Beware the roads

We had a quiet day today, so before I bore you with my sad life, I thought I would share some thoughts.
People here are paranoid. They bar their windows, they will not walk alone at night, they lock their car doors when they are driving. Well it’s a dangerous city after all.
Well let me say I have spent about a year and a half here all told, and I have not seen any violence. True there have been various attempts to rob me, pickpockets, the bird shit trick, opening my rucksack as I walk. I have pretty much been subjected to most of the petty crime. The truth is though, it has all been so amateurish. The only thing I have actually lost is an old dictionary and I am not even sure that was pickpocketed.
True statistics are hard to come by, but your chances of getting murdered in Buenos Aires are 3.1 in 100,000 and I suspect that like most places you are more likely to be murdered by family than anyone else.
So why am I going on about this? Well if people are so worried about dying, why do they have such a cavalier attitude to road safety? Seat belts, if worn are often faulty or just wrapped around to fool the police. Crash helmets are only worn on the arm and children are carried on motorbikes either trying desperately to hold on, or they are carried on the petrol tank. Car maintenance is something you do when the car will not go.
Now for some figures 13 in every 100,000 car owners will die each year in Buenos Aires alone, that’s four times the chance of getting murdered. You don’t have to own a car to die on the roads though. In 2006 7,557 people were killed on the roads here.
So when you tell me the city is dangerous, remember it’s not the ladrones you should be watching but the roads.
So back to my day, we took the subte to our class. I enjoyed today, I had a different teacher and we talked much more. This is what I need, not more verb conjugations. Viv carried on, I think now she is finding it less of a struggle. It will take time for her, as it did for me, but she will get there.
Afterwards we caught the 150 collective (the right one this time) and arrived within two blocks of Obalisco.
They had another power cut. This time they managed to keep the music playing and half the lights. The aircon though I think was out and it soon got quite warm. Still we both enjoyed some good dancing until it was time to depart.
Now we were hungry but we struggled to find anywhere to eat. The burgers we had last week were not the best, so we decided to go home and visit Guarda la Vieja.
It was a mistake this time of night. The place was packed and we had to squeeze in between some young people. (strange and alien creatures to us old fogies).
When our beer came it was the wrong one (not Stout) but the girl was gone and we were thirsty. We also never got any nuts, we sat gnawing our arms, because we were so hungry, and the service was slow because of the numbers.
We had empanadas, salad and some chips. All good stuff, but again one of the empanadas was the wrong one. I had wondered when we ordered how the girl would remember without a note pad, well now I knew. She did not.
Still, the food was good. We still enjoyed it and it was very cheep $200 with a tip as well. That’s £10 to you at home.
We crawled off home and I fell asleep while Viv was still reading.
Hopefully we can do something different tomorrow.

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Filed under Argentina, Tango

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