Soccer & the crazy drunk Irishmen
On Sunday night we went with some others from the hostel to watch a soccer game San Lorenzo vs River Plate. We thought that the soccer match would be the entertainment for the night, little did we know there was a crazy drunk Irishmen on the bus. Approaching the stadium the poor lady that was working for the hostel and assigned to our bus started giving out the tickets. She was explaining that everyone must look after their ticket and don't loose it or you will not be able to get in. This Irishmen rob, in his paralytic state took this as a challenge and put his ticket in his mouth and started chewing it. The shocked girl couldnt believe what was going on and started pleading with him to take it out or he wouldn't get in, this resulted in him swallowing his ticket. As if the girls shift couldnt get any worse, and with the whole bus cheering, he starts singing inappropriate chants of “get your **** out for the lads” at the top of his lungs. Adding bucket loads of entertainment on the bus ride, we arrive at the stadium and are devided into two groups of 20, our group was told to stay on the bus and not get off the bus until a staff member came to get us. It sounded a little over the top, but it wasn't until after the game that we found out that the stadium was actually in the most dangerous neighbourhood. so much so that when we spoke to two of our friends that live in Argentina were shocked that we went. apprently the slums are directly behind the stadium and there is alot of crime in the area. We actually felt quite safe being there. The game was amazing, with an incredible atmosphere. The home crowd went crazy when San Lorenzo scored a penalty to win them the match.
We had heard amazing things about an African drumming concert that happens every Monday. With very little information about it at all except for an approximate dot on a map, running late, we hopped on the metro in search of it. We thought maybe the drumming took place on the train with some cool drummers adding some entertainment on the metro
Blindly following two less then confident looking boys (thats you Sam & Charlie) from the hostel holding the map, we turned a corner and heard the sound of drumming. Standing on a street corner, and feeling like the drumming was coming from above us, we saw an apartment and thought 'well perhaps it's like a casual drumming event in someone's place', so Sam and I decided to know on the door. A lady answers the door, and in a charades style Sam and I proceed to do a drumming action and point to ourselves an then to her house as if to ask 'can we come in?' She awkwardly laughs at us, shakes her head and point up the street. Slightly devastated that our drumming impersonation hadn't landed us an invitation we crossed the road to explain to the others what we had found out. Walking 10 more metres up the road we see the huge 'Konex' building where the event is and some other friends from the hostel. Seeing how huge the venue was, Sam and I thought it rather amusing that we tried to go into a lady's house for the event. Once inside we understood why it was well known. The band consisted of over 30 drummers on a small stage inside a warehouse style building.
We grabbed a drink and headed into the packed crowd. Further back in the crowd was where some serious African dancing was happening so Sam, Charlie, sal and I decided we could give them a run for their money and joined in. Some seriously amazing 'crazy dancing' and sweating later the show was over. We must have made an impression on our fellow crazy dancers because they gave us their card and invited us to their own event that happened later in the week. Unfortunatley we weren't going to be in BA for it but were secretly chuffed/ a little concerned that we fit in so well with that crowd! That being said it was possibly the best fun I have ever had!
Running Into some other friends from the hostel, our English couple Lucy & Rob promised to take us all to try the 'greatest chicken wings in Argentina'. With that about 15 of us were sold and blindly following yet another foreigner (yet this one I think was drunk) with a map. With apparently 10 minutes to catch he last metro train and about 7 blocks away, we all started running. Sal was even awkwardly carried part way to the train station.
Frantically buying tickets for the last train, we all hurriedly ran down the steps to the platform, the others who had got their tickets first started running back up the steps toward us yelling 'wrong way! We need the other platform' so we all started running back the other way. Here, you have to put your ticket into the ticket barriers to get to the platform, but one ticket gives you on journey so once its scanned through it becomes void. No longer with tickets because they were already used, all 15 of us jumped the barriers to the other platform and miraculously made the last train. The next hour or so involved a lot of wrong turns, a lot of people needing the toilet and a lot of asking strangers for the chicken wing store. Desperately needing the toilet, and now lacking enthusiasm for a once promised chicken wing, 5 of us cut our losses and grabbed a taxi back to the hostel to continue the party!
