Uneasy in Buenos Aires

I left Hong Kong very unhappy for a host of reasons. After spending ages getting very excited and spending much money and effort in planning my nearly-three-week-long holiday in South America, I felt uneasy when the day of the trip approached. It felt so far away…how would I travel for so long by myself? Even if Bunny and Luigi were meeting me in Peru, I still had 12 days in Argentina all by myself. I would miss Ike terribly. The people at the in-town check-in made me cry by asking for several documents to prove the legitimacy of my trip –  documents even the Peruvian or Argentinian consulate  had not bothered asking for. Why? Because they had never seen an Argentina visa before. True story. I didn’t like starting my journey with so much negativity.

All the negativity and fears feel even more real today as I sit here in my rented studio in Palermo writing this. Today was a shitty day and I am mortified that I have 11 more days by myself. It rained all day and I got stuck in traffic and spent hours waiting for a transfer from the bus stop. I had lunch with a friend of a friend who was utterly sweet and since I was craving pizza, she took me to a place called Plaza del Carmen. The pizza sucked. I asked for directions to go to Malba…I was told to take bus 15. It led me nowhere near my final destination. I walked 25 minutes while frantically trying to search the opening hours (to decide if I should take a taxi). Then I noticed on the website that the museum was “Martes: Cerrado”… closed on tuesdays. Why tuesdays?! I then began a long walk back to my apartment as time was too short to do anything else on the other end of the city and a bus would drop me off far too early. Did I mention it rained all day?

The  only good thing was I inadvertently walked by the bosques de palermo and they were lush and gorgeous. The sculptures in some of them were pensive, sad and beautiful albeit not exactly what I needed to see given the rubbish mood I was in.

I walked on and on, I passed by Alto Palermo but had no desire to shop. I tried to buy ankle socks (not toe socks, Ike keeps correcting me) from a street vendor but he didn’t have change for 50. I miss Ike so terribly much. I bet I wouldn’t be so blue if I was single. Love is a terrifying thing. This walk is too long and this city is too big. Then again, I felt the same way in Kyoto last year, I was single then (well nearly, I was seeing Leonard but I didn’t love him). It was dreary and drizzly and I had gotten lost in Gion. Similarly I had also walked a great deal to a museum that happened to be closed that day. Of all the stupid coincidences…

Meanwhile in other horrible news, my grandma’s sister is gravely ill – she’s a wonderful lady and one who I love dearly. I know she will leave us soon and even though it would better that her suffering be lessened and that she depart earlier than later, it still breaks my heart to wish for something like that. Her grandchildren were always awful to her, the little shits, but my brother and I have always loved her. I hope she knows that, and that I am worrying and praying for her in this far-flung corner of the world. I cried buckets the day before I left, I cried today too. Only after calling and talking to my brother this evening did I feel slightly pacified. My brother and Ike share this amazing quality of being able to stay calm and say exactly what needs to be said to make me feel better when I am frazzled…

On the flip side, I couldn’t have expected today to have been a raging success, not after having spent the last 35 hours before arriving in the city in airplanes and airports. Even if I don’t think I am exhausted, I must be.

I hope tomorrow will be better, I am planning to start bright and early and head to busier parts of the city so that hustle of tourists and locals can drown out the constant worrying in my brain. For now, I hope that the music in the neighbouring apartment dies down so I can get some sleep



2 thoughts on “Uneasy in Buenos Aires

  1. You are so cool, Jups! Traveling all by your self, and that too to such off-beat places…
    Those many hours in flights/airports is no joke! I am sure you’ll have loads of fun on this trip as well. 🙂

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