Parties and Pilfering.

Trip Start Aug 03, 2011
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Argentina  , Buenos Aires F.D.,
Monday, December 12, 2011

The overnight flight was....overnight and I arrived at the airport (some 35km outside of town) having successfully not slept on the plane and feeling like a grubby traveller (not for the first time). I swiftly procured the bus ticket into town and I soon found myself alighting in El Retiro. After finding a cajero automatico (it's about time I started trying to use a few more Spanish words) I jumped in a taxi to San Telmo (one of the oldest parts of the city) and the area of the city I had agreed to meet Martin and Matthias (from the boat crossing) in.

The conversation that ensued in the cab would go on to typify numerous conversations that I have had in Buenos Aires (primarily with taxi drivers and shop employees) TD:"Where are you from?" MS:"England"  TD:"Do you know Las Malvinas - The Falkands?" MS:"Yes" TD:"Don't mention them" - On each of the occasions I have found myself in the awkward situation of trying to explain that I had no intention of mentioning them and that had they not chosen to mention them we wouldn't be having this slightly awkward conversation. I have however noticed some inaccuracies with the cartography on local maps of Argentina.

Checking into a delightfully friendly hostel, I rested until sometime later M & M found me and we headed out to lunch (a fabulous little locals place which I have no chance of ever finding again in the maze of narrow streets - though they're not all narrow). That night we headed to "Konex" an old (and very roofless) factory to experience "La Bomba de Tiempo" a sumptuous display of live percussion (I shan't mention the pre show amateurs and exotic dancers but there is a photo below) After the show it was a feast of fairly random street food and off to a club!

The following day M & M and I elected to hire bikes to explore the vast city. With a hearty lunch of ridiculous quantities of delicious steak (this would become a regular feature of the coming days) we set off on a 5 hour jaunt taking in the nearby nature reserve (were attempts were made carry out a selection of BMX tricks (wrong equipment) - the classic Wheelie, Endo and ever so slightly ambitious Cherrypicker) before heading out on the vast tracts of cycle lane the city possesses. A good day was had by all, culminating in an ambitious ride (which may be considered a tad dangerous) down the bustling road "Paraguay".

The following day was not the greatest day of my travels, despite some pleasant shopping and an enjoyable mooch around town, whilst heading back home, disaster, in the form of falling victim to petty theft struck. On the Subte (underground) a band of 3 small women successfully helped themselves to my wallet (the first time in nearly 5 months I have actually carried one and also the first time I haven't spread money all around my person). Despite identifying the perpetrators, following them and more or less seeing my wallet thrust into a womans gusset, I lacked the Spanish skills to resolve the situation and....well let's just say when I went to the Police Station to get my "bit of paper" (not sure exactly what purpose it has) and felt myself thinking that it was my own foolishness, telling the Police Officer "don't cry for me Argentin(i)a(n).

That night after repeatedly cursing my stupidity, I enjoyed the company of M&M, Kayla (a young Canadian spending her last night before going home) and Ale, the sister of Maia (you may remember her from Bogota) in Palermo (the trendy part of town) before again ending up in a nightclub   I'm not sure if this is usual practise but on approaching said club, an Argentinian fella approached us offering his services in "expediting" our way into the club for a small fee - said fee was paid and we were in (we were subsequently joined by two Swiss girls that we had met on Monday at Konex).

The rest of the week (and weekend) flew past, hanging out with an assortment of people from the hostel (including the wonderful Anne, from Cologne - who would become my travelling companion the following week) a Catalan called Marta and various other individuals from just about everywhere you could imagine, Colombia, Peru, Sweden..... The highlight was almost certainly the return to Konex on Saturday night (the concert started at 1 am!) with pizza and beer at Ale's apartment beforehand and drinks at Colombian Andrea's afterwards. Sunday was, as you can imagine, a right off.

On Monday, Martin and I had our final steak together (the 5th in 8 days) before bidding each other farewell, with him returning to Munich and Anne and I escaping Buenos Aires for pastures new (Anne had been in Buenos Aires for the previous 3 weeks and had spent much of her time trying to master "The Tango" - she had hired a "Tango Taxi" to assist in her endeavours - a description of exactly what that is can be supplied upon request!). So leaving my big pack at the hostel - travelling light is so much easier, I set out with Anne, anticipating seeing something quite special.
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The B shift on

You don't normally worry about sticking your hand down a woman's knickers, I suppose that you would normally have had a few first, though! JimB is very disappointed in your lack of immediate action!

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