9 March 2009
I am writing this morning with a hangover that has lasted 24 hours (almost to the minute). I know what Chopper would say right now, and let me be clear - Tim and I definitely represented for all the Aussies out there! So there is no need to ´harden up´! ha ha ha The wine here is very good (and cheap - dangerous combination!)
After taking off from Sydney on Saturday morning, we flew for 13 hours and landed in Buenos Aires on...well, Saturday morning. The flight was great with only a bit of turbulence and luckily enough Tim and I were NOT two of the 50 or so people whose in-flight entertainment wasnt working. Thank God! We watched Changeling and Revolutionary Road...as well as some documentaries, etc. We didnt stop getting fed!!
Once we landed we waited in Immigration for an hour and then collected our backpacks. I am having major trouble getting the damn thing on to my back - i think its time to reassess the toileties-situation (!!).
It was pretty overwhelming at the airport. Everything was in Spanish (unfortunately the 30 mins of study I did on the plane was not enough!) and with a heavy pack, trying to figure out the best way to get into town (some 40 mins away) was kind of stressful. We ended up catching a taxi - Tim was great once again, and got the cabbie down to a good price.
We were dropped off out front of our hostel and lugged ourselves up to our room on the first floor. We were sharing with a German backpacker, Adrian (but we didnt meet him until later).
At this point, I got soooooo anxious about being somewhere so different! The first thing that struck me was the smell of diesel in the air and mechanics on every corner - out in the burbs anyway. The smell was intense, but once we got out of the outer suburbs into the city, it seemed to die down (or what we got used to it. One or the other).
The area our hostel was in was (and still is) Palermo, a really nice part of town where some of the wealthier families live. We didnt really know what to do with ourselves and I was feeling emotional - hostels are very different!! haha But after a shower we went for a walk around the area (btw - the shower is sooo grotty - thank God for thongs! and the shower curtains dont even cover whoever is in the shower. So, its pretty out there! Lets just say you cant be shy!)
We went back for a sleep and then woke to figure out what we´d do on a Saturday night... We must have looked so funny, reading our big, fat South American guidebook trying to work out where to go. Bloody tourists! HAHA
Adrian was nice enough to invite us to a BBQ some of the gang at the hostel were having. We bought 2 thick steaks, 2 litres of beer, a bottle of vino tinto (red wine) and corn - all this only costs us 30 pesos (about $15!!!).
We met some Canadian backpackers, Marissa, Caroline, Nick and Craig, as well as a French guy, (Tibo), Swedish girl (Nina) and pommy girl (Laura - bit of a nutter!!! haha)
This fabulous bunch of people is the reason I feel the way I do now... ha ha.
We hit it off straight away! It was so great to hear about other peoples´ lifestyles and experiences! We got involved in some drinking games (Tally-Ho was particularly fun!) and by 3am we were ready to go out. 3am!! Argentinians dont usually head out until about 1am and clubs dont start pumping until 2am (crazy, crazy, crazy!)
So, full of drink we headed out to find a nightclub. We found ourselves at Sugar, but there was already a line and it would be ages before we would get in. We made a group decision to just go to a nearby bar. Its so strange - this place at 4am is unlike any Northbridge or other dodgy place Im used to. Everyone still looked fresh, happily sitting around, chatting and drinking likes it only 10pm. Crazy! People really do love to go out late here!
We polished off a few bottles of red and then made our way home..........
We pestered Alfonso (who works at the hostel) for some breakfast, which was soon provided and after some more giggles and stories, we headed to bed. It was now 9am!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
SO - this much is true about Buenos Aires:
1. people love to drink
2. people love to eat (particularly pizzas and empanadas and beef!)
3. people love to drink out late
4. people love to eat out late
To be honest, I dont know if I could cope being here any longer than 4 nights... mind you, we are still jet-lagged like crazy so there is another excuse for our extreme tiredness! we sleep 4 hours in the day (or in my case, 6 or 7) and then 4 hours during the night - its really too hard to do it any different at the moment.
Oops - I got off track. On Sunday morning, we got up a 2.30pm, feeling like absolute DEATH!!!!!!! Luckily, I had my newfound Canadians girls give me a pep-talk before we took off to San Telmo markets.
We rode the ´subte´ (subway) for the first time and let me tell you, its the WORST thing to do when you are hung over...I felt sick the whole way, my head cranking! Blah!! We were all feeling kind of crummy.
But the markets - so amazing and full of colour and smiles. Thats another thing about Argentinians....they seem to do things just for the hell of it, because it makes them smile :) They´re just awesome! The trinkets and artwork was amazing - we only wish we could have bought some to take home, but being our first stop, luggage restrictions did not permit. I took pictures of things I wanted to buy so Id feel like I bought them! haha what a nerd!
Due to the escapades the night before, I did have a minor ´moment´in the bathroom before we got our food... but i did REALLY well! There was a long line for the bathroom and I HELD ON! The Canadians were proud! haha Oh - and it was the first time we tried empanadas - absolutely delicious! Luckily I puked before I ate (sorry for that imagery! but there will be no lies on this blog!)
The rest of the day was a big blur, as I was feeling like hell. Everyone else seemed to be coping ok...damn that wine!
We walked through the town centre, Plaza de Mayo, but to be honest it wasnt as spectacular as I had imagined it to be. There is a random park in the middle which isnt really that well cared for, but the locals seem to enjoy it amongst the concrete everywhere else.
I went to sleep at 8pm, woke up at 1am and then went back to sleep at 2am until Monday morning (8am). Even after all that sleep, I still felt crappy....I STILL have a headache and its currently 12.40am Tuesday morning.
Today, Monday (well yesterday) was a slow day too.... Tim and I went for a walk though the Botanical Gardens and the Japanese Garden...again, not that spectacular, but we are in the nicer part of town so better than just looking at concrete.
Like I said before, the jetlag is still well and truly here - after our walk we had a ´nap´ which lasted 4 hours (!!). The last 4 hours we have been eating and drinking (I can JUST stomach it, but still have a headache :( ) with a bunch of people from the hostel. There is a supermarket down the street which sells everything for soooo cheap! We had steaks again and chorizo sausages, as well as roasted garlic on the coal BBQ (courtesy of Craig from Canada - soooo delicious!!!!!)
But, we feel pretty useless, me especially. I just cant get my clock right and its very frustrating. Tuesday night is our last night and there is still so much we want to see.... We have slept A LOT! Lets hope we feel better in the morning....!!
I do wish we had learnt more Spanish-its amazing how many people at the hostel can speak Spanish...in a way its good because we can hang with them and they can order for us, etc but we want to be able to order ourselves!! haha We are slowly picking up more and more. Today I learnt, "no mucho ditiero" which means "I dont have much money" which has been useful!! hahahah
Its so loud here right now - particularly the American girls!!! I can hear them up the stairs..........
Anyways, our goal now is to spend our final day sightseeing...lets hope we make it. I think I am almost ready for bed..... We also hope to go to a tango club tomorrow (im praying we get there!!!) but will keep you posted!
Come to Buenos Aires if you want to feel completely disoriented, like to drink red wine and meet lots of great people. Oh - and dance the TANGO!!!!!
P.S. No one handed in our camera. We have made an insurance claim and we´re hoping they´ll have the money to us soon!!!!