Casa Rosada in Plaza de Mayo
Casa Rosada - Hipolito Yrigoyen 211, Buenos Aires, Capital Federal District, Argentina
To prepare for the exciting week ahead, I allowed myself to sleep in this morning. Fortunately it was fairly easy to do, especially once that bright streetlight outside my hostel window turned off. Once up, I grabbed a simple breakfast of croissants from the hostel kitchen. A fellow traveler started chatting with me thanks to my Iowa State T-shirt. He was from the St Paul, MN suburbs traveling around South America after grad school before returning for work this fall. He managed to hit quite a few countries in his month of travel but was looking forward to going home this coming Friday. He had quite a bit of extra cash for travel, so I bought some pesos off of him at the black market rate of 8.5 instead of having to deal with banks and only getting 5.5. After storing my baggage in a locker for the day, I headed out to explore more of the city.
At 10 am the streets were pretty much empty. This gave me a great opportunity to gawk at the amazing architecture of the buildings lining the streets of the city. I headed towards Plaza De Mayo, which meant I had to cross
over the main always busy road Av. 9 De Julio where I saw my second motorcycle accident of the trip. Apparently, that is a major hazard in the city - 2 accidents in less than two days! Since help appeared on its way,I continued along. A few more blocks down I ran into an area of the street blocked off and people gearing up for what looked to be a festival. Keeping that in the back of my mind, I continued on to the Plaza to take pictures and then started the track to Plaza De Durrego.
On the way, I saw something drip around me from above. Since nothing hit my front, I continued on my way. A lady stopped me and told me my back was dirty. She and her friend gave me some Kleenex and tried to 'help'. Since it was on my back I took off my purse and off my jacket. I realized something up when one tried to clean my purse and the other tried to distract me with my jacket. I snatched both back just as some other local came walking up to see if everything was OK. The ladies couldn't get
out of there fast enough. They left with nothing of mine and I was up a pack of Kleenex. I continued my trek cognizant that I smelled like vinegar but had no way to rid myself of it. At least I got used to the smell and hoped it would deter future encounters. When I finally did make it to the plaza, I was highly disappointed to see almost nothing going on. So I headed back to Calle Florida for some shopping.
I ran across a local kids soccer game on the way which was fun to see. Eventually I made it back to Calle Florida where the festival was in full swing now. Turns out, the festival was celebrating Ecuador... A bit odd to me since I am in Argentina. It was fun to walk around and see all the foods. It lead me into Calle Florida. Here every ten feet was someone yelling out cambio encouraging tourists to exchange their dollars or Brazilian reals for pesos. Being blonde, I stood out and got a lot of those inquiries directed my way.I found a cute scarf that matched my jacket and would help keep me warm in the
Galerias Pacifico - Av Cordoba & Florida, Buenos Aires, Capital Federal District, Argentina
Argentinian winter. At the end of the road was an amazing mall, Galerias Pacifico. It was originally an old church, so the ceilings were still all painted. In the food court, they even had a fast food restaurant that sold steak meals.
Eventually my feet were taking the toll from all the recent walking, so I headed back to the hostel for my bags and went to check in at the Savoy Hotel. There I enjoyed a nice hot shower and some down time before our welcome dinner. The Drexel team hosted a brief cocktail hour to give everyone time to chat and meet before heading into a nice buffet dinner. It was nice to do some integrating of MBA Anywhere and Melvern people. Our table shared so we could all try the different shooter sized desserts.
Afterwards, a group of us went to a nearby cafe for beer towers. It lead to all kinds of crazy stories and conversations. Among them included a toast to gonorrhea, me being a seal, and sleeping with friends. Andrew Katz also told us a story from his and Jerry's first interesting translation error. While waiting at the hotel bar prior to
the welcome dinner, they were both chatting with the bartender. She has given them some nuts to snack on that they thought were amazing! She informed them that they were called Mani chinos. In an attempt to explain better she tried translating. Chino in Spanish means Chinese. Mani was a little trickier - she kept repeating the word "penis" thinking that was right. After a little bit she realized her mistake and turned bright red. A quick phone call to a friend corrected her to 'peanuts' for Mani. Seven beer towers later we headed out to the next recommended bar - Milion.
Milion turned out to be a hipster type sit down bar where the majority of our conversations revolved around the bizarre paintings in our sitting room. One had a Betty Boop and weird baby Pope with a machine gun, while the other was a murder scene with Micky Mouse. It was getting late after that so most of us headed back to catch some sleep for an exciting day of touring the next day.
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