Tango and Pickpockets in Buenos Aires
09.04.2010 - 13.04.2010 20 °C
Well we managed to get robbed virtually as soon as we set foot on South American soil - Sophie's wallet got pickpocketed between getting out of our taxi from the airport and into our hostel (about 10 metres down the road). Unfortunately we would have looked like easy targets, distracted by struggling with all our luggage and looking for the hostel, as well as disorientated and hideously jetlagged from having not slept or eaten properly for two 12 hour flights back to back. (The airline food was absolutely disgusting - don't choose United Airlines - bad luck we had them for both flights). Bit of a culture shock to go from a country where you can leave your laptop lying around in public and have it returned to you, to somewhere you get you wallet taken out of your bag as soon as you arrive, but this has been a wake up call to us to switch on 'streetwise mode'.
Also, our second flight was delayed (with us sat in the plane on the runway) for two hours, due to an electrical fault which needed engineers to come on board and see whether it was fixable (not v reassuring for any of us, especially Naomi, who's scared of flying). Then the transport we had booked to meet us in Buenos Aires was nowhere to be found by the time we arrived. I found my conditioner had exploded all over the contents of my wash bag, and also that I had a top bunk with no sides on it, so had to strap myself to the mattress by tucking the blanket tightly under it to avoid rolling out...
Further Buenos Aires negativity was caused by a hair-straightener disaster of epic proportions (girls reading this will understand): Sophie brought a brand new pair of GHDs with her which all 3 of us have been using on a daily basis to ensure we hang onto at least some dignity in our personal appearance (if we haven't got clean clothes on or any make-up, at least our hair looks presentable). Well the beloved hair-straighteners had a smoking and crackling incident before totally, irrepairably dying!! Shit! Well it must be said that Sophie found this more distressing a loss than her wallet and all it's contents, which she coped very well with. Naomi is coming to terms with the fact that she will now be accompanied by 2 'poodles' (me and Sophie with fluffy, au naturel hair) until we either find a fixing place or buy a new pair (harder than it sounds). Devastating news.
I must balance this by saying we had some good experiences in BA, including a lovely evening at a tango show - we had a delicious 3 course meal whilst watching a tango dance performance by several couples, with live music and gaucho lassoo demonstration in the middle (bit random).
We also visited the Eva Peron (Evita) Museum, which proved a lot more interesting than I anticipated and was really glad I went. I hardly knew anything about her before so it was very educational. And joy of joys! - I stumbled across some Che Guevara sellotape (of all things) in the Evita gift shop! I couldn't resist buying it, although I'm not sure what I'll tape up with that iconic picture of his face. Pretty chuffed with my Che find, we had a delicious lunch and then got very wet on the way back to the hostel (heavy downpour = Matty-Mac's first outing in Argentina).