Mondey evening Beth & left on a 13 hour trip to Buenos Aires. Our bus was two stories & first class. The seats laid out into beds, we each had our own TV & we were served delicious food, tea & coffee. I really wonder what is wrong with America for not having this form of transportation.
Arriving in Buenos Aires we were welcomed with freezing cold weather, loads of people & hundreds of picture taking opportunities =P. We first dropped our things off where we would be staying, a 4 story apartment with a church on the bottom floor. The missonaries who own it rent some of the rooms to Christian girls studying at the local universities & also use the place to put up missionaries that come through.
Beth & I decided to do some exploring & went to catch the subway, which was an experience in itself. The subway cars were so crammed it wasn't necessary to hold on to anything, we couldn't have fallen over even if we wanted. I'm glad I'm not a claustrophobic person. Men were mashed up against me on every side. One guy exclaimed jokingly, "we'll get married at the next stop."
We saw the Casa Rosada, the Pink House, which serves the same purpose as the White House in the States. We visited the Catholic church with San Martín´s grave, saw what looked like a smaller version of the Washington monument & walked on a swing bridge named, "Puente de la Mujer" which means "Woman's Bridge" just because we felt it necessary, we are women =).
After lunch with the missionaries, we went out for more sight seeing & Julieta, a girl who lives in the apartments & studies in Bs As, joined us. We took a bus to a place called La Boca. For Tallahassians reading this, La Boca reminded me of Railroad Square but a much nicer, more interesting & larger version. All the buildings were painted bright colors & artists display their work on stands along the roads. We stopped at a restaurant where we could watch tango dancing & drink coffee. I thought I would only be watching, but an old man in his 80's had a different idea. He unexpectedly walked over to our table, grabbed my arm & asked me to dance. I'm sure my eyes got as big as baseballs. I told him "oh no no, gracias, no." But either he didn't understand Spanish or he just didn't care. He had a death grip on my arm & kept insisting. It was one of those moments in life when you know it's going to end up being a scene either way & you try to pick the less painful option. I'm not too sure me giving in was the less painful option though =P. The poor man could hardly walk but he decided that we were going to "dance" (which was a lot more like walking) for the entire song...which seemed to NEVER end. When it finally did, he insisted that I take a picture with him, but a picture like people take with the actual tango dancers, with the girl's leg up on the man's legs. Ooooh, the horrible thing is, Beth got all of this on camera. I haven't brought myself to watch the video quite yet.
Later that night Beth went back to the apartment to get some work done & Julieta & I went on to do some more sight seeing, shopping & a LOT of walking. Being with Julieta was fun, it had been awhile since I'd done anything with someone my age. It was also very challenging because I had to speak in Spanish the entire time. Wednesday, while Beth was in her missions meetings, Julieta & I spent the entire day together as well. We had a delicious brunch, which only cost me $3.15!! Oh how I love the exchange rate! & we met up with her friend Andrew (who could actually speak English very well) & went to a Zoo.
I loved the city! I love the fast pace & the fact that you could be there for weeks & never run out of things to do or see. I wish it wasn't 13 hours away; I'd love to go back & do more shopping & visit more adorable coffee shops where incredible cups of café con leche are only $1!
~ Michaela Rae