Busy, bustling and frenetic - and that was just the dude who tried to bundle me into an illegal cab when we got out of Buenos Aires arrivals. Just shy of 12 hours after leaving Madrid, having bounced through some MAJOR, and I mean MAJOR, turbulence over Uruguay, the pilot wrestled our plane down to an ovation from the passengers. (Before I continue and forget, I must rally everybody - do not ever ever ever put yourself through the torture and pain that is watching Doolittle 4... Iberia is not BA, and as such there are no personal tv´s, just main ones for everybody; result, hideous twee movies.)
Winding through the grid layout of Argentina´s capital to the hostel, you could really see the results of the economic rollercoaster which Argentina has ridden. There´s rubbish absolutely everywhere, bin bags piled up 6, 7, 8 feet in every shop doorway, tramps rifling through it all at every opportunity - after I checked in I went for a wander, and literally within 5 minutes I´d lost count of the number of shadowy shivering shapes huddled underneath filthy blankets. On the face of it, it feels well dodgy, like you really should not be walking these streets on your own. The wind is blowing, street lights are dim if existent, there´s dirty cardboard and paper and life´s detritus lapping at your trainers as you´re striding (trying to portray the confidence of somebody who knows where they´re headed), and in every shop doorway there´s a mumbling muttering tramp eyeing you suspiciously - but it´s fine. Turning a corner, you suddenly come across a dead nice restaurant, next door to that a bar, next door to that a posh-looking hotel, then you realise - it just all fits together. Poverty and wealth, hand in hand, grudgingly accepting one another.
So that was last night. Ended up in a traditional Argentinian taverna, The Kilkenny, drinking Guinness; it seems the world´s thirst for all things Irish stretches far and wide. This morning I´m kipped, showered, fed and watered, and ready to check this weird and wonderful place out. Armed with a camera, shades, phrasebook and the enthusiasm if not the skill of someone who wants to learn Spanish, let´s go take a goosy. My mind is already turning to the beers and steak which will inevitably pass my lips later - let you know avid readers x