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The clock ticks down…

It was dark and late. Like maybe 1AM – or maybe 2AM, I don’t recall, and we observed the city night life from the comfort of our taxi. The driver pretended he was lost and cruised by the prostitutes standing in the street (as I believe he gets a commission if he drops us off at one). The girls looked at us coldly – which I would imagine had something to do with that fact that they were literally wearing nothing more than a plastic bikini and high heels – and a slutty looking blond wig. An American looking tourist walked by and talked to one, then started walking down the street with his new girl.

“Right here is fine”, we told the taxi driver after passing the girls a good distance.

We stepped out of the cab and looked around. We were surrounded by beautiful girls eating at restaurants, walking to and from the clubs, walking in groups, standing around doing nothing – it was incredible. Truly incredible. Never in my life have I seen so many beautiful girls everywhere I went like I have seen in Buenos Aires. It’s like walking down the street with supermodels zooming by every 20 feet. Don’t believe me? Come here and see for yourself.

But Julio and I were on a mission: to find a Tango place. We had been told that we could see a cool Tango show in this area and we had the address…it was just a matter of finding it. And we did. But it was locked up.

“Hey”, we asked the guy standing out front (I’m translating to English for you), “can we still go in?”.

“I don’t know. Ask,” he said as he rang the buzzer.

A door opened out of the sheet metal that was covering the entrance and a guy poked his head out.

“Do you have an invitation?” he asked sternly.

“No…but the lady at the tourist information office recommended that we come here.”

“Alright, come on in,” he said reluctantly.

He guided us down a dark hallway and we entered a fairly descent sized theater containing about 50 people and took a seat towards the back.

The show was already going and we quietly watched. Over the proceeding hour and a half, we saw Tango dancing, a band playing the Tango music itself, a guy reciting poems, people singing and, of course, lots of beautiful girls. It was a mixture of all of the above with a comic twist and we laughed our asses off. It was awesome. And when it was over, we left. We couldn’t order drinks during the show and so we didn’t spend any money and there was no charge to get in. We had just watched an incredible show – for free. That sure beat the shows that were advertised in the tourist office ($140 pesos, or about $50 US bucks) until Julio said, “Yeah, but is there anything for non-gringos? I’m not a gringo.”

So I saw a tango show. What else have I been up to since I arrived to Buenos Aires? Well…besides gawking over the girls (did I mention that there are about a million beautiful girls per city block here?), I have taken the subway/bus/taxi combination to see many really nice areas of Buenos Aires. I have taken a city tour (which was okay, but way too fast and way too superficial), visited parks, plazas, museums, theaters, libraries, art galleries, some really good restaurants, the dams of a river that flows at the edge of Buenos Aires and then out to the ocean, checked out a dance club, and gone to the movies. This city is awesome. I love it. There is so much to see and do, everything is so incredibly cheap, and the people are so incredibly friendly.

Today I got up late (got in from the club at about 6AM) and took the subway to the bus station to buy my ticket to Foz de Iguazu. What is Foz de Iguazu, you may ask? It’s an incredible arrangement of waterfalls right on the border of Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina. I leave tomorrow and it will take me about 18 hours to arrive.

I’ll check it out for a day or two and then head back to Buenos Aires. And when I get back, I’ll have about two days to check out Uruguay and then it’s back to Buenos Aires to leave for New Zealand.

I’m pretty excited and sad at the same time to continue on and I don’t know what exactly to make of it. I have had an incredible time in South America and have been really lucky to have had the experiences I have had here. How many Americans do you know that have come down here and gotten showed around countries and cities by locals they happened to know, worked and traveled around with families from that country and then traveled around for another few months on his own? One? Oh yeah, me. I met a guy from New York yesterday named Brian who did a similar trip a couple of years ago and he has gotten me all riled up about India, Asia and Africa – and I am really looking forward to them. After six months of traveling, I have still only just begun. It’s crazy to think that I am still going to be traveling for close to another year and a half.

But you know something? I can’t wait.

Hello Buenos Aires!

So what’s new since my last post? Well, I’ve since moved. Yes, indeed. I have moved on. I spent a few more days in Bariloche and then finally bought my bus ticket. Eugenia’s (one of the most incredible girls I have ever met) family was coming to visit and we wouldn’t get to hang out as much for a few days so I figured yesterday was as good a time as any.

And then, 18 hours later, I was in a new city. But not just any city, mind you – Buenos Aires. The most cosmopolitan city in South America. Everything is big and busy and there are loads of things to do (or, if you’re Australian, “heaps” of things to do). And it’s really hot.

When I arrived at the bus station, I walked through the 1/4 mile long bus station (no joke), found out how much it would cost to my next destination (Foz de Iguazú to see the waterfalls) and then hopped on the subway to get to my hostel. It was so humid and sticky that I was afraid I might bump into someone and get stuck (and then have to wait for the weather to dry to unstick ourselves). It wouldn’t be so bad if it was a hot girl, but if it was some ugly Chilean chick, what would I have done? I don’t want to think about it (the horror!).

So anyways, I made it to my hostel, checked in and took a shower. Everyone here speaks English, which is a little weird. I prefer Spanish. About two minutes after taking a shower, I was drenched in sweat again so I gave up and went walking in the city. I tried to check out some of the museums but the ones I wanted to see were closed (lots of museums close in February – probably on account of me coming to visit) so I walked through some shopping centers and just ended up going to see The Last Samurai, which I thought was a pretty good movie.

It makes me want to go to Japan and become a samurai (don’t laugh, I so could). After, I got the paper and read it over dinner before heading back to the hostel and falling asleep (in the intense heat).

Today, I got up late, drank some mate, read the paper and then ran into a guy I met in Bariloche in the hostel. We’re going to meet up in a little bit and head out to do something with another guy we both met in Bariloche (one’s from Peru and another is from Buenos Aires). It should be pretty fun.

Not much else to report. I leave for New Zealand on the 15th. I really want to stay here in South America but I know that I can’t. I have to move on and continue with the plan. If I extended my time in each country that I liked a lot, my trip would get extended to like 10 years long, and I don’t have that much money. And no, I am not missing home. Home is a state of mind.