Nov 11:  Buenos Aires

I slept 12am-8am but stayed in bed till 11:50am and periodically dreamed, so I must have slept more.  I felt no effects from the wine, but my pee smelled fruitier than normal.

Everyone thought we were spending only one night in Buenos Aires, but now we had a second day completely free.  This was good because sleeping in gave me a chance to start the tour refreshed.  Usually I don't get enough sleep on the plane and I'm groggy for the first few days.  And I rushed to see all the major sights yesterday so I could relax somewhat today.  I looked through my Lonely Planet and decided on a lovely afternoon at the zoo (my second straight Saturday doing so, as I'd gone to the LA zoo last week).

First cool thing about this zoo is the river otters that come out of the ponds to be fed.  You're allowed to feed the animals here, if you buy the special animal food.

The sign called this animal a carpincho, which I'd never heard of, but I found out it's Spanish for capybara, the World's Largest Rodent.

Bison!  Never seen those before.


Hey Beavis!  Check it out!  A camel!

I took the same shot after he bit off that child's arm that was in the way.

Goats are nothing special, but don't tell them that, or they might get mad.

This pelican is awesome.  Just standing there waiting for people to interact with.

Another river otter.  He started climbing up my leg.  I don't blame him.  Check out that bulge!  "What?  Oh!'s the pants, the pleat of the pants.  I was actually just going to return these pants.  (pause) I'm gonna go walk this off.  (pause) Don't act like you're not impressed!"

The sign in Spanish called these suricatas, but we all know them as meerkats, stars of Meerkat Manor and the "it" animal for the moment.  Some Stupid American next to me was telling his friends that these were prairie dogs.  And he knew everything about meerkats too--they're intelligent, sociable, one always serves as a lookout--and yet continued to call them by the wrong name.  What an ass clown.

I stopped for lunch and ordered a hamburger, because I wanted to enjoy as much Argentine beef as possible, and the burger was good.  That was actually the first conversation I ever had in Spanish, when I ordered una hamburguesa sola y un Pepsi grande.

A monkey on Monkey Island.  I WANT TO LIVE ON MONKEY ISLAND.

Leaving the zoo I tried a phone and it worked.  I left a message for Mr. Domestic pointing out that while I'm seeing real monkeys at the zoo, he's in Van Nuys working as a grease monkey.

Next door to the zoo is the botanical garden, which is infested with cats.

This bench is unavailable.

I observed that in two days of walking around BA, nary a female even made eye contact with me.  It's like I spent two days in an LA bar.

I'd walked quite a distance to the zoo, so I took the subway home.  I went a bit past the hotel to check out a bar where I though they might be showing All Blacks vs. France, because Lance wanted to watch it, but the bar wasn't open yet.  So I went back to the hotel.  Turns out Lance was in the cafeteria watching it on the TV there.  I proposed getting some brews for the game and went out looking, but apparently no store in BA sells alcohol.  We waited till the end of the game and headed out to the Irish pub down the street where Lance had been yesterday, but it was closed.  Huh?  An Irish pub closed on a Saturday night?  So we went to this tiny bar across the street and had a liter each, while watching the hotel to see if any of our group was going out with better plans.  We spotted John and Brid and followed them for blocks until we caught up with them.  The four of us ended up going to a steakhouse called La Estancia.  It's in my book, so it must be good.

T-bone steak (the Ramon Galvegas special).  They gave my medium rare steak to Brid so this wasn't as succulent as it could have been.


Brid mentioned during dinner that while in the US she drank Natural Light.

Brid went home after dinner and the rest of us went to the Irish pub which was now open.  Later Graham and Eli showed up.  Eli's German boyfriend went back to the UK and she belatedly joined our group.  She'd already been to Colonia and Montevideo and said they were party places, so I had something to look forward to in U-R-Gay.  (For the record, I made a note in the journal tonight:  "Eli seems cool.")

(At some point Lance, John and I went knocking for Shaneela and Radha to invite them out the Irish pub.  My notes are out of order but I think maybe we stopped by the hotel between dinner and the pub.  I did not expect that they would be joining us.  They were already reminding me of K1 and K2 from my Russia & Scandi tour.  I also learned that Lance knocked for them last night as well.  I also remember buying 3 beers somewhere and drinking them as we walked, but again I forget where that goes in the timeline.)

Lance and John left the pub to go to a club area in Palermo that the waitress told them about (I just remembered the waitress as I type this--she was cool) and the rest of us called it a night.  I went to bed at 1:30am.