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Wednesday 21 Apr 2010
Buenos Aires, Argentina

Que malo!


Finally arrived at Buenos Aires yesterday evening after leaving Mendoza at around 1pm. Finally in the renowned capital city that has been much lauded by pretty much every person I know who's been here... and... well I'm not exactly sure what all the fuss is about.

It's called the "Paris of the South", and indeed with this I agree 100%: the majority of people are rude and snooty, the metro is filthy and stinks, plus (as with all Argentinians) they like to talk AT you, rather than WITH you (the amount of times I've had to say "eh... es possible yo hable ahora??" when I've been talking to (well "talked at" by) some snooty local I can't count), plus they're in-your-face arrogance is a little hard to take.

So, unless I've been incredibly unlucky (but having walked around the city I've encountered many people of similar disposition), I'm not terribly fond of this place. It has some nice buildings for sure, and even the docks area strongly reminds me of "the Rocks" area of Sydney, Australia, but it resembles many colonial cities I've found on this trip with similar large plazas and old-style architecture.

It's not nearly as dangerous as people have made out though... I still personally feel that Bogota, Colombia has it for the "dangerous feeling" factor. Just keep your wits about you as with every other city I've been in.

Some good points though... it's a great place to get leather goods made and I had arrived here with the intention of getting a leather jacket custom fitted. I asked around and found that the recommended area is a little known area called Malabila which is supposed to be a lot cheaper than the typical tourist areas like Calle Florida (which is a terribly-packed pedestrian street... couldn't wait to leave it). After much searching I found a nice little outlet on Malabila street where I managed to order a custom-made leather jacket for only AR$ 650 (around 120 euros!) ... this is great considering most other places were offering "finished" leather jackets for AR$750, let alone allowing any customisation of it!... so this is one cool bonus point for BA! ... It's due to be finished by Friday so I can't wait!

Another good point: my mate from Ireland, Pedro, has popped over from his home in Brazil to hang out here with me for the 4 days so many good times are being had!

We went out for our first Parillada (pronounced "Paree-chada" here, instead of the normal "Paree-yada" ... Argentinians try to be distinct from every other South American country, in this case by changing the damn language! Very annoying Undecided). It was a HUUUUUGE selection of meat served on a mini-BBQ, including some decisively dodgy items including kidneys, liver, liquidy black pudding and even intestines (we tried them all... I kid you not!). The best parts were the chicken, sausage, pork chop and of course the steak! ... cost AR$110 for the two of us (downed with an extra bottle of Mendoza Malbec) so a great deal.

The waiters were snooty mofo's though. When it came to paying the bill, the waiter counted out the cash we had put down in front of us, then announced that the tip wasn't included.

"Es includo... 2 peso!", I chuffed (the bill was AR$158 and we put down AR$160) ... after being an arrogant shit, not serving us properly, and even bumping into me several times, there was no way we were giving him a proper tip.

"Oh que malo" says he... the feeling of joy at pissing off an Argentinian made me feel so good.

I've discovered Argentinians are not my favourite people. Laughing

1 Comment for this Travel blog entry

Mum Says:

22 April 2010

Yep, they are quite an arrogant type people. But you didn't go there for them, so enjoy the city! Go see the colour\tango La Boca, Telmo Sun market. the amazing Colon Theatre. Yes, very similar to Paris but very shabby. Jacket nice? Meat overload!!

peterforan Replies:

24 April 2010

Well I believe that people really make a place, and, despite meeting some genuinely nice Argentinians, BA has fairly soured my view of them

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After previously dipping my toes in Latin America via trips to Cuba and Central America, it's time to go for the big splash! 3 1/2 months to take in as much as I can, armed with little more than my camera, laptop and a few dodgy Spanish phrases.

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