I finally saw it! I was walking through the markets by Retiro station and I finally witnessed what I had been suspecting all along.
When you walk along the pavement in Buenos Aires, sooner or later you will step on a loose tile. That's usually not the problem. The problem is that these loose tiles - which are almost always slyly masquerading as normal tiles - often have a pool of water encapsulated underneath them, like a flowing river deep under dry, barren land waiting to be drilled and extracted.
And as Murphy's Law dictates, "Anything that can go wrong will go wrong," meaning that you are more than likely going to step on that one vigilante tile. And subsequently a sudden burst of water will erupt from below, covering your legs with filthy, warm water, exclaiming "YES! You've hit water!"
It's strange, because every time this has happened to me - and believe me it has happened A LOT - I have never seen any other water around. No tell-tale signs of infection; no symptoms of disease; no clue of the force majeure which is about to be unleashed. However, each morning there are cavalry shop tenders who use a hose to water-down their shop fronts. But if this was the cause there would surely be a grander area of dampness. Right?
And then I saw it. It was about 8:12pm at Retiro and I saw a shop tender with a large bucket clandestinely pouring his generous collection of filthy water down a crack in the pavement. And that pavement - whom I can only blame for cooperating and not spitting it back into his face as it should - sucked it all up like a fat, greedy fish.
It is the conspiracy of the side-walks, I tell you. Beware in Buenos Aires.
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Read about another time when I encountered "fluids." CLICK HERE
Read about a time where I almost broke my face. CLICK HERE