The City That Never Sleeps Syndrome
Buenos Aires Travel Blog› entry 3 of 4 › view all entries
It seems that the "The City That Never Sleeps Syndrome" that so obviously affects Buenos Aires also reaches to the outskirts of the city and beyond. Yesterday morning (Saturday), Joanne, Brad and I got up at the early hour of 11 and headed to El Tigre for a quiet night away from the city. There were many old people on the train with us, and we enjoyed a good laugh as we watched them all pour off the train and shuffle their way towards the casino--apparently the attraction of gambling is prevalent to seniors in South America too. We put our bags down at an elegant Bed & Breakfast filled with antiques that reminded me of my grandmother's house, and headed towards the town's main attractions: the amusement park and the casino.
The amusement park was very enjoyable for us because it was different from what we were used to at home. It seemed to be a mix between a Six Flags (sporting two comparable roller coasters), and a state carnival (cheap games with plastic toy prizes, the swinging ship ride, candy apples, and a haunted house). Obviously it did not share the same kind of ample funding that Six Flags enjoys, but that is what made the place so special to us (and affordable). Same goes for the Casino, where Brad and I shared our first experience with slot machines, only spending a few US dollars each.
After a full evening we headed back to the Bed and Breakfast (accompanied by some friendly stray dogs playing with a plastic bottle). We walked past a busy McDonalds (again, another sad town that must refer to its most frequented building/central location as an American fast food chain), where I bought the strays a cheeseburger. We went to bed early, and a couple hours later I learned that the syndrome spread to the suburbs here. I woke up to a series of loud noises and as I laid wide awake trying to fall back asleep I tried to count the different noises and remember them all for my blog: cars racing down up and down the street, the constant revving of engines, honking, teenagers blaring music, laughs and screams, constant chatter, and motors cranking from the boats on the river. There was also a strange loud shuffling sound in the house and at some point something went crashing to the floor downstairs. I could not believe that the amount of noise was comparable (even competitive) to the residencia/city and started wondering when the town changed to be so loud. Was it the casino and park? A 24 hour McDonalds so close by? When industry moves to a sleepy town, everyone seems to wake up (especially the youngsters). Or is it industry that targets youngsters? In the morning it was back to being calm and quiet. They must have finally gone to sleep.
El Tigre is a place I would recommend that everyone visit to see another side of Argentina. It is a very unique place, with the feeling of a small vacation town in the Carolinas with fun small attractions, as well as a river filled with rowers and old, beautiful houses. However, if you're looking for a quiet night away from the city, I'd head past the suburbs and keep going towards the countryside.