Buenos Aires is an amazing city with so many interesting and varied neighbourhoods. Yesterday, I spent my time walking through San Telmo to the Plaza de Mayo to see where Evita made her famous speeches to the Argentinian people. Then I wandered down to the canals. The canals area reminded me of Yaletown in Vancouver. Once a working dockyard, the old warehouses have now been renovated into trendy restaurants and residences. I took a stroll through the nature reserve and stumbled across a stony beach looking out on the Rio del Plata (which looks more like the ocean than a river). From there I made my way over to Boca, the working class home of soccer, tango, and colourful houses. Everywhere I went I was instantly recognised as a foreigner. People stopped dead in their tracks to look at me, conversations paused and heads turned as I passed, people whistled, honked, hissed (similiar idea to the whistling) and even burst into song as I passed. Even ditching my backpack and pink coat and hiding the camera had no effect. The guy at the tourist office explained to me that I am "Blonde (which I am not at all) and have light eyes. They can tell instantly." Many people here have a similar skin tone to me but their hair and eyes are much darker. The only blondes I have seen have been dyed or foreigners. Still, coming from Vancouver, where there are so many different kinds of people, this reaction baffles me (although it is more amusing and annoying than threatening.)
In the evening, I went with a group from my hostel (and the 3 other HI hostels in town) to a tango experience. We had wine and got to know each other (yes I actually drank some and managed to get it down with out making a complete fool of myself) then we were taken to a dance studio where we had a tango lesson. The van then took us out for pizza dinner (at 11 30 pm the place was packed) and then to a tango club where young professionals shared the floor with argentinian grandmothers and tourist neophytes. I met some really cool people from Georgia, Indiana, California, the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Montreal, and Toronto. I also had an interesting conversation with my German room mate who´s German nature cannot stand the laid back approach to time here. There are many women who are travelling alone and this has given me some confidence.
Today I will explore the city some more and tomorrow I go watch a Soccer match.