Buenos Aires, Argentina
I'm here in Buenos Aires on my third day now, sitting at what has to be the worlds slowest computer (a SyncMaster 753 lol). After roughly 24hours of travel I finally arrived at Milhouse Hostel in the center of BA on wednesday. After checking in at around 3ish PM I went for a stroll along Avenida De Mayo, which is the street my hostel is on. The first thing you notice here in BA is the endless amount of restaurants and cafes, where people in all ages are kicking back with a cup of coffee, or a light meal. Incredibly there were absolutely no shops at all, but for some reason there is a pharmacy for every 10 residential houses :O.
The main event of the day was actually the meal I had at a nearby restaurant. Argentina is famous for its Steaks, so I decided to shell out around 100pesos for a 350g steak with potatotes. Otherwise you can get a pretty fullsized meal for like 20pesos. I think 1 euro is around 5-6 pesos. Anyway, the Tenderloin steak was absolutely incredible, by far the best steak I've had for such a low price (even if the chef had gone a bit crazy with the black pepper can). After the meal I ended up just crashing in my bed at like 11pm, so all in all it was a pretty quiet day.
As you probably have figured out by now, I'm travelling alone. So naturally my main concern is to find some people to hang out with. It seemed a bit tricky at first because EVERYONE seems to be either an Aussie, or from New Zealand. So that's kindof a hard crowd to break into since they all know eachother. I decided to go for a bus tour around the city, to at least experience something you dont need a bunch of people to do with. The tour was pretty great, BA is really a beautiful city (its commonly referred to as the Paris of South America). You can see photos from the tour in the gallery section. Especially the Recoleta area was an experience, with huge plazas and beautiful sculptures. Ironically the poorest and probably most famous part of the city "La Boca" turned out to be a huge tourist trap, with people trying to sell you crap everywhere. And it wasnt even cheap crap!. I did however find a pretty nice shop with a friendly owner, where I got some nice souvenirs at a reasonable price. All in all it was a great experience.
At 20pm I had my big breakthrough socially. A couple came to the hostel with a basic tango lesson and suddenly all the loud male Aussies were hiding in the corners and under the couches. So the guy who had the lesson went around the lounge area looking for guys willing to embaress themseves out on the dance floor. I thought why not and managed to bring a swedish guy along as well (the guy had a really interesting story to tell, but I'll get back to that later).
Anyway, the lesson was really fun, albeit very basic. Fortunately for me, all the other guys were comlete dance-retards so it was quite a success for me, since I knew the basics steps of the tango beforehand. Brimmed with confidence I then stumbled into a group of northern Europeans which I hadn't seen before. (guys from Sweden, Norway and England plus of course an Aussie or two). We sat around having a few beers during happy hour and then decided to go see a Tango show, which was conveniently located at the restaurant right next door to our Hostel (the same restaurant I had that amazing steak the day before). It was a really fun experience, and we did obviously consume quite a number of bottles of red wine. We even managed to turn a breadstick into a wine-straw!!
After the show, and some more drinks back at the Hostel bar some of the guys wanted to go to a club or bar a couple of blocks away. I considered going along, but when we were getting directions to the club area, I heard the word "putas" once too many for my liking, so I decided to just go to bed instead. This turned out to be quite a problematic thing to do however, since it was completely impossible to get the door to our room to open. It took 3 guys and an electrician (dont ask me why they called an electrician) with a huge drill 40mins to break down some crappy old door. It wasn't all bad though, since I found a Brazilian guy who didn't mind spending a good chunk of time talking about football.
Oh and then there was that Swedish guy I mentioned. He's a 24 year old who actually just sold his apartment and ALL of his furniture and then came to BA to learn spanish. His plan (if you can call it that), is basically to master the language in 4weeks and then start travelling South America, trying to find work. That's a really fresh approach to life if you ask me.
Thanks for reading if you've gotten this far, I need to go find a MacD or a BurgerKing now!