I went to sleep in a medical centre and woke up in a police station

I have so many friends and relatives to stay with in Buenos Aires that there’s no need to sleep outside. But sometimes all that socialising is a bit too much for me, especially coming from my more relaxed lifestyle in England where I have plenty of time and space to myself. My relatives warned me that Buenos Aires is very dangerous by night so I shouldn’t sleep outside.

One day I went to an area called Bernal, where my grandfather grew up, to use the library there. Since the 90′s the government stopped funding it but it has continued as a charity, only just scraping by each year. It has a spacious reading room with free wireless internet.

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When it closed I discovered that they leave the wireless router on all night and I could sit in the square opposite and still get a good signal. Later I continued working in a gelaterie that also has wifi. Such was my concentration that I didn’t watch the time and discovered that gelateries in Buenos Aires don’t seem to have any closing time on a Saturday night. It was now 01:00, far too late to turn up at my elderly granny’s house, and nobody else was expecting me.

No worries, I thought, I’ve got my bivvy bag with me, I’ll have a scout around for a place to sleep; it would be great to see if I can get away with it in Buenos Aires.

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Christmas is in mid-Summer

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Argentinian friends were joking about how they celebrate Christmas in the hot Summer but yet they have Christmas trees, sweet treats and cakes that they normally only eat in the Winter, and ‘Papa Noel’ – Father Christmas – still dresses in a very warm red and white suit. I suppose that’s inevitable when the vast majority of the world’s population lives in the Northern Hemisphere and celebrates Christmas in the Winter. As is the custom here, my mother’s family gathered together on Christmas Eve ready to raise a toast to Jesus at midnight with glasses of cheap champagne. We ate together with hundreds of others in the Church that my family attends here in Quilmes, Buenos Aires.

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At midnight there were fireworks and people shared presents. As we were in a Church we sung a few songs to the Author of CHRISTmas. As you may have read in my earlier posts I don’t know if God really exists but just in case He does I joined in with the singing. A good time was had by all. Christmas Day is often spent cooling down by the poolside and sharing an ‘asado’ – a barbeque, Argentinian style.

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