Flickr set is here.

Going to Buenos Aires

dow jonesI 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.)

Nathan levitates.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:

Submarine Entrance. She stands for pride.  She stands for Peru.

Fat dude. I stick my head in a howitzer.

We saw the World’s Gayest Star Wars Ride at the grocery store:

Gayest. Star Wars Ride. Ever.  (Srsly)

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?

Your standard pig heads. Meat market:  Dead Chickenz.

… 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.

Shit-tron electronics at "The Hole" market. El Hueco / The Hole wide shot.\

… 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:

Peruvian Pet Store in Central Lima from Nathan Shipley on Vimeo.

… We also went to the Peruvian national congress building for a tour:

Nathan in Congress Room Number One. Nathan in El Hall de los Pasos Perdidos in National Congress.

Gaby & Nathan at Congress Building

And, finally, look close at this picture. Do you see that?

The Coffin Goes on The Plane

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!

The coffin goes to it's car. Coffin Goes For a Car Ride

Here’s the Flickr set for more detail.

See you in Argentina, people.

9 Responses to “Hopefully Argentina is Cooler Than They Say”

  1. Gromskion 09 Oct 2008 at 4:37 am

    Indiana isn’t going to be the first state to go red this year. Have you applied for your absentee ballot?

  2. brianon 09 Oct 2008 at 6:41 am

    yeah, you better vote, nathan. obama wouldn’t be holding a rally in indy in october if he didn’t think he could actually win indiana.

  3. Gageon 09 Oct 2008 at 7:26 am

    Ooooh a Funstation! I wonder if they have Super Plumber Brothers.

    Btw, yes Nathan, rock the vote. Beatch.

  4. nathanon 09 Oct 2008 at 8:30 am

    It’s under control. Thanks to the diligent, timely, and thorough work of my mom and her absentee form application skills, I’ve got it under control and will be voting.

  5. stileson 09 Oct 2008 at 4:09 pm

    Dow down below 8600. You may want to stay away for a while.

  6. nanfanon 10 Oct 2008 at 8:37 am

    Beautiful day in Indiana today!!!! Fall colors in abundance! Cool mornings – mild sunny days. Very nice. Can’t wait to hear about your impressions and experiences in Argentina – starting with where you are staying.
    Voting process in check. A bit of an issue with your car – I’ll email you.
    Love you!!!!

  7. Danon 11 Oct 2008 at 7:45 am

    I consider this guitar stunt to have made up for the apartment snafu.

    Good work!

  8. GaByon 11 Oct 2008 at 6:18 pm

    Soon I will be better than Santana or Slash hehe :P
    Dont forget that you have to vote..ya tu sabes..tu sabes! mua! ;)

  9. AJon 06 Nov 2008 at 11:55 pm

    As the proud grandparent of Minibus, I can’t even begin to comment!

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