P.S. There is a parade by the "Mothers and Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo" on Thursdays, and I went there on the 24th I think. They parade in a circle around the central monument holding signs with photos of loved ones taken during the 1970s. A van drove up and some elderly women slowly got out, each aided by a personal carer/helper. They received huge respect from the attendees. People made room for them through the small crowd, and some men started up a song dedicated to them. They formed a line and held a wide banner, and slowly paraded in a big circle. Many people followed them in a small crowd. Many tourists walked backwards ahead of them, snapping pictures. It was an experience well worth seeing, and I saw other sights there also.
Another group was smaller, and paraded separately at a different point on the circle. I stood on the side in the shade and watched both, then asked the guy near me if he spoke English. He did, but couldn´t explain the difference between the two groups. A young woman nearby him spoke up, "I can answer that." She explained that the smaller group is a more radical one, they have not forgiven the government or something like that. She has a guidebook dedicated solely to Buenos Aires, whereas mine has the entire continent as its scope and doesn´t have space for these details. The three of us chatted a bit. They were both from the United States, she New York and he Los Angeles or somewhere. She has travelled a lot, twice spending a whole year on the move! She seemed to love Latin America, and must have had some interesting travel experiences. She was wearing natural looking fabrics, and she said she felt underdressed in hip Buenos Aires, and was waiting to get out. I mentioned Guillermo, the guy who showed me the old flags and the cannonballs at the church. His business card said he was a licensed investigator, but even fluent Spanish speakers didn´t understand for what exactly. He had claimed that many in the parade were a farce, put on by the current government to point out how much better they are, and only a few cases were genuine. The girl was skeptical however, "That sounds like a conspiracy theory." (It is quite possible Guillermo was talking about the other demonstrations, that everybody seems to agree is simply a show.) I spoke directly (I usually keep a lot of my views to myself) disaligning myself with conspiracy theories. I think I said I tend to trust the mainstream historians. (I meant that I tend to trust expert historians etc. over the random person with a website for instance. However, I am still very willing to go against the mainstream view/approach on a multitude of issues, I just believe exceptional claims need exceptional evidence. [I do support non-rational or arational intuition or perception also, but with due discernment applied to it.]) The guy left soon after this, and she excused herself shortly after. There was nothing overt, but I felt a strong bad vibe from her. I wondered if it had been this comment, in contrast with her apparent "alternative"-ness.
Meanwhile, the guy was a poet, a very nice person with a soft voice, and touched me on the arm while speaking about 4 times in one minute! He suggested the three of us catching up for dinner in the evening. I didn´t jump to say yes, not wanting to show too much interest although I wasn´t against the idea, but he didn´t ask again. By funny coincidence, I had conversations with three gay guys in just a day or two. A Venezuelan journalist at the hostel showed interest in talking to me a lot (including on the 27th). His English was better than the average, but he often didn´t understand my responses I think, and I spoke a little Spanish with him too. If he wants to help me practice my Spanish, and make me feel welcome in a new continent then I´m not complaining (just not too "welcome")!
Another guy and girl at the hostel were from Chile, Andrés and Constanza. Once I found out they were only friends, I was not surprised to find he was gay. On Friday night, I spent around 4 hours in the evening just sitting in the hostel kitchen talking to them! The conversation was challenging and terribly stilted. They had very little English, and so we spoke Spanish. I was very grateful that they would spend that time with me, letting me practice! It was a night of constant leafing through my bilingual dictionary to find a word, unceasing "um´s and aah´s", slow, and sometimes with misunderstandings. Andrés left for a time saying he was getting his hair cut, and I have no idea what he was talking about, because his neat short cropped hair with metro blonde streaks looked immaculate... He owns a women´s clothing store in Santiago, or something, and was here to purchase stock. They were going dancing the next night in a gay nightclub, and invited me to come. I asked Constanza, "You too?", meaning if she was also going out dancing. But she thought I was asking if she was gay!! I awkwardly backtracked and I think she understood! She wanted to text message her boyfriend in English, so I wrote "I miss you a lot!" down for her to copy. It took a long time for me to understand what she was asking. Also, they saw media of one friend I met earlier on the trip, and quickly and confidently concluded he has also gay. I hadn´t picked it, but some signs were there. I had been surprised he had spent several hours talking to me, while leaving the two good-looking Latin girls nearby to his friend.
The next night I got home a bit before midnight I think, but wasn´t too upset I missed going out with them! (Actually it probably wasn´t too late, as the clubs in Buenos Aires peak about 2am apparently.) Still, I preferred to sleep. It was funny to meet all these people within the space of just a couple of days or so. Buenos Aires is known as South America´s top gay city/destination. Lonely Planet comments on this aspect of the culture, although my guidebook didn´t mention it, being cut from a slightly different cloth!