Saturday, March 27, 2010

Last Tango in Buenos Aires

I'm officially back stateside with my family in South Florida.   I bet you thought I wouldn't write one last blog on Argentina before calling it a trip.  Or maybe you didn't think anything like that because you have more important things going on in your lives, but nonetheless here I am.  It's bittersweet to be home as it is great to see my family and friends again and also to have all the modern conveniences back at my disposal.  However, I sorely miss the atmosphere and richness of Buenos Aires and all the new friends I had made South of the Equator.  On that note, I decided to make a list (not a Top Ten one) of things I will miss and things I won't from my favorite South American city:

Let's start with the things I WON'T miss (this is a shorter list!):

- SMOKING!!  Almost everyone smokes down there all the time.  Clubs, restaurants, buses, on the street, underwater.  I forgot how awful it is at the end of the night you almost need a shower.  And kissing a smoker is like kissing an ashtray, not that I know anything about that. 

- The pollution.  They have lots of buses that are not exactly the green ones we now have in NY.  Hoping this will change over time. 

- Very few things starting on time when they are supposed to.  I guess that's part of the charm too.

- having to download LOST every Tuesday night after midnight.  I potentially have 10 viruses on my computer (don't worry they can't come through this blog).

- Red clay bounces during tennis.  Made me feel like a beginner sometimes.  I see why the Americans can't win in Paris every year.

- Argentinian sushi (cream cheese in all the roles...Yuck!)

and....onto the things I WILL MISS MOST about Buenos Aires:

- The silly thing  I will miss the most is EMPANADAS!!!  I had one as an appetizer (and sometimes the main course too) with every meal I could.  Those little meat filled pastries don't seem to be as tasty outside of Argentina.

- Tango!
Learning and watching it was a lot of fun.   I am still a work in progress when it comes to my own version, but I definitely now have a greater appreciation for that dance and how difficult it is to make it look so beautiful and effortless.

- The serious answer is the warm people and weather.  Almost everyone down there was extremely helpful and amicable.  I am still not used to it.  As for summer, who doesn't like that?  (Eskimos?)

- Seeing new constellations and old ones like Orion appear upside down.

- Smiling every time I watched the water spiraling in the opposite direction in the shower or sink.  It was cool.

- 30 cent subway and bus.

~ 2 hour shifted later schedule.  Peak dinnertime was 1030pm and peak going out time was after midnight, weekdays too!

- Speaking Spanish all the time.  Life just seemed more interesting in another language.  I liked the challenge.

- Watching my Spanish improve while my English got worser.

- Slower pace of life. I believe it fosters creativity and is one reason there is so much creative talent in BA.

- Playing tennis (sometimes badly) on the red clay.  Thanks to Pedro for kicking my butt a few times.

- Amazingly tasty (and inexpensive) steaks.

- Walking past this statue every night:

     I'm not sure what she's doing but those look like fingers on the ground and I can swear she's smiling. 

- My cheap phone that took me 10 minutes to text one sentence.

- Relearning the art of conversation even if most of the time it was in another language.

- Seeing random cars from the 90s on the street with other normal cars like the Z328 or a Toyota Celica.

and lastly,

- that feeling of excitement waking up every morning even though I didn't know how the day was going to go.  Can't put a price on that one. 

Now that my adventures south of the equator have come to a close, I am undecided as to whether I will continue writing a blog.  If you have an opinion one way or the other feel free to share it with me by commenting or sending me an email privately (if it's "Stop you are terrible!" I'd prefer a private one).  Thanks to everyone who signed up and read these posts regularly or gave me feedback.  I had a special time down there and hope to keep the good vibes going in the northern hemisphere!


  1. nice list, i agree with most of it .. but sorry bro, the shower/sink drain thing is a myth .. did you learn your science on The Simpsons? wiki coriolis effect.

  2. Keep the blog going. Need to live vicariously thru ya for the rest of your travels. For instance, I need a post on this year's WMC! - Marc

  3. Yes! Most of what I know I learned on the Simpsons. I still say the drain in your sink rotates the opposite way I am used to seeing Coriolis effect or no.

    One other thing I WON'T miss is carrying my camera everywhere. I am thinking I will keep the blog going but start a new chapter of it.

  4. hey alexsei! good list.
    the people smoking is worst than the states, but still better than spain for example, were they smoke more, and in more places.
    thanks about the tennis mention, and dont be a pussy about the bounces!!

    send you a hug amigo. ill miss you.
    and yes, keep it going, you will probably have to write different things cause you wont do a new thing every other day.

    and i think i know why your english got poor. is because you've been spending too much time with me. jeje.