nothing ever happens in buenos aires
well, it was a slow weekend in Buenos Aires this time. Too cold and grey to do anything adventurous except stay warm.
Friday evening we introduced the locals to the great Australian tradition – Friday night drinks and a game of pool at the local bar. A quiet but enjoyable time was had by all.
After drinks three of us (notably those with no real homes to return to) moved on to dinner in the next block of buildings.
We were introduced to a new (I believe Brazilian) style of dining. You load up at the salad bar, then sit at your table while waiters bring by an endless stream of platters of barbecued dead animal for you to select from.
Yes, it’s dead cow time again.
Fortunately the salad bar was good, so I didn’t go home hungry. They had a couple of nice little touches – a large vermouth to start with, and a free bottle of red for paying with Mastercard.
If only I had a Mastercard. However, as it was my colleague’s third Mastercard bonus bottle in three nights, he generously donated it to me (the only non-red drinker in Argentina). Still, a little rough red always helps a nice pasta pomodoro.
The next morning I was up bright and early for the 5km trek to the supermarket. Did I say 4km last time? Well, the nastier the weather the further it gets.
As I strolled along the dique, I noticed that the building we were dining in the night before was on fire, or at least smoking furiously. That barbecue must have been smokier than even the chef intended. This lasted for quite a while before the fire engines started to arrive. By the time I wandered past later everything was back to normal. I’m not sure the Saturday lunchers even left their seats…
On my long walk to the Disco supermarket for fat-free milk, I passed construction workers and naval officers and the occasional bit of public art. It is a little unnerving walking past monuments to the glorious defenders of the city against the English in 1806 and remember it wasn’t that long ago we were on opposite sides of a disagreement involving large ships and guns. Around here you don’t mention the war (any of them).
The amount of public artwork on display seems to be a good index for the relative wealth and strength of central government in a country. It seems that if you’re short of cash and not sure people like you, the thing to do is make some kind of grand gesture (and feed a sculptor).
Sunday was the Costanera Sur fun run, which I watched from my 5th floor balcony in my slippers. It was about 5 degrees out there, but lots of people braved the cold. As I walked up Belgrano into San Telmo a while later, I passed the survivors hobbling along, limping and looking chilled but noble. Memo to self – I promise to go to the gym this week.
Nothing much else to report for this week – I saw some more decorative buildings in San Telmo, saw a really good tango group busking (bought the CD), watched kiddies feed the rat-birds in Plaza de Mayo and found myself a nice warm mall to spend money in for the rest of the afternoon.