Yesterday I tried in vain to find a pair of cute sandals. This is mainly motivated by the fact that I realized I only have my purple Havaianas here with me, which are my only summer footwear. The women here wear the cutest sandals, so I thought to myself “Hey, let’s get me a pair of those.”
Turns out, it’s not that easy. First of all, shoe stores here are seriously intimidating. I realize it was Saturday, but all the stores along Av. Las Heras were packed (although that’s not really the place to be looking for shoes), but so were the stores along Av. San Martin and the Pietonal (pedestrianized shopping street w/ cafes). But the crowd wasn’t really the problem. The problem is that you LOOK IN THE STORE WINDOW TO PICK OUT YOUR SHOES. Like, you need to know what you want before you even go into the store to ask for your size. Do you even realize how difficult that is for someone who barely speaks Spanish? I can basically say “The black ones” or “the brown ones”, or even “the white sandals”, but that’s as far as it goes. Forget people asking me if I needed help. I just froze and mumbled and walked away.
Shoe shopping fail. After walking and searching in vain for 4 miles, I gave up.
Note to self: Do NOT drink entire 1L bottle of Andes beer with lunch by myself. If so, siesta is necessary.
However, last night I went to the Casino at the Park Hyatt. FINALLY, something I could do without speaking Spanish! Even the slot machines were in English – especially my ol’ reliable Star Trek machine. Don’t act like you don’t know the one. I ended up playing various games for around 4 hours before I headed home 350 pesos poorer, which is about, oh, US$85. This is after hours of blackjack, roulette, and slots. I had a good time by myself, so I think it was worth it.
This morning I took a nice stroll (and by stroll I mean a long walk that probably covered a couple miles) down to what I thought would be a nice little breakfast in an Irish pub on Av. Colon. However, said pub was not open when I finally arrived there 30 minutes later. Le sigh. So I made the best of it and went to the nearby Plaza Espana, took some photos and enjoyed the scenery. It’s this amazing little plaza with tons of painted tiles everywhere, and Spain-themed, of course. I’ve heard that there used to be tons of artists who sold their wares and did their art-ing in the Plaza, but they’ve since relocated.
Ended up eating breakfast, or as they call it here ironically “Brunch” at a little corner cafe called La Belle Epoque. The Brunch #3 was coffee, orange juice, 4 pieces of toast with cream cheese and preserves. To my happy surprise, the orange juice was fresh-squeezed, probably on-site. The cream cheese was freshly made, and the preserves were ah-mazing. Plus, the coffee was really espresso with milk. All this for US $4.
A few random comments:
I really need to learn how to use this Argentine cell phone. I seriously think I just texted Egypt.
Dreadlock mullets are sort of an epidemic here. They are everywhere. And they are just as gross as you can imagine.
They give out free samples of mixed cocktails at the supermarket. I was in Carrefour earlier today, doing a little Sunday grocery shopping, and there was a temporary stand set up where this nice young man was mixing Gancia cocktails and handing them out like candy.
Gancia cocktail: Gancia (an italian liqueur, I believe) and Sprite. Tastes like just Sprite.
Directions: Enjoy while shopping.