My flight over was uneventful, I had a lovely exit row seat with more legroom than business class, but no flat bed facility. Despite the ample legroom and trying thos eye masks, I got no sleep at all. I’m still awake 30+ hours after i woke up to leave Canberra. I’m nearly dead though, so this update could be brief.
Arriving at Ezeira International airport is no different to any other airport. Australians, Yanks and Canucks get a special queue now though so we can pay whats known as a reciprocity fee. As we charge the Argentinians to visit us so they charge us in return. Governments work so well, don’t they.
My hotel is right in the centre of town 1 block from the obelisco (photo in a future update). I was given a nice room with an “Eva Peron” balcony. I thought it was great until 5 minutes later I realised the noise from the traffic would not let me sleep. Apparently it gets quiet after 5pm, but I can still hear it down in the bar here and its nearly midnight. Anyway, I now have a room on the 5th floor, at the back of the hotel and its substantially quieter.
The only thing I planned to do today was to get a taste of Argentinian culture by attending the River Plate vs Newell’s Old boys football game. Lets see, Argentinean football is a blend of sport and musical theatre. At either end of the field were the fans who carried in drums and banners. Both these groups were also behind a fence topped with razor wire and were as far apart as possible. These two areas were packed, the rest of the stadium seemed to have the more expensive seats for the more friendlier supporters, but dare say no less vocal. The groups with drums chanted and sang all game long, with exception to the halftime break. I have to say, it was really quite good, the atmosphere was incredible and thats regardless of the football game.
The game was not what i’d call high quality. if both teams were playing well the game would have been 5-4 or something like that. There was very little football played midfield. It was mostly missing shots at goal at each end. The referee also played a part in the game. 3 yellow cards for diving… Now where was this referee when Australia played Italy at the last World Cup. The final score was a rather boring 1-0 to the Newell’s old boys. Probably the worst thing that could happen, but Argentineans have been doing this for ages. Only the visiting fans and their drums could leave, no one else was allowed to leave, the NOB’s (too late to type their full name every time) drummed and sang their way out of the stadium for 20 minutes. then the rest of us could leave.
Also on the security front, riot police surrounded the field, the away team and referees, both had inflatable tunnels that lead them onto and off the field. Also Only 2 drink bottles anda paper plane were thrown in disgust.
So a night at the footy draws the day to an end. Tomorrow is a big day, but I thought for this trip I’d do a spanish phrase for the day. It was going to be something nice like “Bienvenido a Buenos Aires”. But I was inspired by a yobbo at the football. So my first phrase of the day is “El árbitro es gordo, ciego y estúpido.” which in english means the referee is fat, blind and stupid.
Adios til tomorrow.