Argentina – Buenos Aires, Adios

So, after five days of not having any of my things, save my digital camera and the clothes I was wearing, I finally broke down, and bought some new clothes, some toiletries, and went shopping for a new backpack. I couldn’t find any large enough, so I didn’t buy any, and when I got back to the hostel, I found out that American Airlines had delivered my bag. Finally. So now I have duplicates of some things, and about five pairs of Argentinian boxer briefs, which even in their largest size are way, way too small for me. Try not to picture it. The night after they delivered it, I met two Mexican girls at the hostel, and was telling them the story of my bag, and one of them said, ”Oh, what Airline?”
”You should let me call them. I work in baggage claim for American Airlines in Mexico City.”
Only five days late. So I have three toothbrushes, and extras of some other things, too.

Buenos Aires is full of people who look like they could be SF hipster kids, but with less tattoos. There is every variety of bad haircut, but the mullet reigns supreme. It feels like Europe in many ways. The food is mostly limited to steak and pizza. I think I have averaged at least one steak a day since I’ve been here. It is dope.

I get asked for directions, by Argentinians, about 2-4 times per day, in Spanish. I do not completely understand this. There is not a big mohawk scene here, although there are some high-school gutter-punk types, and despite Argentinians looking somewhat European, they are not tall. Nor am I tan yet. I don’t know why they think I know where I am, but I think it happens some to the other travelers as well. Or maybe it’s because I wear bright fucking orange t-shirts. Easy to spot.

The spot of BA where my hostel is reminds me of a cross between midtown-times square in New York and Panama City. There are theaters that play tango shows, that are somewhat like musicals. I am not going to one. Other neighborhoods are more residential than downtown where I stay, but still have buildings at least 5 stories tall. I have randomly walked onto film sets three times now, and they are not guarded at all. Once, a neighborhood in San Telmo was dressed up to look like London, with a red double-decker bus, red phone booth, dark cars with Brittish plates, people walking in dark clothes with umbrellas, and fake rain. Lots of fake rain. Another time, I happened upon what appeared to be a riot around a statue, with lots of trash and broken glass, and a woman shouting into a megaphone. This turned out to be a film shoot, too. And they made the theater across the street from the hostel look like new york, with NYC cabs, and filmed some action there, too. The limo they had was hella broke, though, circa 1988.

I almost got dragged into a brothel my first night here, by a very persuasive girl. ”No, you don’t have to come now, I just give you my card, so no cover next time, okay?” Turns out her card, was ”por alla, por alla” and all the way into the front door of the strip club/brothel, where this English kid Chris and I were swarmed by a bevy of young looking girls. I’m guessing 19 or so, but I’m not sure.

This town is up LATE. Clubs start to get going around 2 or 3am, and people start to go home around 7am. On weeknights. It’s retarded. Anyway, I’m leaving tomorrow to head on to a beach town, Mar de Plata, for a few, then onward to Patagonia, a town called Bariloche.

So, I’m over this town. It’s beautiful, and I like eating steak and pizza every day (yes every day, that’s what they have), but it’s time for a change of scenery. I need a tan, to spend less money, and to go to bed before the sun comes up. That and I am tired of children of 8-16 asking me for change and cigarettes between 3 and 5am. It’s disconcerting. It was 97 degrees Fahrenheit today. So, time for the beach.

The two national heros are Diego Maradonna and Che Guevara, who may have more in common than I had previously thought. The tattoos people do have here, often of the faces of these two men, are usually small, and when someone does have something approaching a sleeve, they are gawked at. There is a dope club called Opera Bay, that is a recreation of the Sidney opera house in Australia (Oz, for those in the know), complete with indoor pool that, if you swim in it, has the ability to have you shown out on your ass.

For those of you from the bar industry in San Francisco, you remember Fernet Branca? They drink it here, mixed with coca cola. Crazy kids. I saw Emma for a day in San Telmo before she flew back to San Fran, and I saw my friend Julia who I met in Nicaragua, for a couple days as she was passing through on her voyage of hilarity, the quest to bring a little bit of New Jersey to the South Americans. She and her friends seemed to be good ambassadors. Maybe I’ll be lucky and get up to Brazil before they leave. We’ll have to wait and see.

Okay, well, I’m out, I’ll try to update in a little bit, when there is more to tell. Sorry if this isn’t as exciting as when I was in Europe getting arrested and kidnapped, but to tell the truth, I don’t think I need to do that again. Also, there seem to be far fewer strippers in South America than there were in Europe. I have no explanation for that. Stay safe, kids, and contact me. If you are going to be anywhere in Argentina in the next two weeks, get in touch and let’s meet up.


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