Strange Days

Cordoba Travel Blog

 › entry 28 of 115 › view all entries

The last 48 hours have been a little weird. 

First of all, I discovered that I have been entirely wrong with my beliefs about the existence of God. Whilst strolling through the streets of Rosario (3rd largest city in Argentina) I discovered that the rumours about the city are true. It does in fact have the most extrordinary concentration of beautiful young women I´ve ever had the pleasure of witnessing in one place. There were scores of lovely girls filling the streets, all breezing around looking casually chic and untouchable. I subsequently noted that Rosario has a very nice, well-maintained cathedral. 

A day later in Cordoba (2nd largest city in Argentina) what should I discover but a dirty, badly-kept Cathedral and guess what? That´s right - significantly less gorgeous girls. I have finally seen the light and take this as concrete evidence that God exists (yeah God´s obviously a bloke) and he is rewarding his faithful followers in Rosario with a surplus of beauties. That´s right, you heard it here first: I am no longer an atheist. Upon my return to England, I´m going to pursue my true calling and become a vicar. I have a dream: one day, through piety and prayer, Rochdale will become the Rosario of Britain.                      

The shabby cathedral was not the only thing I saw whilst meandering through the streets of Cordoba. I also stumbled across a guy with a large stall set up in one of the main squares. I quickly realised that he was staging a protest against Britain, and in particular, our continued "occupation" of the Falkland/Malvinas Islands. This seemingly remains a very contentious issue for an awful lot of (generally older and more nationalistic) Argentinians.

These people have a problem with the continued British presence on the islands and of course the actions of the 1982 war. Without going into the rights and wrongs of the whole thing, I was somewhat surprised to see that the guy had set up a large picture of a British flag overlaid with a Swastika. I´m not a very patriotic person but I was pretty taken aback by the image. Just think for a second of randomly coming across your own flag with a swastika slapped over it; it´s hardly subtle. 

Anyway, after listening to 30 seconds of his hate-filled prattle, I realised that this guy was clearly a misguided and bitter prick who (unlike the vast majority of Argentinians I´ve met) deserved no more of my attention than all the "patriotic" rabble rousers we have back home (most of whom work for the Daily Mail). In other words - it´s clear that jingoistic bullshit is a worldwide phenomenon.       

Later, I went out into the city with a group of randoms from the hostel. After attending a dodgy club until 6am that, for some reason played a whole hour of Smashing Pumpkins records in a row, I managed a few hours of poor quality alco-kip. Unfortunately, I was forced to lever myself out of my pit tragically early as I had to check out of the hostel by 10am or pay for an extra night. The following hours assumed a surreal quality, almost as if they happened to someone else. It seems likely that this is because I was still very well oiled from 8 hours of drinking the previous night and was on some kind of boozy auto pilot.

I needed coffee to kickstart the sobering up process and help me to face up to a long day ahead waiting to get on the bus. I sloped off to a cafe near the hostel and, whilst I was munching my way through a couple of croissants, this amusing old giffer named Francisco began chatting to me. It turned out he was a retired professor of microbiology from one of the city´s universities. 

With me still drunk and raving loudly about the mentally-deficient flag defacer from the previous day, he felt the need to change the subject swiftly. He ended my rant by switching the topic to his 35 year old girlfriend. The guy must be about 70 and he goes to me:

"Do you think I look old?"

I should obviously say no but, all politeness tranquilsed by alcohol, instead I tell him that he is old and so he looks old. He looks a trifle crestfallen and then tries to convince me that when he walks down the street, the young girls all watch him. I nearly wet myself laughing at the idea of this and began to doubt the existence of his young lover. 

Despite my lack of courtesy, we part on good terms, with him telling me that it´s a shame I´m leaving the city today as he would have liked to introduce me to many beautiful young blonde girls. Nice guy was old Francisco, clearly deluded and a lothario only in his head, but nice all the same.              

I then sat and sweated in a cheapo cinema with no air conditioning watching the rather brilliant Cloverfield. I won´t go into the plot, that would spoil it for those that haven´t seen it, but suffice to say that the shaky Blair Witch style camerawork, combined with my fast-emerging hangover, meant that I only narrowly avoided vomiting. I have to say that being hungover adds a whole new element to going to the flicks. The suspense over the will I/won´t I puke my sickly sweet popcorn over the poor sod at in front had me on the edge of my seat every bit as much as the film itself.  

Much later, I sobered up enough to call home. The surreality abruptly ended when I realised that Mother´s Day is, in fact, on the 3rd of March this year and not a week later. I´m a little disappointed that God didn´t remind me to send a card, but hey - I guess he´s busy keeping both eyes on Rosario.             

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photo by: sissanoel