Friday, December 15, 2006

Buenos Aires in a few words

First impression of Buenos Aires

- man, is this place huge!
- when will i be injured by a motorcycle or bus or car or taxi or cyclist?
- what's with the heat?
- how can i possibly get by in a city of 13 million where no one seems to know english and we can only "hablo en poco castellano"?

After a few hours these questions seem to sort themselves out, as we have now ordered food in a variety of restaurants and bars, taken el subte - subway - and made it through customs, taxis, buses and grocery stores. It's all good here. You cross streets when others do regardless of the lights, the heat is less extreme the more you sleep in it, and it's actually not that big (haha) when you walk and take el subte.

Specifically, tho, we've noticed a lot while wandering the cracked tiles they call sidewalks in B.A.

Bus Decoration
Unlike any public transport we have ever seen, each and every bus route - and there are hundreds and hundreds - have their own specifically painted - and themed - buses. Certain silver statues on the bumpers, curtains on the front windows, stylized drawings and words on the side, the colour of the bus itself, all painted permanently to identify the bus. Very cool! Getting from one end of the city to the other is another story - you'll have to see the guide to believe it. I think HotWheels may have a future here.

Federal Policia Argentina
They are everywhere, standing on beat on corners, smoking, eating empanandas and taking their own cars! and the subway! to get around. They also have huge "tank-like" vehicles that sit with officers sleeping inside while any variety of protest, or street party, goes on. Generally, they are ready for anything, at any time, and erect barricades almost randomly within the microcentre of B.A.

Lemon Popsicles
The best way to beat the heat, other than a $2.50 liter of Heineken. Why we have never had these before...who knows?

Miscellaneous dripping liquids
Ok, we know it is water, but because most of the buildings are very old and have balconies above, filled with plants, it is quite common to feel a drip or two every block you go. Sidewalks are narrow and frequently treacherous with missing tiles, so avoidance is not possible. Besides, it's just water...right?


Evy Hoge said...

Hi Guys - your journey sounds great, welcome to the southern hemisphere! I might try some lemon popsicles myself, I'm quietly sizzling - its going to be about 38C today.. but you get used to it and the evenings are wonderful.
Enjoy all your experiences, and have heaps of fun over xmas and new year, cheers!
Evy and Ivan

Robert said...

you're missing 110km/hr wind storms in Van. lucky perros. mmmm to the lemon popsicles. i've already started selling tickets to you tango demo upon your return.
ole, jos

Gerry said...

Hey D & S!

Good idea with the blog! Glad to hear your figuring things out down there. Yeah, another wind storm here Thursday night; hopefully that will be it. Your building is still standing, and the critter sure gets friendly when you're not there! And remember, A donde fueres haz lo que vieres.

Marilyn & Wayne said...

Love the blog idea! Hello D & S. glad you survived the flight. Wayne is impressed with the $2.50 Heineken, and would probably skip the lemom popsicles. Can't imagine a city of 13 million! Keep avoiding those motorcyles, we want you home in one piece (each).
We will be watching for updates and will let you know when Chelsea delivers!! With Vancouver's rain comes Calgary's chinooks... our snow is almost gone, will be a brown Christmas.
Enjoy the heat! and the tango, too!
lots of love, Mom and Dad

Eryn said...

Hi Sandra!! I miss you, wanted to wish you an early happy solstice! Thanks for the blog updates.

Love you lots!

Mel said...

Hey Sandra and Dave! I am glad to hear that you are having a good time! I have been printing all e-mail you send out for Mom and Dad...they miss you. We are all going to miss you over the holidays! Even the dogs... Thoes Lemon Popcicles sound scrumptious... Looking forward to hearing all bout your trip, and seeing all of the fabulous pictures! Enjoy the weather...we are getting more's nice...not too cold...yet... Anyway...have a Wonderful Today!

Love your middle sister...

Dave & Sandra said... nice to hear your "voices"! We would try to bring some of those popsicles home, but, ah, well you know...
Love y´all!