Week 2: Pass the klenex please!

Buenos Aires Travel Blog

 › entry 8 of 17 › view all entries

As I sit here sipping my te con limon and chugging my Tylenol, I find it only fitting to write about that which is causing my misery: pollution. Never again will I complain about how polluted the air in Atlanta is, because I can go to bed at night in Atlanta without a headache and with the ability to breathe through both nostrils. I find it rather ironic that a country so concerned about how the pollution released from a pulp mill in Uruguay will affect the environment has busses and cars filling her own streets in Buenos Aires that emit smog the color of the Rio de la Plata: dense brown. Between the smoking and the air pollution, it is amazing to me that the life expectancy in this country is as high as it is!

The pollution in this city extends beyond just that of the air. The people here have an attraction to large dogs of all varieties, take them for walks (or hire someone to walk twenty dogs at once) and allow them to do their business anywhere they please. This wouldn’t be so bothersome if the owners disposed of the waste, but nope, it lies in wait for your unwary foot… this makes walking around town all that much more entertaining.

 This is all so interesting though, because all of the pollution is contrasted with a people who, as far as I can tell, care deeply about cleanliness and appearances. The very first day I arrived to Buenos Aires and was driving to the residencia I passed many storefronts and apartment homes with owners out front washing the walkway, hosing down their doors, and sweeping away leaves and dirt from the graffiti covered building façade. Perhaps it is the immense pollution outside though that brings people to this level of cleanliness. In the residencia, for example, the public floors are scrubbed daily and stairs washed weekly. Regardless as to the cause of the cleanliness, this is a good sign for the city, since as long as you have a concerned population, things will improve and the environment will only get better.

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