Every Sunday there's a massive market in the city centre that continues for km's. Sal, Imogen, Tarsila, Camila and I all went to check it out and grab some presents. The market was full of food stalls, home made trinkets, second hand items, clothing and much more. We also witnessed a creepy cat, with its creepy owner carrying a Louis Vuitton cat bag. We were in search of these amazing burritos Imogen had told us about. We finally spotted someone eating one and soon after we spotted them. The burrito man gave Imogen a kiss on both cheeks as though they were best friends (later she told us that's shes had them once, but apparently that's enough to be best friends!). We asked for two vegetarian and one meat burrito. The guy leant down into his esky on the side of the road, grabbed three foil wrapped burritos, asked if we wanted spicy sauce. I said a little but after watching him shove the nosel of the bottle into Imogen's burrito and squeeze the sauce until it oozed out the side, I changed my mind and politely declined. Handing over our $3 Australian dollars worth each we went on our way, laughing about how we just bought burritos out of an esky on the side of the road and hoping that we wouldn't get food poisoning. Only in South America.
The next day Sal and I decided to go check out the cemetery. We reached the entrance and were greeted by a gentlemen who approached us nicely dressed with a ID card clipped to his chest pocket. With reasonable english he told us that entrance to the cemtrey is free but some people like to give a donation to contribute to the upkeep of the grounds. He also got out a peice of paper and drew a map of the cemetry pointing out graves of interest. Handing him $12 pesos (about $2.50 Australian) we proceeded to walk through the gates into the cemetry, only to be approached by lady with maps telling us that it costs $10 pesos for a map, and telling us that man we just spoke with is not related to the cemetery and that the map she had was official. Being annoyed that A. We just got scammed for the first time- to our knowledge and B. That this lady witnessed the whole thing unfold and didn't stop it, I just said to her that we were fine and that we didn't want a map, nor did we went to pay another $10 pesos. The cemetery while not quite as big as the one in Santiago was still huge in its own right and was full of graves that were more like shrines. Walking around the cemetery, super annoyed and holding an unofficial hand drawn map with no idea where anything of real interest was located we walked around for 10 minutes swearing about the scammer and eyeing our hand drawn map with disgust. Having a closer look at this map, we realised it was drawn on a ' aids information sheet'. Loosing it laughing, and slightly embarrassed that we were conned by a hand drawn aids map, we decided to cut our losses and leave. On the way out we saw more people being taken for a ride and the lady still not doing anything about it. We also found out later at the hostel, that our friends Sam and Charlie also got conned by the same guy, but gave him $50 pesos! This made us feel a lot better about our $12 pesos.
Back at the hostel, I hear sal carrying on excitedly. Looking up, she's hugging some strange girl I don't recognise. Evelyn, her friend for street soccer in Melbourne arrived at the same hostel as us. Knowing she was coming to BA but unsure about when, sal and Ev were just as surprised to run into eachother.
Working out that she was in the same room as our English friends 'funny Sam' Charlie and 'handsome Sam' ( Sam's were sorry for the nicknames if you were unaware. For the record your both handsome and funny!) we all decide to go out for a buffet dinner at a restaurant we had heard a lot about. The spread was amazing, and ofcourse being in Argentina the meat was ridiculous! Nick you would have been in heaven!
The soccer match
Sal, Ev, both Sam's and Charlie all decided to join in on the 5 a side soccer activity on Friday afternoon. Still being sick I went along as cheer squad. With 3 different teams and Sally and Evelyn being the only girls playing, one of the organisers approached the girls and awkwardly asked wether they could play or if they should be split up on different teams so that no team would be disadvantaged… Ha! Telling the guy that they have played before and they can play on the same team, he didn't seem satisfied but walked away. About 5 minutes later another organiser came up to the girls and said ' please don't take offence to what I'm about to say, but just to make sure that all teams are fair I just need to ask you wether you have played before'- annoyed that yet another male was insinuating that they couldn't play, Evelyn responded with ' yeh we can play, you can use your hands right?'. I dont think he found it as funny as we did. After 2 games against each team, we made it into the finals. And… Yep you guessed it we won. The girls were better then half the boys on the other teams, which I got endless enjoyment out of.
Winners are grinners
After 9 days of partying in BA, sal and I decided we needed to get out now or we might be trapped there forever so convincing Ev to ditch her Mendoza plans and come to Iguazu with us we decided to grab our stuff, head to the airport and try our luck at grabbing 3 seats on the next plane out of BA. We were in luck, and after a few hours wait in the airport we were on our way to our next stop Iguazu Falls.