Paul 1 – Belgium 0

After our bizarre pizza-fuelled night, we have returned back to our apartment in Buenos Aires. It’s still inferno-like heat, and I’m pleased to see that even some of the locals have a bit of a dab on. I, of course, am wetter than an otter’s arse.
The train back once again was luxury with its air conditioning, it’s ridiculous low pricing, and the marvellously human habit over here of making sure every woman and child has a seat before men would sit down. Perhaps it’s a sad indictment of our life in England that I find this aspect so nice.
We had a lazy afternoon in the apartment to escape the heat. I spent most of my time either under the AC unit or stood directly in front of the huge fan that causes a wind tunnel effect. All to no avail. I was still doing a good impression of the Trevi fountains. The flat below has called in the plumbers suspecting a major water leak. But we headed out about 5ish for a “small” beer and some “light” food.
We got to our current favourite bar and ordered a litre of beer (a pint is so yesterday) and I realised I’d left my phone in the apartment so I wandered back to get it, leaving Cha in the bar. Now, those of you who have been with us from the start may remember the young couple Jack and Michaela who we met in Paraty in Brazil, and who we found to be the nicest people you could hope to meet? Anyway, they had told us of a scam merchant who would approach English people in BA, claiming to be from Belgium, and saying he’d been beaten up a few streets away, and would con money out of you. Apparently he’s bloody good at what he does, and makes a very very good living out of it! Jack had fallen foul of it for a few quid, and we all know how susceptible I am to a good con! Anyway, I couldn’t believe my luck! Within 30 seconds of the bar, I was approached by this bloke –
“You don’t by any chance speak English do you?” He asked in a very French/Belgian accent.
Oh fantastic! I thought to myself! It’s him!!!!
“Yes I do!” I hesitatingly replied
He then started on a superb acting scene about how he’d just been robbed a couple of streets away, and could I possibly help him?
“Are you by any chance Belgian?” I innocently asked
“Yes, I am!”. Big mistake.
Now, my plan had always been to listen to his whole story, and to get the complete scam, but having left Charlotte at the bar alone, I didn’t want to waste too much time. So I then took great pleasure in educating him in lots of Anglo-Saxon guttural language, very loudly in the street, and finally giving him the option to have his head severed from his body. In a nice way of course.
He knew he was had, and slunk off quickly.
But then, on the way back from our apartment 3 minutes later, there he was, with an elderly foreign (non Argentine) woman trying the same thing on her! Oh thank you God, this was very kind of you to leave him here!
I think I managed as much swearing in a minute as Bren Darbyshire can get into 10 seconds, so that’s pretty good going (Bren is the sweariest man I know!). Even a local shop keeper was laughing! And then I stuck my phone in his face and got a photo of him which he wasn’t too pleased about! But great fun! When I got back to Charlotte I was so excited to have found him, and defeated him! So I had a couple of litres of Quilmes to steady my nerves…. Now I know who he is, I’m sure I’ll see him again in the next few days which will give me great entertainment!
After that we headed out for dinner, and were desperate for good steaks. So, a recommended bar called Desnivel, which inside looks like a canteen. We both had steak. All I can say is that we’ve never tasted anything so good before. I know it’s a cliché to come to Argentina and say the steak is good, but this was like nothing I’ve tasted. It was as big as my head and 2″ thick. The photo below doesn’t do it justice. But the taste…… I’d asked for it rare ( in France I have it bleu, which is just having it walked through a warm room, my preferred way), but this too was bleu. My god, there was a Vet standing next to me waiting to certify it dead! Which I don’t think it was yet! And it cut like a hot knife though butter! Just incredible! I’ve honestly not had anything like it. I’m still amazed by it, and I’ve worked in some top kitchens throughout Europe. £9!!!!!!!! Charlotte and I had a meal at William and Victoria’s in Harrogate recently, and Cha had their “signature” steak, which quite honestly compared to this was like a tough old boot. I don’t think I can put into words how culinarily amazing this was! I’m moving to BA!
Another few days here yet in this beautiful city. On Monday we’re going away to Patagonia for 3 or 4 days and then back to BA for 3 days prior to Peru. So Cha has just booked us a superb apartment for those 3 days, on the 19th floor of a new skyscraper. There’s a pool (too hot to be here without a pool) and a gym on the 31st floor!! AirBNB, the apartment renting service- I thoroughly recommend it. Superb prices, far better than hotels!
Now I’m just relaxing under the AC unit, naked, as always (all my clothes are wet), listening to Steve Rothery. Thanks Finch for this top music recommendation!

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Is it really sad of me to take photos of trains? (No need to answer that one….)

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I’ve always been a train spotter! But why do we have to put up with a cattle truck on the Harrogate to Leeds line when 1950s Buenos Aires has these??!!

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The main Falklands memorial. A tribute to all the lives lost. I’m not making a joke of this, it was very moving.

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The Belgian scam artist!!!!!!!!!! Demanding my phone!!!!!

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Following Charlotte’s “Farto” chain, a new clothing line in her honour, “Plop”

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Stella, for a little bit of home’s sake….

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There’s a lot at steak here……

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Another desperate attempt to cool down

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