Saturday, September 8, 2012

South America 2012
After six great months in Red Deer with Dow Chemicals, I wrapped up the Pipeline and Railway Expansion job and took a furnace demolition assignment in Brazil.  And so it begins...

Friday September 7, 2012 - Saturday September 8, 2012
I flew out of Castlegar BC into the sunny blue eastern skies, landing in Calgary and Toronto before heading South. Air Canada was instructed to fly me first class all the way and I took full advantage of it, laying there in my futuristic pod while a beautiful raven haired Argentinian stewardess with dark almond-like eyes dropped grapes in my mouth. Well okay, she didn't do anything for me that she didn't do for everyone else but she was nice looking and it was great to be treated like royalty.  We had an unexpected layover for a few hours in Santiago Chile while they fumigated the plane and finally landed in Buenos Aires, Argentina by dinnertime.  A $50 U.S. taxi ride later and myself, along with three of my fellow workers, were standing in the lobby of the NH Florida Hotel right downtown off of San Martin Street. After five (count em... five!) attempts to program chip cards for my room, they finally let me in and after a nice hot shower I walked west on San Martin to the back doors of Galerias Pacifico which is a very large multi-floored mall with all of the big name stores catering to an elegant class of Agentinians.
Galerias Pacifico

The front doors of the Galerias spill out on to Florida Street which is a wide street cobbled with 8x8 squares of ceramic tile, many of which have shifted, settled or broken away.  It runs east to west across the city and is lined with all kinds of shops.  Entertainers busk for money all along the way along with the odd hooker, policeman, and bent over Mamacitas with their hands out.  I continued west all the way to the Plaza de Mayo, until I was tripping over hookers and bad guys and decided to turn around and return tomorrow.
Florida Street
I did notice several cool souvenir shops that were selling authentic gaucho equipment like whips, bolos, saddlebags, knives and other manly man kinds of things and I think I shall return tomorrow and see what I can bring home with me.
It happens to be late winter here and I was surprised by the amount of people wearing coats and even mits while I quickly worked up a sweat just walking with a long sleeved shirt on.