Arrival in the 'tina

Buenos Aires Travel Blog

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Boca Juniors game at La Bombonera! vs. Libertad of Paraguay
 Well well, I don't quite know where to begin, maybe I'll work in reverse.  I love this place so much.  Tonight we went to a Boca Juniors game.  Boca is one of Argentina's most beloved club futbol teams (one of many in the city), and the stadium is "La Bombonera" ("little chocolate box") in one of the southern, traditionally working class areas.  Seats are stacked high and rolls of toilet paper or shredded newspapers continually rain down onto the field.  The opposing team's fans sit in a section enclosed by a barbed fence and are allowed a 20-minute headstart when leaving the stadium, and you can pick up some, erm, colorful, spanish phrases in the course of a game.

A good portion of my time today was spent walking around, for a few reasons.
Cemetery's a bit different from the ones back home. It looks like a small city built from the sawed-off tops of very elaborate churches.
  Primarily, the subway workers were on strike so the entire Subte system was closed today and it's about an hour walk to the school (but a nice one, and really there are no dull streets around here).  At least every corner has a cafe, and many blocks are lined with all kinds of tiendas.  The cityscape is not harsh - buildings are uniquely styled with classic and modern designs mixing on every row, most streets are bordered with trees, and almost every balcony is teeming with plants.  Also, I live near the city's main park district, which has amazing greenspaces, a rosegarden, botanical gardens, zoo, and the like and is an excellent place for running in the mornings (at least those when i'm not attempting cycling classes, in spanish, at the gym I joined here).
The group in Plaza Serrano
  So despite the tons and tons of dog poo everywhere and similarly prevalent graffiti, it is a very pleasant  town, especially for its size (12 million people).

I've also spent a huge proportion of my time in cafes.  For me, I think it is what I had always imagined college to be like  - day and night sipping coffee and discussing readings and current events with other people equally interested and engaging.  There's just not any stress here, their mentality is focused on people.  They love to chat and always allow at least a 30-minute grace period for appointments/meetings, and will gladly sacrifice a bit of efficiency in the name of interpersonal relationships.  It's refreshing.  The food's not bad either, and ordering meals here definitely has some sense of mystery and suspense.

My research is fun too.  The campus is a bus ride away - in the 70s they decided to move most of the students out to this satellite location on the outskirts of town to keep them from rioting in the city center.  My lab is headed by two argentinian scientists, with a handful of biology students working on projects.  The lab is located in the "campo experimental" (experimental countryside) - there are gardens and woods and all sorts fo animals all over the place, and in the center of it all is a small building - half of which belongs to the caretaker and his family,  and half of which is my lab.  And yes, mostly I'll be observing feeding behaviors in ants, but the value of being in a lab here, being able to converse and take lunch with the rest of the group, and just having a bit more of an authentic experience is completely worth it. 

There's a ton more going on here too - just so many people, so much to do.  I'll try to update as much as possible.  Hope to hear from any of you who might be reading this, feel free to send me emails!  Check out the pictures too! Love to you all, Sarah
five11d says:
Hey Sarah, thanks for the terrific blog on Argentina. We are thinking of heading down and love to read about it from the perspective of people who are there or have been there. Keep writing!!! Scott and Krista
Posted on: Jun 06, 2007
frankcanfly says:
I can't believe I didn't go to a game there... next time!
Posted on: May 20, 2007
superduperfantastic says:
How exciting! Looking forward to reading about the rest of your time in Argentina. :)
Posted on: May 18, 2007
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Boca Juniors game at La Bombonera!…
Boca Juniors game at La Bombonera…
Cemeterys a bit different from th…
Cemetery's a bit different from t…
The group in Plaza Serrano
The group in Plaza Serrano