Oh Buenos Aires. How you feel like home. Have I said how much I love this city?! 😉 Cue thought to check in man’s comments ‘you will not want to overstay in Argentina’ …. and this wierd ‘mwahaahahah’ cackle like noise enters my head. Wierd.
Soooo I arrived at Buenos Aires International almost one month ago. I think as I had been here before, I was not apprehensive or worried. Calmesque was I. And it was nice and warm. Thanks BA.
I went to the overly priced taxi office and got into le cab. It was 11pm. Cue silence. No entiendo. Then I arrived back at On the Road hostel in Palermo Hollywood – where I stayed last year. The owners had changed which was a shame as one of the previous ones was dating a british girl I wanted to befriend. Never mind. I have learn that having no expectations on this trip is the key to happiness!
I then went up to the rooftop bar and ordered a vodka and coke. Good times. A guy started chatting to me and it turned out he worked in Buenos Aires but lived a bit far out of the city so stayed in the hostel a couple of nights a week. He also was a tango dancer. How cool thought I. However, bless him he did not have much enthusiasm – it was like he had the weight of the world on his shoulders to be honest. Perhaps he did. He also knew the girl that dated the previous owners and gave me her number. I just remembered this now. Oh and what was his name? Facundo! Easy peasy to remember!
That evening I also met one of my roomates and gosh what a joy she was. ‘I am not really here to make friends with english speakers – I want to make friends with spanish speakers’. ‘Alright love – mucho gusto’ was my initial thought followed with I can easillllllly not speak to you. However I was quite disheartened by the lack of chirpiness in le hostel – last time I made friends with a lovely german guy (whose name I could not remember) and Sara from Taiwan who is now living in london!
Anywayssss I was pretty tired having had little sleep partying the night before in Cancun so off I went to LaLa land.
The next morning I awoke in the form of Facundo with his bright yellow speedo like pants jumping off my top bunk in front of me. Jeeeeeez, too much, too bright. I closed my eyes quickly.
I then awoke and another guy was standing there staring at the top bunk. Jeez can a girl get NO peace or privacy?! No, it was a 5 person dorm.
His name was Rahul and he was to become the bane of my initial weeks in Buenos Aires. Hahaha, only kidding – he became a friend of mine and I miss him not being here. Even though he was a tad annoying and a pervert. He will literally kill me for saying this – or sue me (American). I guess I had better retract that statement- he is not really a pervert. Ahem. Moving on.
As well as getting attcked my mozzies on my first night whilst I blissfully drinking my vodka and coke, it turned out that something else had bitten me in Mexico – just before I left – gracias Mexico. So my svelte ankle was slowing getting swollen and purple. It had been a bit painful on the flight but I WAS TOO EXCITED TO THINK about it.
So I limped around the city with Rahul when eventually he said ‘er you should probably get some treatment from the pharmacy for that.. I didnt wanna say but…..it looks pretty bad’. So off we went as it had sort of transformed into three islands of purple and a rash like thing spreading up and down my leg. Very sexy.
‘Ooooooohhhhhh!! That is ugly’ said the kind pharmacy man. Si. Ugly. You need to see a doctor was his main concern but ah that seemed like too much effort for me. Ha – if it aint on my face – I aint interested seems to be my mentality. So he gave me some antihistamines and another ‘please see the doctor’ warning before I limped out.
The next day, the antihistamines hadnt done much but I soldiered on as we did a free city tour (it was the same tour/woman as James and I had last year – I had pretty much summarised the tour for Rahul but he still seemed enthusiastic). Its a good tour http://www.bafreetour.com/english-home for your information and I would whole heartedly recommend for when you come to visit me when I move here 😉 Hahaha. Kidding. But you should do this when you are here.
After the tour, a visit to la hospital was made – private may I add and suprisingly not that expensive – and the doctor inspected, frowned a lot, called her superior in to stare at it and then they confirmed that I had been bitten by a poisonous spider. There was two puncture marks about 5cm apart. See above picture.
Now as we know, I am not one to question a doctor’s knowledge (ahem) but seriously?! A big spider bit me?! Jeez. So extra strong medication was given to me – one set every 6 hours and another set once at night. Plus some strong antihistamines. There is a saying that my nan used to say ‘turn me upside down and shake me – Ill rattle’ ( from all the pills she had to take – in case that wasnt clear!). This is how I felt at this moment. She then also said ‘You need to come back tomorrow for us to monitor the bite area’ as it was getting darker daily. She explained that the skin may go black and die!!! Gross. But on a positive note, it would grow again. Joy. The doctor then got up and kissed me on the cheek! ‘Oh my god – she thinks I am gonna die from this bite and she is kissing me goodbye’ was my initial reaction. Then confusion at how the medical profession appear to interact with their paitents on this side of the world.
The next day – it seemed better already! I mean – it had not gone black and died! Whoooo hooooo tablatos! I didnt really want to go back to the hospital – it was far… But a guy at the hostel Nigel accompanied me so I figured I might as well.
It was a different doctor this time and she inspected it but couldnt really say whether it was getting better or not. Luckily I showed her the many photos I had taken to send to my nearest and dearest – and she agreed it was getting better and to continue taking my medication.
