Back to Buenos Aires

We shared a last drink with Roger at the bus station, then it was time to board. there was much man hugging and we waved him goodbye as the bus pulled out.
Our last trip we were downstairs, but now we were on the top. Right next to the girl with the microphone. I really did not know how to react to the bible reading, especially as I could only understand every tenth word or so. I also did not realise when she had gone into prayer mode, at least until she said amen.
The food was ok, at least a lot better than you get on National Express. funny how the serve a cold meal followed by a hot one. We were ready this time though and saved our cake until after the meal.
I was constantly disturbed during the night, by the toll booths, the stops for passengers and the traffic lights. Funnily enough though I still felt rested when we arrived at Retiro.
On leaving the bus we were immediately accosted by Remis drivers. I asked at the booth, “Quanto a Almagro?” “$120” too much we turned away.
We had come down in the heaviest traffic and it only cost us $85, so we went outside to find a taxi.
The taxis would not pick us up from here, we were told to go downstairs. There there was a big queue but it soon dissipated and we were soon in a taxi. Our very first female driver.
I wondered how she would cope, but she seemed totally unfazed by the aggression normally shown to drivers here. In fact she negotiated very smoothly through the tightest of gaps.
She drove us straight up Cordoba, left into Bulnes then right into Guardia Vieja. Perfect route, no detours and very quick.
Only $65 I asked if she had a card as I would use her again but she had non, shame.

While going out for a picture hook Sebastian accosted me, he had a parcel too big to go under the door. It was some decorations sent by Dave and Alma (Thanks) unfortunately they must have arrived after we left, so too late for Christmas. Shame again.

We need some food before we go out and we don’t have a thing in. So it is off to the local amacen for some bread and cheese to toast.
I never quite get the hang of these places. I bought the bread then had to queue for the cheese, then go back to the till to pay. So here we go “Medio kilo Mar del Plata por favor” The girl took the chunk of cheese it weighed 650 grams. It would have done me but no. she went to the back and found another block. I have never seen anything quite so remarkable, she cut a chunk off and put it on the scale. It was not 499.5 or 500.5 but dead on 500 gram. Amazing, and it toasted beautifully as well.
We went back to El Arranque today and enjoyed some excellent dances, they are so friendly there.
By 7:30 though Viv had had enough so I was given my marching orders. We set off for 1810 and some empanadas and lentils.
Sat there by the window we were fascinated by the street scene; an old woman dragging a huge bucket, she seemed to be having some difficulty. She left the bucket opposite where we were sitting and carried on farther down the street. She came back after a while with a broom and proceeded to sweep the road. Then she disappeared again coming back with what looked like some rags. She pushed the rags into the bucket with the broom handle.
It was like she was doing the washing. Finally satisfied she sat and waited, I said “perhaps she is waiting for the rinse cycle”.
Turns out the bucket was, full of water, because then she tipped it over the pavement. She then proceeded to take all her items away.
When we had finished our meal we walked back and found her filling the bucket again from an outside tap.
I have no idea why she did not do what she had to do by the tap, or why she was cleaning the road, or even if she was actually doing any washing. It is all a mystery.

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