Inspired by the documentary Supersize Me I decided to take a similar approach whilst travelling in the subte (underground train) system of Buenos Aires. It was originally planned as an odd way to fill in the time between destinations but after only a couple of days my Supersize Me approach became the reason I wanted to use public transport.
My idea was this. Whenever anyone came into the train carriage selling, begging or busking I would buy their product, give them some coins or clap along to the music.
I knew it was common for people to sell trinkets but I had no idea just what I would end up with.
After just one week, I am probably around 100 pesos poorer but here is a list of things I have gained:
– Two packets of bright shiny stickers, one of Mickey Mouse and one of a very pink Princess
– 2 pirated DVDs (Black Swan, Biutiful)
– 20 hair ties in total, bought 4 different
– 10 hair clips
– A Guia T
– A little notebook
– a sewing kit
– A night reading light
– 7 swap cards describing the love of God and / or Jesus Christ
– 16 candies (various flavours)
– 2 muesli bars
– A packet of mentos
– 4 black pens (only two work)
I have contributed a small donation towards the surgery costs for two people and the medication costs for another (so they say!)
And, I have supported the live music industry by funding five groups of buskers.
My Supersize Me experiment will continue for another week, but as the business folk of Buenos Aires begin to make their way back from their summer beach holidays and the trains begin to fill up once again I am not sure I can be guaranteed a seat. And, with no seat it is a general rule that sellers won’t offer you their wares as they know you need both hands to hang on as the subte bashes and bolts through the underground tunnels to Buenos Aires.