Saturday, February 14, 2009

Buenos Aires, part I

We arrived after an uneventful, but exhausting flight from Atlanta to Buenos Aires. Instantly assuming cheap-bastard mode, we noted that a shuttle bus to the centro would set us back US$15 per person, whereas an adventure by municipal bus would cost us only 60 cents. After a nearly two-hour tour of the outskirts of Buenos Aires, we finally arrived at the hostel, pleased with our ingenuity and thrift, and nearly hallucinating due to jetlag and sleep deprivation. Fortunately, the hostel came with beds for sleeping, which we did.

Later that day, we ventured out for a walk. We passed by the Plaza San Martin.

Many Argentine flags, taken from the plaza de mayo. This plaza was made famous by the mothers of the desaparecidos who continue to march with photos of their lost sons, daughters and husbands. There was also a small demonstration about the Falkland Islands, which a vocal subset of Argentinians still see as part of their homeland.

We visited the cemetary in Recoleta. There´s no more room there now, but for many years members of high society were enterred there. It´s like a miniture city, with wider avenues in places as well as smaller "side streets." A small contigency of cats keep company with the dead.

Later that day we visited Palermo, which has a botanical garden (also replete with cats!) It was a very pleasant place to lounge. I had asked Erin if she thought that anyone ever brought food for the cats, since we had seen people feeding the hordes of diseased pidgeons in the plazas and it seemed unfair that the healthy-looking cats should go without. No sooner had the words escaped when I saw a couple of women with bags of cat food and a cloud of cats. They turned out to be ex-pat Americans living in Buenos Aires.
Later that night we made a grave error. As most know, Argentina is famous for its beef. You can visit a parrilla and eat a dangerous amount of beef for US$7-8. We knew that we had to visit one eventually if we were to have said to have been to Argentina. We went out at a appropriately slovenly hour with no specific plans to subject ourselves to beef poisoning that night. However, we settled on a restaurant with a very reasonable parrillada and next thing we knew, this pile of flesh was before us. Don't get me wrong; it was delicious. It sat, however like so many kilos of delicious, grilled lead in the stomach for 12-18 hours afterwards. And we didn't even come close to finishing the whole mountain.


  1. I bet you know what moms reaction to this is, lol :D

  2. Yes Andrew, your Mother does think that your over indulgence of meat and resulting meat poisoning was only to be expected. I guess that I am not surprised - but I am still slightly horrified. You need to go through meat detoxification.

    I really liked the Recoleta Cemetery cat images. The cats actually look fairly healthy and rather well fed.

  3. We later found out that the veterinary students in Buenos Aires insure that the resident cats receive their vaccinations and there is some effort to feed them regularly. It looks like the main problem is that people will try to abandon their pets at the park or the cemetary. As for the meat, you gotta try it at least once, we figured. We have subsequently stayed with pizzas (good, and cheap) and salad.

  4. Wow...I loved the pictures that you posted. It helped to complete you story! We miss you Erin at GHC!

  5. Erin, I want to see a picture of you, want to make sure I actually finally got on your blog. GHC had it blocked!!! Irene