I wake up to streaming sunlight and toddle into the shower, which beats me to a pulp. Ah, the delight of proper water pressure, more notable after the misty fallout of my electric shower in Ireland. I emerge bruised and awake, pushing back the shutters to greet the streaming sunshine. Ah, the delight of a blue sky, more notable after . . . Ok, need I say more? Ireland in October isn't famed for tropical weather. I would have a mate
, but Clara doesn't drink it, so instead I amble out for some medialunas from Continental. Sweet buttery bliss. Course, before I can do so, I have to find my keys. They are huge, heavy bronze affairs, so weighty that my trousers practically fall down when I put them in my pocket. But the problem with keeping me pants up might also be in part due to my undersized culo
, which falls tragically short of Latino proportions.
I wait for hours for the rickety lift to make its way up to the sixth floor. You get used to waiting in Argentina, and this ancient ironclad ascensor
is worth it - I still get a kick out of the accordian-like iron doors that slide back stuttering to let me in. I´ve barely set foot on the cracked pavement outside when a young man passing by stops in his tracks to tell me how beautiful I am. It really isn´t a bad way to start the day.
I decide to skip the medialunas
and head for the rotiseria
- a kind of mini-restaurant serving potato omelettes and roast chicken - just a block away, where they bake the best bread in town. Then on to the supermercado
for some creamy cheese from the deli counter, where a stubbled old man carefully wraps my selection in white paper and insists on a plastic bag, despite my protestations.
If it were a normal day, I´d already be on the bondi
, or bus, headed for the Reuters office. But I finished there on Friday, and have a whole day of idling ahead of me instead. I come home to watch the live TV coverage of Juan Domingo Peron´s body progressing towards its new resting place. The poor fella has had some difficulty resting in peace, having been moved from grave to grave, then had his tomb raided where the grave robbers mysteriously cut off his hands, and now a decision to move him out of the crypt in Characitas to a weekend home in the suburbs. Everybody is very excited, and there´s a huge police escort accompanying him along the motorway. Commuters are advised to avoid this particular road. They´d be well used to this kind of carry on, what with road blocks being fairly commonplace in the land of picketers and protests.
It´s time to plan the evening already, as the options come flooding in. Buenos Aires is a very sociable town, and there´s always a dinner or a party to attend. So far I haven´t stopped, and each evening has been packed with activity, catching up with old friends, weddings in Tigre, dining in some of my favourite restaurants and generally getting caught up in the non-stop nightlife that characterises this crazy town. It´s exhausting, so today being my first real day off for a very long time, I´m thinking of indulging in the sweetest latin invention, the siesta
. Then it´s all systems go until the wee hours, as Buenos Aires kicks off again when the sun goes down. I won´t get to bed before three, but it´s more likely to be even later.
Time flies in Buenos Aires, because I´m always having fun here. But I may require an entire Irish winter of serious hybernation to get over it all.