Wednesday, December 28, 2005
Buenos Aires Report
been a while since my last entry. lots of stuff going on. Buenos Aires is a pretty darn big city with lots and lots to do. So here are a few things that Im gonna talk about: BA in General, The Food, and La Boca Tour.
BA in general
A lot of BA seems very similar to the States. Many parts have that same feeling you get when you are in New York City. Lots of one-of-a-kind shops, great food, well dressed folks, beautiful ladytypes, lots of efficient public transportation and a great subway. The old docks have been converted into a very attractive waterfront with some great evening sunsets. This would be a great place to take a ladytype out - just be sure to bring lots of cash. The Jonster and I were looking for a place to get a little din-din and found one place that seemed pretty reasonable. We must have stepped into some sort of price-warp because once we sat down the prices were jumped to two or three times what that little ol menu outside stated. The Jonster and I looked at each other and were both like, "ummm, lets get the heck outta here." We dropped the place like a bad habit. We found a place that had some pretty reasonable prices, sat down, and enjoyed a heckova dinner. We started off the dinner with some sort of sweet roll with seafood type sauce with some white cream in the middle. Since Im not too big of a fan of seafood or anything that tastes the way the ocean smells I quickly ate the appetizer and masked the taste with a pint of Guinness. Thank goodness for Guinness.
Ya gotta dress well down here, everybody dresses to impress. I feel kinda like chopped liver down here when I go to bars or clubs with my tshirts, convertible hiking pants, and boat-sized hiking boots. Oh well, you still get respect because you are a tourist, and tourists carry dollars. The economic crisis a few years back made the USD pretty strong. One Dollar will get you three Argentine Pesos and the deals you get depend on the things you buy. Some things are pretty much the same price everywhere, like a Coke. Beer is pretty cheap, you can get a liter of beer for less than a dollar. Heck yea! You can get a heckuva suit down here for around 200 USD. I think the only place in the States where you can get suit under that cost is at Goodwill.
I had to goto the doctor's office yesterday because I nearly broke my neck. There are just oh so many beautiful ladytypes here. Wow... But word is that the Argentine women are kinda like dolphins...very intelligent and the men (or gringos) just dont know how to communicate with them.
I love food.
I love whoever invented food.
Definitely bring your appetite when you come.
Argentina is famous for its beef and my brother and I have not been let down. Meat is so predominate in this culture that you can have steak for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. This aint no microwave dinner Salisbury type steak. We are talkin massive portions and all-you-can-eat dinners for a coupla bucks. The Jonster and I went to a tenedor-libre which is the Argentine equivalent of all you can eat. This restaurant we went to had three massive grills, each about the size ping pong table. All of them were nearly full of all different types of meat. You walk up with your plate and the chef named Angel will fill your plate with copious amounts of beef. From roast to ribs to steak, the tenedor libre is one hell of a deal. At a restaurant my bro and I went to yesterday it cost us a total of nine dollars for a generous tbone steak dinner that included drinks. That is just unheard of in the States. Omaha Steaks, eat your heart out.
Beer is cheaper than soda...
Wine is cheaper than soda...
Coca-Cola is expensive compared to beer and wine prices.
How entertaining is it to walk into the grocery store with less than one dollar and be able to purchase a liter of Heineken and have change in your pocket when you walk out. Beer is that cheap. The selection of beers is pretty limited, most bars here have Quilmes aaaaaannnnnnd Quilmes. But the lack of beer brands is more than made up for with the extensive selection of wine. Yaowza...we are talkin about walls of different wine labels out there, folks. With a few bucks in your pocket you can get a very decent bottle. Wow. I love this place.
Boca Walking Tour
Boca is a unique portion of Buenos Aires. If you go, go only to the touristy places and stay on the beaten path. Our group of 20 felt pretty safe when we went in the afternoon. We learned quite a bit about the area. Boca in Spanish means "mouth," and this area was the first place in Buenos Aires with shipping docks on the Rio Plata that unloaded all types of cargo destined for all areas of South America. La Boca was the mouth/source/origin in the sense that this where everything from Europe came to before going anywhere else. This area is charming and unique because of the multicolored houses, creative street fairs, and the history baby! The vibrant colors are a refreshing change from the stone and the bla colors around Buenos Aires. These houses are not palaces, in fact they are kinda scrappy because they are put together with a little wood, metal, and some are held together with a little toothpaste and tin wire. They are painted in many different types of colors not because the owner or the whole area was colorblind and thought, "Hey, im gonna be different and paint my house 8 different colors." Nope, the reason why these houses were painted this way was because the area was very poor and nobody could afford just one color. The houses were painted with whatever colors were available at the time. So workers painted their houses with whatever was leftover on the docks. Suppose some guy found a little orange paint one day, a portion of the house would be orange. If they found pink, then pink was the color of the shutters. And so on...
The Tango. La Boca was a very poor immigrant section of Buenos Aires that had people from every single walk of life. Massive amounts of African, Italian, Spanish, British, Polish, Russian, as well as many other European countries came here in search of a new life. Many of the immigrants were men that came to Buenos Aires to find work in order make enough money to bring their families to South America and start a new life. Deep from the within the houses in this poor part of Buenos Aires birthed the Tango. Well, I really shouldn't say houses. More like brothels. Since La Boca was a principle port, they had lots and lots of sailors that would come into town looking for one thing. Now I dont wanna sterotype sailors here, but these guys were prolly lookin for a relationship that went beyond holding hands...they were lookin for more of the wam-bam-thank-you-ma'am type relationship, if ya know what I mean. When people come from all different parts of the globe they also bring some culture and every single culture uses song and dance to entertain themselves. So this mishmash of cultures, poverty, and brothels created the tango. The tango is a very sensual dance combined with a sense of longing for the life that was left behind back in Europe.
Usually most fads start with the rich upper class and diffuse their way down to the working class. However the tango was something that evolved from the poorest section of BA that became all the rage once to rich caught on. For quite some time the music of the tango was only instruments. Lyrics were added to the tango and one man really stands out as the voice of the tango. If you ask any Argentine who the voice of tango is they will automatically say Carlito. Carlos Gardel had the golden voice that set the bar pretty high as far as singing the tango. He is the guy you see pictured with my brother and I. Please not that the figure is not created to scale. Carlito does not have gorilla hands and a 10 inch smile and 6 inch nose.
After having lunch in a tourist trap we went to see where the Boca Jrs. play. This is a pretty large stadium and it was pretty packed the day that I got to Buenos Aires. The day I arrived in BA Boca Jrs. were playing the Pumas from Mexico in the South American Cup Championship. The game was pretty good and went to a shootout to determine the champion. Tickets were pretty pricey and since I was a gringo the chances of getting a cheap ticket that wasnt counterfit were pretty low. So I watched it on TV, drank beer, and then toured the stadium a week later. Pretty cool. We also took a quick tour of the attached meuseum. Since I know absolutely nothing about soccer it had about the same significance to me as prolly baseball would to someone from South America. But the enormity of the soccer stadium was cool and the grass was green.
This is my brother Jonathan with some rilly rilly buggy glasses. My bro came down to spend Christmas and the New Year here in Buenos Aires. It was great to have a part of the fam down here for the holidays!
Jonathan normally does not wear the Bono sunglasses; he goes for a more of the conservative sunglass look. These glasses are so big and weird that they scare young children and small animals.
and im done