Monday, January 05, 2009


I'm not here. Well I am, strictly speaking, or else I wouldn't be writing this would I.
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,latino's I have a boyfriend now, so I will behave, may lose mind to father but all will be recorded until dementia occurs.

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.
[silence], well I do.
Brit: I suppose he's so bad he's good. I personally like Bonnie Tyler. She's all wo-man.


Paula said...

Hi Peas,

Glad you're back. Ran into your book over the holiday (too broke to get it... but will as soon as me next one comes in... you know December and New Years can be a bitch to your wallet)

Anywho... dead envious of your trip to Rio- I am currently in between holidays; but I wanna explore sunny afrika before moving outwards. That and the crampling fear that a plan if on it for longer than 5 hours will lose aircon and people's farts will kill me (I really have issues with air that has a smell; can you imagine the pain when passing those two beacons of HEINOUS smell along the highway to the airport in CT )

Rio sounds fantastico. I was hoping to visit Buenos Aires like next year... we'll see.

Anyway have a good day :D

Peas on Toast said...

Hey Paula!
Arrrgh it's shitty to be back. I won't lie - going on an amazing holiday is fantastic, but it all comes tumbling down when you sit at your desk again...

Rio is a definite must if you decide to visit South Am. Seriously incredible city, as well as Buenos too of course. And roadtrips are wonderful...that is until the group methane gas gets a bit much eh? ;)

You have yourself a great day too!

Revolving Credit said...

Feliz Año Nuevo...blah..blah..( insert resolution and hangover here)

We know that people have left their heart in San Fransciso, but now you have left your mind in Rio.

A few questions though:
- Do you know where you left
a) Your liver?
b) Your dad?

- Did you see a llama?
- Did you touch a llama?
- Did someone try and touch your llama?

Revolving Credit said...

PS. welcome back..well, to the part that's back anyway.

Peas on Toast said...

Oy! Hello my little Revsicle! Thanks so much and
a) In a Rio neighbourhood called Lapa, at a street party
b) In Mendoza - he climbed mountains for a few more days :)

Didn't see or touch a llama, but wrapped my hands around plenty of acai smoothies and capirinhas :)
How was your festive season big guy??

Revolving Credit said...

Oh...ate too much, drank more than my fair share, pimped a bit and read a good book.

Peas on Toast said...

hahaha :) and how did the pimping go, most importantly?

kyknoord said...

Glad you made it back in one piece. Also vaguely jealous, although I did get to stay in a castle this December.

Peas on Toast said...

Kykie! howwwzit :)
I just checked out your photos and your roadtrip - what's this about a castle? Are you referring to Ronnie's Sex Shop? ;)

zuzula said...

happy new year! your trip sounds fab. i want to know more about the boy though please? :)

Peas on Toast said...

Hello Zu!
I thought of you lots on my holiday actually and wondering how you doing in (freezing?) Londres?

The boy is lovely. Was nice to get back to him, I won't lie! :)

zuzula said...

it is absolutely FREEZING here! walked to work this morning in the snow. sob. apparently we are in for a whole week of arctic temperatures. Cheap way of getting a facial peel though: The cold is def wiping off the top layer of skin! ;) x

Peas on Toast said...

Oh no! That doesn't sound exactly idyllic punk!
Keep warm and congrats on the wedding plans going so well - you must be getting sooo excited! xx