Day 3 - Buenos Aires

Trip Start Apr 06, 2007
Trip End Jul 23, 2007

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Monday, April 9, 2007

Day 3 - Buenos Aires/Colonia, Uruguay

So after some much needed R&R after the amazing meal last night we headed off to Puerto Madero in an attempt to find passage to Uruguay. On the way we passed by What else but the Casa Rosada to see if they were giving any tours but what we found when we entered the Plaza de Mayo was quite unexpected. The police had set up barricades across the plaza in front of the Casa Rosada and on either corner there was a small space where only one person could pass to the other side and there was a line of people waiting for there turn to pass what seemed to be a checkpoint. It was quite disturbing that the police were not on the side of the barricade that we were on. Trying hard to act as if this was normal I got in line with Andrea and assured her everything was fine. Once pass the checkpoint I asked the officers the reason for the blockade and his answer now makes more sense than it did at the time. He said it was because today was a day of protest. The protest he speaks of did not start until 11am and it was 9am so even the protest's down here start late into the day. When the protest started it was all over the news and it seemed everyone was quite attentive. Realizing this I picked up a local paper "La Nacion" and as best as I understood a professor was killed by the police last Thursday during a protest for higher wages. So in reaction to this they had another protest to protest his death on Saturday and several young adults got beaten over the head by who else but the police. So in reaction to that, today's protest was for the death of the professor, higher wages but mainly for the kids that had gotten beaten during the last protest. I have several pictures of the protest as it seemed to follow us everywhere. It also explained why there is so much graffiti around the city, simply put; there is not enough police to keep the protesters at bay.
 Anyways, getting back to that morning we traveled along the boardwalk of Puerto Madero and took some really neat pictures. One of the few named buildings down here is Microsoft and Sun Microsystems, kind of weird since I haven't seen that many computers and in a department store that also doubles as an electronic store we saw computers were quite expensive, even after the currency exchange. Anyways having realized that the protest was going on and so the subways were not in service we made the difficult decision to have lunch somewhere else other than my new favorite restaurant. The food was still excellent but not nearly as good as last night.
After lunch we ran into a DHL and figured we'd find out how much it would be to send my new leather jackets along with a present I am getting for my little sis for her Birthday tomorrow...Psss Dad don't forget
At DHL we were told that to send the two jackets home would cost about $300USD, almost double what I paid for them, so we thought we'd better find a plan B. I almost forgot that this morning we stopped a local post office and they wanted 15 Pesos = $5USD per stamp to send ...get this...A POSTCARD...Are they INSANE. So long story short we are still figuring out how to get the present home before Christmas. But I want Elizabeth to know it will get there one day and Andrea and I love you.
For those of you reading my writing for the first time I like to go off on tangents so if it seems like a rant I am probably the one writing and if it seems concise and coherent then Andrea probably wrote it ... But please remember that according to the GMAT I have superior command of the English language (I Like...Yesssss).
So after DHL we decided to visit the capital building and do what else but shop...makes sense since we have no way of getting the goods home but at a 1/3 discount you can't help yourself.
While traveling down Florida street again where all the shopping action is, I found a chess club...Yes that's right a chess's awesome, 20 or 30 men about 70 or older playing chess for 3 pesos and hour... Andrea promised me that I would get a chance to play tomorrow because she really wanted to shop some more. So after hours of shopping yet no tangible goods other than my new leather jackets we retired to our hostel. After a much needed shower and shave we headed to "El Desnivel" for some incredible Argentinean beef. SEE pictures attached...I even got a couple of the master chef and his grill
Side note...While shopping Andrea and I created a new game...Count the pregnant woman...There is a ridiculous amount of pregnant woman in Buenos Aires apparently they don't watch much TV, and I haven't seen a strip club yet...not that I am looking for one but It is interesting that there are so many pregnant woman, one must ask the question Why?
Having finished an incredible meal we then headed off to Irish pub we were supposed to meet our new friends last night at but we were so exhausted that we could not get out of bed...
The bar was packed and so we went to the back room which was the only place with seats and it had a pool table with two guys playing. I asked for next and that was the beginning of a great night. I became friends with the guys playing and we laughed about everything till late into the night. We bought each other drinks and finally they called it quits but I was not ready to go done that easy. So I continued to play pool, I finally lost in a partners game about three hours after we had arrived. My partner was an Argentinean architect that was quite funny. When Andrea tried to explain her last job he had no concept of what a developer was which made the conversation quite interesting considering Andrea's Spanish skills or lack there of and he was not letting me say one word, he wanted to speak only with Andrea. Anyways after about 6 beers, 3 hours of pool and several new friends we called it a night and stumbled home. It was quite simply and incredible night!!!
You may be asking how on earth I found the time to write all this but right now I am on a 3 hour ferry to Uruguay, unfortunately this story will have to wait till next time.
Jose and Andrea
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