It’s Friday, people!
And I have great news: I’m still here!
I know that last week I may have suggested that the local Government was en route to arrest me for considering me an enemy of the state due to my treacherous citizenship and was planning to ship me off to the Argentine Guantanamo, but it turns out it was all a huge misunderstanding! (Basically, I made it all up.)
So, what else is new? Oh, right. The Fall is basically extinct, and in further evidence that Argentina is approaching a “tropical country” status largely due to climate change, last week we went to bed while enjoying a warm, summer night and woke up the next morning freezing to death. I’m not kidding, this week it was actually colder in some areas of Argentina than in Antarctica.
So hurry up, my fellow hibernation enthusiasts, and learn the facts before we’re all encased in ice for the rest of eternity under half a kilometer of snow.
This is what you need to know:
The Argentine Senate has preliminary approved the YPF expropriation bill, which is now headed to the Lower House floor. Lawmakers believe the bill could be finally passed next Wednesday, unless NATO bombs us first.
- Still, it seems my country (Spain) will have to swallow its words and find a different approach to the whole YPF controversy. After what started as a grim warning of how terrible Argentina’s decision to expropriate the oil company was, the outrage seemed to fade out as the week progressed and the Spanish government found that pretty much no one was willing to join the administration’s plans to bomb Buenos Aires. International organizations such as the IMF and the World Bank, as well as the European Union and the US feigned disappointment and indignation for a couple of minutes, but then swiftly washed their hands from the whole thing by calling it a “bilateral issue.” Sure, the European Commission has warned that Argentina’s decision will have “dire consequences” for the population’s future, but there’s not much more they can do. Except bomb us.
- I’m done with this YPF thing for today, I promise. Although don’t get too excited. Malvinas is coming up next.
- The brand new Argentine ambassador in London, Alicia Castro, first published an interesting op-ed on Malvinas (See? I told you) in the conservative British newspaper The Telegraph, which caused the faces of all its readers to melt, Indiana Jones-style. She then formally presented the UK government with a proposal to restore commercial flights between the Malvinas Islands and Buenos Aires, as a friendly gesture. Then the islanders said no, which sucks because I was really hoping to score me some low-cost tickets for one of these long weekends. Think about it, the Malvinas could be a great place to celebrate Spring Break. British pubs, the sea and lots and lots of penguins. It doesn’t get any better than that. Come on, islanders!
- If you are a passionate follower of President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, chances are: a) You hate me for being “anti-Kirchnerite” (even though I’m not), and b) You’re not reading this before you’re heading over to the Vélez stadium in Liniers to attend the Cristina-palooza that is taking place today at 6 pm! (You’ve probably seen the posters while walking down the street, summoning everyone to go show their support for the President). And if you’re wondering what the hoopla is all about, what big announcement she’s going to make, this is the best part: it’s about nothing. You know, like Seinfeld. No, seriously. The whole point of the rally is to have a stadium full of people calling her name, while she gives an impassioned speech showing how strong she is. That way she can persuade NATO from bombing us all next Wednesday.
- If you’re wondering why the Subte has been going on strike almost everyday lately, here is why (not that you care). Long story short, since the whole subway system is a ticking time bomb on the verge of collapse and neither the National nor the City governments want to take care of it, the Subte employees are selflessly trying to raise awareness about how unprotected us passengers are, while putting their entire careers at risk over charges of insubordination. Also, they want more money.
- Great news everyone! You know when you’re standing in the immigration line to enter/leave Argentina at the Ezeiza airport and you realize you didn’t bring a pen with you so you can’t fill out those pesky immigration forms? Well, not to worry because as of now the Government has finally implemented the new digital terminals with a biometric system. How exotic and 21st century of yours, Argentina! It’s almost like in the US! (Without the paranoia).
- Terrible news everyone! You know when you’re standing in the luggage belt after landing at the Ezeiza airport (don’t make me link to Wikipedia again) and you realize your suitcases have been ripped open and someone has stolen your Toblerones, your iPod, your iPad, your iLaptop or whatever and your digital camera because you were dumb enough to put them in your suitcase instead of carrying them with you? Well, it is still happening (which you should have guessed since I started this bullet point by saying “Terrible news everyone!”). The Ezeiza airport police arrested 15 employees this week who were found responsible of stealing hundreds of items from careless travelers in the last couple of years. So remember that next time you send off your blackberry in a giant suitcase because you can’t be bothered to carry it.
- I guess being afraid of having your stuff stolen somewhat counts as being paranoid, so there! The local airport experience is now just like in the US.
