Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Day 10 to 12 – Buenos Aires

31 March to 2 April    Kms travelled – 0

As planned it was back into the city centre for me for a day of wandering and sightseeing in another blazing 26 degrees.   Strolling down the city´s Florida street in the heart of the pedestrian zone, the city seemed so very familiar.  Funny how the place grows on you so quickly.  I´m not sure whether it was my body language, or perhaps the fact that I was simply feeling so comfortable in the surroundings, but none of the vendors on the street bothered to tout Tango shows and various other tourist trips to me at all.  

Then again, perhaps it was because I was in need of a laundry day!

But today there was more of a difference, as you could not escape the growing roar of engines.  People were out in force, and the force was being fuelled by high octane petroleum.  Touring car racing was in town!  And I really mean IN town, as the city centre had been given over to create this motorized spectacle.  The down side, however, was that I had arrived too late and all the best (free) spots had been taken.  I did manage to grab a few video shots, which also gave the opportunity to play with the video editing software I have with me – so perhaps I can do more of that as we trundle along.

And we are going to trundle.  Air Canada tracking has delivered the news that Idris has hit town – but is currently under lock and key until after the holiday weekend.  Yey – I think is the appropriate comment on that point!

But back to the city, and a short walk from the centre (in between races) across the to the San Telmo neighbourhood.  I have to say, I was a bit disappointed at first, as the bit I was walking through was quite dodgy looking – as I started to get a little uncomfortable with some of the characters lurking in doorways – I decided to take a turn in a different direction rather than head back.  And it was by no means a turn for the worse, as I stumbled across the main part of this district with its funky restaurants and bars, market stalls and a multitude of antique shops.  Perhaps a closer study of the map in advance could have avoided that initial angst, but it does show how only a couple of streets can make a world of difference in large cities.

Needless to say I avoided the centre on the holiday Monday - and I am sure some of the scenes outside the British Embassy have already been widely and separately reported.  

I did, however, take some shots of the war memorial the day before, and some are included here, including changing the guard. 

The days were completed in continued glorious sunshine by that much needed clothes washing, and pulling together of my paperwork – as it is off to the airport to collect Idris next.  


Sorry, I´ll stop doing that soon!   

Thought for the day
This week we have seen disappointing scenes of violence outside the British Embassy in Buenos Aires by young people, which appeared to me to too young to have been around 30 years ago.  At the same time (if I got the news right) the Argentinean President made a statement noting that the war was not the will of the Argentinean people.  I can´t speak for an entire nation, but from my own position and those I have discussed the matter with, I can´t see that the conflict 30 years ago was the will of the British people either, so some common ground there to build on.  

And we have also seen this week mindless violence on the streets in Spain when the population staged major demonstrations and a national strike against changes to labour laws (who would employ them anyway after such scenes?).  And, of course, in the UK the senseless destruction and mindless acts by young people concerned about their access to higher education – though possibly some are in greater need of just plain common sense rather than cheaper degrees – is not so far passed as should be forgotten. 

Each cause from respective standpoints would appear to have some merit, but why is it that so many young people are so disenfranchised with society that they feel they have no recourse but to express their frustrations through the use of violence?  Is it that contemporary society is so geared towards those who consume, and have the resources to consume, leaving those without, without?  Should we collectively be doing more to give these people a greater stake in society, or is it simply smashing up buildings and (at times) other people is just a good laugh?  Answers on a postcard please.

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