Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Buenos Aires

Wow, what a city. Buenos Aires (fair winds) is massive. There are 48 districts or neighbourhoods and I am staying in San Telmo. Here is what Wiki Travel has to say about it.
San Telmo - this district preserves colonial-style houses along narrow cobblestone lanes, illuminated with pretty wrought iron lanterns. In San Telmo, one breathes the history of Buenos Aires. There is also a very exciting, underground nightlife scene.

I have been a walking fool for the last 5 days and during that time I only hit San Telmo, Ricoleta, the Micro Centre and La Boca.

Today I changed it up and jumped on a very touristy open aired bright yellow double decker tour bus. It was great. For over 3 and a half hours we cruised in and out of neighbourhoods and I certainly went to areas I would never have gone. It been a long time since I was on one of these types of tours and I am going to do it more often in large cities.

The first couple days here was all about football! I found an ExPat bar and spent most of Saturday and Sunday there. I needed a dose of Western style life having been lazing around with that chest cold of mine. I had Chicken wings!! There were not great but I ate them in record time, and ordered another batch. The beer was cold, the walk home was safe and it was a great way to start my time here.

Monday and Tuesday were all about exploring. I strapped on the Merrells and off I went. BA is all about parks and monuments. There is nothing but history here. Well history and the freaking Tango!
I kept getting hit up on the street by touts asking me if I wanted to go to a tango show, it included dinner. I honestly thought it was porn or prostitution but then again how many prostitutes cook you dinner?  I guess that is what happens when you grow up in a town full of strip clubs and call girls.I am an idiot at times!

This city is very easy to navigate being in a grid, the buses are cheap and the subway is fast. I found great pubs, good food and coffee shops, lots and lots of coffee shops! Now the Starbucks is good but expensive so it has been Macdonalds coffee in the morning to get me going. Macdonalds has upped it game. For those who don't go it pretty damn good and I am a coffee snob. I have slipped the odd egg mcmuffin in there as well.

I have seen many marches in Latin America. They have been peaceful and fun to watch. It has mostly been students but that is always a good thing. In my world students should always question authority. Well yesterday I hit the big time.
I heard some banging and chanting and like a moth to a light I had to go check it out. At the corner of Av. de Mayo and Peru there were what I figured were farmers or vendors. Thier signs were protesting thier inability to sell whatever it was they were trying to sell. I hung around and was taking a few photos when the taxi drivers who could not pass stopped blaring thier horns...and got out of thier cars. I dont work for the press so my camera went away. This was going to be interesting. There were a few cops milling about so when the taxi drivers started fighting with the protesters the cops actually backed away. Weird I thought. However weird it was all about regrouping. Within 45 seconds there were yellow vested fully geared cops coming from three different direction. I actually remember saying "Where the hell did they come from" to the people beside me. They were not taking and shit. They moved in batons held high. The second the screaming started that snapped me out of my daze. I turned tail right back the way I came and never looked back. It pissed me off, I dropped my water!!

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