- Argentina, you’re on (technologically speaking) fire! Since apparently the biometric system at the airport was not enough to make us look cool, now taxis will gradually begin offering passengers the possibility of paying with a credit or debit card. Fancy! So far only “15 or 20 taxis” have been provided with a wireless card reader in order to test the new methodology and “see what happens.” Really? “See what happens”? What could happen? You pay and you get out of the car! Am I missing something here? Whatever. Good luck catching one of those “15 or 20″ taxis in a city of three million people.
- Have you visited the International Book Fair in Plaza Italia yet? Why not? Never mind.
- Well if you had been there on opening day, you would have witnessed the hilariously tragic crossfire between Education Minister Alberto Sileoni and the City’s Culture Minister Hernán Lombardi (I know you didn’t click on any of those links, by the way). You see, since both of them were asked to give a speech at the opening ceremony, Lombardi (at odds with Cristina) seized the opportunity to attack the National Government for last month’s “ban on books” fiasco. Sileoni, of course, pretty much told him to fuck off while the audience booed and clapped and stuff. All in the name of education and culture, people.
- [ADDENDUM] Jesus, people! OK, I get it. I got like 15 emails from you and one guy even complained about it below. There are no “boos” to be heard in the Feria del Libro video, even though they existed. Sorry I gave you hope on some “boos” everyone! And if you still need to satisfy your blood lust, here’s a video from a couple of years ago when Cuban dissident Hilda Molina presented her book at the fair and leftist groups decided to crash her event and ruin it, all in the name of freedom of speech. Now fuck off.
- Oops! Back in 2008, 58 Pre-Columbian artifacts dating from 500
to 1000AD, with a cumulative value estimated at around US$ 700,000, were mysteriously stolen from the Ambato Museum in La Falda, Córdoba. How exciting and Hollywoodesque, right? Even more intriguing, the Ambato Museum is located inside the creepy Hotel Eden, a mythical place that once hosted Che Guevara and Albert Einstein. What’s worse, according to historians, its owners were staunch Adolf Hitler supporters (no surprise there) and had personally offered their hotel as a hideout to the fuhrer in case things didn’t go as planned after World War II. How awesome is this story, huh? You’ve got the fifth Indiana Jones movie right here. The script is writing itself! But alas, it turns out it wasn’t the Neo-Nazis trying to revive Hitler and Che Guevara by casting some ancient indigenous spell only described in one of the stolen artifacts. Nah, that’s too contrived. They were actually in the hands of a City Government official who moonlights as an art collector, obviously. The guy has claimed that he purchased the items “in good faith” and that he had no idea that they were stolen, while City Hall has denied that the guy was working for them. Whatever the case may be, it’s a thousand times less exciting than the possibility of a fight to the death between zombie Hitler and zombie Che Guevara while the fate of humanity hangs in the balance.
- I know, I have issues. Leave me alone.
- This week, in “The Football“: TRAGEDY! In an unexpected turn of events that has the global scientific community at a loss, infallible, human-like deity Lionel Messi failed to score against the Chelsea this week, triggering an unstoppable chain of events that has ended in the shaming and collapse of Spain as a sports legend worldwide. And we all know what this means. THIS. That’s it, folks. Messi is now officially on the way down. Sure, he reached the pinnacle of his almighty glory these last few years, but deep down we all knew he wouldn’t be able to keep this charade up for long. Now, I don’t know much about football (that’s why every week I keep feeding you inaccurate information when it comes to games, and teams and players and shit. It’s not that I fail at gathering the correct information. I just don’t care about getting it), but one thing is clear: when you fail once, the deep scrutinizing begins. “Is something wrong with him?” or ”Messi hits rock bottom!” are some of the statements coming from the pundits who allegedly know what they’re talking about. So now it’s only a matter of time before he gives in to cocaine, alcohol and prostitutes (you know, like a certain someone) and he ends up in a distant outpost in the Middle East while engaging in mischief and tomfoolery largely due to cultural differences (you know, like a certain someone).
- You thought I was going to compare him to Diego Maradona, didn’t you? Please, like I’m that predictable.
- Oh, shit: The local press is saying that Lionel Messi’s girlfriend is pregnant. And so the collapse of an idol begins.
- Erik Lamela (someone I never heard of before but apparently used to play for River Plate so I guess he was kind of important), has having some sort of a kerfuffle with another player and decided to settle their argument by spitting on him. So here’s the video, which is totally disappointing because you can see him pursing his lips but you cannot see the actual spit. And let’s face it, that’s the only reason why you would click on that link in the first place. Still, Spitgate was so big this week that I decided to mention it, just to keep you in the loop. Because I know you don’t give a shit about Cristina’s speech today. But the spit incident? You have to know all about that!
Have a great weekend, everyone!
Send Adrian your comments, thoughts or tips at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter at @AdrianBono