Wednesday, October 28, 2009

First Day!

     I probably won´t be posting every day of my journey, since I need to fight the internet addiction. Besides, ¿who would really want to read or write about all that? I am typing con un Spanish keyboard, so if I place random symbols throughout the writing, cool. ¨´´ ¬

Clouds over the Caribbean. Photo © 2009 Drew Castle Peters
     Touching down at 9:30 this morning made me realize, "Woah, I´m in South America." It really does look and feel different than any place I´ve been to before outside the states. Trying to listen to and read and speak Argentine Spanish all at once is certainly a rush. I quickly changed some money into Argentine pesos, and now I´m simply strapped in cash. Upon my catching of the local bus shuttle to the city neighborhood of Retiro, I hopped the company´s taxi service for a trip farther Northwest into the city, ending up in Palermo Hollywood, which is a nice neighborhood somewhat near the immense and frankly gross Rio de La Plata. It´s a quieter section off the main drag that has hip nightlife, great restaurants and is right in the perfect area.
Photo © 2009 Drew Castle Peters
    
     On the way to my current hostel, Hostal Mi Bulin, I passed through some more run-down neighborhoods on the southern end of the city. Apartment buildings are everywhere, and old and new buildings of all sorts are next to each other, with no overall "design continuity" plan in mind. The people certainly dress uniquely here, although the evening is still young (currently just after 7pm).
     The women are either 9s or 10s, with the older ones aging gracefully, and of course some average ones scattered about. I saw the ideal girl stride by me walking the streets. She had short, dyed-red hair, an arm tatoo, great curves and a cool fashion sense. She was singing and grooving to some mobile mp3 device, and I literally stopped, did a double take, turned around and started following her (not stalking, since I had to go back the way she was headed anyway - don´t judge).

Photo © 2009 Drew Castle Peters. All rights reserved.
      I walked up to a park in the nothern Palermo area, about 14 blocks away from the hostel. I had a hell of a time trying to find some sort of map of the city, which I eventually bought in small form at a newsstand for 5 pesos ($1.75 US). I should just stop into the U.S. Embassy, in the same district and they probably have better maps, for free I´d even bet. Anyway, the park I visited looks a lot like Balboa Park, not far from the main city life, with a TON of rollerblading beauties, families and couples and single people excersizing in some form or another. It´s like Balboa Park, with L.A.-quantity, super-agro-agressive traffic surrounding it. I mean the city does have just under 14 million inhabitants, and frankly, there is hardly any polution control, from the smell and look of it.
      I had to literally run across the 8 and 10 lane roads, and it seems that traffic lights are mere suggestions. I have to look before attempting to even put ONE FOOT in the road, since cars speed down residential streets and through suicide intersections at near 30 mph! I have seen so many near accidents vs. city buses today, and people always pass each other on one-way roads, even with kids in the car.
     I tried my first true (and very staple) Argentine meal today - three handmade empanadas and a half-liter of Quilmes beer, the favored beer of the locals. The beer is actually similar to shit like Coors, which I don´t care for. Quantity vs. Quality = Quilmes. The empanadas were DELICIOUS, all fresh ingredients of beef, bacon, cheese, plum, and eggplant. All for 17.50 AR pesos, which runs me .... 6 bucks!

Photo © 2009 Drew Castle Peters. All rights reserved.
     I gotta really organize my next few days so I can explore more of the city. I didn´t get out TOO far today, since the overnight flight coupled with flying across the states didn´t allow me much sleep, and so I´m pretty beat for today. There is still tonight though, since they don´t eat dinner here until at least 9 or 10, and go out clubbing and to bars around midnight or later. Good first day so far... Holy crap, I´m on another continent! 
     All for now, more for later.
   
Photo © 2009 Drew Castle Peters. All rights reserved.

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