It all started with fire...
After some gruelingly boring 11.5 hours on the flight from Pearson, I landed on time in Buenos Aires at 2:25 pm local time. (11:25 AM in Toronto)
The airline fed us at 1 am!! See, with flights to destinations like Korea where the time difference is significant and you need to reset the body clocks, I may see the point of doing this. But after the plane had been flying for an hour with the lights all off for the passengers to sleep, what kind of cruel trick is this?? Besides, they a) ran out of beef few rows before mine* and b) gave us some awful chicken and orzo dish, accompanied by a sad excuse of a beet salad. Blech. If any of you know how much I love beets, this reaction should tell you something. The breakfast omlette about 10 hours later wasn't much better. Pathetic, rubbery gelatinous mass. Talk about needing revamps. Air Canada, fix your culinary abomination of flight meals or.... Okay, so I have nothing. I can't even boycott given it's one of the two lines that fly to Fort Mac. Anyhoo, I digress...
- : Given how Argentinians love their red meat, it was really no wonder. Usually with any other flight, it's the chicken that runs out first, which I am just a-okay with. Argh. I suppose I'm richly rewarded with the abundance of steak now.
During the very last leg of the flight when the attendants were handing out the visa and custom forms, I had a brief last minute paranoia creep up, manifested by the Brazilian visa troubles. What if I didn't have the appropriate visa requirements? I knew I didn't need a visa for Argentina, but what if I did after all and missed it? What if my having lost the Air Canada receipt/itinerary was going to be a problem, since they technically require a proof of return arrangements? All kinds of thoughts ran through my head during this silent panicky heart attack.
Regardless of my mental toils, the flight landed at the Buenos Aires airpot. I must say, though, that was one of the worst landing jobs I've ever riden through. Wooosh - calm - woooosh - calm, repeat for 15 minutes. Anyway, as soon as I got to the exit and stepped on to the bridge between the plane and the building, I knew I was in bodyheat trouble. It was hot. 31 degrees celcius hot. Now, some of you know how I don't do hot weather. I whined all the way through Thailand (which in retrospect was pretty dumb, inconsiderate and sometimes rude), and I whine all the way through CANADIAN summer (Yes, that one whole day. j/k.) No matter, it was too late to change my mind. I marched out into the <s>wild</s> ungodly long lineup for the customs/tourist entrance and impatiently waited to be released into the <s>wild</s> luggage pickup area. On the upside, I saw mine as soon as I got there. On the downside, I had forgotten to go to the bathroom first. Crap. The perils of travelling alone, I tell you.
Once I got through the deservedly anticipated bumbling around the airport later (what with my vast void of Spanish knowledge), I hopped on to the shuttle to downtown Buenos Aires, where they transferred me on to a small vehicle that dropped me off at my hostel, Hostel Estoril. At least this was smooth enough. Much thanks to the hostel for providing the directions/shuttle instructions. If only the location of the hostel didn't confuse the hell out of me... 1st floor wasn't actually the North American first floor. It was the lobby and THEN the first floor. I had to tread through a very sketchy looking cast iron cage type of elevator, up and down up and down until I eventually arrived at the check-in on the first floor. Then... they sent me to the sixth floor. -_-;
A pleasant staff greeted me in (the guy on the first floor had called to give him a heads up about my arrival) and gave me my linens. From then on, I just stayed in, save for the short trip outside to get a bottle of water, napping a little, checking my email, pathetically attempting to update the travel journal. (Ultimately a failure due to the severe hand pain that is lingering for the nth day now.)
That is, until the hostel weekly BBQ at 8:30. And what a BBQ. From 5:30 or so, the staff fussed around the brick BBQ with cast iron grills and charcoal fire with loads of small whole chickens, strips of beef (I think brisket?) and long fork-prongs of spicy sausages. I had thought I had missed it due to my nap that lasted until 7 or so, but boy was I wrong. I sat down at 7:30 and had to wait an hour at least still. Entirely worth the wait, though. We were fed for the next 2.5 hours of meat (sausage, beef, chicken), salad, potato salad, and bread. Two and a half hours! Brings back the memories of glorious rodizio trip with the boys. Hung out with the people at the table until 1 am or so until they went out dancing. I, being the predictably weak one, stayed back in the name of sleep. (It was a long day!!)
The weather is quite glorious. It's hot, of course, but the night time brings cool breeze and just-cool-enough warmth to your skin, embracing gently. I could really get used to this.
But now.. I go sleep.. Much to see and do tomorrow.