buenos aires to rosario
i´m pretty sure this is day three... might be day four. when i last wrote we were having a lazy day at the hostel. we went out to get dinner, the hostel recommended a place for us but we gave up looking for it pretty quickly and settled for a nearby restaurant. we decided to sit outside which quickly turned out to be a bad idea. lots of mosquitos and people asking for money made unwanted appearances. also there was a mini protest that walked by. it was a much more eventful dinner than we anticipated. maddy and i got gnocchi with pesto (pesto = literally basil-oregano sprinkled on top, not actual sauce) and fish and mashed potatoes. mich and star got this kinda weird fried chicken dish with potatoes. to be honest none of the food we´ve gotten has met /exceeded our expectations but i don´t know if that is because we are ordering the wrong things, if it´s because we are ordering the cheapest things, or if thats just how it is. probably the first two.
anyways after dinner we got back to the hostel around 830 which is still reallyyy early by buenos aires standards. star and maddy took a nap claiming that it would make them more likely to go out later. michelle and i hung out downstairs of the hostel, we watched the peru/argentina game and mich made me a hairwrap. around midnight we went back upstairs to wake up the sleeping beauties. not to our surprise neither of them were too keen to go out. we compromised though and decided to just hang out with our brazilian roomies. we went outside and took a walk around the city, got some snacks to munch on then went back to our room to pack. we could communicate simple things with one of the brazilians, but the other didn´t really know english at all. he had no problem laughing at us though. he was lying on his bed as we were packing up and he literally would just burst out in laughter. pretty funny.
the next day was a big morning, maddy had to go to the us embassy by 12pm to get a new passport and star had to go to the bank to hopefully get her atm card back. thankfully both missions were a success! i went with star to the bank, it was like a 10 minute walk from the hostel. the streets were sooo busy, there were vendors with their crafts displayed on the ground. made a pit stop at starbucks, checked out a protest (we heard what sounded like cannons shooting consistently and couldnt figure out what it was so we had to investigate), then went back to the hostel were we locked up our stuff and made a quick turn around.
the adventure for the day was a graffiti tour of the city. we had to take the supte (subway) about 7 or 8 stops then took a taxi to the meeting point because the maps were pretty confusing. the tour lasted about 3 or 4 hours and was pretty cool. our guide told us how street art got started in argentina. because of the dictatorship in the 70s/80s it didn´t really take off until a couple decades after the rest of the world. now it is really appreciated, the intention of it is to brighten up the city. the artists respect each other, the walls they paint on, and the street signs. technically it is illegal and considered property vandalism but no one really gets in trouble - property owners often ask artists to paint on their wall. the tour guide showed us one street where an artist painted a few walls and a neighbor asked why they didn´t paint his wall, if it wasnt good enough. once i figure out how to post pics i will, it was really cool.
the tour ended at a restaurant that supports the street art community - theres a studio in the back that they let them use for free and all the walls are covered in stencils. we got a pitcher and some food, maddy got a tomato and cheese sando (not many options for a vegetarian), star mich and i all got hamburgers.... wont go into that. took the supte back to the hostel, grabbed our bags then took a taxi to the bus station. the bus station had all these kiosks for buses to different locations. we got tickets for a bus to rosario, a city north of buenos aires. we were all looking forward to the bus ride so we could sleep (went to bed at 4am the night before and had to get up early). the bus left at 830, me star and michelle passed out pretty quickly. maddy on the other, usually the queen of sleep, couldnt because apparently everytime she tried all she could think about was how hungry she was and restaurants at home. i woke up after about 2 or 3 hours (it was a 4 hour journey). the bus ride reminded me a lot of the bus from cape town to namibia, but instead of playing an intensely religious movie, this bus ride offered popular movies people actually wanted to watch. before we knew it we were in rosario, stars friend maxi and another homie picked us up and we went to a restaurant. got pizza (cheese and tomato.... maddy had some very diverse food experiences this day) and some local beer which was really yummy. took a little drive around town, we got out at a park and before we knew it star was having a really bad allergic reaction. her face puffed up literally within five minutes, she could barely see out of her eyes, the doctor thought she was japanese. we assumed it was the mosquitos (they are everywhere). gave her some antiitch cream and a claritin but it didn´t seem to help so we had to take her to emergency care
it was a pretty small local clinic and it was pretty clear we were not in america. there was one waiting room with open doors (which meant lots o mosquits) then a door that led into the room where star got treated. they gave her a shot and some oxygen. the doctor was not very friendly, i mostly just waited in the waiting area with maxi and his friend. we got there around 330am, maddy and i went back to maxis to pass out around 530, star and michelle didnt get in til 10am this morning. pretty crazy, the doctors think that it was the strawberry star ate because apparently they have some sort of acid here? anyways, had some cookies for breakfast (my kinda breakfast) then we all passed out again til about 4.
we´ve just been hanging out with maxi and his family, they are so nice and welcoming. they don´t speak english which i actually prefer because it forces me to try and understand. definitely helpful that star and michelle are here though to translate. had some empanadas for lunch (little pastries with spinach/veggies or meat) which were delicious, tried the popular local drink (coke and this drink called fernet which is just alcohol, sugar, and an infusion of herbs) definitely a new taste but not bad at all! sipping on it now as i type. oh! maxi took me on a ride around town (he lives in peres, a few minutes outside of rosario) on his motorbike. it was so fun, never been on one before but definitely keen to do it again! (dont worry mom and dad i wore a helmet). now im here, we´re all up and just hanging out. not sure what the rest of the day has in store for us but i definitely need to take a shower.
i think we are going to head up to iguazu falls tomorrow...........