Viva la Independencia, chronic back issues, and Bring Your Pet To Work day
The 18th to the 25th of May 1810 was a week-long series of events that kick-started the Argentine War of Independence. Dubbed the ‘May Revolution’ (Revolucion de Mayo), the events were a direct reaction to Spain’s Peninsula War, resulted in the removal of Spain’s current Viceroy (Viceroy Baltasar Hidalgo de Cisneros) in Buenos Aires, and saw the establishment of a local government consisting of Buenos Aires citizens only.
Why the history lesson? I had a somewhat poignant picture moment on my trek down town this morning to check out the Casa Rosada (the very pink – yes pink – executive mansion and office of the President of Argentina). Mid-term congressional elections are approaching and there have been plenty of demonstrations protesting against the government’s apparent failure to address Argentina’s rampant inflation problem (for rampant read: >30% – previously discussed here). Stopping to take a snap of the monument erected to commemorate the Revolucion de Mayo outside of Casa Rosada, I caught the below image of riot police gearing up for another day of protests in front of the monument – complete with well-worn riot shields and even more well-worn batons.
George Santayana once said “Those who cannot remember the past are doomed to repeat it” (often misquoted as “those who forget/ignore history are bound/doomed to repeat it”). Clearly the Argentinian government remains only too cognizant of what a popular uprising can achieve.
Does anyone know a good chiropractor?
Not long before leaving Sydney I lashed out and bought myself a shiny new pair of fluro green Nikes. You know what I’m talking about – the ones you can’t go into Coles/Fitness First/Erskineville without seeing everywhere. Which is fine if you’re hanging out in Coles/Fitness First/Erskineville. Less fine for trekking the streets of Buenos Aires.
Let me back it up a couple of steps.
Buenos Aireans (portenos/portenas in the local lingo, owing to the large port hanging off the east side of the city) love dogs. Dogs love to eat. Not long after they eat, dogs love to do something else. Now in Sydney this isn’t such an issue with poop generally scooped well before it can challenge we fallible bipeds. Not so in Buenos Aires.
Maybe they’re suffering from widespread chronic back issues and can’t bend over, or the humble pooper-scooper just hasn’t made the jump across the Panama Canal yet, but either way it’s bought an added adventure element to my morning runs. It also explains why I’m yet to see a single pair of fancy runners on anyone else out and about in the city. You have been warned!
And last but not least…
Speaking of pets, dogs are not the only favourite of the locals. Cats clearly garner their fair share of familial love in Buenos Aires, and have cropped up in some odd places as I’ve trekked about. Check out the below picture from a book store on Avenida Santa Fe (the equivalent of, say, Collins Street in Melbourne or George Street in Sydney). Bring Your Pet To Work day? Nope, just a regular Thursday in Buenos Aires:
I think it was sitting on a Nemo picure book…
Hasta luego mi amigos!