The city of the dead

22 Jun

Hello my good friends from the beautiful city of Buenos Aires. And what a beautiful city it is, not only in its very European first world feel, but also with the wonderfully friendly people that fill its bustling downtown streets.

It’s great to be in a city where you’re not a tourist, but just another face in the crowd going about your daily business, even if that business is just getting lost in the unfamiliar maze of foreign streets. It is definitely a welcome change from Thailand where you stand out like president Obama guest speaking at a KKK meet. In Buenos Aires you don’t wear the tourist tag that is accompanied with a big dollar sign hat that reads “please hassle me with your taylor-made suits, or cheap tuk tuk tour or a stupid Chinese made wooden souvenir that I probably couldn’t get through customs”. Umm, so yeah, I think I’m trying to say that I’m please I’m not being treated like a tourist.

But guess what, I am very much a tourist and have been taking great delight in exploring the tourist wonders of Buenos Aires. Attending a tango show was a definite high light for me. Not only the bottomless red wine available, but also the amazing performance where the tango dancers perform so gracefully with a sensuality a stripper could only dream of possessing. What makes you appreciate it even more is the tango lesson prior to the show where most people realise they are born with two left feet.

Next on the agenda was a walk through “La Camineta”, which is basically pedestrian streets filled with oddly painted houses. Music is being played in the streets, the tango being danced, the onlookers sit at the street cafes sipping their coffees, a great place to watch the world go by.

In contrast to the lively streets of the “la camineta” we wandered the clean pathways of the city of the dead, the “La cementario de Recoleta”. This is a 5 star cemetery for the Buenos Aires elite. Well kept lanes lined with marble and glass shrines to the famous. Elaborate statues and old trees tower above the lanes. It’s a funny feeling wandering and peering into the shrines through the glass windows and seeing the coffins. I was just waiting for some dead president from last century to pop his head up and tell me “piss off you dread lock hippy, I’m trying to die in peace here”.

I couldn’t’ help but think while walking through the manicured lanes how backwards this world is sometimes. How is it that these chosen few are laying dead in luxurious houses and yet on the streets I have passed families of 5 struggling to exist on the begged money of passerby’s as they lie on their mouldy double mattress outside a shop on a busy main street that they call home?

 

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