Postcard from Abroad – Buenos Aires Argentina
David is a delightful young man with the voice of a very Mancunian, 14 year old Alan Carr. He is a firm believer that all problems can be solved with a nap and Whitney Houston’s greatest hits. Aside from using his year in Buenos Aires to become Julia Roberts in Eat Pray Love, David hopes to finally get a decent sun tan, and the 6’2″ Latino Adonis of his dreams. Improving his Spanish would be good too.
Well… it’s been a while, hasn’t it? I hope you all had a lovely festive period and Valentine’s day. I’d love to tell you all about my wonderful adventures across the vast expanse of South America but unfortunately I spent the last two months in Manchester. Sorry about that. However, I did have a joyful stint in Montpellier, during which I broke fellow blogger Hannah Lewis’s hand, but I’m sure you already know all about that.
My return to a scorching hot Buenos Aires has been a victorious one: I’ve channelled my inner island goddess at carnivals, a very close friend came to visit and I’m finally out of my overdraft (give it two weeks). My university timetable now consists of a five day weekend and my tan lines are everything. Oh, I hope Leeds is treating you all well too.
So carnival happened on an impulse two days before departure, gallivanting to two carnivals in Corrientes and Gualeguaychú. Corrientes can be found on the Eastern shore of South America’s biggest river, el Río Paraná. This involved simultaneously living, laughing and loving on beaches and being savagely eaten alive by mosquitoes. I’d like to say I took a photo to demonstrate the sheer enormity of this natural spectacle, but I didn’t. Instead, here’s me in Gualeguaychú surrounded by half-naked men.
As a fond admirer of all things extravaganza, I like to think that I flourished during both of the carnivals. I unfortunately have zero recollection of the first carnival and therefore refuse to believe that it exists, but the second one was lovely. A single negative was discovering that Argentinians enjoy foam spray during carnival, meaning that we were constantly harassed by small children scalding our eyes with the horrific substance. Blinding my already terrible eyes strongly reinforced my dislike of children.
After a wonderful weekend, being greeted by a barrage of search parties as I’d forgotten to mention to anyone in England that I was away for the weekend, my friend Euan came to visit.
I like to think that we definitely divulged in Argentina’s rich culture; such as the empanada night we had at our house. Empanadas are little pastries with a variety of fillings including beef, ham and cheese or spinach. So yeah, they’re pasties. This started as quite a civil affair which rapidly escalated into a 90’s dance party, directed by us in a desperate attempt to avoid as much Reggaeton as humanly possible. I’m sorry, it’s just terrible. Aside from empanadas, we made sure to frequent Argentina’s remarkable national dish: steak. On the final night we visited the previously mentioned Club 69 which, unknown to us, was having a BDSM night. We had fun, but I think I’ve seen enough drag queens using whips and plastic genitalia on stage for one lifetime.
In terms of daytime activities, we made sure to visit the main landmarks such as the congressional building seen above, and Plaza de Mayo, which had just days before hosted an enormous silent demonstration to mourn the incredibly controversial death of the prosecutor Alberto Nisman. Interestingly, there seemed to be no remnants of this protest which was aired live on every news channel, leaving a rather sombre tone around the city.
One of the more interesting areas of the city is La Boca, where all of the houses are brightly painted different colours; essentially it looks like Toyland from Noddy. As a hotspot for tourists, pretty much every other building is a gift shop, but the sheer charm of the buildings makes that forgivable. The abundance of tourists also means that there are tango dancers outside of every bar and restaurant serving Argentina’s cuisine, making for a quick yet enjoyable Porteño experience across a couple of small streets. And it rakes in the likes when you shove an Instagram filter over it.
So that’s it really for this time. Apologies for how long it’s been since my last post, but unless you wanted a step-by-step guide as to how I broke Hannah Lewis’s hand dancing to ABBA’s magnum opus, Dancing Queen, there isn’t really that much to say! Next time I’ll hopefully be writing about the Lollapalooza festival we’re going to later this month, and God knows what else – something will come up.
Muchos besos, and thanks for still reading!
P.S. Massive thanks to Maddy for the photo of me and my fans, it’s just a shame that some people had to get in the way of them and me.
Images courtesy of Maddy via David Robinson