Thursday, 20 May 2010

Buenos Aires, Capital of Tango, and Paris of South America!

Don't know shit about dancing, and haven't been to Paris, but I thought to try Buenos Aires out anyhow.
The next day (still in Bariloche remember?), I got on a bus to BA. I was promised a 21 hours ride, and right away, I knew I would surely love a Cama sit on the way.
driving around South America, you always have to make a decision:
Semi-Cama - the regular bus sit in any other bus in the world (that slightly shifts back words).
Cama - more space for your tushy, and the back of the chair shifts back up to 45 degrees.
Cama-Suite - space for the tushy, and a hole 180 degrees bed if you want.
Not all the buses and all the companies have all the options. And sometimes the prices jump way up from each different option to the other.
Choosing the Cama option, I knew I would manage to get some sleep on the bus, and that way save a day once getting to BA.
The center of each town I've been to, until now, was the place with all the interests, all the Internet stores, restaurants, mini markets, ext...With BA, It's different. people come here to 'go out', and the places to do that, are located in 2 particular neighborhoods: Palermo & San-Telmo.
Not knowing that, I picked out the most centered (cheapest), Hostel I could find from the Lonely-Planet book I've got.
The place was great, good people, good atmosphere, good guests at the time, good breakfast. Far away from all the night action.
On my arrival day I set of to a center tour. got to know the great 'Florida' street, always occupied with endless population, not really knowing were to go next...(them, not me)
Day 2: ''you've got to see the Recoleta cemetery'' says everybody. To Recoleta we go. If it wasn't Evita's Birthday, it wouldn't be as exciting... but it was better than I thought it would be. Big Fu#@% tombs, of very important/rich Argentinian persons.
Went around the rest of Recoleta, the big buildings (with live people inside) are much more exciting then the tombs.
After Recoleta, I thought seeing a bit of nature would be good for me, and walked my way to the National Park. A dry and flat area on the shores of the 'La Plata' river, meant for just one reason - so that city people could have a cheap (its free) way to go running, bike riding, and make out, with out the risk of getting hit by a car in the process. I tried to get out of there as fast as I can...
Day 3: Palermo! The neighborhood of the rich. Took the Subte, a fun and claustrophobic experience, from the land of the streetrats, and to the land of pure fashon, dogs, and pretty women (usually all together). Seeing the difference between the neighbohoods is amazing, here they have a Botanic Garden, a Japanese Garden, a Zoo, a Rose Garden and lots of other Gardens I didn't have the legs to see... It was Saturday, which means everybody was out. skating, bike riding, and taking the kids to the local zoo. Understanding I already saw most of the animals either in Tanzania last year, or I'll see them in the upcoming year in the wild! mixed with the fact that I haven't heard anything about this small zoo, and the 'round the corner' line of screaming children. Thanks, but I'll pass.
Walking away from the zoo's entrance, my eye's caught an enormous amount of people standing at the other side of the street. Searching the map, I couldn't find any zoo explanation for it... and crossed the street to check it out. Turns out it was the local 'book fair' (יום הספר ) and as I approached, I saw that they were not gathered around, but stood in a long line. following that line (to check out the books!), I found out that it's at least 3 blocks long! At that point I got back to the Subte station, and gave up.
Or, as a greater singer said:
בפלרמו,עיר הקיץ הקסומה,
יש קטלוג תנופת בנייה גדולה!
תיקח את עצמך מכאן,
ותיקח את עצמך מכאן עכשיו,
ולך לישון!

Day 4: As I should have guest, Oren & Liliya showed up. It was Sunday, and I wanted to go to the San-Telmo Market, But they said I should wait for them. And being a good friend, I did. And lucky for me this time... we started by going to Plaza de Mayo (second time for me) to see the great Plaza and the 'Pink House' (the celebrity house from which Madona, Played by Evita, sang to the screaming crowed of her last rock concert, but I'm not sure, so ask someone who cares...). as we were taking pictures, when I say we I mean Oren, two guards where walking in to the big pink think. and they had the strangest tale of people behind them. following and running to shot the great pics, we found ourselves standing in line for a tour around the house.
From the house, to the market! And my first 'wow' in BA! Endless colorful (Oren.liliya told me) market stands, fill with hats, paintings, antiques, clothing and whatnot! all the way from Plaza de Mayo and into Boca (the next neighbourhood). I almost bought a hat.
From San-Telmo, we continued our way into scary Boca. The poverty neighbourhood of BA and the one with the most respect full football (soccer) team in Argentina, Boca Juniors. Sunday, a match! crowd going wild on the streets, singing buses rush by... and Liliya wants to get closer to the 'booms' noises we keep on hearing. The important part is, we made it out of there alive.
Day 5: First Half off the day was a lovely regrouping with Gabi & Achia! then we said our goodbyes and decided to go out at night. Don't go out on a Monday night in BA, we'll leave it at that.
Day 6: Trying to find myself a new pair of boots, no success. walking up and down the Florida street I listened to great street bands playing wonderful jazz, Went Climbing with Liliya, a nice place, just 15 pesos per day of climbing, far away, and we had to rush back to make it to the Tango Show!
A smaller place then shown on the fliers, a loud man with a loud voice, sang very loud. the dancers were great (look up the beginning of this post), and a very strange Indian (well at least he was dressed up as one) thought no one would mind if he would act as though he is playing the playback. The greatest thing about the show, were the orchestra players, they were really worth it all.
The next morning, I took the next bus, to the next stop...The village where my grandmother was born and raised - Moises Ville..

Tips for Buenos Aires:
1. Going out - I didn't, probably because of my hostel's location. if your into going out more then I am, find a place in Palermo or San-Telmo
2. The San-Telmo Market - Go on a Sunday, don't miss it.
3. Tango Shows - you can skip that part. or just see it on the sunday market in San-Telmo

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