(Post-trip me thinks: This looks incredibly amazing (and fake), did I really see this???)
So absolutely enthralled by my surroundings
To be this close to the Andes, that’s my dream! To have the mountain chain by my side, that felt amazing
It’s funny though, because I feel this way especially because I’ve spent years seeing the Andes in books and stuff, so to see it in person is like… Seeing a celebrity
like a painting
FLIGHT FROM BA TO SANTIAGO
Got into a van with 4 other people
I alighted and drivers approached me, much like Bali which threw up all guards
I tried to figure out if they were in cahoots to rob me but within this van this man was watching a video with squeals coming from it, like some cartoon, and the other girl about my age was asleep gracefully. The other lady flicked through her iPhone casually. I don’t think I’m that rich and rob-able compared to them, to be frank. Hence I relaxed as the van I was on drove away from Santiago airport towards the city.
Buenos aires airport (international)- worst place to sleep in autumn. I was absolutely freezing, even with my felt blanket. Had wifi at least.
Colonia, Uruguay, a quaint little town 3-hours ferry ride from Buenos Aires. Uruguay is (supposedly) the least corrupt country in Latin America. They also have (had) a cool president (reputed to be the ‘poorest president on earth’) who received a million-dollar offer for his VW Beetle, and rejected it.
‘What’s getting so much attention in the world? That I love in a small house, with very few things and drive an old car? Is that news? Because then the world is crazy because they’re surprised of what’s normal.’
“Worse that drugs is drug trafficking. Much worse. Drugs are a disease, and I don’t think that there are good drugs or that marijuana is good. Nor cigarettes. No addiction is good. I include alcohol. The only good addiction is love. Forget everything else.”
I felt excited as I walked along the streets and took in elements that shouted ‘Uruguay! Uruguay!’
Admittedly, what enthralled me most was the fact that I had stepped foot on Uruguay once in my life. This country that was so, so far away in my geographical imagination – I had seen a (very tiny) part of it, and I felt lucky for that. I probably touched only the very tip of the iceberg, but I still felt lucky to have visited a part of it.
1. Book ticket from https://www.buquebus.com
– book in advance for cheaper tickets; the ticket I bought the night before had its price doubled. The return ticket I bought on the day itself was tripled in price.
2. Get to Darsena Norte – https://www.buquebus.com/BQBWebV2/web/Estatica?html=FAQ.html
It was easy, I dropped nearby and asked around and walked to the ferry terminal. Everyone knows where it is.
3. Buy ticket, or redeem online purchase for actual ticket (still need to queue to do so – note to go slightly earlier)
I was surprised at how developed and comfortable the ferry was. It was selling food, had a shop within it, had multiple stories (seen in last picture), and was extremely comfortable.
William danced tango
His mama showed me his baby pictures
We sang the birthday song in Spanish
I sat there listening in
There’s just something really really sexy about seeing the bookshelves filled with Spanish, the Spanish equivalents of what I knowI miss this a lot just looking through these pictures
My polaroid camera had spoilt, and I had the immense luck of walking past a second-hand camera shop.
I will always remember him when I think about my time in Buenos Aires.
We chatted for awhile, talking about his past years, his younger years, his collection of cameras and how he had to sell them now because, well, he did spend too much of his money away and also because his interest has shifted a little along with the passing years. I wonder if he will remember me. We chatted in Chinese.
As I walked into the market of San telmo it felt magical, the accordion music playing and the bustling of the streets. Soaked in everything, everything – in these moments I am once struck with the element of disbelief that I am here, and I got to be here at least once in my life. Incredibly lucky.
‘What is this??? You mean they sell animal brains here????”
‘It’s actually the first time I’ve seen this,’ he says
‘Guillermo was a wonderful host!! He showed me around La Boca and introduced dulce de leche to me (which I really miss and wish I can buy it all back home – suddenly Nutella is so unappealing) I got to try his cooking, which was delicious! He also brought me to try the asado with his family, and I got to sing the birthday song of his mother’s friends in Spanish. I learnt a lot about the Argentinean culture and I loved hearing about his travels 🙂 even though he had to work, he still tried to help me in every way and made it a wonderful experience for me :)’
Mmm, I thought Argentina would be unfamiliar but Buenos Aires is too closely alike to Europe. The buildings and everything – the obelisk – so much of it made me feel like I was in Germany or something again. Of course this city is hardly representative of Argentina, there’s far more places to explore. Someday!!!!
Graffiti – Falkland Islands
Train in the subte. It was here I realised that they bought second-hand trains from Japan.
Mafaldaaaaa – they sure look cuter than me though
Migration – Bolivian construction and Colombians, nanny and call centers
Villas – the favelas of Argentina
Chilean man said: earthquakes are so common, when he saw that china had an earthquake of 5.5 magnitude on the news, he simply shrugged because that was really common / manageable here, the country’s well prepared and used to it.
It does scare me though, it does occur to me that something may happen if I’m on the bus, on the plane, it just takes a minute or less for the turning point of my life, etc etc, so for now everyday I’m happy I breathe
La Boca is probably one of my favourite places in the world, given its colorful walls and gothic fonts and the Latin American music that transports me into this whole other zone when I walk along the streets.
and of course, the tango.
Didn’t buy any. At this point a part of me regrets :'(((
Argentina is the second highest in the world for its inflation rates; a chicken costs 50 pesos a month ago, and now it’s 77. Also, university education (public) and healthcare is free (!!) Here’s La boca, with its photogenic coloured walls and doors and tango music and gothic fonts. One of my favourite places in the world ❤
Today when I gave william my 10cents sgd and the 1000rupiah coin I found, I saw his eyes light up (really!!) with pure excitement. I was quite amused, but happy to be able to give something (back). Then at night when I was looking at my wallet I picked up the Argentinean peso and examined it closely. How cool!! That I’m holding an Argentinean coin. Took photos and sent to family. Then I thought back to william’s reaction that afternoon.
Gosh- it’s 1140pm and I’m so tired I just want to sleep