Often times a friendly porteno has asked me what I thought of Argentina, Buenos Aires, or of portenos themselves. But yesterday as I trekked through the foothills of the Andes, our guide asked me what I think of Unitedstatesians after being in Argentina. I was suprised that he had flipped the question, as I was poised with my well practiced response (in castellano) of my perspective on Argentinians. But what a great opportunity while traveling to think about our lives in the US. During this trip and my past trips my mind continuosly changes, how it is better, how it is rediculous, how i am ashamed, or occasionally how i am proud. Sometimes I would like to tell the cab driver that I am from Canada, or respond to the friendly guy in the club, "yes, yes I am from Ireland". What is clear about portenos is that they live for right now. They will stay out until 6 or 7 on a week night because work is tomorrow, or was today, but right now I am enjoying my life and my friends. At the same time they have great respect for the past. Both Buenos Aires and Mendoza, 12 hours away, one a port city, one a mountain city, have the great Argentine heroes listed on their streets: San Martin, Rividavia, Rosas, Peron. In Atlanta we are quick to name an overpass for the latest representative, but the name comes with no respect. I think it is a unique and spectacular combination to have a reverence for the past while living in the right now. I´d like to bring it back, wrapped up in an alfajor as a souvineer for all my friends.