Last Stop, Buenos Aires, Argentina III
And this is as far as I made it. Coming from Chui at the border with Brazil (12) through Uruguay, to Montevideo, Colonia Del Sacramento, and the night ferry into Buenos Aires, Argentina for my first flight of the journey home through Sao Paolo.
Buenos Aires has been there for me three times, even if it was smoking a cigarette, less than delighted to see me, and just about to close the door on me. But in fairness, I didn't give it much of a chance.
Returning tonight however, it was like coming home somehow. The last stop before Europe in my mind.
It is a big bad nasty beautiful elegant place. I would come back, and spend a proper week or two here, had I the luxury and the money, exploring the Barrios, and the nightlife proper. The market in San Telmo on a Saturday morning I believe is a sight to behold, a friend tells me.
I wander out for a bite to eat before bed, and happen upon a local pizzeria. A slice with Spinaca please. So wrong and yet so right. The spinach is earthy and succulent, the cheese tangy and nutty. I want more and cross the road to another place, slightly more glitzy, with more space. It's an Italian joint. The lads are typical Italians, but they are speaking Portegno Castellan. There is no mistaking their cultural heritage, it's all impatient shouting of the orders and drama getting the food to the tables whereupon there is profuse apology, and wiping of brows. The long suffering head waiter, Mario, all his working life on the floor most likely, is a cousin of the man on the door, the boss, el chefe, Emporio Armani tints, with a tight red tshirt, pencil jeans, and flash pointy numbers for steps, he's the great co-ordinator, all he's missing are the general's shoulder stripes. He smiles genuinely at the customers coming and going through the front door, with the pizzazz of the charismatic leader of this establishment that he is.
And the rest they are all talking to each other, with the upward air pinch, you know the one that says "What the fu*k do you want Sylvio? Can't you see that I'm going as fast as I can, and I have 11 tables to serve before I get to you.... Anyway what are you doing working here, you just put stuff in the oven and take it out when it's burned, and wear a stoopid hat, any clown can do that...." All of that of course while clearing a few tables and taking new orders.
My hostel for my last night on the continent is Hostel Suites Obelisco, just up the street from this:
It is the noisiest hostel so far, and I actually cannot believe the noise. My trustee earplugs come in handy though, and I have my best night's sleep so far. The staff are world weary and bleary eyed behind the front desk, the Brazilian breakfast staff are the complete opposite, dressed like it's Rio, laughing like it's Christmas, helpful to a fault. Breakfast the next morning is a very relaxed affair, (the smooth sounds of Jack Johnson and John Mayer among others) and there's generous helpings of a slightly better than average morning fare (it certainly makes a change, from the night before, with a few groups screaming their heads off).
So my decision to have a room to myself for my last night, was for all intents and purposes, superfluous. But reaching the fanlight over the door by piling my bedroom furniture one on top of another, I was able to jam it shut and drown out the sounds of the drunken screams.
This AR$400 is €40. I am not rich. Good night Buenos Aires, and buena suerte (good luck) until we meet again.