Oct 9th, 2008
Flickr set is here.
Going to Buenos Aires
I hear the sky is falling back home and around the world (see the Dow that closed at 9,258, right). Things seem fine here. Obama is up in the polls. Word. I do miss actually having a decent idea of what’s going on in the news. At least NPR has a website, eh Grandpa Britt? That way we can listen to what “the enemy is up to.”
At this time tomorrow, I’ll be in the air. My flight leaves Lima at 9:30 at night, connecting through Chile with a 5 hour layover, and I don’t arrive in Buenos Aires until 10:30 the next morning. So, you know, that should pretty awesome. Beats a bus, though.
I also realized last night that I know absolutely nothing about Buenos Aires other than what randoms have told me. No guide book, no knowledge, no nothing. I’m just gonna show up and see what it’s like. Cool, eh?
The Audacity of Hope? (Everybody seems to hate Argentina.)
So, Argentina. On the surface, it actually doesn’t sound particularly promising for a gentleman who enjoys the off-color such as myself. Other travelers have told me Buenos Aires is very European-seeming. Not exactly unbiased Gaby says Argentinians are snobs. She says her ex said the same thing. She told me her friends planned to spend a week there and came back after four days. The Road Junky online travel guide to Argentina says this:
Argentines have a reputation for being the biggest snobs on the continent, but maybe that’s only those from Buenos Aires. … Many Argentines hold a condescending view towards Chileans, Brazilians, Bolivians and Colombians – in short everyone else. They consider themselves different than the ‘indios’ even though most Argentines are of mestizo descent.
The people of Buenos Aires, the porteños, have the highest per capita rate of visits to psychiatrists in the world. There is a major inferiority complex hidden underneath their assertion that Argentina is superior to the rest of the world (and equal to Europe). There is also a strong anti-American sentiment, although people can generally let things lie.
Hm. So there’s that. However, as always, I’ve got faith. I’m sure it’ll be good. Let the naysayers say nay, I say. Besides, people say Americans are brash and loud and arrogant. I’m able to find Americans I like. Hell, I even like Indiana – the first state to turn red come election time. Who can argue with the awesomeness of the Naptown Roller Girls?
Peru Anew, at least for a week.
I’ve had a week back here in Peru and have spent time with Gaby. My vision of being in a sweet apartment obviously did not materialize, but the Home Peru hostel came through just like last time. Like this place a lot. They make me breakfast every morning and clean my room for me.
What’d I do? Bunch of stuff. Here’s some pictures:
We went to a submarine:
We saw the World’s Gayest Star Wars Ride at the grocery store:
We went on a couple walks around central Lima. They included a trip to the meat market where we got a 5 minute explainer from the butcher on how pigs are slaughtered. The guy said they are killed initially by stabbing them in the heart with a hand-held knife. Where you at, PETA?
… And a walk through “El Hueco,” which means “The Hole.” It’s a market built in to the would-be foundation of a high rise building that was started and never finished in Central Lima. They’ve turned it in to a mall of sorts. My favorite part where the endless tiny Chinese radios proudly boasting “1200 Watts” in stickers stuck on the speakers.
… We went to a typical pet store in central Lima. The animals were packed in to cages and piles up on top of each other. Birds, roosters, hamsters, cats, mice, etc. Here’s video:
… We also went to the Peruvian national congress building for a tour:
And, finally, look close at this picture. Do you see that?
Know what that is? That’s the guitar coffin on it’s way up the ramp to the luggage compartment. Best part? It didn’t break. Thanks to the Colombian grocery store that gave me 6 crappy cardboard boxes to use to make a guitar case. Great success!
Here’s the Flickr set for more detail.
See you in Argentina, people.