School, football and tourism in Buenos Aires
14.06.2010 - 19.06.2010 16 °C
Well, I'm coming to the end of my time in Buenos Aires, so thought I better make use of the internet whilst it's still freely available to write another post.
The last week has been incredibly hectic and great fun. I have been studying Spanish at the Academia Buenos Aires to try and get a basic grasp of the language before I go any further. This has involved 4 hours of lessons each morning, working on grammar, conversation and vocabulary. It has been very stimulating and really enjoyable, and I feel a lot more confident about speaking and understanding basic Spanish. Hopefully with lots of practice it can only get better.
As part of the course, I have also been staying with an Argentinian family. My hostess has been Marisa, a mother of three grown-up chidren, lwho lives in a lovely flat in San Telmo with Mayra the dog, and Vito and Max the cats. Marisa has been a lovely host, and it has been really interesting getting to experience life in Argentina and to know more about the country. Marisa is also a great cook, and any hope I had of losing a few pounds has been put on hold whilst I have been fed one delicious meal after another. Fortunately I´m also doing a fair bit of walking, which has stopped me getting El Gordo!
My Argentine family
The afternoons have been filled with the usual tourist activities; visiting Recoleta, which is the famous cemetary where Evita is buries. It is filed with the most amazing mausolea and is very impressive. As usual I was taking excessive numbers of photos, but the fact it's more than just a tourist attraction was brought home to me when I bumped into an actual funeral party, complete with sobbing women.
Other highlights have included exploring the city centre and visiting Casa Rosada and of course watching lots of football. I also visited La Boca and Estadio Boca Juniors, the home of Boca Juniors football club. It's an impressive edifice, with some lovely board faced exposed concrete finishes for the engineers amongst us! I took the tour, which unfortunately was only in Spanish, but was still interesting. I´m not sure the changing room was quite up to Premier League standards, but maybe that's why Argentina can play football!
Casa Rosada, literally "the Pink House"
Estadio Boca Juniors - lovely bit of concrete!
The Argentina game was shown here on Thursday at 8.30 in the morning, so we all went into school early and watched it there. I was hoping Messi would score, as I've gone as far as to get a dodgy Argentina shirt (no.10 of course), but sadly he just missed a couple of times. They are still looking very impressive though, unlike a dire England performance on Friday. The most entertaining aspect was that ESPN had sent a camera crew to film in the (largely English) bar I was watching it in, and after the game they interviewed me for Argentinian tv. Fortunately my Spanish isn´t good enough to say what I really thought, but I managed a few phrases (mostly "yo pienso Inglaterra esta muy muy mal").
Even the dogs are supporting Argentina!
Later today I'm leaving BA for Posadas, to start my trip north. I still haven't quite figured out my route, but will probably pop into Paraguay for a few days before heading towards Iguazu and Brazil. So the next post is likely to be from Brazil. Now I'm off to catch a bus...