The kind pharmacy man had confimed that I could drink alcohol with this medication so on arrival to the hostel – fernet and coke (the main drink here in Argentina which alot of tourist dont like strangely but I love!) I hit it hard. It was 6pm. By 12pm I was a bit like ‘yawn’ but nooooooooooo the night doesnt get started until 2am (bars) and 4am for the clubs. Hmmm.
I tried. I tried so hard but as Nigel insistently tried to buddy up with Rahool and everyone was flirting with each other, it was time for me to call it a night. Plus I was moving to my apartmento the next day. Double Plus I was meeting up with Facundo no 1 (from last year) as he took me out with and his friends for a boat ride in the Tigre. 🙂
So the next day I needed to move – which was literally down the road from the hostel and I met Jose – one part of my housemates. Part 2 Quincy was out working. They are both sooo nice and chilled – there are no rules or requirements etc! More about them later. The apartment was lovely.
So in order to meet Facundo – I needed to venture onto the subte (underground to us) and then walk about 20 mins to an overground station which would take me to the station I needed to go to – San Fernando. Terrified? A bit. Especially as I had no map. Or internet. But I managed to navigate myself and yay I met up with Facundooooo. He took me to his house where he was having bbq with his friends. ALL SEMI NAKED ARGENTINE MEN.
Now had I not been so overwhelmed by the situation (and been drunk) I would probably asked if I could take a selfie with them all – that would be the BEST selfie ever – except perhaps one with a Llama. But darn it I forgot. If i see them again I will definitely do this! Hhaha. Just so you ladies can see what I am talking about! People always look better with a tan…. Althou Obvs Facundo is my favorite one.
So after having an asado, we then drove to his friends boat and OMG visited his girlfriends house (not Facundo’s girlfriend but his friends girlfriend). It was gorrrrrrrrgeous, soooooo grande. Like being back in London by Richmond or Hampton Court! Anyway cue jaw dropping scenery and more people joined us. Howeverrrrrrr they did not speak English at alllll! Like my no espanol. It was sooo wierd being stuck on a boat not knowing what an earth was being said around me. So what was one to do? Get drunk on fernet obvs.
Hours later and it was sunset time.
Then suddenly there appeared to be an issue as the spanish voices rose. ‘They have lost the keys for the boat’ someone kindly explained. Cue hot men jumping into the Tigre to find the keys…. An hour later nada. Now this was my first insight into Argentine culture as everyone laughed and seemed very chilled about this fact. No worries. They werent even bothered about the fact that the keys had been accidently thrown in the river. They will try to start the engine themselves was one of the few English sentences spoken to me. Ah thats ok then as it got darker and darker. However their calmness did make me feel calm. Ish. As I glugged quickly on my remaining fernet. Two of them remained in the water drinking and singing (in espanol obvs) whilst the others tried to start the motor with a piece of rope. It was one of those ‘is this really happening moments?!’.
Cue hours later and it is 11pm!!! The engine wont start (darned ropa) and Facundo’s dad is on his way. With the water police to help. Wonderful. We are all a bit cold and the alcohol has worn off for some of us.
An hour later we are back on land having been towed back. What an adventure 🙂 The mood had gone a bit quiet after this. Although not for Facundo, his friend (who I love as he was sooooo nice and tried to speak in English to me as mucho as possible) and I and we went to another friends house for a bbq. Muchos amigos. Another asado 🙂 all I remember about this party was that I was the only female and there were lots of questions about life in the UK which i cant really remember now. But theY were all so nice and friendly – as are most of the people here. And mmmm asado….
We then went to another party?! I know right?! (4am) and by this point i was shattered. I think it had been a long day of an overwhelming amount of spanish, fernet, strandedness, the realisation I was alone in BA and at a house party without my friends to get drunk with. Also there were a couple of girls there that seemed a tad bitchy to me. Maybe they were not I dont know. No me gusta mucho.
So I was in a bit of a bad mood at this point. Poor Facundo.
I then returned to my apartmento which was lovely and relaxing. Cue mucho momentos on the balcony drinking fernet.
The next day Rahul and I then went to a steak restaurant called Don Julio. Cue beautiful steak…. Cue heart attack prices. More my double vodka and cokes. BUT yum. Its so popular there is always a mass of personas waiting outside but they give you a free glass of bubbly while you wait so not so bad 🙂
We also walked around the city mooorrre and I introduced Rahul to the Recoletta cemetary which I love. I blame my best friend Hannah for this as when I lived with her my bedroom overlooked a graveyard so I associate such happy and comforting memories?! Anyways.. They do a free english tour there a couple of days a week to explain about the different cypts and personas there which I will go on and report back before I leave. Sob. Sorry back to le blog.
We also popped to Cafe Tortoni one of the oldest cafes in Buenos Aires. It is sooooo vintage in there – like an old theatre.
The tour guide had mentioned that it sold an awesome hot drink called the submarine. She had mentioned this on my last visit uno anos ago so in my head I have been wanting this drink for one year! It was worth the wait 🙂 you basically dip a chocolate bar into hot milk and voila you have a hot choco dream.
I think my smile says it all.
Next up… More walking and ahem cocktails in Puerto Madero. It seems all I do is walk, eat, drink and sleep! But what a great city to do it in.
So that was my first week in Buenos Aires.
Next up… The start of my painful spanish lessons and settling into life in Buenos Aires…..