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South America » Argentina » Buenos Aires » La Plata
July 12th 2016
Published: July 13th 2016
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Today my daughter was teaching all day so I had a day of shopping, cooking, loads of walking and some shopping, all alone.

After 4 days of meeting so many people, trying to speak some Spanish and understanding the torrent of words around me, not committing major faux pas culturally, and speaking English but a variant to accommodate various understandings, it was nice to just do my own thing.

This morning I was sent off with a note to go to the butcher to get some mince. Well basically I chickened out and bought it at the nearby supermarket. So much easier than having to mime the eventual questions I am sure the butcher would have asked such as beef? regular? premium? Grabbing a packet off the shelf is much more certain. The lady in the queue decided to have a conversation about how slow the check out was, so I could pretend or shrug but instead I told her I didn't understand in my best Spanish, and then between us in Spanish and English we managed to exchange names, that i was visiting family and i was going to go to Iguazu falls later, and she had not spoken English since high school which was quite some time ago.

After lunch and a game of boggle with some students I ventured off to the main shopping area via Saavedra park which is near the house.

La Plata is laid out in a grid with each of the streets numbered, so its easy to not get lost provided you do not go on the diagonal. So i basically walked up Street 12 down one side and back the another from street 71 to Plaza Moreno and the Cathedral which is about 50.

Most shops are closed from around 1pm to 3pm , with people gathering from around 4pm to walk, talk, eat, visit the parks and socalise. They eat very late so 4pm onwards is afternoon tea time.

The park has the usual children's play equipment, has a little tea place at 2 ends, a wide avenue for walking and skating, the usual graffiti everywhere, duck ponds and even people fishing. Parks are well used as people as mostly apartment dwellers so dogs and children feature.

The shopping area is a mix from one end of Calle 12 of household appliances all laid out on the footpath to the other end of clothes, bags, jewellery, toys, chinese shops full of this and that, coffee and icecream places and the usual other stuff sold in any shopping area of the world. Graffiti is scrawled everywhere, buildings partly torn down, footpaths all broken in places, but the shops are selling the nicest of things, such a contrast.

Didn't get lost, din't get accosted, managed to order and drink and pay for a coffee, purchased some teaching resources for my girl, so all up a successful day.


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