Thursday, April 9, 2009
DID WE MAKE A WRONG TURN SOMEWHERE?
Heading East from Chile, we should hit Argentina. But as I walk down the streets here in Buenos Aires, I swear that we missed South America and are back in Europe . The Avenues are wide (especially Avenida 9th of Julio, the widest street in the world with 20 lanes), the buildings are old with beautiful architecture, and the shops cosmopolitan. The restaurants and cafes are chic and sophisticated and I swear there are more pizza places here than in Rome. In fact, this city feels a lot like Rome to me, not at all what you think of when you think of South America. Even the people look European. Buenos Aires does have a LOT of European influence, especially Italian, and since this will pretty much be our only stop in Argentina, we will have no comparison of the capital city versus other places in the country.
Since we have just arrived, we haven't done much other than settle in so far. We have seen some of the major buildings/structures of the city: The Casa Rosada, The Congress, The Cathedral, Plaza 25th of Mayo and the Obolisco de la Republica. We have tried the famous Argentinean beef (I think it's good, Marty thinks it's great)and also Yerbe Mate (I like the ritual, I don't like the drink). I have also managed to find the best homemade pasta store in town (doesn't take me long to "settle in").
Big cities haven't been our thing, so it will be interesting to see what happens here. It's not that we haven't been to big cities (Rome, Bangkok, Hong Kong...aren't exactly what you call small) it's just that our stays in them have typically been short. We will be here in Buenos Aires for more than two weeks - the longest stay for any of our large cities.
Here we have an incredibly spacious apartment that is very comfortable and we have Paz, our resident Spanish teacher, who will be giving us Spanish lessons for two hours each day. She's smart, she's funny, and she's sure that she can have us all fluent in Spanish in just two weeks (just kidding).