We spent several days just wandering round Buenos Aires, looking at the various sights and absorbing the sounds. South America is a bit of a blindspot for us snobbish European-types, so truly iconic locations are few and far between unless you happen to have watched a certain musical film featuring Ms. Ciccone. We did wander past the Pink House, the home of the president’s offices, and I spoke German as we trotted quickly past the Falklands veterans camped in the square outside and calling rather strongly for the piddlingly inconsequential rocky outcrops to be handed back.
We even toddled over to the Evita museum, a very uncritical look at a clearly divisive woman who was happiest being photographed at a 45-degree angle. Indeed, the advice was always not to mention the Perons in polite society. Pictures of Evita throughout the museum were accompanied by things she was wearing in them. Ooh, look, the lovely shoes she was wearing whilst opening a children’s home. The dress from meeting the president of somewhere-or-other.
The bizarre layout in the building where the museum was housed (we never quite understood the significance of it to the Perons) echoed the disjointed chronology of a Tarantino film, and many of the rooms had short documentaries with soundtracks to match. You came away not necessarily knowing anything more about her, but perhaps an appreciation of her taste in footwear. The whole thing is aimed at a more dedicated audience, and perhaps relies on previous knowledge of the Spanish-speaking world’s most self-obsessed woman.
Certainly helpful, then, when your travelling companion is ready with the entire soundtrack the film version of Evita’s life. Don’t Cry For Me Argentina indeed, but the truth is I did leave you. I must rather shame-facedly admit at this point to getting a bit bored of Buenos Aires. Maybe in cooler times its glamourous sheen would have worn off less brutally, and perhaps my frustration was born more of jetlag than any real inadequacy on the part of the city, but there it is. I just thought I ought to get that one out there.
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