Here we are into our eighth week living in Buenos Aires. Right up front I have to say we haven’t put much effort into truly becoming invested in and exploring our new home town. When we arrived in mid-October, we knew we were going back to the States 1st December to see our son wed his beautiful bride. (More on that later!) Our focus has been elsewhere. That being said, I do have a random collection of observations that I’ve made in the totally distracted short time we’ve been here. In no particular order –
On speaking Castilian –
Right off the bat – in BA, the language is referred to as Castellano, not Español. Growing up in Florida and living in Atlanta for 15 years, we’ve been exposed to A LOT of Spanish. None of it sounds like the language of the porteños, as the locals like to call themselves! Double Ls are pronounced like “zha,” not like a y. To a CASL (Castilian as a Second Language – I just made that up) speaker, that tiny difference creates an entirely new language! Fortunately, every single local that we have met has been kind and sweet and gently helped us along. Truly, every encounter we have had has been lovely. And then there are somethings that don’t need translation….
On food –
The produce available is exactly that which is in season. Novel idea considering where we come from everything is available year round. Friends and relatives who know our passion for coffee, brace yourselves. The local coffee, at least at our neighborhood Cafe Martinez, is better than the local Starbucks. It’s tastier and less expensive. And another huge bonus to life in BA? There’s nothing you can’t get delivered. Food of all sorts, ice cream – yeah, read it and weep, and groceries, too! That’s right. When you finish your grocery shopping for an extra $5 or so, you can get it delivered to your house.
On architecture –
We love the old stuff and our neighborhood is full of it. Beautiful old houses. Gorgeous old shops.
Sometimes there will be an entire block of old houses, but most times what we see is a gorgeous old belle squished between boring boxy high rises.
I never stop trying to image what the streetscape looked liked before the neighboring old buildings were torn down to make way for the new.
On dogs –
Before we arrived, we heard quite a bit about the copious amounts of dog poop on the sidewalks here. However, much to our pleasant surprise, it really isn’t that bad. Every now and then we’ll encounter an “obstacle,” but no more than we would in the States. Buenos Aires is a city of dogs. We see them everywhere, in singles, doubles, and variety packs. Dog walking is a major business here. And! The vet will come to your house. That’s right! Our friend, Margarita Maria, has a vet who comes over for the regular check ups, shots, whatever. Oh, that must be awfully pricey, you’re thinking. Nope. She pays less then we would in the States. A lot less. I had some great pictures of dog walkers walking their packs, but I can’t seem to find them. So here’s a picture of a dog enjoying a little time at an outdoor cafe.
On the Tango –
If you know how to Tango, you can do it just about anywhere!