Touring Capital Federal
Friday was pretty interesting. Fernando took me on a little tour of parts of the central Capital Federal district where lots of historic buildings stand. We left the house and walked over a bridge to the nearest train station, Estación Gerli. Fer said we probably wouldn’t need to pay, but when he told me it was less than a peso (less than 25 U.S. cents), I said we should, especially since they take paper money and not only the scarce coins. But then when we got to the paying booth, the person there just told us to go through, as they weren’t currently open to take payments. So much for trying to pay!
The train itself was fairly old and large, but so cheap! Fer told me how dissatisfied he is with the country’s public transportation. He often refers to the political corruption that led to abuse of the nation’s resources and resulted in drastically lower quality of life than could have been achieved.
During the short train ride, several men came through the cars announcing what they were selling: first wallets, then memory cards and then something else. Fernando told me the buses used to be like that, too, but the mayor banned the practice a while back. Trains are still full of vendors, though. Apparently people were banned from selling merchandise on the streets, too, but that can still be seen all over. The police understand the people are desperate, so usually nobody bothers the street vendors.
We exited at the station nearest downtown where we wanted to go, Estación Constitución. The place was clearly quite grand 50 years ago, about the time it apparently was last maintained. Some windows were missing from the roof, and all around the place could use some work. But it was bustling nonetheless, housing about 10 train tracks and apparently a subway underneath.
We walked to the nearby Parque Lezama, a large park that we only saw a small bit of walking through.
One thing you will notice is graffiti covers buildings, public art and everything else all over the place, especially around the central district. Fer said people are upset with the government and feel trapped by the corruption. He hate the graffiti and wishes people would spend their energy in other ways, and I agree.
A very polluted river, much like we have in Milwaukee!
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