the stairs.
“Buenos Dias”, she replied.
I got on anyway.
Fast forward. It was an overnight flight, so we didn’t really sleep. Arrived at the hotel about 14:00 (B.A. time) and went for a wander. Very Spanish, could be Spanish Europe, but for the indigenous flavour.
Here’s something interesting:
There’s Indians and there’s Indians. I mean, there’s Indians who live in India, then there’s Indians who live in America (North and South). They are not related at all (apart from the common root of Man who originated in Africa, but we’ll take that as read).
So, why are Indians in the Americas, called Indians?
Well, I’m glad you asked me that.
When Christopher Columbus set sail in bla-de-bla-de-bla, he was looking for a new spice trade route to India. The traditional trade route was fraught with peril as it involved going round the notorious Cape Horn of
Africa (no Suez Canal in those days) and lots of ships were lost this way, so he went looking for a new route.
I mean, all credit to the guy for thinking out of the box, he thought they might find a route by sailing off in the opposite direction. As it happened, the first place he landed was the Americas. Originally he thought he had found India, so he called the natives “Indians”.
So, there is a relationship.
But there isn't.
But there is.
But there isn't.
But there is.
But there isn't. (But there is). (But there isn't).
But . . . . (Gareth!)
Anyway, some more interesting stuff about the indigenous Indians (South America).
One way you can tell the difference between indigenous Indians in Chile and Peru is by their noses. Chilean indigenous Indians have saddle shaped noses. Peruvian indigenous Indians have straight noses. Also, Peruvian indigenous Indians have more slanted eyes than Chilean.
Move further up the continent, the Ecuadorian indigenous Indians have more of a bump on their noses. So much so, that it seems it is the in thing
for Equadorian people to have nose jobs !! We saw loads of people in Equador who had had nose jobs!!
And, while we’re on the subject, it also seems that enhanced buttocks seem to be the in thing in Equador (amongst the ladies that is). We also saw many enhanced buttocks in Equador, like a handy little shelf!! I do hope they’re not taking bits from their noses and sticking them on their buttocks (or vice versa). I mean, whichever way, it seems to me to be an unfortunate combination!!
Anyway, I digress, tonight was Tango night . . . .
I’ve learned a number of things about Tango tonight:
a) It is the only dance that rhymes with “mango”
b) It takes two
c) It was invented in 1910 by a Signor Rhumba, who is perhaps best remembered for the first dance he invented - the Conga.
Wine, din-dins, tango, bo-bos.
Next day, city tour.
In a nutshell, Buenos Aires was first colonised by the Spanish in the 1500’s and flourished as a result of it being a major port for trade. In the 1800s, it became a fashionable place
to live, and many wealthy Spanish moved here. The architecture is Spanish (and French influenced), for example, they built long thin houses known as “sausage houses” (mmmm – sausage houses) with an open courtyard to allow the breeze to blow through.
As a result of poor sanitation however, cholera and plague also flourished and many Spanish returned home. Consequently, there is still a plethora of antique shops around as many people sold off their belongings before they left.
Despite this setback, Buenos Aires continued to flourish, and in it’s heyday in the 1920’s was known as “the Paris of Latin America”.
Unfortunately, the country was bankrupted by Peron during the 1900s and his lavish spending. For example, they built a huge street, Avenida 9 de Julio (to commemorate their Independence Day) with nineteen traffic lanes, in the middle of Buenos Aires at great expense, not just the construction costs, but the costs incurred buying up all the prime real estate either side to then demolish. Feelings about Peron still run very high in Argentina (both for and against) and we were advised not to bring subject up at all!!!
There are still no-go areas for tourists
as a result of the poverty, but generally the city has a very European feel. Latin music blasts out of local cafes and, on the whole, people seem to be smiling.
Anyway, we are out tonight at the “Fiesta De La Bomba De Tiempo” which comes highly recommended by Binx (who spent a few weeks living and working in B.A.) for its Latin beats, so we need a bit of shut-eye as it doesn’t start ‘til midnight (I don’t know, these young ‘uns). Los Horus Stoolios
Unsettled. Unpredictable. Further squalls expected.
I think it’s fair to say that Moi and I are travelling different paths at the moment. So, I will deal with each separately.
Moi – Liquorice Allsorts.
Me – Difficult to say, until tonight, when I produced a perfect scale map of the Galapagos Islands. There was Isobella (the big one), there was Florentina, there was Santa Cruz, with the little gap for the ferry to Baltra. In fact, I said to Moi, if you look closely, I was convinced you could see tiny seals swimming round the “coast”. She declined to confirm my sightings.
Sleep tight. (Can you keep it down a bit please, there’s people trying to sleep here). (Pause)
Why are you still reading this, there’s no more ? (Pause)
I said, there’s no more. I’m trying to get some sleep. Do you mind? (Pause)
There are more photos below