Walks among the congenitally weird.
Above you have something called more or less the Fisherman's Club. It's right by the airport, so not exactly well placed (or for that matter all that accessible, owing to the ass-backwards way they do highways here) but nevertheless, one of the precious few bits of first class hospitality real estate on the farm grounds of the hamleti of Buenos Aires.
The restaurant, however, is not open to "the public". You must be a "socio", which sounds all exclusive and English club-like, until you go past the spurious wall in the parking lot where they've whitewashed the weekly menu.
That's right. It's not a restaurant, it's a factory / plant cafeteria, like they have at the Burlington Coat Factory (which also isn't a factory, of course). You go there, pay your monthly dues, and they pile the day's slop in your square thingee which you're asked to kindly take to the end of the line by yourself thank you.
Why and wherefore some collection of idiots would be allowed to operate this particular item in this particular manner has a lot to do with the Argentine concept of "soberania", which roughly translates to English as "insistently being incredibly fucking stupid", a matter confirmed by the numerous plaques & placards plastered all over the thing explaining that this and that subsecretary of this and that bureaucratic entity decided to state that and the other etcetera.
Above you can admire a nighttime shot of a window being built to Argentine building code (soberania!). It may shock you to notice that even though they've omitted the reinforced concrete support, nevertheless they've also eschewed building a proper brick arch (which isn't possible with that type of brick anyway). They did put in a chunk of flotsam, and once that started to bend under the weight they did prop it with some more branches they found in the road. It's all good, they'll plaster it over once the mortar sets so the window will be inexplicably shorter than it was supposed to and no window pane will fit it (but that's why they're Argentines, they'll take two and a half days among five people to cut something into a misshod, sorry approximation of its former self).
The place I'm taking the picture from is the outdoors terrace of this wanna-be posh coffee house on the riverside. You know it was posh as opposed to normal because an inept whore was seated with an agitated dude with a round belly entirely decked in stuff found in 1990s Italian men's fashion mags. Our appearance made them uncomfortable, in the sense that the hooker became unpleasant on top of being inept (hey, she could have made so much more going out with me, so why should she do a good job for her current goon was written all over her transparent if empty forehead) whereas the dude became increasingly territorial in regards to his something-or-the-other car, which was parked in such a way as to inconvenience everyone who might have wanted to use the tiny parking lot : right in the entryway. He'd have parked it in the fucking door if it were possible. So as to, you know, "keep an eye on it". He. He wanted to keep an eye on it, himself. Honestly.
At some point there came the distinct *crack* of two plastic shits on wheels banging into each other, and the fellow jumped from his place screaming "if he hit my car I'll kill him", as if he was going to kill anyone in his striped knee highs and ridiculous t-shirt. I observed that it's a pretty stupid investment of one's resources, to buy a car which commits one to keep killing random idiots around it, but the girl observed it's actually a rental. As all this observing was done loud enough and with the firm backing of laughing and pointing, the two took off. The dude that didn't have any proper clothes not to mention any sawed off rifles in the boot of his rented car didn't even have the werewithal to insist the whore wear fucking shoes, so she paddled along in her flip flops a foot behind the dork twice her age. Hey, at least she was blonde! Score one for team BuenosAiresVidaDeNoche!
Above is a kind-of cool section of a public park. That's all I had to say.
By the way, anyone know which of the Greeks with the beard was with the wood ?
This is a bazaar anchor pillar Paraguay gifted Argentina for some sort of historical reason.
Neat Spanish thingee huh.
Banco de la nacion Argentina or somesuch, the local equivalent of the US Fed as it were. Coming soon to a MAGA near you!
Hey, did I tell you about all the great architecture programs they have at the local university ?
The poster reads something like "Offices open to the public for the rights of infancy, adolescence, and of persons with mental health issues". They might actually be on to something.
Somebody's pineapple escaped.
Local monument to the black lives that matter.
The sign reads "Offices of the only entity within the Argentine bureaucracy that actually does something useful for a change" even though it is slightly illegible as well as entirely absent.
This large construction of unclear utility has meanwhile been disused.
River. Given the complete absence of any sort of industrial activity in this country, the deplorable quality of the water is an accomplishment all of itself. Imagine a pre-iron civilisation that nevertheless managed to irradiate itself to extinction.
The scribling on the pillar reads PIPI CUCU. Cine cunoaste stie.
I figure why the hell not, you know ?
Didn't go in, chiefly because the place actually looks cool from outside and I already know I'm going to find a bunch of the local cockroaches inside. I prefer to keep the nice image.
You may laugh ; you may even think it funny. These rottinculo actually believe that.
Welcome to the altar of Saucy Boyscout Jesus. Would you like to pray ?
Donde hay un idiota nace o coșmelie.
This trip ended in a most fabulous manner : we sat down at an open air cafe, among a half dozen tables, by a very foul smelling gutter -- because the inside smelled worse. We found ourselves, it must be underscored, in La Boca, that nec plus ultram of unruly ghetto massacre area, the darkest, most vile and violent Buenos Aires has to offer.
