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Brave-Heart

TRAVELS TO SOUTH AMERICA--1973--BUENOS AIRES--PART 4

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I departed Rio at 5:30 PM on July 19th and was met at the airport by an Avis Chauffer driven car and taken to the Plaza Hotel on Florida Street. I very quickly learned that only 2 years before it became a pedestrian street and it lead to the center of Cordoba Avenue which is the hub of both day time business and night time play. Just walking into the hotel I was impressed by all I saw taking place on Florida Street.

Just an aside--I finally figured out the Brazil money and the money I got in Memphis for Brazil was wrong. She charged me too far much as they were the old cruzeiros--the one we thought was worth $8 was only worth 50 centavos or ½ cruzeiros or 3 and ½ cents. She had charged me on the new system of which some of the money no one would take. Basically she charged me $28 when it should have been $10 or 11. In any case when I go back to Rio I will know how I am spending my money!

Instead of my plane leaving Rio at 5:30 it left at 7:30. It also made 2 stops which I didn’t know about and no one spoke English. I almost got off at the first stop but when landing I heard the pilot rambling in Portuguese and I heard Sao Paulo which I knew I wasn’t going to until later in the trip. I stayed on the plane until at one of the landings I hear him say Buenos Aires and I got off and there I was! Lucky me-- I wasn’t to be so lucky on the next leg of my trip! We finally landed at 12:10 AM and, needless to say, no driver awaiting me so I took a taxi to the Plaza Hotel.

I cannot blame my booking agent because the Plaza was known as THE luxury hotel in the city but it started out with my room not being paid for and it was very small. As I was unpacking I saw a HUGE cockroach and I was use to the big palmetto bugs in Florida so it didn’t throw me but I did get my room changed and ended up in a luxury suite. It was cold--about 40 degrees--and the steam was blasting away. The bellman saved the night. He saw my gay guide and starting telling me all about the city, where to go and when, along with the custom, which I was to find in most Latin countries, the men expected a tip no matter what was done. He explained it was just a courtesy and a way for them to deny who they were to themselves.

And now in Buenos Aires I have to learn a new system of pesos!

I had 3 nights in Buenos Aires and I loved it mainly because it was a night city--everything came alive the later it got. People ate at 11 PM and went to the movies after--most are old American movies and I did get to see a Virgini Mayo movie where she is speaking Spanish and the subtitles in English along with a Mickey Mouse cartoon with Mickey speaking English and Spanish subtitles--Walt Disney movies are very big here--very strange.

Seeing the time the bellman suggested a bar not to far away and it turned out to be one of the many breaks I got on the trip.

Time to get to the letter I wrote about Buenos Aires which does bring back a lot of memories!


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