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Some Things I Love About Buenos Aires (and Argentina)

August 15, 2010

It’s official: I am in love with this city. Maybe I’m in the honeymoon phase of culture shock (though it seems a bit late for that), or more likely I’m already to the point of adjustment where I feel like I’ve discovered a new home. Whatever the reason, it feels like love, and (even though I miss my friends and family) I am already dreading having to return to the States in three months. 😥

A while back I had written about some Differences Between Buenos Aires and the U.S. that had struck me so far. Today I want to share a new kind of list with you; of the little things I have come to love about Buenos Aires/Argentina in the two months I’ve spent here so far… Feel free to comment with your own!

Out with friends on any given Wednesday

Some Things I Love About Buenos Aires (and Argentina):

  • It’s usually sunny, even when it’s below freezing outside.
  • It’s perfectly normal to get home at 6 or 7am on a weekend, or even on a Wednesday or Thursday night!
  • Inexpensive spa treatments. From $10 haircuts to $15 massages, treating yourself to some pampering doesn’t have to be a guilty pleasure in Buenos Aires!
  • If you speak in Spanish, people will respond in Spanish. In a lot of countries when I try to speak their language I get responded to in English. How am I ever supposed to learn that way?? Maybe because fewer English-speaking people visit here than some other popular foreign destinations, the locals are usually totally willing to communicate with you in Castellano (what they call Spanish here), no matter how bad yours might be.
  • The sidewalks change every couple of blocks, and sometimes as many as 5 times on a single block. They might go from tile to brick to cement and back again in just a few steps. For some reason I find this endlessly entertaining.
  • Weekend ferias. While I have only made it out to a couple of the many weekend ferias (markets) that Buenos Aires has to offer, browsing the beautiful artisan goods and listening to some live music on the lawns is one of my favorite ways to spend a lazy Saturday or Sunday afternoon.
  • Medialunas, choripan, and great Italian food. Medialunas are basically little sweet croissants and are usually eaten with a cup of coffee; choripan is some kind of sausage/meat that they cook on spits on the street that is eaten with plain bread; and Italian food is, well . . . the usual.
  • The near-constant cat-calls. I used to find this annoying, but I’ve become used to it over time, and now I just find it entertaining. In fact, I’ve decided that the cat-calls are just my own form of daily affirmations. I don’t have to tell myself I’m beautiful because I get to hear it 60 times a day from complete strangers! Not a bad deal, right? 😉
  • Great shopping. Although most clothing isn’t that much cheaper here than in the States, the quantity and variety of shops makes shopping in Buenos Aires a pleasure and a constant temptation. If you take the time to shop around you can always find great deals and sales too, which doesn’t make avoiding temptation any easier.
  • Quality time with family. As I’ve said before, nightly meals with my host family are one of my favorite things about my day. The whole family also comes over on Sundays for a long lunch (and sometimes dinner as well) and listening to their light-hearted debates over any given subject while enjoying great homemade food is always entertaining and relaxing. In general, I love the focus on family here which is something I think many people have lost in the U.S. today.
  • Meeting people from all over the world. As is the nature of most major metropolitan cities, Buenos Aires boasts a large population of international residents and tourists at any given time. I think I’ve met more French, Brazilian, American, Italian, (etc) people than I have Argentines!

Time to do some homework!


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