Ezeiza Airport, Buenos Aires. August 9th
There are full scale riots in Santiago, Chile, competing with London and the impending financial meltdown for the headlines here in Argentina. God knows how far it can all go; if the feral kids of the UK really wish to they can take the country down for a few days - every crap town and soulless city could have fighting on the streets by the time I get back. So far it is just London and Birmingham, but surely it will spread? Eventually there could be deaths and it would all go way, way out of control. Or maybe stop and begin again next year.
The Argentine peso seems to have devalued overnight by a few percentage points, while the Buenos Aires stock exchange experienced the biggest fall on the planet, over 10 percent in one day. They are not panicking here. In fact, they are brushing it off, because Argentina has been here so many times before. But, the global markets are a mechanism largely of evil, not good, and Argentina, which has one of the lowest credit ratings on the planet, could be seen as a weak animal, and taken down by investors who care nothing of the consequences of their selfish actions. There again, these things happen and the world somehow returns to its status quo, and all is forgotten a few weeks later…
I am experiencing this kind of strange peace in Ezeiza international airport, shortly before I fly to Sao Paulo. It feels very safe here and removed from the problems of the world and my own not insignificant personal issues.
It is 6 weeks today that I left England. I swear it feels like months and months. Travel is like that - every day, even the most mundane, has something new and memorable either for the good or bad. My god, 6 weeks, how can it be possible? I feel like a different person to the one who drove through London on a National Express coach on his way to Heathrow and then South America, reflecting upon what a grey, miserable and **** place the English capital is. I am not surprised this is happening to London. I am only surprised that everybody else is surprised.
Somebody has switched channels and there is some boll**** about Britney Spears. Escapism? No, this is the bullshit that got us here in the first place; a society with no society, a society where the only God isn't money itself, but wanting things; wanting false dreams. It is Saturday night Britain's got Talent, Ipod players, cosmetic surgery and kids wanting to be somebody else rather than themselves.
Hilariously I thought I’d treat myself to dinner in a decent airport restaurant as I have a few pesos left and my head is spinning. The chef has made a worse mess of my ‘noquis’ and spinach than I thought possible. FFS, you have got to laugh. After last night's experience on the streets of Buenos Aires, it would be absurd for me to care. Those lovely people all sleeping on the street, happy for a blanket and a cup of soup.
And, shi*, I just realised I need to board after 30 minutes. Why did I have the idea in my head I had to check in after 30 minutes, when I have already done that? Red wine& spinning head clouding my judgement?