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Airline labor unions often have debates so convoluted that we tend to find them just aggravatingly myopic and selfish, but then it goes to another level.
The newest example is what happened in Argentina over the weekend, where Buenos Aires was effectively shut down because two douchebag Aerolineas Argentinas pilots from two different unions got into a fist fight with each other. Instead of saying something like "yeah, our pilots probably shouldn't have done that," their respective unions threw temper tantrums and went on strike to protect them.
The result: the airline had to be shut down. Argentina's chief domestic airport, Aeroparque Jorge Newbery, had to be closed. The country's top international airport, Ezeiza International Airport, tried to handle the overload, and more or less failed. Tens of thousands of travelers saw their flights moved or canceled. Hundreds of thousands saw their travel weekend become a disaster.
What a day yesterday was for South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford, who after having been "missing" for five days, turned up deplaning after a flight back from Buenos Aires in Argentina and not the Appalachian Mountains, as his staff was lead to believe. Within hours of being caught on arrival, the Governor admitted to carrying on an affair while away in Argentina and resigned as chairman of the Republican Governors Association.
So aside from knocking boots with a hottie South American woman, what was the Governor up to in Buenos Aires? Five days can't all be spent in bed, and so we've compiled our guide to enjoying Buenos Aires in Sanford style:
Stay: Hotel 1555 Malabia House
As BA's first design Bed & Breakfast, the focus is on intimate interiors, garden spaces, and the historic neighborhood. This are, the Palermo district, is also where Sanford's mistress' apartment is located, so you're just around the corner from the luv guv's little love nest.
Nightly rates here average $170 for a room with private balcony; it's perfect for tawdry kisses and nighttime whisperings like "My heart cries out for you, your voice, your body, the touch of your lips, the touch of your finger tips and an even deeper connection to your soul." We're sure Sanford would have felt right at home chillin the balcony as if he were back on a porch in South Carolina.
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· Buenos Aires: Beginning this weekend in the La Rural exhibition complex, the Feria Internacional del Libro de Buenos Aires brings over 1 million people together for the Spanish-speaking world's largest literature festival and book fair. Whether you're in the market to beef up your home library, tracking down signatures of your favorite authors or taking in a free lecture, the Feria is fun for all. Fluency in Spanish is of course highly recommended, but then we're sure they'll have language instruction for sale as well. Check out the full schedule for the fair, which runs until May 11, at its website.
So we managed to get our grabby hands on the new issue of Budget Travel, which as usual is packed with fun tidbits. One particular piece snagged our attention: BA blogger Ian Mount's "Buenos Aires... Then What?", an eight-page package on three great places to visit once you've had your fill of buttery beef and sultry porteños dancing tango (too bad that it's not online yet).
Per the article, "The Argentine capital is at the top of everyone's list these days." But the main premise is "Aren't we all tired of that scene?" Yeah, sure. So what's up in the neighborhood, BT?
Idea numero uno is to kick it like a gaucho for a day in San Antonio de Areco, 90 minutes outside of town. Estancia La Bamba has your horse hookup. Also a possibility is Mar de las Pampas, where the sleepy beach scene is a complete 180 from BA nightlife. Ian's final pick is a trip across the river to Uruguay and the UNESCO-friendly Colonia del Sacramento. It's a historic colonial town but that doesn't keep people from "singing Spanish karaoke versions of Eric Clapton." Now that's our kind of place!
Everyone loves Buenos Aires these days. Move there, exploit the currency, drink goood wine and eat cheap beef. Of course, by the time you get it together to move there, you'll have missed the wave of cool expatriates, who will have moved to Laos (live on the beach!) or Baku (gritty!) instead.
Or you could just look at some pictures of B.A. on Flickr by faw. Yeah, man. You don't even have to be wearing pants to look at them. Or you could be wearing gaucho pants, which would be appropriate. It'll be easier to fit into them now than if you moved to B.A. and gorged yourself on wine and steak, that's for sure.
[Image via faw/Flickr]