03/12/2010 - 03/12/2010 75 °F
Friday I went to take care of some practicalities. I went to the correo or post office to mail my first batch of post cards then stopped at a bank to refill my money belt. Next I went to a locutorio to call home. Kris turned me on to the locutorio; it's like a little convenient store in front with telephone booths and internet terminals. Calling the States from one is very reasonable. I called my grandparents to get some details on a type of jewelry my grandmother wanted me to buy while I was in BA, and also called home.
I headed to La Boca in the late afternoon. I caught the bus after asking at the hostel, I was told it was a bit far to walk and a bit dangerous as well. The bus was a right disaster. My gringo ass ruined the whole flow of the bus procedure. I had no change, and the bus only accepted change. After trying to figure out the machine you pay through and having no luck we came to the next stop, and a bunch of people boarded. An exasperated driver waved at me to just go sit down so that the hoard of people trying to board could do so and he could get back to his route. You mean you can't break my 100 peso note? Where is the stewardess with my champagne? This really is a lousy service, and I have to stand the nerve! I'm sure everyone on the bus was thinking the same thing: I belonged in a taxi, not on the local bus. Adventures in public transportation.
La Boca was an art project years ago. Now it is thoroughly a tourist trap: a little barrio of brightly colored buildings teaming with tourists, tango dancers performing for pesos, artist selling their work, restaurant hockers, and souvenir stands. I explored for an hour, took it for what it is and then took a taxi back to the hostel.
I went shopping for some black t-shirts as I'd only brought one, and then had dinner at Habibi, Arabe cafe. I'd happily stumbled upon the Middle Eastern eatery earlier in the day and couldn't wait until it opened for dinner. The food was excellent.
I went back to the hostel and checked my email. Nathalie and Jamal had returned to Buenos Aires in the morning. We'd both left on Thursday, but they took that bus I mentioned before. Nathalie was living in Buenos Aires, and her boyfriend was in the electronica scene and performing at the same club I went to the first night I was in Buenos Aires. She invited me and got me on the guest list.
I thought I'd have time for a nap, but turns out I had to be at the club before midnight to avoid paying the cover. Apparently a new law had just recently been enacted that made the clubs close by a certain time and the clubs responded by trying to encourage patrons to come earlier. No nap, I just hurriedly got ready and headed out.
I took a taxi, and was surprised when I arrived at the club that the fare was only 25 pesos. I expected to pay 10 to 15 pesos more. I gave the honest driver a big tip, and then headed for the door. It was 12:30, but the guest list was still in effect. I found Nathalie. Jamal wasn't there, he'd gotten frustrated about getting to the club and decided not to come. I had Nathalie call him and tell him that I was there and said he'd better come. That did the trick, and Jamal arrived a little later.
The bar on the first level was packed and getting drinks was taking forever, so Nathalie worked her magic and got us into VIP. We spent the rest of the evening enjoying the music , drinking champagne and dancing. It was a good night.