Final post from BA

So my last few days weren’t particularly eventful. But I don’t think I’ve really given much of a feel for BA in my previous posts (aside from discussing poverty) so here it is.

On Wednesday I had a bit of a lazy day as I was still tired. I also had a look around Palmero Hollywood but there wasn’t much to see there really. I had some more steak in the evening which was also excellent.

On Thursday I had another Spanish lesson and I learnt lots of Spanish including describing where you live and countries in general. I also managed to have the worst four cheeses pizza ever. Pizza is usually good here but they chose the worst possible combination of cheeses for this one.

Then in the evening I headed for an “authentic” Argentinian meal at Burger King. It was in fact fairly authentic. Firstly they failed to understand my accent at first when asking for the BK Argento (this is the equivalent of the Angus burger in the UK and the US) otherwise the menu is the same so it’s difficult to see the confusion. This happens regularly here. Though I have to admit I was guilty of it myself when picking up my washing. Sometimes they even get their English speaking friend to come to understand your mispronuonsiations. In Oxford this would be like not understanding the Welsh – and god help the Glasweigens. They also didn’t accept credit cards. They aren’t used much here outside of high end stores, which is actually a little strange as quite a lot of the money is fake. Anyhow the good stuff starts now as the burger was in fact excellent. The best burger I’ve ever had at a fast food chain, hands down. This is also typical as the beef here is excellent.

On Friday I got up fairly late and headed to my Spanish lesson at Milhouse on the as usual jam packed Subte. They are expanding the network almost as fast as Beijing before the Olympics though so hopefully that’ll improve matters. After my Spanish lesson I hung around the hostel and chatted with people and went out for some steak (which was only as good as in England) with a girl from Oregon in the US who was very nice and had a lot to say too.

Then this morning after getting a taxi back to my accommodation at midnight I slept in until 9am and then packed and went back into town for my final Spanish lesson before having some Milanesa (with veal) for lunch (this is meat made very thin and covered n breadcrumbs.)

Well it’s off to Peru in a few hours where I meet my friends from England. I suspect the blog posts will slow down for a few weeks as I’ll have them to talk to instead on buses and other places where I write this. I’ll definitely be spending less time on the rest of the Internet. I’ve made too many forum posts in the past few days. But as I’ve been not feeling 100% I didn’t feel like going out and socializing until Friday.

More Spanish, MABLA and Tigre

So yesterday I actually did something a little more interesting than just resting.

Firstly I went to the police station to report the theft of my camera. This took about an hour. After that I grabbed some lunch before my Spanish lesson in the early afternoon I made some more progress and was able to figure out the menu of the Chinese restaurant I went to in the evening. I have also learnt some Spanish chat up lines including the classic Do you come here often? Which is ¿Venís siempre acá? en Español. I haven’t (yet :p) asked my teacher whether it’s also a double endentre in Spanish or whether that is only in English.

Anyhow in the afternoon after my Spanish lesson I headed to Palmero, one of the districts I had previously missed here in Buenos Aires. In palmero I went an saw a museum of modern art called MALBA which was a modern art museum that was free to students! Anyhow they had an interesting exhibit by Félix González-Torres. This was an interactive exhibit and I got to pick up various bits and pieces including free sweets from around the gallery. It was quite interesting actually. They also had some other galleries which were also worth seeing. One of the most interesting pictures was one of the centre of BA in the 1930’s it looked gorgeous, and is definitely somewhere I’d have liked to live at that time.

After that I headed back to my accommodation. On the train I was accosted by the usual people trying to beg or sell crap that I don’t want. It is incredibly irritating and I just ignore them as I learnt last year in south-east Asia. The Buenos Aires citizens aren’t as cold-hearted as me though; maybe there is no money from the government for these people, which given Argentina is the 31st (23rd by PPP) richest country in the world there really should be. I suppose there are lots of people digging through rubbish in the streets which I didn’t see in south-east Asia so there is clearly a very serious poverty issue here. There is also a lot of guilt about the problem. Begging isn’t just confined to the streets and public transport here. It is also even happens in coffee shops.

Then this morning I got up fairly early and headed to the Tigre delta outside BA as my Spanish lesson isn’t until 6pm. I went on the train which wasn’t particularly crowded and was also only a little more expensive than a Subte ride which in itself is very cheap (US$0.30). Once I got to the delta I booked myself on a boat tour of the delta and then went off to have some lunch. For lunch I had some Milanese which is beef in breadcrumbs and is a speciality of the region which was nice. I also had some (freshly squeezed – and therefore expensive at US$2.60) orange juice for my fruit portion of the day. It’s actually hard to eat enough fruit here as most of the stuff in the supermarkets seems to have lots of blemishes. So much so that you aren’t sure if its fit to eat or maybe that’s just Tesco brainwashing me.

Then i wet on the boat tour. The boat tour itself was only OK, there was no commentrary (even in Spanish) and it was pretty expensive at US$10 for a 2 hour trip. I did finally get to see some people who looked like they had money on the boat; given the poverty in the centre it was kind of uncomfortable, though certainly to an extent I was looking at a mirror back of myself. The trip itself did seem to be an expensive camera photoshoot of the delta and posed people on the boat so I guess I missed out on the full experience as I didn’t have a camera.

Then I headed back to Buenos Aires for my Spanish lesson. The journey wasn’t entirely uneventful. I had to jump the barrier at the train station as it wouldn’t accept my ticket and I had to block the door of the Subte train as I was too far back to get off (the stop for Milhouse is one after the busiest station on the Subte system) before I had my Spanish lesson at the hostel. After that I headed back to my accommodation on the edge of the city and I had dinner at the local Italian (which was very nice) before going to bed after a long day.

Sickness and Spanish

So I didn’t go to my Spanish lesson on Thursday after all. On Wednesday after realizing I’d only been taking half the dose for my antibiotics I took the proper dose for the first time (I’d been taking 1 pill not 2 every 8 hours). Unfortunately then things took a turn for the worse and after I couldn’t finish my dinner I was sick so I took a Benedryl and woke up feeling fine. However that was not to last by the afternoon I was itching all over and I realized I had a rash. So I rushed to hospital in a taxi where I was prescribed my own benedryl (anti-histemene) and steroids. Then fortunately within an hour or so I was feeling fine so I thought no more of it. I was more concerned with not drinking at the bar at the hostel that night (which was worryingly hard; like asking the first girl I cared about out but I pulled through ok)

Then the next day after a good sleep I was still ok and went shopping, then to the Indian embassy to pick up my visa and finally to see Tropical Thunder which is a film best described as fun. Though in true hollywood style it had holes the size of oceans in the plot for one by making the geographical error that Myanmar is next to Laos. Thailand of course fails to exist in between. Fortunately also the film was subtitled so I could understand most of it. However after getting back to the hostel and grabbing dinner on the way I came down with another rash.

This lead to another hospital trip and being given fluids and as it didn’t clear up as quickly a stay overnight. Then this morning I went to find some quieter accommodation in the suburbs for tonight so I’ve done that and after an afternoon rest I am now feeling better so hopefully I can get some supper and will be feeling cured tomorrow.

Hopefully also I’ll be able to continue my Spanish lessons on Monday for the rest of the week.