Getting Settled Back in BA

Written By: jeff

Posted On: April 3rd, 2011

career break, career break travel, career break advice, travel the world, Argentina travel

One of the most photographed tango couples in Buenos Aires. Copyright

After arriving back in Buenos Aires (BA), Kim and I found a nice hostel in the San Telmo district.  San Telmo is sort of like the village in New York – edgy, hip and loaded with entertainment options.  After a much needed shower (and a thorough scrubbing of my shoes), we took the afternoon off then found an amazing steakhouse for dinner.  On Sunday, we got up and headed out to the Sunday flea market in San Telmo.  I was shocked at how much cool stuff they had.  I expected a lot of cheap crap – and certainly there was some of the that – but we also found tons of cool stuff.  We saw old address markers, typical of what you see on the streets in BA, beautiful phonographs, silver tea sets, Evita memorabilia, and some cool folk art, just to name a few.  I think I’ll return back later to pick up a few things.  I bought a leather passport holder.  My passport is getting a little worn around the edges and I still have a few miles left on the journey so I need to take better care of it.

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San Telmo Market, a great place to spend a Sunday in Buenos Aires. Copyright

After lunch, Kim took off to check into her apartment and I just hung out the rest of the day.  On Monday, I showed up at school to start my classes anew.  Unfortunately, a mix up occurred in the back office and the school wasn’t ready for me.  So, we got everything sorted out and I would end up with the week free.  I headed straight for Western Union to get my money for my apartment; I didn’t want any more problems with that.  At 3:30, I checked in, signed my lease, and I just chilled out in MY place, something I haven’t had in quite some time.

career break, career break travel, career break advice, travel the world, Argentina travel

Reunion with Los Cinco Suertes. Copyright

On the following Saturday night, Kim and I headed out to Andres’s parents house.  Noemi and Pepe were heading back to Spain so we all got together to send them off.  Kim and I created a DVD of our trip which we showed off when we arrived.  Using pictures and the music we listened to on the trip, we all relived the past week in Salta and Jujuy.  At Andres’s parents, we talked, listened to latin music from the 50s and 60s (same sound as in the US, just in Spanish), danced the twist, the jitterbug and any other dance we could in the living room and kitchen.  Afterwards, we jumped in the car and went dancing at a boliche, Argentinean slang for club.  Being Argentina, that meant we arrived at 1AM and danced until 6.  Needless to say, I slept most of Sunday and Kim headed down to Ushuaia to start her tour through Argentine Patagonia.

School finally started on Monday for me.  And, after having slept most of the previous day, I was fresh and ready to go.  Most of the next couple of weeks were fairly laid back.  My days consist of school, errands and now, the gym.  I found a good place nearby for a haircut, mani and pedi.  I still enjoy my pampering and after a long stretch of backpacking, I really enjoyed it.  I try to read the paper every day to further my Spanish.  Of course, the only thing I definitely get through is the forecast, the horoscope and the sudoku puzzles.  But, I try.

career break, career break travel, career break advice, travel the world, Argentina travel

Gym where Manu Ginobili trained as a kid in bahia Blanca. Copyright

On Friday, October 5, I left BA to make a weekend trip down to Bahia Blanca, a small port city along the Atlantic Coast.  The main draw for me was that it is Manu Ginobili’s hometown.  Being a fan, I wanted to see where this guy came from.  I arrived late on Friday night after a 9 hour bus trip.  On Saturday, I got up and headed out to the local tourist office.  The city is modest and I think I might have been the only foreigner in town. It’s not well set up for tourism.  But, everyone is super friendly.  People greet each other in the street – even me.  I got what little there was in terms of the sights to see.  The biggest disappointment was that there wasn’t much yet dedicated to Manu for me to go see.  But, I did head over to the club where he trained as a kid.  It’s been renamed and dedicated to him.  There was a kids basketball game going on.  As I watched, I was struck how I could’ve been at virtually any primary school in the US.  I think Manu’s brother was there, but not really sure.

I spent the rest of the day trying to get around to see things.  I took a local bus out to see the port and the museums.  Bahia Blanca was the first industrial port in Argentina.  There wasn’t much to see and the museums were closed until later in the afternoon. I didn’t feel like staying around so I had a quick bite and headed back into town. The town center is nice and I found a nearby cafe to pass the rest of the day.  I had a quiet dinner and then headed off to bed.

Sunday was casual and just spent the day waiting for my bus to leave, which it finally did around midnight.  After a sleep on the bus, I was back at school on Monday morning to start the week off.

Originally Published October 7, 2007

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