Monday, 20 October 2008

Some Random Observations

There’s a child who can’t be more than eight running around the subte with a kid of 18 months in his arms and a toddler of two at his heels. I can’t see any evidence of a parent. It’s getting so commonpace I almost don’t notice it…

Aside from the ubiquitous Kumbia being pumped out of seemingly every kiosk and clothes store around the city I have been plagued by the song ‘I Kissed a Girl and I Liked It’. I don’t know who it’s by but, despite my best efforts, after hearing even the merest snippet of it, I am unable exorcise it from my brain - for hours. It is made worse by the fact I can’t, or have subliminally refused, to retain any more than the chorus which subsequently swims around my head on this brief and nauseating loop involving cherry chap-sticks .

The only way you can use the bus in Buenos Aires is by having some cents or a peso coin for the onboard machine (you don’t deal with the driver at all). Most everywhere else, aside from the big supermarkets (and not always them by any means), it is difficult to get hold of any coinage. Apparently the metal is worth more than the value of the coin itself so there is a shortage. So a good portion of the inhabitants of this city are, like me, regularly lying to shop keepers that they only have a twenty peso note for a bar of chocolate and wander around scavenging for the smallest denominations of money they can get hold of to get on a bus.

Football is absolute obsession here. There are televisions everywhere and they mostly play football. Even when they don’t have the TV rights to the match you still get one and a half hours of panning shots of the crowd and some gratuitous shots of cheerleaders shaking their asses at half-time.

They get through an awful lot of plastic here, my shopping bag containing one loaf of bread and carton of milk will be put aside so that my bananas and 3 mini yogurts can placed in the next. They do however recycle. Around seven or eight in the evening groups of boys and girls or families (or both) sift through the litter in the baskets on the street separating out the plastic, card and paper. Then they load up a horse, a cart or a bicycle until it is virtually impossible to distinguish which of above it is, step out onto three lanes of traffic and head uptown to get it re-sold.

I have been perplexed by the amount of airplay Rick Astley seems to get here. I thought that the ginger fruit had been (justifiably) airbrushed out of pop history, even in his homeland, even largely out of eighties pop history. I’m even more perplexed by the fact that nobody else seems to have made the same observation and I get to thinking it might be God’s way of making me re-appraise his back catalogue.

No comments: