My mind has basically been left in Rio de Janeiro though. Now rated my favourite city on this planet. So in a bid to keep the holiday spirit alive (Happy New Year by the way), I am reliving my experience.
The red Moleskine that has scribblings, tickets and my memories, at least when I hadn't had too many caipirinha's the night before, holds my holiday.
(Was niiice to catch up with Ches yesterday though...)
14 December, 2008.
This is the travel diary of Peas On Toast. Running away from Christmas back home. Inspired by colonial latino architecture,
Arrive in Buenos Aires. Dad remarks, “They've stolen all our bloody trees.” He thinks Argentina looks like Cape Town. I reminded him we hadn't left the airport yet.
Went to the waterfront area of Puerto Madero in hunt of a fuck off steak and a cold beer. You get what you ask for. They loaded a cow the size of a Lexus onto our plates.
Knife slid through it like butter, but I'm so full if you dropped me in the Rio Plata right now, I'd surely drown.
Buenos Aires is no doubt beautiful. Colonial architecture mixed in with modern buildings, it's like a slightly more downmarket Paris. Sun goes down at 11:00pm.
The only Spanish I know is the get-by-basics, and they say 'll' as a 'sh' not a 'y'. So a quesidilla is a kaysideesha, for example. I also know how to say “You are a steak.” Which is how I ordered from the perplexed looking waiter who was dressed up like a gaucho. Everyone loves an Argentinian cowboy.
Eva Peron has saint status here. They hate that Madonna played her in the film, but they love Evita.
Staying on Corrientes Avenida. The main street through the centre, filled with theatres. These people eat, sleep and drink live shows. Some are live naked monkey porn – I could relive Amsterdam.
Walked to the Congress buildings. Where all the shit happens. Argentina has a hectic political history involving embarrassing and bloody wars (The Falklands), 30 000 people disappearing under dictatorship, and Evita, the power hungry first wife. The nation is also still recovering from an economic collapse cum meltdown in 2001. You cannot find change anywhere. Coins are a high commodity. And yet it's all the bus will accept annoyingly.
(Which is why Dad and I walked this place flat. I did about 10-15 km's a day in BA. That's right.)
15 December, 2008
Made some mates in our hostel pub last night. A Canadian from Winnipeg who'd just done a three day bus journey, a Brit who was studying Spanish for 6 months, and 'Dangerous Dave,' a dude on his gap year and coming right in each South American city he visits. Dad thinks he's from Dorset ('Dave from Dorset'), when he's actually from Staines.
I haven't backpacked in so long – all my recent trips have involved good hotels and work, I am remembering what it's like to be 18 again.
Shooting the breeze with random travellers, God I have to do this more often.
But so far, my impression of Buenos Aires is good – the people are friendly, the girls and boys are hot and poised, they all HATE a bit of football.
How to start a conversation in a youth hostel pub:
Chilean dude: Did someone put on Bryan Adams?
Brit: Fuck. He's a nightmare.
Chilean: I hate Bryan Adams.
Peas: Hi. I love Bryan Adams.
Peas:...um, well I do.
Brit: I suppose he's so bad he's good. I personally like Bonnie Tyler. She's all wo-man.