Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Return To La CABA 2016 - Part 2: The Japanese Garden

So on our second day in Buenos Aires, we decided to give the subway system a try. To our surprise, it's not that much different from the subway system in NYC. It costs 4.50 Argentine pesos (3 U.S. cents. Yes! You read that right...cents!), which is over 50 percent cheaper than taking a bus in Cordoba.
The Subway
The only noticeable difference is that they have this passageway between the subway cars. In NY, the doors had to remain close. Of course that never stopped people from opening the doors and crossing over to the next car while the subway train was moving.
In NY, you took a different number or letter train to reach a different destination in the city. We assumed the same philosophy was true in B.A. Boy, were we wrong!
It turns out that if you get on the A line terminal (emphasis on the word terminal) and wait for your train there, you'll see all kinds of number and letter trains passing by, and they all go to the same destination. Essentially, it's not the designation of the train that determines where you'll end up, but rather the terminal that you're standing on. So we ended up waiting for 2 hours as tons of trains passed by. We were looking for the seemingly elusive A train that never seemed to arrive. Then we asked a few people and one of the kind locals cleared things up for us.

Heading To Wendy's
So after we figured out the whole subway system out, we ended up going to the Alto Palermo Mall where they have a Wendy's and a KFC. We were also going there because we knew they had a T.G.I.F.
When we got there, the T.G.I.F. had been replaced by a NIKE store. Had they gotten rid of Wendy's and KFC too?
Thankfully no.
We went to Wendy's because I was tempted by the Chili burger that they had advertised at the front of the restaurant. Unfortunately,  the reality was a lot more disappointing. It looked like someone place a spoon of baby diarrhea on top of my burger. Where were the beans? While it certainly didn't taste like Chili, it was still delicious.
Zach had a chicken Caesar salad with his burger. It looked real good too. I almost wished I'd ordered one, but I was full.

Afterwards, we decided to walk it off by heading to the Japanese Garden. The streets and buildings along the way were taller, cleaner and lovelier than those we often see in our host city.
 We stopped by a park along the way to rest our feet.
There was a high voltage warning sign by the fountain. So we had to be careful not to touch the water.
Screw it! We're rebels!
The B.A. Japanese Garden 
It was quite a walk, but we finally made it. It costs 70 Argentine pesos (4.50 USD) to get in. It's pretty much everything you'd come to expect from a Japanese Garden. The last time we'd been to one was at the Morikami Japanese Garden in South Florida way back in 2003. The only thing that the B.A. Japanese Garden was missing were these huge Zen gardens that Morikami had. It was still quite beautiful though. Take a look for yourself and don't forget to click on the images to enlarge.
It took about an hour and a half of slow walking and picture taking before we finished touring the whole garden. Then we headed off in search of a comic book store that had a Funko Pop figure from the film "Alien."

Searching For An Alien
We asked someone at a bus stop for directions to the comic book store . It turns out that it was a lot further than we thought. A kind young man (did I really just write that? What am I? 70?) told us which bus to take and even got on it with us and told us when to get off.

Along the way, I saw a Ticketmaster booth. Apparently, Buddy Velastro from Cake Boss was in Argentina to film a couple of episodes, but the tickets were sold out. Damn! Oh well!
Along the way we found a diner called Trixie, which looked a lot like a 50s style American diner. It was on our list of places to eat, but when I went inside it reminded us a bit of John's Diner, a local eatery in the Bronx neighborhood we used to live in back in the States. We were still pretty full from Wendy's so we just kept walking for what seemed like the side of forever in search of this Alien Funko Pop figure.
Somewhere Over The Train Tracks ... But Where?
The more we walked through the neighborhood, which they've named SOHO, like the one in NY, the more we realized that we had gone a bit too far from the area where we were staying at.
Fortunately, after buying the figurine, the guy at the store told us where to find the nearest subway station. Define nearest! Both he and the cop we asked along the way claimed that it was about 7 or 8 blocks. It was more like 30. We made it, but not without a couple of blisters on our feet. By the time we got back to the hotel, we were ready to relax, watch TV and go to bed.

With three days left, we were looking forward to enjoying a meal at T.G.I.F., assuming we could find it, and visiting the nature conservancy in B.A. But that's a story for another time.

Keep an eye out for Part 3 coming soon.

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