The capital of Argentina is Buenos Aires, which means Good Airs in Spanish. Argentina’s Independence Day is July 9 (same as RJE’s birthday), and the country got its independence from Spain in 1816. The City of Buenos Aires, though, was founded long before that, in 1580---426 years ago. So it’s a little older than what Jamestown, Virginia, will be in 2007.
Buenos Aires, however, is a lot larger than Jamestown. It has about 12 million people living in its metropolitan area (and 12 million is a third of the population of the whole of Argentina).
Today, near downtown, we saw a man walking 10 dogs at a time. I was wondering why when our tour guide said that there were 500 people in the city who worked as dog walkers. They get paid to walk other people’s dogs. It must be a difficult job.
One more interesting thing we saw on the tour: a huge mechanical flower made of metal. It had petals, stamens, and anthers (4th-grade science!)---all made of stainless steel and the size of a ten-story building. This huge flower opens every day in the morning and closes every afternoon. It takes 20 minutes to open or close---in slow motion. Here it is (check the tiny people at the bottom of it):
Walking to the hotel after dinner, RJE saw a man wearing very old and dirty clothes. He picked a Coca-Cola can out of a trashcan and drank from it. We also saw a few people sleeping on the sidewalks and at the entrances of some buildings. Dad said they are poor people and have nowhere to go. There were even women with children sleeping on the sidewalk.
The clocks in Argentina go from 0:00 to 24:00. For example, they told us to meet for the tour at 14:30, which is the same as 2:30 p.m. It makes sense because there are 24 hours in one day. In Argentina, you don't need AM and PM. The clock below is the same as 7:27 p.m.:
We took a walk along a boardwalk and stopped at an old ship that was used as a school for sailors---to teach them about living in the navy. The ship was first botada ("thrown in the water") in the year 1897. Dad said that's the word used in Spanish to say a ship is launched. The ship is called the "A.R.A. Presidente Sarmiento," and it is now a museum.
Inside the ship museum they had an embalmed dog that was huge! The sailors used it as a pet a long time ago. Every ship had at least one pet always on board. The dog was dead, but it looked very alive, lying inside a glass box.
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The RatSoap™ Project is a work in progress, 2006-2007