My last visit to the Buenos Aires Feria de Libros was in 2008. My Title VI budget this year is designated for FIU´s Spanish Language Journalism major which has not gotten much library support. As I was looking into program needs, I realized coming to the bookfair would be a good approach!
Courtesy of the FIU Latin American & Caribbean Center, I was able to use one of their complimentary tickets from TAM Airlines. I left Miami on an 11am flight, arrived in São Paulo around 8pm for a 10:45pm connecting flight to Buenos Aires. I expected to arrive in SP at 1:30 in the morning. Alas, for various reasons, our flight took off an hour late. Once I got through immigration (and didn`t know until I had to pay it right there about Argentina`s new $140.00 visa), getting my bag, and going through the customs x-ray, and then got a cab to the hotel, I was able to go to bed at 4:50am. Not surprisingly, I slept until 1:30 that afternoon.
We`re back at the NH Florida but my ro0m looked onto an interior courtyard and was about as bright as a tomb (I´ve started rereading Edgar Allan Poe), felt very small, and the TV didn`t work. I asked at the desk to change, they advised I´d have to wait until the 3pm checkout to see what would be available. I had lunch in the hotel dining room and then found I could move to the 7th floor overlooking Tres Sargentos street and the Inversiones Federales building as I had in 2004. To the left I can also look to see the long-shuttered Harrod`s. I remain intrigued that you can see some open windows on its top floors.
Once moved into the new digs, I went out to buy water for the room and coffee for Don. Adán Griego and Angela Carreño are also staying here so I sent out an e-mail seeing who might want to get together for dinner. Angela called me so we went across the street and shared pizza and salad. A final check of e-mail for the evening brought a message from Hortensia Calvo that she´s also here for the bookfair but at a different NH location. Phil MacLeod is also staying at a different NH. My first day in Buenos Aires didn`t quite go as planned but it`s still good to be here.