abrazos gratis (free hugs)
Two men had one of the the little braziers the street vendors use to make popcorn and toasted nuts. They were struggling to get a tin bucket of wood chips and charcoal burning under it. A third man in a security guard’s uniform hopped off a bus with three big pieces of wood nailed together and brought it over to them.
A taxi broke down on the same street. Another taxi showed up with a tow rope to haul it away.
A man, scavenging for scrap metal in a skip near Plaza de Mayo, had a small child with him in a pushchair. The young policeman I thought was walking over to tell off the scavenger, had a biscuit for the child, and a friendly word for the man.
An elderly busker playing an accordion and singing old songs had his own private fan club in the well-dressed man who sang along with all the choruses.
Two off-duty living statues strolled down Belgrano with the remnants of silver paint all over their faces.
The Puma concept store on Estados Unidos in San Telmo had sprayed graffiti saying “no es Palermo”. And they were right – San Telmo may be shabby, but it has its pride.
The beggar children on Florida made enough change to go to Macdonalds.
On Defensa, they were giving away free hugs (see the picture if you don’t believe me), and there was a tango ensemble on every corner.
And, most miraculously of all, every time I got change, they gave me one-peso and 25 centavo coins for my laundry.