I arrived last week, Wednesday 1st September 2004 – spring day for those of us in South Africa. The flight was with Malaysian Airlines, and was in fact very pleasant, only, though, after they had unloaded 6 people (1 for being intoxicated, and 6 really dodgy looking people for having irregularities with their documentation!). The flight was just over 9 hours and apparently it´s only 7 on the way back.
I arrived in Buenos Aires to thick cloud in the sky, and massive thunderstorms one the ground. Managed to find my way to the Hostel-Inn kiosk and organise a bus into Buenos Aires. Ended up meeting a South African couple on the bus and incidentally, the guy´s mother taught at Camps Bay Primary (after my time). The trip was quite long, but interesting, seeing that there are othere cities that have shacks around the city as well!
When I finally arrived at the hostel, the rain had temporarily stopped. I immediately met some very friendly people on arrival, and it seemed that seeing a South African is a bit of a novelty, after all the Brits and Israelis. I sat down to a game of cards with a guy called Eli from Haifa, and 2 Londoners. They were drinking beer, Quilmes. But the bottles are a mere 970ml! And they only cost 3 pesos in the hostel – around R6,50.
Went out for a great steak on the first night and I can honestly say that the meat is some of the best I´ve tasted. I think I´ve had a steak every night since! The food is dirt cheap and a Bife de Lomo (sirloin I think) steak is a mere 9 pesos (about R20).
The hostel is really good and the people are all very friendly, there are a few old hangers-on, but I suppose that comes with the territory. My room has seen some considerable traffic since I arrived. There was already an English girl in there, who has moved out, then a Swiss girl arrived for a night on her way to grow vegetables in Missiones. Then a Belgian guy, Koen, who lives in Moscow arrived and is leaving today. And, also at the moment there is Andreas from Denmark, staying there. All very interesting people.
Thursday we ate again, this time at an eat-as-much-as-you-like buffet in a fairly new building at the port. The food was great and so much! And, again only 23 pesos (About R50). Then went to a club called Club 69 in Palermo. Actually a good night, and they put on quite a show with people dancing, break-dancers, etc. The only problem was that I was exhausted. People in this city only go out late – very late, and most places only get busy around 04:30! We only left the restaurant at 01:30 to go there!
Friday we had a bit of a rest and just ate some more :-). I took a walk to La Boca, which is a working class neighbourhood famous for Boca Juniors. I got a taxi to take me to the stadium and just walked in. I had no idea if one was allowed to, but I pretended I looked like I knew what I was doing and just walked in. Went into the stadium and got some good photos. Later, an Englishmen, Will, and I went to have supper at a place on Plaza Dorrego in San Telmo, where you could watch a Tango as well. There are photos.
Saturday, some rest during the day and then, so late, around 02:00 we went to Pacha, the world-famous club from Ibiza. It´s on River Plate past the local airport and was supposed to be really good. It got packed though, and was too expensive, and not overly enjoyable at all!
Sunday is market day. There is an atique market just down the road from us where they sell antiques (obviously) and have some live Tango dancing as well. Also, went to the Recoleta (the rich neighbourhood where Evitá´s mausoleum is) and saw a great market there too. There are quite a few things to buy and I think I´ll get them on my way back. Aaah, and then quite exciting I decided to make an Asado. The local version of a braai. It was great! Got some good, REALLY cheap meat from the butcher next door and cooked up a storm. The other hostel-dwellers loved it!
Yesterday more relaxation and then a few games of pool at the local, Gibraltar, after another steak of course!
I´ve also had 3 Spanish lessons with Natalia and they´re going well – 2 hours per session! It´s been interesting learning again after all these years. It´s not too difficult, but need loads of practise!
Well, that´s about all, must prepare for another lesson. More to come. Photos at: http://www.tucj.com/photos