Once again, we’re loving BA and are struggling to fit in everything we want to do in our final ten days here.
First up was a night at Spanglish. It’s sort of like speed dating; you speak with one or two people in Spanish for 5 minutes then switch to English, then swap tables and start all over again with different people. Thanks to our two months in Costa Rica with Maria, we did pretty well and met some really interesting people with careers that seem ideal; internet based businesses where you could be anywhere in the world. I enjoyed a very funny conversation in Spanish (with a French & Columbian guy sharing their experience of dating Argentinean women, who are wonderfully passionate but have a habit of throwing things!! Sorry Laura 😉
Speaking of Laura, we also caught up with our Spanish teacher from our first time in BA, and enjoyed a (predominantly) Spanish speaking lunch with her. We played Polo with Fernando and his horses, went to the ASW (A small World) wine tasting evening and enjoyed Quoram by Nelson wines; which I reckon tops Amon-ra!
There was the car show at Plaza Italia, right below our apartment and a culture fix at MALBA, the Buenos Aires Museum of Modern Art. We finally checked out the Floralis Generica, an enormous steel sculpture that opens and closes it’s petals to the sun and we happily wandered San Telmo’s markets on a Sunday morning. All wonderful ways to while away beautifully mild winter days in this very cool city where we’d be quite happy to live, if it weren’t for their impossibly long queues!
Their queues are quite something. Check out the photo of the bank queue where you are assigned a number and sit while you wait your turn – this length of que is perfectly normal! You’ll see it at the Post Office, Movistar to pay for mobile phone services or at any other utility company and you’ll also see it at entry, security and customs at the airport. But more on that in a later blog!
As we were staying in Palermo Soho this time we also spent more time wandering the streets of Palermo Soho, Viejo and Hollywood during the days and nights.
During the days we could appreciate the architecture and history of BA. BA is often described as the Paris of the south and you can see its past glory in the grand old buildings, well planned boulevards, great infrastructure and beautiful parks. But it has experienced great swings from prosperity to poverty and it shows.
They have beautiful heirlooms, but can’t afford to maintain a lot of it. Much of it has been knocked down for something modern and ugly or is boarded up and inhabited by squatters for the obligatory 30 years before the government will step in and take over. But for all of that, Argentineans have a lot of energy and passion that still makes this an exciting city to be in, day and night.
The nights are quite something! When we first arrived here in January, it took us a fair effort to get used dining at around 10pm, but that’s an early start here. We thought it might be different in winter but no! We arrived at one restaurant for dinner at about 8.30 and were told they were closed, come back after 9!!
In summer, they have the perfect climate for late, late nightlife; hot days that sap your energy and evenings that are mid 20’s perfection. So why not take a nap during the day and party all night? But even in winter this place only starts to stir after 10 in the morning and evenings don’t kick off until the wee hours.
Even in the cold of winter, we’ve enjoyed BA all over again. We’ve found an amazing amount of things to do, day and night, simply because there are so many more people, and people that live in the city and outside of their homes after work has finished for the day. Having said that, many of you know that we’re now in Istanbul, Turkey and that’s an amazing city too! Stay tuned.