21. A night at Tequila (B.A, Argentina)
Random pic: half of Avenida 9 de Julio - it's wide
We went to the party at the American girls' house, first thing that went wrong was the elevator wasn't strong enough to take the six of us up to the 10th floor. It took a while before we realized we'd stopped, and it was getting hot in there fast. There was no roof panel to climb out, and we could only get the inner-door open. After about ten minutes my German friend forced the door and we could climb out - lo and behold, we'd only gone about 2 feet up and were still on the first floor. So then we had to climb the ten flights of stairs which took ages with the few beers under our belts.
The party was lame me and my group hit the road to Tequila, one of the few local boliches (nightclubs) which had just been allowed to re-open by the government. We were walking down the street on the way to catch a cab, and Stefan the German asked where he was allowed to piss. "Anywhere man" I replied. He took a leak behind a tree and then we carried on, only then spotting the cop patrolling the street corner.
He let us carry on, but then called as back and confiscated the open beer I had passed to Stefan. Stefan started trying to talk to him in Spanish - "Hey man, it's only a beer...". The cop spotted his accent and asked in Spanish - "Where are you from?". "Germany". "Tell me, is it allowed to urinate in public in Germany?", asked the cop. Stefan was silent. "Umm, no." "Well, then what makes you think you're allowed to piss in the streen in Argentina?" Stefan was silent. "I'm sorry." But now the cop was worked up, and proceeded to lecture us for 5 minutes, saying it was too late, that Stefan was off to the comisario (headquarters). Stefan's Argentinean girlfriend returned and started talking to the cop, I was keeping my distance though, but the next thing the cop was telling me to sit down, that I was going to the station too for carrying an open beer in the street. Well that was just great. So I sat down on the side of the street and contemplated running while I lit a cigarette. Stefan's girlfriend came back - OK, we're gonna have to try pay him. How much have you got? So Stefan gave her $50 pesos (NZ$25) and after more chat she came back - let's go. I retrieved my stash and we caught a cab to the nightclub. Stefan's girl said it was good we didn't go to the station as they can keep you overnight and anything can happen there.
So there it was - the much feared cop bribe. Not too scary, and admittedly we'd gotten ourselves into trouble in the first place. I don't think the cops are that corrupt as to plant something on you as happens in other countries, but I don't know anyone who's paid off a cop in say NZ.
The club (Tequila) was awesome. It was a small place with only a few hundred people, and lots of beautiful girls on the dancefloor. We partied until the music died down at 6am, and I stupidly caught a bus home instead of a taxi and ended up travelling all over Buenos Aires for 2 hours for what would have been a 15 minute taxi ride.
Steve at Juan's