Donnerstag, 13. September 2012

September 13 - Buenos Aires

I got up at 6:30, left the house at 7:25, caught the bus at 7:45 and was lucky because I could take a seat on the bus and on the subway this morning:-)
At 8:55 I arrived at school. Remo, Ute and I felt more and more bored and were longing for the good old days:- )
However at the end of our morning class we had nice game: we got cards from our teacher with "our new identity" and we had to questioning one other classmate about his/her new identity and we were being interviewed too. Then we had to present the guy we'd just questioned. It was the first time that I really talked with Bruce, our classmate from the US, who impressed me very much because he was already 70 and still tried to learn a foreign language.
At the end of the course I asked Bruce to join us for lunch but he refused politely. For him we all must be "very young chick's" (as we would say in Germany:-)).
For lunch, Joerg, Remo, Ute, Anne, 2 other Swiss women and I went to an empanada restaurant. When Anne started to push the tables and chairs together, so that all of us could sit together, Remo just rolled his eyes and said: " Now the Germans already redecorating the restaurant!":-)
My private afternoon class didn't start easy-going either. In the morning we had just learnt the future form in Spanish. Angela, my afternoon toucher, agonzied me with questions like:
"how will the world look like in the future?"
"how will future cars look like/be?"

How was I supposed to know? I mean, it was my 2nd week in a Spanish ever... There was no chance to answer this in Spanish...
I begged her to change the topic and then the course got better:-)

At the end of my private class I was heading for Once Station where I wanted to meet Ute.
I had looked it up on my map briefly and thought, that I knew where to go => I was soooo wrong.
1) When I took the subway "Linea A" I thought that I had gotten on it at the terminal station and that it didn't matter which train I was taking. BUT it wasn't terminal station and so I realized that I was taking the train into the wrong direction. I stayed seated on that train which turned around and went back (now into the right direction) after waiting a while at terminal station.
2) Then I got off at the wrong station. I finally took out my map and wanted to walk to Once Station then but then I realized that my map didn't show my current position anymore => I was already too far away from downtown district...
3) I had no other choice than taking the metro back. But - stupid as I was that day - I got on the wrong train again. After taking trains into the wrong direction twice I finally realized that you had to be very careful at what side of the street you enter the subway. I was so used to enter subway stations anywhere and then decide about the direction once I was underground. But in Buenos Aires the side of the street and a sign over the entrance tells you about the direction you wanna go. Once you are underground there is no choice for changing directions anymore....
=> OK, now I got it! After paying for 2 unnecessary tickets...(ok, they were cheap, but next time I just shouldn't trust my memory only...)

When I arrived at 17:15 at Once Station I had a bad conscience. I hoped Ute hadn't had to wait for me for such a long time. Luckily she had just arrived too.
First we walked around that station and then we took a closer look to a memorial place for victims that died in a disco several years ago. It must have been a kind of "illegal" disco and when the fire broke out the kids couldn't escape (no emergency exits or locked ones).

Once Station
the yellow box was a medical station:
people could just line up and got free medical advice and care

lots of monuments in Buenos Aires are behind fences..

all the names of the disco-victims are written down on that wall
(Ute and I assumed that the disco had been behind that walls)

the memorial, located next to the street

still the memorial
old shoes were hanging everywhere:
I wasn't sure whether these were the shoes of the

Then Ute and I walked around the blocks:

nice house, isn't it?

kind of typical house, especially with that carved-out door

in my opinion: too much and too pompous....
beautiful house (but for geriatric medicine...)

I am still not sure what to think of Buenos Aires. On one hand there is potential (see the houses above) and a certain atmosphere, but on the other hand there are ugly buildings right next to the most beautiful one's:

apartment buidling
and the whole city is dirty and garbage is lying everywhere. The sidewalks are uneven, you need to pay attention not to step into dog-shit and the most of the nice houses need renovation too

one of the better sidewalks, but still uneven and
full of wholes...
Buenos Aires is a place for really old cars:-)

Ute and I had some ice cream (really good, especially that in Europe unkown flavour "dulce de leche"), went into a church

and inside the church

and finally arrived at 18:45 at the restaurant (= Parrilla = Steakhouse) where we wanted to meet Joerg and Remo. Joerg was already there and so we took a seat outside the restaurant. Remo joined us 15 minutes later. Ute assured us several times if we didn't wanna eat there she could understand it and we could go to a different place. She had seen that restaurant about one week earlier when she got lost and was walking through the streets. She told us that at night it looked much better and much more locals were inside. During daylight it didn't look that welcoming. But we decided to eat there. And the missing locals were just a "time-problem": in Argentina you never eat dinner before 21:00. So we were just too early.
All 4 of us ordered asado con papas fritas (= grill-steak with french fries) and the ordering process by itself was already funny: none of us was carrying a dictionary and 3 of us wanted to order the meat well done but none of us knew the vocabulary. So we pointed on a picture in the menu that showed a bloody piece of meat and said "no blood" but the waiter couldn't speak English at all and didn't get it at first. Finally, after pointing on the blood and shaking the head he repeated "cocida" several times, we nodded and hoped that he got it:-)

the Parrilla

my grilled steak

Jörg and Ute
During dinner Jörg told us from his 7month trip in Southamerica about 5 years ago. He had travelled with 2 friends and they had seen and done amazing stuff. One of his stories impressed me the most: when they were robbed on a beach in Brazil they tried to get their belongings back. On of his friends were facing a guy with a huge stone and he was facing a guy carrying a broken bottle. They were shouting at each other and when they guy with the broken bottle tried to hit him, Joerg could avoid being hit but fell into the sand. Then finally he realized "how stupid it was " to fight. They gave up, but his friend couldn't relax afterwards. He saw crime and robbery everywhere. And now the attitude of Joerg, that impressed me so much: He said, he wasn't scared or paranoid after the robbery. In his opinion it was just a mental thing. He told us we simply needed to record it/think of it as development aid for a poor country and not as robbery, then everything would be fine and you wouldn't have any nightmares later on".
Amazing attitude!!!!

At about 20:45 we paid and Remo and I decided to take the subway together. On the TV of the Parrilla we saw a demonstration that had just started around 19:00 and that took place mainly in front of Plaza Mayo. Remo and I wanted to take a closer look. Since my arrival there had been demonstrations almost every day. Usually "small" groups like banker or busdriver went on strike. But on that evening the middle and upper class of Argentina protested against the government. It looked incredibly croweded on TV and we wanted to join for a while. So we took the metro Linea A back to Plaza de Mayo and didn't change underground to Linea D. Instead we went out of the station and walked through the crowd.
Some impressions of the demonstration:

Remo and I on Linea A
a very old but nice subway
inside Linea A: wood!

Linea A from the outside

people demonstrating
it reminded me of our carneval :-)

For me it felt like a very peaceful demonstration. People were singing (of course I didn't understand what) and clapping pots and spoons together, it was very loud and full but as long as we stayed police wasn't needed.
When we reached Linea D we got on it (after 30 or 45 minutes struggeling through the crowd) and when I arrived at terminal station I was lucky to catch my bus immediately.
At 22:30 I was back in the house, said a short "hello" to Victoria and then I wrote down some notes for my blog before I went to bed at 23:00.
Unfortunately I woke up at 1:00 again because my stomach complained a lot and I felt nauseated. I needed to go to the bathroom, had to pour cold water over my face and wait for a while, until my stomach was feeling a little better. Maybe the meat was too fatty and I should have cut off the fat part completely...Or the ice cream... it's idle... I will both give a second chance:-)


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