Returning to a love...

Trip Start Apr 05, 2008
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Trip End Jul 19, 2008


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Flag of Argentina  ,
Wednesday, April 23, 2008

I am extremely excited to announce that I have finally achieved my life long ambition. No - not to win a giant toy from a skilltester machine. Rather, to appear on the big screen. Not on the small screen. Not on the silver screen. Not even on the fly screen. The big screen. You know the ones. The enormous, technological wonders lighting up stadia worldwide; the ones which generaly feature some fool jumping up and down in idiotic jubilation, celebrating the fact that he is on the big screen. Well, as kick-off approched in River Plate's Copa Libertadores match against some Peruvian team; as the fanatical Los Barrachos had the entire Estadio Monumental in deafening and raucous excitement; as the red and white confetti drifted through the thick smoke of the Buenos Aires evening, I was that fool. Indeed, it ws a moment to celebrate: a chino appearing on a big screen which, at River Plate games I've noticed, is generally reserved for hot chicks. A momentous ocassion certainly worth a lifetime's wait. Unfortunately, what I must now come to terms with is the fact that my life will never again reacdh the ecstacy of that moment. Being on the big screen at a River Plate game at the legendary El Monumental? Life definingly brilliant. Ha.

I have a confession: I only came to Buenos Aires for the football. This confession is one, of course, that I've never made to Djana. No. That would be ridiculous. Rather, when planning our itinerary, I cheekily coaxed her with quite incredible descriptions of this city such that anyone would think that it is the greatest city in the world - descriptions of its elegance, beauty, excitement, nightlife, couture, food. But now, having been in Buenos Aires for a week, my intentions have become reasonably clear. Thus, conversations such as the following:

D: Hey - I thought you said we were going to a park?
M: Yeah, I know. And we are. And what a park it is. This is the legendary La Bomboneria, home of Boca Juniors, the king of South American football, the home of Maradona, THE greatest atmosphere at any sporting arena inthe world bar none.
D: Alright. This better be good.

And how. FUcking incredible. Even more intense, crazy and absorbing than I remember. Admittedly, I have alwys been a fan of near-death crushings at the football, I am both relieved and glad to say that my girlfriend is as well...

There have been moments in our stay when I have managed to tear myself away from football´s iron grip. Recoleta´s grand cemetary, the silly colourful and lively streets of La Boca´s Caminito and the intruiging and entertaining antique markets of San Telmo have all distracted me momentarily from the football. Indeed, so has the ridiculous amount of steak. Meat. Carne. Argentina has decent food other than steak - all at what is really a pittance - such as empanadas, pasta, super panchos. But nothing in the realm of food dominates the mind and soul of the average Argentinean, and the average visitor to Argentina, like this country's slabs of beef. It's hard not to think about it when you're here. The unmistakeable aroma of charcoal BBQ meat wafts from Buenos Aires' parillas on almost every street corner, demanding your attendion, luring you in for a closer inspection despite your already overwhelmed stomach (and then there's the all you can eat, which I won't write about again). In that moment, under the spell of beef grilling, football is swept from one's mind. Momentarily only, of course, as it cannot be kept away forever, it soon returning to partner meat - the perfect marriage in any man's mind...

If there's one thing that can wrest a man's attention from meat and football, it is, of course, sex. Buenos Aires again has the answer. Is there anything in this world as sexy as the tango? Indeed, I challenge anyone to find something so. I think it unlikely. My greatest regret from my stay in Buenos Aires last time was not seeing more tango. With this regret firmly in mind, we ventured to a tango show at one of BA's oldest tango venues. My assessment? Spectaculer. Stunning. Beautiful. BUt most of all - sexy. Fucking sexy. The way the dance enhances the chemistry between the man and the woman; the seductive long steps; the pure leggy sexiness of thedance. Killing me. It is often said that tango encapsulates - is the heart and soul of - Buenos Aires. It seems true. It is almost a prevelant as meat and football. Tango oozes out of this city - through the majestic colonial buildings on Avenide 29 de Mayo; out of the moky, dimly lit bars of San Telmo; down the sidewalks of the Caminito. It is everywhere, gorgeous and sexy. Brilliant. Damn sexy brilliant...

Returning to a love is special. That is all I can say. THis city is every bit as captivating as I recall the first time, it, most of all, possessing that quality that cannot be identified. I like to call that quality 'the quality of being fucking brilliant'. It is in everything that I have mentioned in this entry and more. And it manifests itself in one's want - nay need - to indulge in Buenos Aires. To entertain it. To let one be entertained by it. The food. The dance. The football. THe nightlife. The absolutely ridiculous shopping. The beauty of the parks. Its ability to pose for photos. To reopen an old argument - is it the best city in the world? My thoughts? Maybe. Definitely Top 5.

So, to the Top 5. If you have read my entires on Buenos Aires (yes, this one and the previous ones), you may be under the impression that Buenos Aires is the perfect city - flawless, untouched. In fact, it's not exactly. Actually, there's quit a few things that could potentially lower one's (not my) opinion of Buenos Aires. Here are the top 5:

5. 1pm is designated start time for everything. Shops. Restaurants. Some museums. Pretty much anything that you want to do. Entire morning wasted. Don't bother setting your alarm...

4. Traffic of death. Cars are pretty mad. Bad for pedestrians. But fucking bad for motorcycles. The other day we saw 2 motorcycle accidents within the space of an hour. You would have thought that with that kind of danger, cyclists would wear helmets. Hmmm - not so much. Well, not on their head. Brilliant at carrying them on their elbow. Or knee...

3. No yum cha. I need yum cha. Two weeks without yum cha and I am extremely near death. I need immediate, emergency dumpling injection...

2. Piss at the football. The football is brilliant. Everything about it. Except perhaps, exiting the stadium through 7 flights of stairs urine. How? Don't know. Maybe bad plumbing. Maybe away supporters. But descending from the Boca stadium was an extremely unpleasant experience, the stairs being covered with an unpleasant human waste product. I will speak no more about it... Average.

1. Getting change. It is fucking impossible to get change. You know - 1 peso coins. Or even 25 c coins. Even more, no one is willing to part with the change that they have. I know they have it. I can see that they have it. In some instances, it isn't even theirs - it's their employers. Anyway - fucking impossible to get change. People even refuse to provide change to the extent that they are willing to turn away business in order not to part with their change. Poor business choice it would seem to me. Killing me. In my paranoia, I have been hording my coins and am now weighed down by 4 kgs in loose change...

To Iguazu! Do it...
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Comments

starlagurl
starlagurl on

You...are hilarious
and I feel bad for your friend! I'm glad though, that you got to see something OTHER than football.

Louise Brown
TravelPod Community Manager

silvajoe
silvajoe on

almost famous.......
Glad you appeared on the big screen in your favourite stadium. Seems that the S American cann't get enough of you, first in Chile,now in Argentina. Must be something to do with the football than you yourself. but can I sign up as your manager anyway? ha ha..
Traffic bad in Buenos Aires ha?! You must try Jakarta than you know what is bad traffic I know coz I've just returned from there.
Keep on writing funny blogs Mark and keep on enjoying life. Love you.

thisisthera
thisisthera on

U r so good at photography, i love that~!

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