Random Acts of Training #1

2014.Oct.19 Sunday · 2 comments

in Life, Restaurants

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As regular readers know, I’ve been casting about for a new project of some sort, what with the 92 Bus Pizza Trek, The Chronicles of Shawarma, and all winding down. I happen to love trains. And, though the train system here is a shadow of its former self, it still heads off in various directions from three different central stations (Retiro, Constitucion, and Once). I decided to give a shot at some random train riding – simple procedure. Show up at one of the stations, whichever one I happen to be closest to, hop on the next train leaving, having quickly looked at how many stops there are before the end of the line – use a quick random number generator to pick from 1 to the last stop, get off at that station number, and wander, taking photos and checking a place out. Since eats, of course, must play a part, it occurred to me to go for a second random number, which I decided to pick from between 1 and 10, and as I passed open eateries, whichever one was that number to pass would be where I eat. I’m not sure I’ll stick with that latter part, as I could see ending up somewhere that truly isn’t where I want to eat – a hotdog stand or something of that sort, but we shall see.

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I also, in retrospect, probably won’t do this on a Sunday again – my first shot was last Sunday and I tend to forget that once you get outside of the city itself, things tend to be really closed up. But, I was close to Retiro station, the next train out was the Tigre-bound line, the 12th stop came up on the roll of the dice, and I found myself headed for the small town of Victoria – population just shy of 40,000. And it really was closed up. As I wandered down the main street (Santamarina) leading away from the train station, not one business, not even a kiosk was open. It didn’t make for very good wandering, nor much in the way of interesting photo taking. Thankfully, the random selection of restaurant was for #2, and having passed up an ice cream shop as the first place I found open, I ended up at La BarBeria, Santamarina 1103, the only other business I saw open during a couple hours in town.

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Stepping out of the train station in Victoria, the “entryway” to town is quite pretty.

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A few blocks along, what seems to be sort of the central business district. Really, nothing open on Sundays.

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A couple of jugglers out on the streets trying to get some change from the few cars passing by.

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Some cartoneros in search of recyclables and such.

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And, at La BarBeria, the choices were pretty much pizzas, sandwiches or burgers – I decided to go with the house’s eponymous burger, which was topped with ham, cheese, fried egg, pickles and pickled frying peppers, tomato and lettuce, added in some mustard; and, a big helping of fries. The verdict – the burger, a sort of rubbery, clearly just thawed out of the freezer, pre-formed, industrial patty that was inexcusably bad given the great beef in this country. The toppings were fine, I suppose, the bun a falling apart poor excuse for one. The fries, decent, but not great.

So, overall not the best start for this project, but in some ways, that’s half the interest, and who knows, maybe the gods of randomness will end me up back in Victoria on a more active day with more to see and something more interesting to eat.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Donna October 19, 2014 at 19:18

Dan, such a cool idea and great way to get about BA..I love hearing and seeing it all…I just didn’t get enough when there. Love the streets, cars look newish and then, there’s the horse cart…and that egg on top!! Great project..keep it up.
Best,
D

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