Jerseys, jerseys, jerseys. It gets no better than this.
Keeping it going, it is your neighborhood guest blogger again, giving Miss Cho another much needed finger rest. She woke up complaining of Charlie Horses in her fingers and wrists, and me being the guy I am, I said that I would take over her duties for another day. We have once again reached the weekend, with this Saturday being the 9th day that we are in Argentina with Brandon being here for a little shorter time. The time has gone by delightfully slow. We have reached another weekend though it feels no different from any other day when you do not have to be at work or have any school assignments due. However, the realization that work awaits me back home keeps me quite humble.
The Golden Arches signifying the gateway to Western Civilization
We planned on going to the zoo today to get that Amazonian feeling, since a trip to South America just makes you want to feel like you will see some things that are National Geographicesque, but unfortunately, the concrete jungle that is Buenos Aires doesn’t always suffice. However, we slept a little too late, and with a lot of errands to run, we decided to put this off until later. As I thought about it, it should be okay because we are in the middle of a huge city, and how exotic could the animals be? I can wait off on the tiger striped squirrels and saber toothed iguanas I guess. Instead, we had to go pay for a soccer game that we will watch Sunday night.
The deal is that a tour company picks you up, escorts you to your seats, and brings you back for a premium price. It works like this because soccer games abroad are a little different from the regular sporting event home. I will sum it up like this….you can die…but other than this the experience is supposed to be wonderful and memorable. As a soccer fanatic myself, I was looking forward to it. However, we had to settle our balance today, so we were off to a place called Retiro to the touring company’s headquarters. I also was desperately looking for some bootleg soccer jerseys for myself and my little brother and Hannah’s trusty guidebook said that this was the place to go.
One of several beautiful shop windows in Retiro.
Aside: Hannah is attached to these maps and guide books like no one has ever seen.
At the first sign of any issues, she whips it out like my mother used to pull that belt out (just got chills from a terrible flashback, give me a second….okay). Anyway, Hannah has been looking at these things religiously and I am definitely considering hiding the book one day to see her panic and quite possibly spontaneously combust. I will keep you guys posted on the status of this endeavor. But back to what I was saying…
Take the book....and watch Hannah go pop.
So me and Hannah took off on the Subway to Retiro and stopped on San Martin station (San Martin of course being one of liberators of Argentina who is definitely “kind of a big deal”). We got out and took a couple more pictures of other statues and walked towards Florida Street, a place full of just as many Americans as Florida is, with those wonderful golden arches to welcome us.
By the way, Argentina has just as many statues as it does dogs. They are everywhere. I am starting to think that people didn’t want to get buried anymore so they just asked their friends to dip them in bronze. I am heavily considering this for my next birthday wish. But anyway, we went down Florida to see tons of very nice trendy stores selling top shelf jewelry, leather goods, cashmere, dress clothes, and wonderful beautiful soccer jerseys. There is a long strip lined with hotels and historic buildings with all the stores on the bottom of either side. It was very similar to Underground Atlanta or Atlantic Station with the setup and how it feels. The stuff was very nice as well, but who cares about dress clothes.
Hannah showing that the Torre Monument is no match for her.
I wanted jerseys. As Hannah mentioned, we had been PLAYED in previous tries, so we definitely wanted to make it happen this time. So I walked around gawking and drooling for a while then after remembering I was poor, I snapped back into reality. (These realizations are terrible moments, like when you realize that you don’t play tennis, and especially not well, so the fact that this conversation with Serena Williams after playing her at the French Open is starting to really “go somewhere” doesn’t matter cause it is not real. Wake up young man, wake up…shaking head in disgust). Anyway, we found the place and paid off our balance. We asked the guide where the seats were and he said, on the “second or third level (out of 3 mind you), somewhere behind the line.” This got me to thinking…isn’t all the seats in the stadium behind the line fool?! Are you insulting our intelligence? This was one of those famous vague descriptions, like those blind date descriptions of the “heavy set, thin girl, who is not too short and not too tall, with brownish blackish hair” that always end up bad. I actually felt the cloud of foreboding over my head like we were being set up, but I hoped I was imagining things. Anyway, we left and walked a couple blocks up to the train and bus depot where all the latest ghetto fashions were. But on the way to the depot, we went through another national park where the British Watch Tower is located. It is called Torre Monumental, and it is a watchtower donated by the British to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Argentina’s May Revolution in 1810. As I walked through the park, I saw people in the grass, rolling around, “making whoopy” as they say. By the way, the only thing that is worse than the dog stuff in Argentina is the public displays of affection. You can’t escape it. I would take a picture of it so you guys would believe me, but I am always too busy throwing up in my mouth to do so, and besides, capturing that on film promotes you to a card carrying member of the stalker club. Watching it everywhere (train, store, street, stores, etc) is about as fun as flipping through the tv stations and finding a liposuction marathon on the discovery channel. But, I digress. Anyway, the bus depot was exactly the place and environment I was looking for. All of a sudden there were no tourists and everything was priced to go. Unfortunately, these jerseys were not of comparable quality at all. We all remember those days when you wanted a polo shirt and your mom bought you the one with the horse that just threw off the rider, and you knew you couldn’t wear it to school and survive that day. It was like that. So anyway, we looked around and I couldn’t bring myself to purchase those things, so we ran back to Retiro shopping plaza from earlier and looked some more. It was there that I found some of the most beautiful jerseys I have ever seen. After constant pontification and encouragement by my life coach Hannah, I agreed to sell a kidney in order to buy a couple of jerseys I could not afford. I got the Argentine national jersey, and a beautiful, wonderful Ivory Coast limited Edition, which I am a little too excited about. Funny how you can know that after this moment, your budget will not allow you to eat meat for a couple of months, but you still feel eerily fulfilled from a purchase. This life of gross materialism is so….gross. But I will get over it. After leaving Retiro, we were tired from all the walking around and decided to take it to the house. After eating the staple poor man’s food of empanadas and adding some broccoli to make it exciting, we got a taste of home by watching Rush Hour and NBA basketball playoffs, which I am suffering a rough case of withdrawal from. But I am sure that I will be over it as we go see that futbol (soccer) game tomorrow, which I am very excited about. But until next time, it’s been real…
Mission accomplished, and I am a bit too excited about it.