02 October 2015

Argentina - Shopping and last minute walks

For those looking for the glamorous shops, look no further than Galerias Pacifico in Retiro. It's a modern shopping centre with a huge food hall and all the normal glamour brands sold worldwide!
Another street that is great for pedestrians is Florida. This pedestrian street has a " cambio" dealer every 5 steps! Just be careful of these money changers as the high exchange rate offered may bounce back in the form of false notes given!!
Av de Mayo is another good street to walk down and we took a tea break at the famous Cafe Tortoni. This world renowned coffee shop is beautiful inside with interesting decor and decent tables. Supposedly the oldest cafe in Argentina, it was established in 1858. Tea is served with tea leaves which makes quite a change in this era of teabags! Some of the waiters look pretty ancient as well!
Some observations:
Many smokers in the streets - horrible to inhale! Even worse than the vehicle fumes
McDonald's,  Burger King, Tupperware, Subway, Avon, Starbucks (everywhere!) and all the usual brand stores plus many Magazine/Flower Kiosks on the pavements
Kiosks selling chips, soft drinks and sweets are so tiny and there are often 2 or 3 right next to each other.
People are everywhere, dashing somewhere.
Traffic is relentless, fast but well behaved.
Buses go every which way and there are very many all day long.
Drivers are courteous to pedestrians and only seem to hoot occasionally
Architecture is a mixture of old, new or very decrepit!
Most pedestrians wait for the "white" man and when it starts flashing red, there is a second countdown so you know how fast to walk!
Motor bikes have parking permits in the Centre - pieces of paper flapping in the breeze.
Graffiti is everywhere - on every single garage type door  (closed kiosks ) and just on anything that can be scrawled upon.
Parking garages are everywhere - mostly just open plots where the cars are often double parked.
Loads of hawkers in Puerto Madera selling selfie sticks!
Homeless people sleeping in doorways
Bin diggers along the waterfront in Puerto Madera

© Judelle Drake

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