One day in Argentina

Here is a photo montage of one day in Argentina, specifically yesterday. There was just something about the way that events unfolded that perfectly encapsulates Buenos Aires. Some of the good, some of the bad, and a lot that didn't make complete sense.

Yerba Mate in argentinaDrink Yerba Mate:

For a caffeine injection to start the day, there is no better potion than yerba mate. This stimulant is a great hangover cure and an antioxidant too.

Argentine food:

Another hangover cure from drinking too many Fernet and Cokes the night before is a tortilla (greasy omelette). Try to eat it before it is attacked by your fat Argentine cat.

Plaza Dorrego Buenos AiresCafé y medialunas:

When your group of friends go AWOL or bail in true Argentinian fashion, I normally go to for coffee and croissants and watch the world go by in Plaza Dorrego.

Buenos Aires street art - graffittiBuenos Aires street art:

En route to Palermo, we see some amazing street art. Lots of people are painting murals, asking questions and generally getting involved. Street art here is much more celebrated and open, even the hastily scrawled graffiti messages generally have some interesting political message.

Buenos Aires Hippodromo - horse racing
Go to the races:

The Horse races here were a little odd. There are 17 races in about 9 hours although all of the races started 30 minutes late.

It is not really the sport of Kings for the posh brigade nor was it the gamblers paradise I had expected. The crowd was generally a bit older, although those that weren't greying around the edges were mostly chowing down on popcorn and trying to pet the horses.

One of the highlights from the programme was finding a stable advertising their prize horse 'Van Nistelrooy'. You have to feel sorry for the animal to be compared to such a long faced ugly man.

argentine choripan - traditional argentine food
Eat a choripan:

Getting hungry I plumped for a traditional chorizo sandwich. Whilst it was tasty, the meal ultimately ended in disaster when my friend Alex accidentally squirted half a bottle of chimmi churri spraying my trousers from top to bottom.

chimmi churri problemsAdded to the fact that I smelled like a BBQ all day, a child then stole my chips from the table. The 'hamburglar's son' used cat like stealth to sneak up and grab a handful of papas fritas when I wasn't looking. By the time his angry mother caught him and tried to make him put them back, I didn't care because I was laughing so much. Yet another thing that summed up the Argentinian mindset. Want = take!

Buenos Aires Hippodromo - horse racingThe marching band almost ended in calamity when a horse carrying a man with a glockenspeil went crazy and started spinning around in circles.

They played an ear splittingly awful version of the national anthem which was enjoyed by no-one. Some other bloke then went onto the racetrack with a bandoneon (similar to an accordion) and played an old Tango song, which went down a storm.

Incidentally, the Gran nacional itself was a calamity as the winning horse was disqualified for slightly straying outside its lane. Essentially someone didn't want it to win, so they just changed the result. No one really knew what was going on and I'm pretty sure I heard more cursing than cheering. My horse El Oso (the bear) looked like it was still hibernating when the gates opened and even with a roaring finish, it couldn't do better than 3rd.

MALBA museum Buenos Aires - noche de los museosVisit a museum:

After the races we went to the excellent MALBA museum, for 'the night of the museums'.

MALBA museum Buenos Aires - noche de los museos Don't worry, it had nothing to do with the awful film about Ben Stiller going to a museum after dark. It is an event once a year, where all museums are open all night and are free. There are also lots of workshops, performances and general cultural stuff that goes on. With Creamfields (a big dance festival) on, many of Buenos Aires undesirables were raving away in a field outside the city, so kids, parents, couples, friends and everyone else were out in force. It was nice to be able to walk the streets in what felt like complete safety with thousands of other people for once.
MALBA museum Buenos Aires - noche de los museosTechnically there is never a worse time to go to a museum. There are huge queues outside all of them, they are busy and noisy, and most museums are free all of the time anyway.

MALBA museum Buenos Aires - noche de los museos An interesting picture . . . by me.

MALBA museum Buenos Aires Stripy head man was part of the main exhibition on 3D colours and moving pictures by Carlos Diaz. He was oblivious.

MALBA museum Buenos Aires - noche de los museos The benches had spaghetti like twisting wood going all over the building. V cool.
After the museum, we tried to get a taxi to town which was partially closed for all of the street performances and museum nights. "Plaza de Mayo please" . . . . "No", "What? why not? can we go close?" . . . . "No, go to another street and take another taxi".

Thanks. You can always rely on Taxistas to be total douchebags.

Buenos Aires fireworks When we wernt into town there were fireworks BANG (scared you), 

Tango in Buenos Airesand people  dancing tango of course
and a band playing a drumming concert on empty water cooler bottles. The power went out halfway through which made everyone clap and go crazy whilst the band redoubled their efforts. It must have been thirsty work.

Colegio Nacional Buenos Aires

See the amazing school, the Colegio Nacional Buenos Aires:

After this we met up with a friend who showed us around her old grammar school, the newly refurbished famous colegio nacional. She excitedly ran around introducing us to her whole family, her old teachers, her friends whilst reminiscing out loud about every aspect of school life. It was an amazing place (this was the library), with huge rooms, courtyards, iron desks, crazy science experiments in every room, a massive church, and secret tunnels into the presidential palace. Another reason to hate Harry Potter, is that any amazing old educational institution such as this can only be describes now as similar to 'Hogwarts'.

My favourite thing in the school among all of the antique books, bronze busts, scrolls and marble plinths was predictably something stupid. This picture :)

After the school tour, we walked to Plaza Dorrego again for some typically Argentine bad service and overpriced beer. There were about 5 bands all competing for airspace in the square, playing everything from Jimi Hendrix, to tribal drumming, Pink Floyd, to Spanish guitar and tango. Aurally confusing.
After that we went to a bar to play pool on a chalk board based 'winner plays the challenger system'. It is a nice way to meet people and chat away with them.
So the day finished on a good note with me having experienced a lot of what Buenos Aires has to offer.