Welcome to Buenos Aires!
Buenos Aires Travel Blog› entry 1 of 8 › view all entries
My initial impressions of the city are consistent with what I had been told. The only city that I can compare Buenos Aires to is Paris. Wide avenues (12 lanes), cafes on every corner and even more clothing shops. Many of the cafes and McDonalds have free high-speed Internet so all I have to do is buy a cup of coffee for a few hours of free access with my pc. There also seems to be a wide variety of neighborhoods from those with cobblestone streets to recently revamped streets which will keep me busy over the next month. I spent the first day wondering around the city and went to mass in the Cathedral in the same clothes that I wore on the plane. It was a rough Sunday afternoon sitting in a cafe tasting empanadas and drinking the coffee (sarcasm).
I showed up at my homestay at 4pm and met my new family. People ask what makes me want to show up in a new country by myself and move in with a family. The funny thing is that I always ask myself the same question. Even now after a few days I am still wondering that! It can be awkward enough when you speak the same language as the person, have the same customs, and know them, but these people are complete strangers. They eat dinner at 8:30pm normally which is ok and may even help my diet. My room is about 6feet by 12 feet and consists of a tiny desk, a few dressers, a nightstand, and a bed. The first couple of nights I had lots of problems with mosquito bites, but they have put a raid dispenser next to my bed and last night was good.
Class has been good my first week especially since the other students normally didn't show up for my group class. So I essentially have 5 hours of private classes per day. I have ran a few times despite the crowded streets and have found my way to a few large parks. The rest of my free time has been spent working on stuff in the states for different business school clubs and applicatiosn for stuff in the fall. I have also started to plan some other trips to Uruguay and Iguazu Falls on different weekends.
Today is a holiday in Argentina (Labor Day) so no classes. I went for a 6 mile run in the morning which was easier than normal since there were many cars on the streets before the little robbery incident which is in my other posting for today. After coming back and showering , I went back out and took the photos that you see attached.
I was having a nice holiday in Buenos Aires today and walking through a park. I knew I was a target walking by myself with a backpack on, a lonely planet guide in my hand and my camara around my neck. I am sure the blond hair, blue eyes and the fact that I was wearing a shortsleeve shirt while everybody else had coats on only made me stand out more.
I was walking through a park near Recoletta cemetary and under some trees when it felt like something dropped on my head. I touched my head and it looked like some water with poop and smelled similar (I later realized it was just vinegar with some die). A woman came up from behind me to help clean me off.
It will take you longer to read the next few things than it actually took to happen.
I went back to the tree to see if I dropped anything and realized that I had left my lonely planet book. It was at this time that I also realized that I had apparently gained the attention of quite a few people who were watching. They then pointed out who the third person was and she was still in view. I decided to see where she was walking off to and started following her. I didn't plan to confront her until I saw a police officer, but after a few blocks she eventually began to walk back and started talking to me. She asked me what happended which is the same question that I then asked her.
While all three or four people got away. I still I feel some victory in the fact that I scared them all quite a bit. I figure that I have spent 2 and a half years of my life traveling or living outside the United States and this is the first time that someobody tried to steal something off of my body. Hopefully it will be 2 and a half more before it happens again.