I believe that many people consider me to be a spontaneous, adventurous person, and while that may be true, I’ve discovered that as I (ahem) mature, I have grown to love routines.
When I find a good restaurant, I stick to it, and every time I go to that restaurant I’m likely to order the same thing. Take my local brauhaus for instance, it’s gotten to the point where my friend Tilghman just tells me to not ask for a menu because I’m gonna order the jagerschnitzel with an Alt. She’s right, I will. Hey, it satisfies me every time!
Today I’m indulging in one of my favorite routines: a dawn patrol walk. It’s Saturday, some people prefer to sleep in luxuriously, leisurely enjoy a cup of coffee and read a newspaper. Not me, especially when I head west, my body clock often wakes me sometime between 5:30 and 6 am and I roll out of bed, take a hit of Facebook (I confess I’m addicted), throw back a cup of coffee, and pull out a map to pick my first destination of the day.
A quick glance out the window, verified on the weather app, helps me pick an appropriate outfit for the day. Then I’m off. My mode of transportation depends on two things: the weather and how far I want to go. Today, it’s rainy but not too cold, so I headed off in my Harley leather jacket and jeans, with an umbrella thrown in my bag. My outfit would be rather cool except for my tennie runners. Comfort above fashion today. I estimate I’ll cover about 15 to 20 kilometers on my feet.
Facebook reminded me that exactly one year ago I was in Barcelona where I walked 25 kilometers in one day! Wow my legs ached the next morning, but it was a good kind of pain. I’m here in Buenos Aires for a business trip and my hotel is in a nice part of town called Palermo. Palermo is bordered by hectares of beautiful parks decorated with statues honoring the important people in Argentinian history. In many ways this place reminds me a lot of Barcelona.
Of course the weather is different because it’s winter in Argentina – that’s a strange thing to adjust to – winter in July! Fortunately it’s not too cold. My first stop of the day – the city center – was about 8 kilometers from my hotel and since it was early and still dark outside, I hopped on the metro. Every time I hop on a metro in a new city I send up a thank you to my grandma Potje for taking me on BART to San Francisco when I was a kid. There is no metro that I cannot figure out.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s not always easy to figure out a new metro, especially when you don’t speak the language, or like me, I know some Spanish but it’s lurking in a dark corner of my memory behind a grosse wall of German words! Wow, it comes to me slowly!
I mapped out my plan on a nice printed map they gave me at the hotel, then asked the hotel clerk to verify that my plan was a good one. She pointed a dangerous neighborhood where I shouldn’t walk – very helpful – I exed it out on the map, then I told her I planned to take an uber (I took one last night and found them to be a safe, enjoyable and easy way to get around the city at night) and she suggested the metro. Just one thing, I needed to buy a Sube card and load it with pesos. Easy enough, I thought.
I walked to the metro stop, one block to the left, two to the right. Hmmmm, no metro station. It was still pouring rain so I walked up to a newspaper vendor and asked: donde esta el metro? He pointed up the road and there I walked and found the metro station. I carefully walked down the steps, geez one thing about this city is the surfaces are slippery! Lots of polished tiles and painted concrete, a bit treacherous in the rain.
I found a man in a booth. “Yo quero sube”, I stated, and he pointed upstairs. So, I walked out a different exit, found an office and after some hilarious Spanglish dialogues with another cashier at the train station, found a little shop with a big sign outside that advertised Sube. I managed to pagar a Sube card and load it with 50 pesos. And, get this, it’s 7 pesos a ride, 7 pesos, this is about 50 cents!!! An uber would have run me about 100 peso!
I rode the metro to the end of the line -it’s a very clean efficient system by the way. The stops are nicely decorated with painted tiles of a variety of styles.
It’s time for me to jump back in to the city. Don’t worry, more to come later. During the month of June I had no time to write as I was constantly traveling: Greece, Brussels, La Rioja Spain, North Carolina, then my husband and I had a staycation in Düsseldorf to watch Le Grand Depart of the Tour de France. Now I’m here in Argentina and next week off to São Paulo, Brazil. So, more to come, be patient Dad, I’ll catch up soon. 🙂