Frenzied Traffic and Quiet Tombs

Buenos Aires Travel Blog

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Today I encountered the widest road in the world. The Ave 9 Julio has 7 lanes in each direction and it is the only place where even the Argentinian pedestrians use the cross walks. The walk signal even has instructions beside it for those who have long forgotten that red means stop. Crossing the street in Argentina is a giant game of chicken. It is not the car´s responsibility to stop but the pedestrians don´t seem to think that it is theirs´ either. Neither cars nor pedestrians stop for ambulances. The Ambulence just weaves through the already speeding traffic with alternating the gas and brake to the floor. The result is general pandemonium.

Next, I went to the Recolleta Cemetary, the resting place of Eva Peron. Her tomb brings throngs of visitors but is rather uninteresting in itself. I wandered through the tombs near the edge of the cemetary and was almost completely alone. The structures are fascinating. These are not graves. These are stone temples to the dead. Think New Orleans. Some tombs are so run down that I half expected to see bones protruding through holes in the coffins and others are shiny and covered in flowers. After seeing a few particularly egotistical statues on top of tombs I have decided that when I die I want nothing over me but a tree. Stone weathers, iron rusts, and glass breaks and when the people who love you die there is no life only Ozymandian ruins "My name is Ozymandias, king of kings: Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!"Nothing beside remains: round the decay of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,The lone and level sands stretch far away.
But even though a tree will die, it will also live and grow and reproduce. A bit of a dark thought maybe but cemetaries are dark places.

In the evening, after 8 hours of walking, I finally sat down at the World Cup of Tango which was being held here in town. I ran into Rose, a Dutch girl who I met at Tango last night, and we watched together. It was a little bit disappointing because the dance is subtle and difficult for the uninitiated to make any sense of. I took the subway home.

I am very excited to have finally accumulated enough coins to take the bus. Coins are a huge problem here in Argentina. The city bus system only accepts coins and as a result people horde them. It has taken me 3 days of concerted effort to get enough (.75 pesos or 25 canadian cents) to take the bus.

islandflavour says:
I like your blog- easy reading, and some interesting insights.
Posted on: Sep 12, 2007
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