Buenos Aires, Argentina

I spent 11 days in Buenos Aires, during which time both President Obama and Ashton Kutcher came to visit me. Unfortunately neither of them had time to say hi.

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The scene outside the Four Seasons, where Kutcher was staying. I felt like a 16-year old fangirl too.
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You’ll have to believe me that Obama is in the rear Cadillac here. The windows are actually not tinted, so the crowd was excited when he gave them a wave. Behind the motorcade is the Pink House: kind of like the White House except the Argentine president lives elsewhere.

To drown my sorrows of rejection, I got my Argentine cultural points by watching a Tango show.

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Where of course, they drag you on stage and then you awkwardly dance for 30 seconds, not knowing what you’re doing.

I also felt local by going to the theater and watching a comedy, where the star is a well-known 75-year old guy playing a 50-something year old housewife.

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Translated, “more respect since I am your mother, part 2”.

I did not, however, drink mate, the tea-like concoction that you see people drinking everywhere.

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And it has to be served in these specific wooden cups.

Buenos Aires, especially coming from Córdoba, is a modern city with active development in downtown.

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At the same time, there are pockets of extreme poverty, and many people dumpster dive to get by.

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Sometimes the poorer neighborhoods, like La Boca, become tourist attractions.

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Train tracks divide the tourist area from the rest. I accidentally ended up on the wrong side, but quickly scurried out of there.

The neighborhood also benefits from the presence of the stadium of the Boca Juniors, one of the best soccer teams in the country.

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And don’t even try to imagine what would happen to you if you entered a game with an opposing jersey.

In a different part of town, they set up a mobile health station to do basic things like take blood pressure, weight, and blood glucose level.

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Argentina is also gearing up to fight Zika, along with the other mosquito-transmitted diseases common in South America: Chikungunya and dengue. They’ve put up public service advertisements as a measure of prevention.

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Speaking of ads, the city has also put up ads promoting tourism by locals. Which I actually totally agree with, given that when you live in a place you often forget to appreciate the cool things it offers.

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Also there you see the messed-up form of Spanish they speak: in most other countries, it would be viva, not viví. Otherwise the Coldplay song would be titled Viví la Vida.

Apparently, ads in Argentina need to have a disclaimer when they are photoshopped, which is one of those ideas (like cookie disclaimers in the EU) that sounds great but then turns out to be useless because every single ad ends up stating the obvious.

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In reality, the guy on the left wasn’t smiling enough, so they had to retouch that. Just so you know, as the consumer.

In terms of food, I’m happy to report that the Burger King downtown prepares local food, by which I mean they call their biggest burgers “Patagonian”.

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Probably called Texan in the US.

Nearby, an organic food store decorated its walls with cheeky sayings.

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Translated, it says “having around you such yummy and instagrammable things”.

Random things…cop cars always have their lights on. There’s no emergency; as you can tell this guy is patiently waiting at the stoplight.

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In my vain attempts to see Obama I stopped by the US Embassy, which like in Oslo is easily one of the ugliest buildings in town.

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Maybe it’s a defense mechanism.

Cities in South America really struggle with accessibility. When it’s not the crumbling sidewalks or poor building design, it’s that even in nice hotels and hostels, they manage to switch up the elevator call keys.

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In braille, the bottom one says UP and the top one DWN.

After I figured out the correct button to press, my next challenge was figuring out what to think about my roommate that seemed to have some sort of hammer or pickax on him.

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As it turned out, he was a German circus artist. Still didn’t explain the ax to me though.

On a lighter note, there is a beautiful park in one part of town with a huge rose garden. On top of that, every few minutes you can even see planes taking off in the background.

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Looks kind of like a bird, but it’s there in the center-right.

Disappointingly, they’re mostly just 737s belonging to the national carrier.

The big thing missing this post is the political protests, which I’ll make a separate journal entry for! In the meantime, it’s off to Uruguay…

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