Sunday, December 6, 2009

After my search for leather: Tigre and camera theft

     So since I last posted, a lot has happened. The day after posting that blog, my plan was to meet up with Graeme, that Irish guy from the first day of Buenos Aires exploring. He lives in a Palermo apartment across town from where I was staying, which was the Microcentro (downtown area). I packed all my stuff, albeit barely fitting it all into the packs. With now probably 50 pounds in my large backpack, and another 15 in my daypack, I am a beast of burden. I hate moving around so much with all this stuff. I had my camera in the  usual belt case on my left side, the huge pack on my back, and the smaller daypack worn on my front side. I had to catch Subte Linea D to Bulnes, and from there it was some blocks walk to Graeme's place.
     On the subte, it was super packed with people on their usual weekday commute around the city. It was extremely stuffy and humid and uncomfortable whilst riding, as I stood grabbing the railing for support. I guess in that five minute timespan onboard, some asshole decided to take advantage of my general inattention to them, and make off with a priceless piece of memory technology. I am usually ALWAYS vigilant around this city, and every time I go on the subte I keep a close eye on my stuff. I even know you should NEVER have your camera accessible whilst relocating areas with all your stuff, since you are practically immobile. I guess it was my fault to not plan ahead before I reached the subte. So yeah, that was about 1,000 photos from 5 weeks of travel, lost forever due to the thief reformatting the chip or simply giving all my travel pictures and camera to someone else for a hell of a price. It was also my fault for NOT backing the photos up on anything, be it in e-mails or on a flash drive, a smart practice which also would have protected me had I dropped or wetted the camera. At this point, I am still saddened by this act, but will now learn from it. That feeling of helplessness is just devastating on the soul.
     I found out right as I reached Graeme's pad, and immediately was disinterested in carrying out the trip to Tigre for two days. After much persuading on his part, we headed off for my planned destination, a subtropical Venice right on the city's doorstep. With nothing to lose, we took the subte again to the Retiro train station, bought the incredibly cheap ticket to our destination, which is only 50 minutes by train. It literally ran U.S. cents on the dollar, at AR$1.30.
     Tigre definitely feels like a holiday, touristy place upon immediate sight - the brown river flowing along the main waterway, which was lined up and down with tons of transport and cruise boats. It has the look of Florida, with all this lush greenery standing above the buildings, and we would soon see a totally other side to this town.
     We walked up the Avenida Sarmiento, which is lined with small cafès and restaurants, on the other side of that main river. Upon reaching the grand marble structure housing of the Museo de Arte Tigre, it was completely necessary to check out the artwork inside. On the ground floor there were only a few really decent artists, since most of them were doing that contemporary, easily-done-as-an-eight-year-old style. In other words, it's the type of art that would make you say, "I could easily do that!", or "How the Hell could this belong in a museum", or "This is art?!¿?!" Well, it is art indeed, but there were a couple of these Latin American artists, such as Marcos Acosta, Fernando X. González, Cesareo Bernaldo de Quirós, Epaminonda Chiama, et al., that really appealed to my taste.
     When we walked outside onto the museum walkway, the sky was a brilliant yellow, with super low clouds shaping around this building. The museum looks like a magic castle from the outside, especially with the crazy weather. From here we could also see the several river boats, jet skis, and barges passing along the river next to the museum. It was pretty cool.
      Going out for a beer later that night, Graeme and I started up a conversation with a nearby table of Tigreans, joining them and drinking more beers. They were all pretty cool, and my Castellano fared well enough to have interesting conversations. Eventually the night turned from the bar to a nearby casino, Trelenium (the name, I think). Changing 20 pesos into two 10 peso chips, I hit the blackjack table. My luck rollercoastered, eventually scoring 100 pesos, but in the long run, as we all so well know, the casino always wins, and I was down 30. It was surely fun, and definitely FAR less expensive than any casino in California or Nevada, fact. I had to make the money back for a new camera, but I am joking.
     Next day, we searched all over town to find a place for renting kayaks, passing through the local market, Puerto de Frutas, which has tons of wicker baskets and furniture. Tigre`s economy comes from lumber and wicker products, since there is so much of both to be had. Eventually, after asking so many unknowning people, we stopped into one of the several rowing clubs that lined the avenue we walked the day prior. Low and behold, we got a two seater kayak and headed out for a three hour adventure.
     Heading out into the river delta is truly like an adventure into Huckleberry Finn. There were houses on stilts, lush subtropical trees lining both sides of the river, aquatic plants hiding both shores, and a general sense of the Amazon. Completely worth the trip. Later on, headed to a tendedor libre, and stuffed my face full of delicious beef and more delicious beef, in all its delicious forms. Next day saw a wandering around Tigre, and a plan to head back to Buenos Aires. I caught the 5pm train back, and had a hell of a time trying to find an open hostel, that which there were none of. After at least 15 calls, I settled on an open hotel for the night, located again in Microcentro. I met up with two British girls whom I had met on my trip in Valparaiso, ordering for myself an entire large pizza with Roquefort cheese, mozzarella, palmitos, and green olives (another super=Argentine dish), and consuming all but 2 slices. And I burned the roof of my mouth. Oh well.

Anyways, Im pretty tired, so I will try to post another time about the jazz festival I went to here, and what Ive done this weekend. All for now, more for later.

No comments:

Post a Comment