Well, I’m headed to the airport in a bit to fly home from Argentina. It has been awesome – got a lot of work done, but played a bit too. Here are some of the more recent things that stood out (I preface this by apologizing for the more off-color observations, but those kinda stuck out):
- Last night I walked down to the swanky “Puerto Madera” (literal translation is “Big buildings that were built to extract money from people”) to check things out. At one point I was standing and looking at the “Casa Rosada,” which I was told was where the President of Argentina works, but doesn’t live. It’s a cool building. I heard a loud noise above my head and saw this HUGE WHITE HELICOPTER – my first thought was that the Pope was making a surprise visit – but that thing was so loud it sounded more like an invasion. Turned out that it was the President herself. So I got to see a bunch of people swarm around. It made me think that I totally need a white helicopter.
- I walked around the shopping district and wound up running into a huge group of protesters. I tried, but I still have no idea what they were protesting, but from the noise they were making I’m quite certain they had a strong anti-silence stance. They were pounding metal, shooting fireworks into the sky, and shouting things that no one could understand. It kinda felt like a preschool run amuck.
- After tons of walking around I picked a restaurant to drop in on. All the meals here are way later in the day, so I showed up at 8:30 PM and the place was empty – by 10 it was hoppin’. It was quite a place. How do I know this you may ask… well – there was an automated breathalyzer installed outside of the bathrooms, assumingly for the patrons to challenge each other on who was the drunkest. Another bathroom observation – the TP machine gave it out like 2 inches at a time – now that’s conservation.
- Eating by yourself you kinda get to observe and listen a bit more. At the table next to me were 9 guys of various ages. The waiter took their order and most of them ordered carbonated water to drink. That’s common here. They ask if your want water “with gas” (with carbonation) or “without gas.” (that’s the literal translation) I almost fell out of my chair laughing when the waiter returned and asked, “Ok guys, which of you has gas?” And like six of ‘em raised their hands without laughing. I love language stuff. As I signed my own bill I noticed that my soda was referred to as “gas.” So I can safely say that I was charged extra for having gas.
I’m off now to not sleep on the plane from Buenos Aires to Atlanta.