Tango in the streets, good quality wine, fashion and beautiful women, politics and protests, Peron and his Evita, Evita and her Peron, salsa percussion, nightlife, art and cultural events, pizza buffets and weekend markets – all these and much more has to offer the incredible Buenos Aires. We stayed there about a week, but we could have just as well stayed a whole year. You have the feeling it’s a city where you could hardly get bored in, and that’s also what the many expatriates who have settled there seem to believe.
While we were in Uruguay, Daniella and Selis decided to settle down in BA for a while, for work and study, so they rented an apartment and kindly offered to have us over while we were there. Meanwhile we learned that much of the Eco Yoga Park gang was in BA, so we went to an arts festival with Skye, were then invited to a brunch of scrambled eggs and banana chocolate bread prepared by her boyfriend Charlie, then we celebrated Mel’s birthday with baked Camembert and house red, and ended the series of meetings with the delicious dinner cooked by Paula and enjoyed by us with Daniella, Selis and Carmen. It was a great feeling to meet our friends from the Yoga Park outside, in the ‘real world’, and realize they were still ‘they’ over there too:).
In our first night in BA, Daniella and Selis took us to a barbecue they had planned with a group of Brazilian friends, and the next day we landed at a free pizza party organised by the Couch Surfers there. We found out that the CS community in BA is among the most active in the world – indeed, the night alone had gathered over 100 people eager to share some pizza, beers and good stories. Of course, in the traditional spirit, the party began at 10.30pm and after midnight all the tables disappeared and the place turned into a reggaeton and other Latin music madness. What joy to finally find ourselves in the middle of Latin people with a real party mood!
From what we understood from Richard, a Couch Surfer who introduced us a bit to BA, events like that one are omnipresent in the city. Not just parties, but all kinds of exhibitions, festivals, readings, launches and cultural events that are usually open to the public and even have a buffet of wine and snacks the visitors can feast on at will. It surely does not sound bad at all, and it seemed like an extra reason why BA would be considered one of the best cities to live in – not only in South America, but even in the world.
A ‘challenge’ we had in BA was the food – fresh out of Uruguay, where we could hardly find any vegetarian food, we realized that here would not be much easier either: once again the options were pizza, pasta and empanadas. Their definition of ‘meat’ is very interesting as well – when I asked at a pastry shop if they had empanadas without meat, the answer was ‘Yes! With cheese and ham.’ ‘Aha… I see. What about without ham?’ ‘Yes, of course! With chicken!’. In other words, meat for them is only unprocessed pork or beef. Good thing to know while here!
One thing we did not miss for sure was the good and very cheap wine. I remember that whenever I drank Argentinian wine back in Europe or Asia, I’d dream of the day I’d get the chance to savor it back where it came from. I did not indeed believe it would all happen so soon, so that was a good opportunity to reflect on how grateful I was in every moment for being here, now.
Tasting all kinds of wine was not at all a problem, as most of the time it was actually the cheapest drink on the menu – not only cheaper than Coke and other drinks, but even cheaper than WATER! Moreover, the prices almost forced you to buy a whole bottle instead of a glass. ‘How much is a glass of wine?’ ‘7 Pesos.’ ‘And a bottle?’ ’15 Pesos.’ What are you going to do then? You’ll obviously say ‘A bottle, please!’ 🙂
Besides the wine and parties, we also enjoyed some of the museums a whole lot! 2011 is the year when most South American countries celebrate 200 years of independence from the Spanish – another reason why we got here at the right time. Besides various decorations with ‘Bicenterario 200′ and other festivities, some museums have special exhibitions to mark this period. In the National Museum in Casa Rosa (where Eva Peron gave her famous speech) we came across an exhibition presenting the history of the past 200 years through educational (especially if you understand Spanish) and emotional documentaries. One of the leitmotifs of all historical periods presented was the Argentinians’ ‘passion’ for protests … and we thought it was funny how, after 2 hours of watching different types of protests throughout history, we came out in Plaza de Mayo only to meet with two demonstrations that were taking place in all their splendor …
Another museum that we really enjoyed was the Eva Peron Museum – with all the controversy around her, the lady of the people will always be present not only in the minds and hearts of Argentinians, but almost ‘physically’ in the museum created in her honor. It seemed like an unusual museum, one that tells a story and evokes emotions, a symbol of great importance in the life-story of Argentina. And we definitely recommend it to those passing through BA.
What else we’ve learned and enjoyed – in the next post!
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