Buenos Aires: Perhaps a suitable introduction to the South American way of life. At first glance, you can sense the anguish and the borderline poverty in the streets. Compared to a famous western city, the buildings are dirty with exhaust grime and graffiti, the streets are littered with piles of trash, and the people sweaty from the heat and the perpetual cloud of cigarette smoke.
I've landed in Buenos Aires, I'm here, I've made it. 2 years worth of work and saving, 10 years worth of desire, and a whole pile of luck and support. I'm out of the airport, in the bus, and then hesitantly in one of the (in)famous radio-taxi cabs. I speak broken Spanish to the driver, do my best to blend in as fluent but fail as the taxi shamelessly drives me in circles around town, slowly centering upon my destination. I'm not to worried as I've already entered the world of Monopoly money, the 60 peso cab fare is quickly translated to about $15 US dollars. I speculate that the Cabby probably robbed me of about $5US: Keep the change.
Despite the slightly dishonest taxi driver, the mounts of unconstrained trash in the streets, and the graffiti that riddles nearly every open space of every building, the city is vibrant and appealing. The nightlife throbs with the warmth of the Argentinian people. Truly the value in traveling to South America lies in the people. Everyone is warm, friendly, and for the most part will give you the shirt off their back.
My time in the city so far has been outstanding and I must thank my gracious host, Stephane, first and foremost for all the good times.
|Coffee table post-breakfast / hangover|
|Street art in Palermo|
|Santa Fe on a hot summer's evening|
|Centro at dusk. Protesters in the distance.|