I ordered water, noticed the Cointreau on the list and asked them if they had champagne. The woman went to se fije, because why would a matronly lady running a joint have any fucking clue what's behind the counter. She came back shortly later, to explain that they have small bottles of Chandon only. Small bottles you understand me, 187cc. I didn't even know you can buy magnums that tiny outside of a Cessna flying regular flights from Lilliput or something. Confronted with the very weird reality in the field, I went with plan B and ordered Reserva San Juan, which came in pre-warmed, proper glasses. Because why the fuck not, you know ?
The moment the drinks were set down, this odd dude started folding in tables and chairs around us. I lit a cigar and watched the locals, who were dressed in the usual parade costumes (they look fun the first time, but then they always use the exact same ones so it kind-of becomes a drag after a few times), banging on drums and shaking their sad, tiny, prepubescent asses. Because seriously, the local notion of cheerleading is somehow contorted into an activity fit for seven year old tots, and otherwise middle aged women. Don't ask me how or why, I have nfi, suffice to say that there were at least two hundred people milling about in the foul smelling street in front of me, and not a single college aged slut among them.
We sat and watched for a little, and then the woman came to ask if we'd rather go inside. I assured her we're fine, without going into olfactive details. A couple minutes later, she was talking to a policeman, and then a couple minutes after that, the dude came to me. This was the absolute first time a policeman spoke to me of his own initiative in this country. You'll never guess what he had to say.
He told me, in three installments because the words just wouldn't form in my head due in part to the drumming and in part to the wtf, that he's leaving now. Yes. To my completely beffudled face he then explained that "there won't be any police around". Understand, it's not like I wear 18 pounds of diamonds sown on my clothes like the ill fated Russian leadership, I don't go around with a brick of gold shaped in shapes dangling from parts, I'm just like.. you know. You've seen me what the everloving fuck, do I look like a bank ? For that matter, do I look like good news, even ?!
Anyway, to play along I asked him if he thinks it's dangerous, and he vigurously assured me that yes, it is so indeed, very dangerous. Understand this danger, there were women there with small toddlers in their arms and in ancient looking strollers. There were no young women, no groups of solid-but-unemployed young men, nobody there, including the policeman himself, looked in much shape to put up a fight. So I ask the fellow if he'd like to sit around and have a cup of coffee with me ? Which he somehow joyously refused, I have no idea, and then I asked him if he'd rather have a drink, to which he replied that no, he's on a timetable, he has to be somewhere else. So I bid farewell and safe travels to the safety-oriented public safety professional in his antibullet vest and carried on with my coffee.
A couple of minutes there the woman brought me the bill, unbidden. So I paid her piddly 340 with four hundreds and carried on. I don't know if she understood that I saw right through her inept plans, but probably not. Maybe two minutes later she explained that look, they're closing, they have to go home.
It was EIGHT FIFTEEN at that precise moment. I don't know if you can or can't figure this out, but I got kicked out of a sidewalk cafe in the poorest part of town because howsoever poor they might be, they literally do not want the business of someone who, apparently and for reasons unknown, looks like he's carrying the whole wealth of both Old and New World. My tips are worth more than the woman's daughters, yet she got her closing time an' she's sticking to it. 'Tis the law! In the very dangerous place!
So we took off, because seriously, what the fuck would I, or for that matter anyone not entirely dumb in the fucking head, even want to do in such a shithole ?
On the way out we discovered that the cab station, thirty paces away, which had contained three cabs not a half hour prior, was now entirely and completely empty&deserted. Nobody fucking took 'em, nobody there present could afford cab fare, or for that matter bus fare. No, they just left, on their own, empty. Because holy 8 pm had sounded, the end hour of all life and possibility of commerce, and that's that.
Vida de noche, you understand me ? Fucking Kansas is more urban than this shithole, and I mean the rural parts.———
- It's not a fucking city, spare me. Whiteplains is more urban than the capital of Argentina. [↩]
Sunday, 22 January 2017
PS, because while I forgot the entirely forgottable they nevertheless should be properly named and shamed : we were supposed to visit a so called "Bazar de Soluciones" organised by some thing called ekospace - Hackerspace ekoparty or such on Bolivar 230 (San Telmo).
Once there the entire production seemed entirely suspect in the by now familiar rural way of Buenos Aires : a huge metal sheet drawn over some shop windows. Because it was Saturday so ~obviously~ the shops have to be closed, what the hell is this, capitalism ?! And because "closed" has to mean "covered in sheet metal rated to withstand direct howitzer hits" because why the hell not.
There was nevertheless some sort of intercom, which my girl rang. This resulted in some other girl popping up in the balcony above, because hey, intercoms, right ? And then soon thereafter a 3 foot x 1 foot hole in the metal sheeting was uncorked by some smiling guy bent over at the hips in a strange postmodern rendition of the serpent surounding the world.
I didn't go through the fucking dog door, because, perhaps shocking to this whole country of domesticated animals, I myself am not a dog. So bear this in mind, if you're considering going to anything organised by "ekospace", especially if it's "ekoparty" or whatever in that vein : they literally think you're a pet, some sort of barn animal like themselves, and will in point of fact expect you to go through a dog door. Preferably on all fours, I expect.
This, incidentally, is exactly in line with the "night life" and "party scene" of this objectionable shithole, and therefore the locals won't on their own mental power manage to comprehend what the fuck they did wrong. Because they haven't the first inkling as to the cosmic depth of their inadequacy.
Tuesday, 24 January 2017
El Rumano Porteño