Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Justifiable Schadenfreude (take that, Diego!)

I awoke at 1pm, praising whatever Gods keep an eye on errant, alcoholic backpackers for leaving me still the sole occupant of my dorm. After making myself feel slightly more human, I headed into town and once more to Florin, where I had a late brunch (ok, it was lunch - you can't have brunch at 3pm really...) watching the game in the company of a sizeable portion of the British nationals currently in the city. Not the best game of football England will ever play, but we won. The crowning joy, though, was that we caught the end of the Bolivia vs Argentina game. We'd seen quarter of an hour or so of it at half-time, in which we caught the equalizer that brought the Argentines back to 1-1. At that point, many of us thought that they were bound to go on and win from there. So we were very pleasantly surprised to see the scoreline standing at 4-1 to Bolivia when we switched over after the England game. When the fifth and sixth Bolivian goals went in, with Diego Maradona looking ever more like a toad that has swallowed something deeply unpleasant, there was much rejoicing.

In order to avoid the evening turning into quite such a messy one as the previous night, I took a break from the beers to go and climb up the hill to the mirador by the La Recoleta monastery, which gives fantastic views back over the city - the whole "white city" name is due to the majority of buildings across the centre of the city being painted white, with red tile roofs, making for quite a striking vista. After that I ambled back into town, went back to my internet cafe from the previous day and finished uploading my photos from northern Argentina onto Facebook. I then headed over to Florin again, around 10pm, to meet up with Stephen and Mike, two of the lads I'd been watching the footie with, and have a cheeky Happy Hour drink or two. They had been joined by Megan, a Canadian girl who'd done her salt flats tour at the same time as me, and who had been travelling with a group of three other English lads. I have to admit they were not quite as much to my liking, reminding me a bit too much of some of the sloaney types who colonise Bristol Uni to an unhealthy degree. We then joined an American couple, Kevin and Erin, and a couple of Peruvians, Jesus and Marcelo. Erin and I ended up chatting with Jesus, who was a really nice guy, and it was quite nice to realise I'd now got to the point where I could have a conversation all in Spanish with someone, however halting my words might sometimes be.

Once everybody had fed and we'd run out of happy hour, we moved along to another of the Dutch-owned bars (the fact it's called Amsterdam is a clue...), where there were some local musicians playing folclore - so flutes, pipes,miniature ukelele-like guitars, etc etc. In the end, it came down to Kevin, Erin and I hanging around the longest, after the set had finished and the bar had technically closed, drumming along on the tables while the flautist spun up another tune, and drinking with the band and the owner. And then it was 4am. Weird how that happens. So I went back to my hostel and my bed.