Friday, April 27, 2012

Wednesday Morning in Buenos Aires

Knowing the afternoon and evening was going to involve hours of standing around waiting and that we would be sitting all night, we decided the best thing to do Wednesday morning was walk. 

We walked in the direction of La Boca, crossing the Puente de la Mujer along the way.

 All the cross streets in this part of town are named for women who have been influential in the history of Buenos Aires and Argentina.  Not only do Los Portenos of Buenos Aires name their important streets for women, the people of Argentina are proud of the woman they elected to serve as president.  Although we sensed considerable dissatisfaction with the government in general, Cristina Fernandez continues to enjoy relatively high ratings despite the troubled Argentina economy.

Back to the canal and its bridges:  I took these pictures to show how the bridges across the canal operate.  

Puente de la Mujer is a bit different, but the principle is still the same.

We walked until we came to a freeway that was not designed to be pedestrian friendly at all.  We hailed a cab and it turned out to be a very good idea.  Obviously, it was a lot farther to Caminito than I had thought.

The cloudy sky made the colors pop so much more brightly than on my first visit.  Love those colors!!!!

Time for lunch!  It had to be traditional Caminito fare.  In spite of the fact that tourists are fed a steady diet of beef, most Argentinians eat very little meat.  Like poor people everywhere, meat is shredded, chopped, and mixed with all sorts of grocery items to make a little go a long way.  A favorite method of presentation is the empanada.  Much like the Mexican empanada, it is a filled pastry.  Unlike Mexican empanadas, it often contains at least a bit of meat.  

We treated ourselves to three different types and washed it down with cold white wine.  Dessert?  I distinctly remember that we had dessert, but I don't remember what it was.  Too much wine?  Perhaps.  However, I think it had more to do with the tango dancing.  

This presentation was not nearly as polished as the one on Saturday night, but it was a bit naughtier and looked much more authentic in a gritty kind of way.  Best of all . . . they let me take pictures.  It wasn't easy; those guys move fast.  Or perhaps it's more accurate to say that have fast moves.

I was surprised to learn that Italian immigrants invented the tango in Buenos Aires bordellos.  As we watched these two couples, it was easy to imagine a late night brothel scene in the 1800's.    I think every one's temperature went up a bit just watching. 

The dancers, two vocalists, our waiter, and us!  What a great way to say good-by to a European city where everyone spoke Spanish.  We had a great time!
Just a word about the flight home.  Determined to be on the Wednesday night flight, we arrived at the airport HOURS early.  We made up a list so the first to arrive would be the first served.  Sometimes you have to take justice in your own hands.  By the time the airline staff showed up, we were an organized bunch of stand-bys.  The staff knew we were on the edge of armed rebellion.  Not trusting them any farther than we could throw them, we held onto the list and as each stand-byer approached the desk he/she passed the list to the person whose name appeared next.

The next morning in Mexico City, we were faced with the same issue.  We did not arrive in Monterrey until about 4:30 in the afternoon.  

Here's the deal:  If I ever consider flying stand-by again, I beg of my friends and family:  STOP ME!

Meanwhile, don't cry for me, Argentina.  I'll be back!