Trip Start Feb 03, 2010
Trip End Ongoing

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Where I stayed
Hostal Sudamerika

Flag of Argentina  , Capital Federal District,
Monday, February 22, 2010

Though the plane ride was 12 hours it passed rather quickly. Having slept little on Saturday night I was able to doze off pretty easily--I think I was awake for only 3 hours of the ride. I spent those three hours doing sudoko, finishing "Born to Run" by Christopher MacDouglas (more on that later) and chatting a bit with the girl next to me. I found out she was a 17 year old Portena (resident of buenos aires) who was returning home. Her parents were somewhere on the plane. She said she goes out to boliches (clubs) with her parents sometimes. She was clearly too young for me from first glance, but when I saw she was reading Lauren Conrad's biography I knew we wouldn't have too much to talk about so I focused more on my book than her.

I was irrationally worried that customs/immigration wouldn't let me in. As it turns out it wasn't difficult at all, what they really wanted was the $130 reciprocity fee that they charge all Americans. Once that was paid I was in. I was kind of hoping for a Eureka! moment upon arriving but it was raining pretty heavily. So much so that airport workers with giant brooms were pushing water off walkways. I found the bus company my guide book recommended and they bussed me into the city and then dropped me off at my hostel fairly quickly. I wanted to spend a few nights in the hostel meeting people while looking for my own place during the day. Millhouse, the one that had been recommended was fully booked--call an audible, another one next door, and for 40 pesos ($10) I had myself a shared room. I got to talking to another hostel resident who had just arrived and we set out to find something to eat. Gabriel was an architect from Wisconsin who decided to travel in South America for 2 months after getting laid off--he had been all over Chile and Southern Argentina and was just getting into BA too. We sat outside and chowed down w/ some beers and got to talking with the two girls next to us, Germans who had been in BA for a few nights. The sky opened up and the rain really started pouring so we sat for an hour or two comparing travel notes and watching people get caught in the rain. It's already obvious how easy it is to meet people.

 The rain let up and I stumbled around the city for a bit. I eventually got in touch w/ Marissa, my American friend and Lucas, my Argentine friend and met up with them for a few drinks. We caught up, talked about the city, and enjoyed some Quilmes, the most common beer here. Afterwards Lucas and I went to a somewhat fancy dinner w/ a few of his Argentine friends--all you can eat sushi in Puerto Madero. Apparently at the restaurant were both the chief justice of the Argentine Supreme Court (dressed in a white tee and jeans and joined by a petite blond) and a famous journalist whose faced had been, uh, altered. The sushi was very good, same with the wine, and with tip the price ended up only about $30/person--very expensive for BA but it was a nice restaurant. My spanish tongue is still in good form due to using it at work for the past 18 months, but my ear was still adjusting to argentine Spanish. That and all the guys knew each other so I didn't catch all the slang. Dinner went pretty late--I got back to the hotel and after a beer with a couple other travelers I decided I had had quite a full day and could call it a night. I fell asleep very quickly, still pinching myself to remember I was a half world away from where I had woken up that morning. 
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