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Published: August 30th 2011
So, last time we spoke we had just arrived in Buenos Aires and were waiting to check into our room at Milhouse Hostel. We waited until about half 2 and finally were allowed to check in, dumped our stuff and decided to go for a bit of a wander around to get our bearings with the city and see what was about. At the time we obviously didnt know where to go but in hindsight we decided to walk in the ONLY direction from the hostel in which there was nothing to see or do! So we aimlessly wandered around some streets and saw a few cafes and pretty much nothing else and decided to go into a cafe and get some lunch. The waiter in the cafe seemed to be falling over himself to give us whatever we wanted even if it wasnt on the menu and so it took us about 20 minutes to order some chicken sandwiches, with which Ben wanted bacon...but we didnt know the word for bacon so Ben tried to explain to the waiter that it was like "fried ham"...unfortunately for Ben that is exactly what he got...a slice of processed ham...fried....yummy. We
swiftly paid and went back to the hostel.
A bit later on Bens friend from home Benji (who is living in Buenos Aires for a few months) came to meet us and we had a couple of drinks at the hostel and got a cab to his favourite restaurant "Desnivel", where he knew all the waiters and played football with them. He told us to order the "Bife de Lomo" and god was that a good choice!! Out came three of the biggest steaks and all beautifully cooked and pretty much the best steaks in the world! They also gave us endless amounts of this Chimichuri (pronounced like Jimmy Churi if youre English) stuff which is a mix of a million herbs and tastes amazing! After the dinner we went back to the hostel where they were having a party, so many more drinks were consumed and we went out to a nightclub called Crobar. In the bus on the way to the nightclub we were with loads of Brazillian guys who were chanting some song and obviously in our drunken stupor we decided we knew the words and attempted to join in...epic fail. In Crobar we had a
little dance, Ben and Benji hugged each other like Carebears with many "Ive missed you man" moments and I decided I could speak Spanish and attempted to talk to everyone...my "Spanish" however consisted of English words with an "O" on the end....Thiso Clubo is mucho funo...you get the picture. We finally crawled into bed at 8am and promptly fell asleep after a very fun first night in Buenos Aires.
We awoke from our slumber around 4pm and went downstairs to have a bit of food in the hostel and pretty much just sat around feeling ridiculously sorry for ourselves and nursing some pretty terrible hangovers for the rest of the day. At dinner time, which by the way in Buenos Aires is around 10pm, we met up with some people we had met in Iguazu Falls who had checked into our hostel and went out for another(!) steak dinner. The restaurant was a kind of canteen full of locals and there was a couple of guys sitting on a table near us who seemed to be absolutely fascinated by us and watched us the whole time they were eating and didnt speak a word to each other.
When they finally left they walked over to our table and wished us "Buenos Noches"...strange. There was also a man who put SO much salt on everything he ate, by the end everytime he picked up the salt shaker we all had to stifle laughter. After a few glasses of wine the waitress became an endless source of laughter as she was compared to a racoon and told to "get out of the bin" by Luke! After dinner we walked back to the hostel and had an early night to recover from our persistent hangovers.
Netx day we woke up at a much more respectable time and even made it to breakfast! We decided to go to San Telmo as we heard they had cool markets there at the weekends, so we walked up there. We wandered around the markets, which were filled with an array of arts and crafts, clothes, antiques etc and saw some interesting sights...there was man selling featherdusters who looked like something out of Notting Hill Carnival with all his feathers but was wearing a tracksuit and had a skinhead! There was also a street performer who had wire in all his clothes
to look like it was really windy (see pic) which was quite funny and a man playing electro music on a keyboard SO badly who looked ( and sounded) like Moby fallen on hard times. We stopped for some coffee and I ordered a Submarino...a glass of really hot milk and a chocolate bar and you put the chocolate bar into the milk and it melts!! Genius idea!! I love Argentinian food...steak, wine, chocolate....what more would you want!!
After a bit more wandering around we went up to the a shopping street to go to an outdoor shop because Ben wanted to buy a waterproof jacket. As it had been SO cold that day and I didnt have a coat with me either we both ended up splashing out a slightly obscene amount of money on proper outdoorsy coats. Unfortunately for me after I had already paid for my nice little red number, Ben decided he ALSO wanted a bright red coat...so now we look like a pair of Butlins Red coats with matching "his n hers" red jackets!! Very embarassing! Thanks Ben!
After the coats fisaco we walked back to the hostel only for Ben to realise
that he had left his bank card in the shop! We had to get reception to call them in Spanish to ask them to hold onto it and Ben would collect it the next day. We then tried to pay for some drinks at the bar only to be told we had somehow managed to acquire 2 fake 50peso notes during the day, which we are still in the process of trying to get rid of sneakily in clubs but everyone catches us out! Damn! We didnt want to eat more steak for dinner so instead opted for a pizza from a takeaway called Ugis, we walked in a looked for a menu but there wasnt one...the place only does 1 kind of pizza...in 1 size..."Grande"...an interesting business decision we thought but got one anyway from a man with one eye!
Next morning Ben got up early and went to collect his abandoned card while I waited at the hostel. When he got back we met up with Benji again and we went to go and look inside the Presidents house, which you can only do on weekends and bank holidays (which it was that day). We
also learnt that if Argentinians have a holiday or celebration which doesnt fall on a weekend, they just push it out the weekend to get the extra day off work! Brilliant attitude to have! The Presidents house was pretty cool and very grand, we got to go out onto the balcony and seee where Evita stood to do some of her famous speeches to the square.
Afterwards we went back to the hostel and bumped into Dave and Emily from uni...small world! We had a bit of a late lunch at the hostel and then at about 7 we all went out to this thing called "La Bomba de Tiempo" which we had been told was really good. It is basically a percussion band who do completely improvised performances. The venue for the show was really cool, it was kind of half outside and in an old warehouse and they sold beer and cocktails by the LITRE! We had a couple of massive drinks while we waited for the show to start and then went in for the show. It was really cool because there were pairs of drummers with similar instruments and you could see them talking to each other about what they were going to do next and all listening and watching each other to get a vibe going. They all swapped instruments and the conductor changed around and then half way through a man with an electric guitar came out and starting improvising along with them. Its hard to explain how good it was in words and pictures but we had such a good time and wished there was something like that in London!
After the show, we went back to hostel and had (quite a few) more drinks and I got drunk...again(!) and then went to bed.
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