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.
To drown my sorrows of rejection, I got my Argentine cultural points by watching a Tango show.
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.
I did not, however, drink mate, the tea-like concoction that you see people drinking everywhere.
Buenos Aires, especially coming from Córdoba, is a modern city with active development in downtown.
At the same time, there are pockets of extreme poverty, and many people dumpster dive to get by.
Sometimes the poorer neighborhoods, like La Boca, become tourist attractions.
The neighborhood also benefits from the presence of the stadium of the Boca Juniors, one of the best soccer teams in the country.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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”.
Nearby, an organic food store decorated its walls with cheeky sayings.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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…