Buenos Aires

Trip Start Nov 13, 2008
Trip End Feb 11, 2009

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Flag of Argentina  , Capital Federal District,
Monday, December 8, 2008

Grumpy Old Women
I left Santiago on Thursday evening for my flight to Buenos Aires.  Pearl had decided to take the bus so she was already going to be there.  We wanted to go in December while it's still free - in January they institute a $131 reciprocity charge since that's what we charge Argentians to get a visa to come to the U.S.

The flight itself was pretty uneventful but the bus I took to the hostel was an experience in itself.  It was much cheaper than a taxi, but talk about slow!  It took me about 2 hours to get to the hostel.  As I was getting out of customs, I noticed this old woman who was yelling at practically everyone in her way.  She, of course, ended up at my bus stop so she preceded to complain to me about how slow the buses were and how no one was helpful.  I was tempted to tell her that she would get better service if she paid more and took a taxi, but I bit my tongue. 
She yelled at the bus driver about every 5 minutes to tell him to hurry up and screamed at a girl who was sitting next to me on the bus because she had answered her phone.  Finally, around 12AM I arrived at the hostel and was so exhausted I just fell asleep. 

Relivin the hostel days
Now, I haven't stayed in a hostel since my college years and I have to say I pretty much felt like I was taken back to those years of no mortgages, no job and no worries...oh, did I mention no privacy?  The first two nights I stayed in a tiny single room but the last two I had to stay in a dorm with 5 other people.  It was actually very fun - every night people gathered on the roof to hang out and it was an eclectic mix of young people from all over the world. I learned a lot about the economy in Finland and pop culture in Brazil. 

Here are the highlights:
-   Love me some Boca:  I LOVED the Boca District where people were dancing tango on the streets and the area itself was just adorable

-     Walking Tour: We took a free walking tour - our tour guide was Gaston.  It was incredibly informative and a great way to spend your first few hours in BA.
-        Tango lesson: I think tango is an AMAZING dance and went to take a class at a Milonga - an old, typical dancing parlor.  It was fantastic and I learned a lot.  In the middle of the afternoon, a ton of old folks dressed to the nines showed up to dance.  The average age was probably 70...I loved watching them and hope that I'm like that when I'm that age :)  

-        Tango festival: The weekend we were there they just happened to be celebrating national tango day...so they closed down the main street and had live music and dancing.  Unfortunatley, the guy I danced with didn't quite follow the 8 moves I learned, so as you can tell from the pictures he probably wasn't thrilled to be dancing with me.  Haha

- Cafe Tortoni : Now, some people say this place is over rated, but after more credit card drama I decided to take my book there and have a cup of coffee.  Inside the cafe is amazing it kind of takes you back in time to what it must have been like 50 years ago.  Yes, there are a lot of tourists - you have to use your imagination!

-          Futbol semifinals - We didn't actually go to the game (it was a long, all day event on a super hot day), but Pearl and I went to a soccer bar (I think it was even called "I Love Futbol") and watched the game.  It was actually quite uneventful because it ended 0-0.  Sorry all you soccer fans, I just don't think it's for me.  After the game Pearl and I met a nice Colombian who was advertising free hugs....so of course we hugged him.  There's not much that you can get for free in this world anymore!  :)
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Where I stayed
Hostel Estoril
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