Friday, October 10, 2008

“Visit the Departed and the Tiger” (Wednesday 8 Oct– Day 14)

(Where am I now: my couchsurfing bed in Buenos Aires, Rivadavia Avenue)
(What is the time now: 01:40 am on Thursday 8th Oct,
What am I listening to: Cars passing by into the night, it’s late)

From Graveyard beauty to Road names
No tourist has really seen Buenos Aires if he hasn’t visited Recoleta cemetery. That’s at least what they say and since I am in any case on my second week in Buenos Aires it would be unforgivable not to go. After all how could I face all the people back home when they asked me if I saw Eva Peron grave? Sarcasm aside, a cemetery is not a site that you would call a tourist attraction, this one however is. It’s pretty unique because if you actually spend time to see all these magnificent mausoleums, not ony you will wonder about the effort people put in creating something for someone that can’t even see it (ok, now let’s talk the Pyramids) but also because EVERYBODY is buried there. I am not an expert in Argentina history but some of these people go back in the 18th and 19th century and I guess they must be important: In all the cities I’ve been, there are at least a few of their names given to major roads.
So I guess that is the natural path of Man: birth, adulthood, great deeds, death, mausoleum, road name. If you’re really good you also get to be an Avenue, a bridge, a school, even a navy sail boat. That’s for Sarmiento, apparently the “founding father” of Argentina. Don’t have much more to say, I’ve added a few photos to make the point, although some are more interesting from an artistic point of view (George, the little Lumix is proving its worth…)
Enjoy… (and scroll down because there is also another post)

Recoleta Photos

Eva Peron's grave...

Tigre as in Tiger
This trip came as a complete surprise to me. I wasn’t expecting ot see something like this so close to a capital of 17 million people but it does really exist. Tigre is a small town outside Buenos Aires, easily reachable with their “light rail” system that connects some of the outskirts of the big capital. It’s the last stop on a 45 minute journey through some pretty crappy areas (that’s what most look like if there’s a train passing through them I think, regardless of the location). This trip transports you to a different world.

Welcome to the world of river life. This is as close you can get to actually seeing what it means to live by the river in what feels like a (sub)tropical environment. The actual train station, a beautiful new building doesn’t reveal that 500 meters from there you are about to enter into a complex system of small rivers and path ways (all navigable by small boats) that all eventually pour out into the huge Rio de la Plata triangle. What you are also not prepared to see are whole river villages, beautiful wooden and brick houses built (not on sand) on stumps or concrete bases, to avoid the sudden rising river waters. My photos are not good enough to show you exactly what I mean but I think if you add your imagination you can get pretty close. What a wonderful place to be, what a wonderful way to live…

Everything is done via the river. I saw boars transferring people, a garbage boat, a cement boat, an ambulance boat, I even saw a “school boat”… Makes you think how some people manage to live a “normal” life (with our city standards) and at the same time be so closely attached to nature… I took a boat to Tres Bocas, a little “neighborhood”, found a restaurant and ordered some paste and a large beer and sat under the sun reading (and almost finishing) “Into the wild”. As I was sitting their, beer bottle almost empty, plate cleaned I heard the waitress tell me: “If you want to leave the next boat is passing in 5 minutes, the one after is in 1.5 hours”. I smiled to her and thanked her.

“Why rush?” I thought to myself, “I have nothing better to do than do nothing”. I just sat there, put my legs on the wooden rail, took a last sip on my beer and looked into the river and the boat passing by…

Tigre Train station

Let's put some gas...

River culture...

Beers and book by the river..


katerinak said...

Hi Kosta

You have had so many great entries/stories to date and of no prejudice to those, I have chosen to make comment on this one.

I also admit that my knowledge of Argentina's history is quite bare, however perhaps read this comment in limbo to that fact-

Why is it that people's good work, acts etc are often only recognised when they are no longer with us…not wanting to sound 'airy' (for want of a better word) but isn’t the best recognition or form of gratitude best served to someone personally, when that person can know the impact/effect they have had on someone whilst they are able to enjoy that fact? …this has always puzzled me. Sure there are people/groups who have affected your way of life, rights, freedoms etc who you cannot personally recognise or thank for a number of reasons…but I am speaking of the people who you do have opportunity to show appreciation to, these things I believe, should not be left unsaid. Therefore, the natural path of man, in my opinion, should be birth, good deeds, appreciation/recognition, death.

On a lighter note-if you dont take up writing, perhaps photography? there are some nice shots captured

keep having fun!

George "Teriax" T. said...

Photography ? Costas ?

I have only one thing to say, and he will understand :


Chris Teriax Jnr said...

I do remember this EOS Cannon once bought years years ago...

I have actually related two brand names- tech related- to Kostas:

Canon EOS
IBM Desktop


Have fun in argentina!!


xairomai toso poly pou pernas etsi. fainontai ola ekpliktika, to meros me ta potamia deixnei poly anthropino, mia glyka.