I am very happy here in Buenos Aires and don’t really want to get on that plane at the end of the weekend.
This has been one of the best trips of my life. I feel bigger, faster, stronger – that is a song BTW – I know what I mean.
The blazing sun and blue sky that follows #Babybernie and I on the way to the super market to by drinking yoghurt in the morning will be missed, I am even scared what it will happen to me when I hit the rancid grey sky of London. When I step outside the door I can feel the hot sun on my arms and neck and the life giving vitamin D seeping through the pores in my skin.
The Subway here is hot and sticky as hell, all the windows are open and everyone leans to the edge of the carriage in an attempt to gasp some air that moves. I was on the Subway for 20 minutes on Tuesday and must have sweated enough to fill and over flow a pint glass. “It’s hot, dam hot. So hot I can cook things in my shorts, do a little crash pot cooking”
There is a solidarity between people about the heat, maybe they are too zapped to give a shit, but I am sure I sense comrade at every stop. The bit I can’t get my head round is people selling and begging on the train.
We were at one stop and two slick dudes were playing tango music, one singing and the other on a guitar, I did not even understand the words and I was crying, luckily this outburst of emotion was hidden by me sweating so much. They finished and everyone clapped, they had struck a chord and people started to pay up, #Babybernie was given a $2 peso note to give to the nice man. So keen to offer value for money while one collected the money the other one played some ‘interval music’ – they got off and moved trains.
The next ‘act’ was a man with a bag of chewing gum selling three sticks for $5 peso. I got the feeling he did not stand a chance, it was like Milli Vanilli following Aretha Franklin in a busking competition. He was closely followed by a blind man in ripped shirt drenched in sweat pushing through the crowded carriage, he used his stick to push people out the way, the two tango guys had rinsed the carriage of any spare change with their brilliant display of guitar sting twanging tango emotion and here were to people who each looked fucked in their own way unintentionally pissing everyone off and looking three times as stupid.
I did not put any money in their pots, or buy some chewing gum I did not want – just to try and help them. Really I was frozen, I was thinking about this blog as I was watching them get nothing, I was thinking about how fucking unfair Buenos Aires is like this. In London the tube trains seem to be ‘cleaned’ – when I was younger and living in Camden and Chalk Farm I was pretty much on first name terms with a guy one hand and clothes that were so tramp perfect they looked like he stolen them from a cast member of Les Misérables.
Actually I can’t recall his name, but he would always be pitching the carriage back and forth between Waterloo and Hampstead, if it was quiet we’d talk and if it was busy we’d smile and give him our cigarettes. In 2014 I hardly ever see anyone pitching or begging on the tube. In Buenos Aires every one is pitching or selling on the train or subway and it is not in a ‘nice adds a bit of character’ kind of way, to me it is just not fun.
People who look like my Dad and have made an effort to look respectable are walking up and down the train trying to sell notepads, colouring pencils and clothes pegs, I don’t understand what they say, I am glad I don’t it would break my heart even more.
I have had some shit times, I’ve had to walk home because I have spent all my money on beer and shit drugs, I have lost jobs, got depressed and had to look for another job in a city with more jobs than people – and that was before I was 30. These guys are out to try and make some money for their families and have had to bite the bullet and walk up and down the train they used to get on to go up to down town to their office job.