Well, it's been about 5 days here in BA and it has been full on to say the least! We have learnt so much about this place, the language and its' vibe, that it already feels like we've been here for weeks. But, as promised my entry today will focus on the futbol in Argentina.
I have just got back via taxi from Palermo, a suburb in the North of BA capital, where I played in an indoor football torneo (tournament) with a bunch of ex-pats and Argentines. I have been researching to find out about the local leagues etc. over the last couple of days and I found the BAFA group (Buenos Aires Futbol Amigos). They are a cool bunch of guys and it just so happens that there was a spare spot in a team for the tournament! I was stoked and started to make plans to see how the hell I was going to get to Palermo.
Mik and I decided to make a day of it and tied in a trip to San Telmo markets as well as some exploration of the city centre, which is absolutely massive. This was real cool. Lots of art, music on the streets and handicrafts + heaps of dodgy Argentina national team shirts with 'Messi' printed on the back. Today was hot (about 35C). Whilst the markets were great, next to nothing was open elsewhere in the city as it was a Sunday. It was like a ghost city. Not many cars, shops locked up and just these massive Victorian-style buildings everywhere. We caught the local train and then the 'subte' (metro underground) to get into the city, so it was probably a good day to get a feel for the public transport system without getting nailed by a million pedestrians and cars.
With our entry into the 'ciudad' (google-translate-it, I dare ya) smoothly completed and the market street walked and viewed, it was time to head to Palermo. After a rather un-eventful lunch at a somewhat snooty little cafe, we headed to the subte and shot off for our station, which was named none-other than 'Aguero' station. Which brings me nicely back to the football:
The level at the torneo was good, but actually not as high as I expected to be honest - probably cause a bunch of the ex-pats were over-the-top Americanos, who were so serious about every pass they played I could've sworn we were playing professionally at times. But there were a few guns in some of the teams and they were cool to watch! My toe was giving me some grief, but I had a good few games and banged in a couple of goals whilst wearing my Aussie 'Cahill' number 4 shirt to represent. I met some nice chicos (guys) and sweated most of my body weight in the heat. I also met an American ex-pat (one of the guns) who plays in a local league and he's going to put me in touch with some guys...so we'll see how that goes! Not sure how I'll go with the 1 hour journey to Palermo on a Wednesday night to play with the guys again, but it's a nice start to my footballing experience in Argentina!
Mik left to make her way home by herself before I started the tournament (her journey back to Quilmes is another story in itself!). After the tournament, I caught a taxi back to Quilmes (about a 40 min drive without traffic - and being a Sunday, there wasn't any traffic). It was killer! The entire taxi ride, the driver and I talked. Well, let's say that he talked and I 'worded'. He was asking me all sorts of questions and I was doing my best to answer in probably the most broken Spanish he's ever heard. But it's amazing how in the 5 days that we've been here we have been able to pick up so much of the language. Talk about the benefits of cultural immersion for language development all you teachers!!
So, I'm sitting here in Torres 1 (remember?) fairly knackered, having eaten a solid dinner and reflecting on a cool day.
Wow...a car just beeped a song the whole way down the street as it drove passed! Oh...by the way, Quilmes lost their opening game of the season in the Clausura Futbol Championship. The town was eerily quiet last night :(
Tomorrow, Mik and I start at the school. It's been a great few days of settling in and exploring some of our surroundings. There's lots more to see...but we've made a start and we like what we're seeing so far. Next on the list of explorative experiences is la musica (MUSIC!).
Ciao ciao amigos y amigas, buenos noches.