After our busy day at the market yesterday, today’s plan is a bit looser, i.e. there isn’t one … and we all knows what that means!!? Yep, we spent the morning faffing about – useful faffing but faffing none the less! On the up side the tap that has been Huw’s nose has finally dried up – hooray.
So, it was after 2.00 before we got out of the flat and headed off to try out Buenos Aires’s underground (‘subway’ for the N.Americans amongst you), it´s called “SUBTE” here. It is great: simple to use, lit tunnels, mobile phone coverage everywhere and best of all less than 20p per journey … that´s even cheaper than the bus!!
Plan is to hit the centre of town to tick off a few sights (Obilisco, Avenida del 9 Julio – billed as the widest city street in the world, Plaza San Martin) and some shops. Included in the shopping missions are posting some stuff back home and trying to get our cheapy Panama mobile unlocked so we can get a local SIM.
In the package to get sent home is a sailing book and a load of pamphlet/ticket souvenirs. We know we should have checked first, but it was bit if a surprise to discover that the cost of posting is more than the book is worth. It’s OK we’ve sold ourselves the story that the book has sentimental value and hence worth every penny!! To add insult to injury shortly after leaving the post office Bernice stood on a AR$100 note (would have about coverd the postage!) and didn´t stop to pick it up. Thought Beedle might have been watching nearby. The other mission didn’t fair much better – no one seems able to unlock our cheapy mobile and the cost of an unlocked alternative is pretty high. Back to the drawing board on the mobile phone front!!
All of a sudden we are tied and it’s time to get the tube home – it’s only when we are stood on the platform do we realise that we’ve picked rush hour for our journey home – doh! Hence, things underground are are bit busier and hotter now.
After a couple of stops we change lines and there is a bit of a crush getting onto our next train. It is as we are going through the train doors that Huw feel´s a suspicious tug in his pocket and on checking gets that sinking feeling on discovering that his iPhone has gone. This is particually galling as he normally has his hands in his pockets in all crowded situations (excluding mosh pits before anyone starts on about Reading Festival!!) and only took them out to clear the way onto the train!!!!
Behind him is a small guy with a blue shirt and as Huw has a notion of seeing blue as we got on the train so he challenges him as to whether he had taken the phone even though there was no way of knowing whether it was him or not! He denied everything and insisted Huw look in his bag for the phone. This seems suspicious, why would an innocent person open their bag, surely they would be v.annoyed at the accusation?? With all the people around us starting to take interest, Huw spots that the guys hand is wrapped in a jacket searching here next Huw found the phone – hooray – but what to do about the perpertrator?? The train must be due to depart any second, so he decides that the best thing to do is show everyone one around that he got the phone back and then shove the tea leaf off the train as the doors are closing. Sorry but a couple of hours dealing with the local police havng made a citizens arrest doesn´t really hold any appeal. …so be warned he´s still out there >:( We got lots of sympathetic looks etc on the train + a couple of “you were lucky” type comments, clearly pick-pocketing is a problem here as it is in all major cities…
On the way back home we decide to pop into a supermarket for supplies for dinner … only to leave again 40mins later empty handed. We decided that 30 mins spent in a checkout queue not moving was move than we could cope with – most inefficient shop in the world! Plan B is to find a cheap eats for dinner instead. Which we eventually manage after a slightly prolonged amble around Palermo. It was worth it though! A really friendly local establishment and great value pizza too (the Penguin of Palermo) 🙂 We retire to the flat full – and with a doggy bag of leftovers. The rest of the evening is spent brushing up on our Spanish by watching The Da Vinci Code!