Saturday, July 26, 2014

And a Wake-Up: Last Day in Buenos Aires

I have an evening flight out tonight with a red-eye to Houston and then connecting flights to Newark and then Ottawa.  So, I had the chance to walk around some more and see parts of the city that I had missed.

My effort to see the military history museum failed since it was not open yet.  When I get the grant and come back to do research, I will try again.  Otherwise, I saw what I wanted to see, and now I am very tired.

I enjoyed the Ecological Reserve near my hotel, but was frustrated that I could not get a better view of the Atlantic Ocean.  On the way back, I ate at an Italian place as I have had my fill of steak and then some.  Indeed, both my friend and I agreed that I had too much steak (see pic to the right).

While I had my pasta, I got to watch polo on ESPN.  I had never watched polo before (I had hoped to make it to a match but planned poorly).  It was Argentina vs .... England!  Argentina won today, perhaps taking some of the sting out of the whole Malavinas thing.  Their idea of penalties seems even easier than penalty kicks in hockey.  Not sure what caused one to get a penalty--on replays of the penalty swings and not the event that caused the penalty.

A couple of other observations that I may not have mentioned before:
  • The customs declaration form on the way into the country was strange--asking for what kind of cell phone I have.
  • That even with an impending default, Argentina seems pretty prosperous and stable (except for all of the illegal currency swapping stuff).  The shops and tv's and such do not seem strange to me.  Indeed, I am even more convinced that Sam Huntington is a racist (a dead one, of course) as the folks here do not seem to be of a different civilization than folks I have met elsewhere--that the only major difference between the Catholics of Argentina and those of Italy are that these are browner--hence the racism charge.
    • that the real differences among peoples are fundamentalists versus everyone else.  That all fundamentalists fundamentally suck.  
  • the Spanish spoken here is different enough that my restaurant pronunciation is even worse than one might expect. 
  • oh, and one more thing--I will have to remember to bring ankle braces next time.  Between the cobblestone and the beat up sidewalks, my ankles were not happy this week.
The trip was most successful.  Not only did I eat a heap of beef, but I had a few good conversations that will help as I revise the grant application and think about the project.  I got some good questions while presenting the extended grant app (the paper was the grant app and a few more pages).  So, overall, I can declare success, go home and then prep for the next trip (family vacation) and the one after that (dropping Frosh Spew off).

No comments: