How to be a female tourist and survive in a club!
This is another topic many female tourists have pointed out which I, as a local, am used to so it's an everyday thing for me.
When you go to a nightclub, Argentine guys will come to you and try to chat you up. If you don't like him, you just exchange a few words so as not to be rude, usually just saying "yes", "no" "aha" and a few smiles so they understand that's it and usually they stop pestering you whithin seconds.
Now this is a global thing. BUT, sometimes you're for example walking around the place and a guy will take your hand or surround you, or even tell you in the ear "you're the love of my life" and things like that, or just take you from the waist and start chatting you up. In those cases, you just smile and continue walking. Don't get mad or give them a black look. There's no need at all.
This is the way here, unfortunately. I mean, I don't care cos I'm used to it (and subsconsciously it's rather flattering I have to admit), but guys don't understand that THAT way it's almost impossible to get a girl!
After a football game, the visitors standing room section is allowed to leave the stadium and the vicinity first. They are given about 20-30 minutes to clear off, police guarding the routes, both on the ground and in the air. Only then are the home standing room sections allowed out. Time to get a hot dog? There are obvious reasons for these quaint customs.
On this day in Boca Stadium, the Newell’s Old Boys of Rosario came into town much like General Urquiza did 150 years ago, en route to a league championship for 2004.Related to:
- Adventure Travel
- Historical Travel
- Arts and Culture
Clubs opening time
Clubs open as from 1 am, unless you go to the ones where you can eat first, like Asia de Cuba. They close between 6.30 and 7 am.
If you're going to a bar, until 12 am you'll be able to get a table but as from that time you'll have to remain standing.
Puesto de Garrapiñadas
En Buenos Aires se pueden encontrar en muchas esquinas o ferias los puestos de garrapiñadas.
La garrapiñada es un dulce a base de mani y azucar, tambien puede ser de almendras, suelen costar $1 o $1.5.
In Buenos Aires they can be in many corners or fairs the positions of candied.
The candied one is a candy with the help of peanut and sugar, being of almonds also can, they usually cost $1 or $1.5.
The sport of princes
You may need a princely income to play polo - maintaining a string of ponies certainly doesn't come cheap - but even years of dire economic troubles hasn't stopped Argentina being the polo capital of the world. Buenos Aires is the only city I've ever been to where there are so many shops devoted to selling polo gear - and I don't mean Ralph's , this is all pukka stuff, just the thing for anyone heading off for a chukka or six. (A game of polo is divided into 6 chukkas of 7 minutes duration)
Polo's exciting to watch - think hockey on horseback, 4 players in each team, thundering around the field, mallets swinging, ends changing with each goal scored - you need to keep your wits about you if you want to follow a game properly so go steady on the champers. The players ride out the whole game, changing ponies after each chukka (hence the need for a "string") - the best riders manage to change ponies without touching the ground. Spectators take to the field at halftime to stomp down the divots kicked up during play. Yes, it's all as esoteric as it sounds, but then who but a fan can follow an game of hockey on ice?
Spring is polo season - October to December - and you don't have to break the budget to watch, though tickets can be hard to get and rain means matches are rescheduled, so getting to a match can be problematical if you're on a tight schedule. The Buenos Aires Herald (in English) will have current information or check the website.Related to:
- Horse Riding
The king of Tango
Carlos Gardel has been dead for over 70 years but to Argentinians everywhere he is the heart and soul of tango. Still today his portrait is to be seen everywhere and his records sell in millions. Born in France in 1890, he began his singing career in 1914, singing and writing songs and starring in films that made him a legend throughout South America. When he was killed in a plane crash in Colombia in 1935 the Latin-American world went into mourning and as his body was transported via New York, Rio and Montevideo to its final resting place in Buenos Aires thousands upon thousands of heartbroken fans paid him homage.
Devotees still visit his grave which is always adorned with fresh flowers, and often a lit cigarette in the hand of the full-sized statue, on his tomb in La Chacarita Cemetery in Palermo Hollywood (Avenida. Guzman. Subte B: Frederico Lacroze)
Listen to his singing hereRelated to:
- Historical Travel
Credit Cards / Tarjetas de credito
En la mayoria de los negocios, bares y restaurantes, se puede abonar con cualquiera de las tarjetas de credito mas importantes, pero hay que tener en cuenta que en algunos casos, pueden aplicar recargos sobre los precios de contado (entre el 10 y el 20%).
Most of the stores, bars and restaurants in the city take any of the most important credit cards, but be carefull cause in some cases they may charge you an extra 10 to 20% over the cash price.
Asado -- aka bbq -- was started by the Gauchos and is the traditional way to cook beef. The meat is hung on poles and leaned over a fire and slowly cooked that way. It's much different than a parillon, where the meat is cooked much quicker and over higher heat.
Of course, the beef to start with is quite excellent. Most beef is raised in the Pampas and since there is no snow in the Pampas the cattle graze on grass all year round. Naturally raised, grass-fed beef is better than any so-called "Angus" beef that's been fed a diet of hay, corn, etc.
There is a certain ritual about it that I haven't quite figured out, and doubt I ever will. But I am in quite in awe of it!
There are literally thousands of of asadors in Argentina, and the photo here is from one in Dolores, which is basically a rest stop on the road to Mar del Plata.Related to:
- Road Trip
- Food and Dining
- Budget Travel
One of the pleasures of visiting Buenos Aires is lingering in its cafes, whether with newspaper, a book or a friend and soaking up the ambience. The city is not called 'the Paris of the south' for nothing. Buenos Aires has a popular cafe culture. On almost every street corner you will see at least one cafe. Most of them offer both indoor and outdoor seating. While indoor cafes are usually decorated with objects related to tango, old photos or art, outdoors offer a good point for people-watching which is always an interesting thing to do when visiting a new city.
