Hostel living is better than I expected - I say at destination one. Sure I haven't had a proper nights sleep due to the humidity, noise, creaky beds and fear of falling out of bed - I'm on the top bunk with no barrier!! Eeek! But this is not bothering me at all...yet. I had hostel coffee the other morning and it was actually decent for instant coffee, or maybe I'm just really caffeine deprived. Regardless yay to "free" caffeine.
I love Buenos Aires. It's a truly beautiful city. The weather is close to perfect. It's sunny and humid everyday, leaving me free to walk everywhere soaking up the rays (tan me please!!). For a more expensive South American city, I'm finding the cost of living super cheap. I've been walking everywhere because I need to get fit (for a cheeky 4 day trek in a months time). But actually I'm really enjoying it. It's the best way to see the city. At every turn there's another sight, beautiful and old to wonder at.
The people of BA live on a strange (to me) time circuit. Dinner is served at 10-11pm. Clubs open at 10pm but don't really heat up until 2am. It's perfectly normal to see very young children out and about late at night. It's interesting. But then the other night, very awake (the price of an accidental 2 hour nap) I decided a walk would be nice. So at the early hour (in BA standards) of 12.30am, I went out for a cheeky stroll. Why not?!
Yesterday I went on a walking tour. It stated in San Telmo which was picturesque, like a little village within this big city. I saw a English bookshop (hurrah) but alas it was shut. Hopefully I can get there before I leave BA, and take a 5 hours+ bus ride, currently with no reading material. I saw Eva Perón's crypt at this crazy beautiful cemetery. I saw lots of beautiful places and got caught in a rainstorm with no umbrella...twice. Oops! My favourite place was El Anteneo which is a bookshop in this beautiful old theatre. I guesstimate that I walked about 9km yesterday. No wonder I wanted to cut my feet off at about 2pm. Doesn't bode well for my upcoming hike but then again I won't be wearing sandals for said hike. I made my first indulgent purchase of the trip. The first money not spent on food, accommodation, transport or tourist activities. I bought a pair of earrings to wear last night costing me an astounding total of $6. Whoa, splashing out!
New Years Eve is funny in BA. Being the height of summer a lot of the locals escape to nicer pastures so it was pretty quiet last night. Someone told me about a black & white masquerade NYE party in Palermo. It was less interesting that it sounds and wrapped up just after 1. Tame. I'd heard getting a taxi on NYE was next to impossible and this proved to be true. So after the party wrapped up I had an hour and a quarter walk back to the hostel. Just what one wishes to do at 1am on NYE.
The challenges of not speaking the language are already getting to me. I can say only the most basic things. I am like a toddler learning to talk. So far I'm cool with numbers 1-13, greetings, introducing myself, days of the week and the word for cheese. "No hablo castellano" is my mantra. It might be time to invest in some Spanish lessons.
Things I forgot...
1. Shampoo and conditioner.
3. A basic knowledge of the Spanish language.