I am in a very warm and at times a Thundery Buenos Aires, the rain is hammering down whilst I type this, so not a time to be going for a walk to the parks or galleries. There is a Tracey Emin exhibition on here. I walked all the way to the gallery in searing heat only to find it is closed on Tuesdays (it reminded me of the Jethro joke about the train that doesn't stop at Camborne on Tuesdays- still makes me giggle). I don't like what I have seen of her work but I will give a try another day (when it is not raining).
My apartment is very nice and I have a lovely terrace to eat my breakfast in the morning and a Sun downer in the evenings. The owners are a very nice doctor & his wife who is a psychologist (I will stay away from her in case she works out what is wrong with me). They are very sweet and got some English tea in when they knew I was coming
Eddie (the nice guy who I played some golf with in January) invited me over for lunch with Beto (an ex Biker who I met last time i was here) and Alejandro - a lawyer and Polo player of some repute, he still has a handicap of 6 (was 9 in he younger days)
The restaurants are still
serving great steaks and red wine.
There is the second biggest Polo Final on Saturday at the Hurlingham club (the biggest is Palermo in December). Eddie & Alejandro have organised an outing - subject to the weather. I was wondering about buying boots, helmet and shirt just in case the team is one short on the day. .
I have mentioned before how there is a growing atmosphere of unrest amongst the middle class and yesterday there was a major demonstration. Angry at the President and her government over inflation, crime and corruption, reputedly 700,000 people were in the centre of town. It was all very middle class - even Eddie and his friends went. I thought about going but not knowing how serious it would get, seemed a bit silly to get stuck in the middle if trouble kicked off. I remember their water canons parked by the Presidential Palace. I don't think a Union Jack flag would have gone down too well on a night when tempers are frayed
I watched it on TV in a bar with another nice Steak and some Vino Tinto. I pinched this picture from the Internet.
I have to say she seems like a nightmare and corrupt given some of her & her husbands property deals. They bought some land near Bariloche and then, within months, the government announced a new International Airport................guess where it is being built?
The government is claiming an inflation rate of 10% but Independent analysts say it is nearer 30%. Unions who got a 25% pay rise a few months ago are now saying they will go on strike for more. Sounds like Britain in the early 1970's.Apparently there is a strong black market for money exchange with the rate being about 30% above the official rate as the currency controls have made it very difficult to get US$. So if you are coming, bring US$ and change then locally.
One more book review (sorry Wilks). My latest book "Open veins of
Latin America", had I read it earlier on the tour, would have provided
more knowledge and insight of the terrible things that have been done by
the Europeans (especially the Catholic church) to this continent. The
sub title for the book is "Five centuries of the pillage of a
continent". I am especially embarrassed by my lack of knowledge of what
happened at Potosi (Bolivia). This run down mining town virtually paid
for the Industrial Revolution single handedly (16,000,000 kgs of silver exported) and was badly abused for
the privilege! I have re-read my blog and I didn't even mention it was a
mining town - I will do a postscript now I know it's desperate story. The discovery of Gold, Silver, Rubber, Cotton and Coffee created nothing but problems in those eras with virtually none of the profits retained here. there was plenty of death and destruction though.