Cafes are integral to life in Buenos Aires. It is common for someone to seat at a cafe for hours and order nothing more then a coffee though it is quite common for Porteños to have their breakfast, cafe con leche y medialunas (cafe latte and croissants). Most of cafes offer variety of cakes and pastries, and sometimes you can get empanadas, salads or sandwiches as well.
Thanks to Italian immigrants Buenos Aires has excellent coffee. You can choose between cafe (espresso), cafe cortado (espresso with a little milk) and cafe con leche (mix of half coffee and half milk). And for those with a sweet tooth, there is chocolate con churros (thick hot chocolate with sticks of fried sweet pastry which you dip into the chocolate).
There are cafes for everyone: cafes for atmosphere (Confiteria Ideal, El Hipopotomo, El Federal), traditional cafes, literary cafes, bookshop cafes (Clasica y Moderna) and entertainment bars. Among the oldest cafes, the famous ones are Cafe Tortoni, Las Violetas, Confiteria Richmond, La Biela and La Giralda.Related to:
- Arts and Culture
- Food and Dining
- Wine Tasting
Locals in Buenos Aires refer to themselves as Porteños (people of the port), and take great pride in their city having quite a different feel, look and sound to every other city in South America - and it does. Spanish not only sounds different here - both words used and their meanings can be different too. The wealth and sophistication of the good times of the past shows in the grand buildings that could just as easily be in France or Vienna as here in South America. It's a city with a vibrant 24-hour a day beat to it. It's big, exciting, glamorous, sophisticated and yet there are aspects that are charmingly old-fashioned and intimate. There's no way you can hope to come to grips with it all in one visit or twenty - the basic rule for beginners is to relax and take time to enjoy simply being here.
Rule 2 - Eat late or eat alone - the only people in restaurants before 10pm are tourists.
Rule 3 - Dress well. Smartly casual, clean and well groomed will take you almost anywhere, scruffy is just not Porteño style.
Rule 4 - Make sure you have small notes and coins on you for taxis, tips, buses, small purchases, etc. No-one ever has change for big bills.
Rule 5 - Be prepared to be flattered/charmed/flirted with and for it to mean zilch - the Irish call it blarney - here they call it "chamuyo" (cha-ma-szho) and Porteños are the masters of it.
Rule 6 - If you can't get there by walking, use the subte whenever you can - it covers much of the city, is faster than anything above ground, cheaper than taxis, clean and safe.
Rule 7 - Only ever use a Radio Taxi - it will be marked as such. If one stops and it's not a Radio Taxi - don't get into it!!! Send it away, wait, hail another one,walk - whatever - just don't take that one.
Rule 8 - Pronounce "ll" and "y" as "zh" - it's "Plaza Ma -zho" and chicken is pozho.
Rule 9 - Say ciao instead of adios.
Feed the 'Koi'
The beautiful Japanese Gardens in the park-like Palermo district have large fish ponds integrated with the displays of plants from all over the world. In keeping with a Japanese custom, these ponds are inhabited by large 'Koi' fish, which can grow to a length of 2-3 feet and live for 35 years or longer.
Koi were developed by the Japanese over 200 years ago, specially for their ornamental ponds. With their variety of orange and white mottled skin colours, Koi look like large Goldfish, but in-fact are descended from bottom-feeding Carp. These fish will eat just about anything, and when they spot a likely handhout, they swarm the surface of the water with their large mouths opening and closing as they wait to grab a morsel.
It is good fun to watch their antics as the people enjoying the park take the time to throw some crumbs to the fish!Related to:
- Family Travel
Peruvian Street Musicians
During our very enjoyable walk along the pedestrian-only Av. Florida with it's many shops, we came across this band from Peru. They were playing some very nice tunes at this little intersection not far from Plaza de Mayo.
A good crowd was gathered around to listen to their tunes and singing so we stopped as well. One warning though is not to stand below the eaves of the large old buildings in this area, since eaves are also where the pigeons sit!
I spoke briefly to the lead musician to find out where they were from, before donating some cash and continuing our walk toward the Casa Rosada (Presidential Palace).Related to:
- Family Travel
Transfers from and to the airport
There are two charter comapanies that are cheaper than taxis and they are safe.
Hay dos empresas de charters que son más baratas que los taxis y además son seguras
* Manuel Tienda León. Phone: 4314-3636
* San Martín Bus. Phone: 4816-7676
Old Stone Streets
Stone block streets, similar to those found all over Portugal, are common only in the older parts of Buenos Aires, such as the San Telmo and La Boca districts.
Although they are a bit rough and can sometimes be tricky for walking, I find that they add a lot to the atmosphere of a neighbourhood.
Our final day in Argentina was humid and wet with intermittant rain showers. On arriving in La Boca by taxi, we took shelter under a canopy in front of a local restaurant while we waited for the rain to stop. This is the scene that greeted us once people began to venture out onto the streets again!Related to:
- Family Travel
A bird who knows all....
Something interesting to look for on the streets of San Telmo on a Sunday is the man in the picture--or one like him. With him he has sort of an organ, like a barrel organ, and on top of it, a cage with a small parakeet inside. The man pays the organ, then lets the bird out of its cage, opens the drawer and the bird picks out your fortune. All of tis for a small tip, of course. This is something that used to be more common on city streets of Buenos Aires, a custom brought over from Europe, and one that is now fading away. If you're lucky, you'll see it in San Telmo. It's pretty neat!
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