So what the hell did we do in Buenos Aires if we skipped all the main tourist stops?
Oh, we still had fun. Don’t worry.
But before enjoying Buenos Aires, we had to figure out a way out of Argentina since this is not our main destination this year. It took us most of the first day and we ended up buying three boat tickets—no, we’re not going to cruise all down to Antarctica…
Then we started to explore the city again. We’ve been there many times, yet I don’t get tired of the Obelisk and people-watching on Avenida 9 de Julio—I find the constant flow of vehicles and people fascinating. We stayed close to Lavalle and Florida, the two main pedestrian streets, and we walked back and forth long enough to see parts of them being repaved before our eyes. We went to Plaza de Mayo, Plaza Lavalle, San Telmo, to La Recoleta (the cemetery looked very different on a stormy day…), we stepped inside the giant Abasto Shopping in Balvanera/Almagro, and we had pizza with so much mozzarella it was basically just cheese topped with some tomatoes.
We also went to see Jumanji—actually, we didn’t watch your boring English-language Jumanji but Jumanji: en la Selva, and trust me, it was an interesting cultural experience. We chose an old theatre on Lavalle, the Multiplex Monumental Lavalle, which, despite its name, is anything but monumental. I guess you could call it a multiplex because there are several theatres, but still, don’t expect 3D and fancy seats. This is one of these classic theatres you’d have a hard time finding in North America or Europe these days.
We showed up at 6:30 p.m. for the 6:40 show and the theatre was mostly empty. One preview later, the movie started. “Eh… where are the commercials I don’t give a shit about? How comes I’m not being shown fancy cars, bottles of Coke, new credit cards and all?” I joked. In Canada, we always have to suffer through 15 to 20 minutes of commercials—I usually bring a book.
Ten minutes into the movie, more people started to show up. Twenty minutes later, latecomers filled the theatre. And apparently, in Argentina, it’s completely fine to come in with babies and toddlers and you can say whatever you want out loud. Sure, answer the phone as well! I was trying to shush Mark when he uttered, “cool!” but honestly, he was the quietest spectator and trust me, he isn’t exactly mute. “People speak funny,” he noticed. Yeah, that’s called a dubbed movie, honey. I thought it’d be torture—I hate dubbed movies—but in fact, it was really entertaining and I actually understood the jokes that I translated to Feng since talking with your seatmate was fine.
I can’t say our stay in Buenos Aires was relaxing—much like Paris, Argentina’s capital is tiring, dirty and crowded—but it was a fun stop. The city was actually nicer in the evening, when it was cooler and where people were more relaxed, which is probably why I have so many night pictures!