Evita and Elections

Trip Start Apr 27, 2009
Trip End Apr 27, 2010

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Flag of Argentina  ,
Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Down to my last few days in Buenos Aires (until October anyway!) and trying to get round any of the sights I haven't been to yet.

Last Thursday I went to the Evita Museum which was quite interesting - lots of items from the Foundation and clothes that she wore for various public engagements. Plus they had some video footage of her actual speeches from the balcony of the Casa Rosada and of her funeral procession. Hmmm sounds a bit morbid, but it wasn't! Also found out that there's an Evita statue not far from my studio on the site of the house where she died (apparently Madonna's portrayal wasn't 100% accurate, who knew??). Behind the Evita statue there's one of a Pope and the National Library building - I'm not sure if there's supposed to be a theme or a link but if there is it escaped me! They certainly love their statues here - they are everywhere you go and if there isn't a statue there's a wee plaque telling you that someone famous once stood there (maybe thats a slight exaggeration, but only a little).

Today I went to the Japanese Garden in Palermo. It's beautiful and really tranquil, easy to forget you're in a city of 14 million people! I missed the origami lesson though which was a shame, I was hoping to perfect my penguin making skills that I picked up when volunteering last week.

There were more kids at the classes on Monday and Tuesday which was quite fun but the weather was a little colder on Friday so fewer came out that day. The schools here have been quite badly affected with flu (both the standard and swine varieties) so the attendance of the kids has been down. They are actually closing the schools and starting the winter holidays nearly 3 weeks early to try and contain the rate of infection. Although the government hasn't made any restrictions about public gatherings so far they have delared a state of emergency so it's maybe a good time to be heading off to the States!

Sunday was mid-term election day and I got a few surprises about the way they do elections here. First of all, it is mandatory to vote and if you don't you get a 500 peso fine (about 80 just now). Secondly, there's a curfew for large gatherings of people the night before the election and there were loads of police about making sure that it was heeded. Thirdly, practically everything shuts down - shops, fewer buses, etc, although it did mean that I got a bit of a lie in! Finally, and the thing that affected us more than the others, no alcohol can be served the night before the election. So when we turned up at Casa Bar expecting a wee drink and for Matt to get some spicy wings we were sorely disappointed! They didn't bother opening because there was no point and all the other places were only selling soft drinks so we headed back to Matt and Staceys with a quick stop at the supermarket for some beer on the way (I know, it doesn't make sense that you can still buy alcohol in the shops but that's the way it is!) so that we didn't have to cut into the supplies already procured for our BBQ on Sunday.

My new favourite cafe is La Biela in Recoleta, I'm sorry that I didn't discover it earlier! They do some nice tea and little tostados for 11 pesos (about 2). I've added a picture of it because it's so cool - you get about 7 different plates and pots with it. The first time I went I thought I'd made a mistake with my order but I hadn't! Going for a cup of tea of coffee here isn't to be rushed (actually nothing is rushed here except the driving!) so they are happy for you to sit for ages with the one order - I got 3 cups of tea out of my wee pot and manged to while away almost 2 hours drinking tea and doing sudoku!!

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