Things I Learned From the Trip

Buenos Aires Travel Blog

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Things I learned from the trip:

 

1.               In this “globalizing” world, language can be someone’s biggest asset or biggest crutch.

            Communication is the key to successful relationships, and this is no more apparent when the most basic communication is stumped by a language barrier.  Nothing is more humbling than having no idea whether someone is complimenting your outfit or cursing your mother.  I envied Hannah’s ability to more freely around without worry, while I struggled to get about without her.  The endeavor to become multilingual is one of the most potentially rewarding challenges in the world.

2.              Green space is absolutely critical to the vitality of a community and is a worthy investment for any city or town.

            When you witness the beauty of exercise on a large level as is done in the beautiful parks of Argentina, you see how Americans can simultaneously solve their health and family deficiency issues.  Nothing is nicer than seeing full families enjoying each other and nature in the park.  These are the little things that hold people together.  Playstation or cable is truly no substitute.

3.              True appreciation for different cultures is shown when the best of all worlds are taken and melded together

Real melting pots like Argentina show how several cultures merge and get the best from everyone.  It is amazing to see the fusion of Italian, German, Spanish, Native American, and African culture all culminate to one happy people.  How can you discriminate against that which makes you who you are?  This is a lesson that we can definitely stand to learn better to improve our racial relations and attitudes. 

4.                   As much as I would love for America to institute the Argentine yellow light for cars waiting to get ready to receive the green, it probably isn't safe.

            In Argentina, the waiting drivers see a yellow light before their green giving them a head start on taking off.  While this is a very cool thing, it is different for a Mustang Cobra and Peugot hatchback.  With the way Americans are constantly in a rush all the time, we would definitely abuse this gift and it could potentially become dangerous. 

5.                   When the lines are completely ignored, you can easily fit five to six cars across in a three lane street and still make it work.

            One thing I learned abroad is that I can not really drive.  Though I thought so, I found out that once the order and rules are thrown out the window, I would crack.  I am just too used to the lines in the street and my auto-personal space.  If this is ignored, many more cars can fit, but I honestly don’t trust my fellow street riders enough to say that this is cool. 

6.                   The car definitely does not make the man.

            When you stay in a place where all the cars look like little 65 horsepower cousins, you really see that it doesn’t matter what type of car you have.  These cars have been a faulty status symbol for too long, but at the rate that gas prices are now rising, the future of compacts is looking brighter and brighter every day.  The point is that cars are made to get you from point A to point B, and we will have to come to grips with this sooner than later as well.  

7.                    Ice cream every night is good for the soul. 

            It is a fact that sometimes things that are bad for you are oh too good.  And ice cream just makes you feel good.  For whatever reason, I did not ever get sick or bloated eating Argentine dairy products despite my intolerance.  It makes me worry about the effects of a growing bio-engineering program in the states and what they are really doing to our food.  So if you get your hands on that wonderful ice cream, eat all you can as fast as you can!!!  You can always run it off later.  Your soul will thank you. 

8.                   It is possible to eat a diet full of meat and bread and liquor and still be fit (and they eat at like 10pm).  The country of Argentina is full of examples.

            Though Argentines eat late and eat richly, they are still remarkably fit.  This makes me wonder what it is that is causing our obesity problems in the US?  I think it is the preservatives and the stress.  I must do my best to eliminate as much of both of these as I can, with the easiest thing being working on stress (organic food is expensive).  Now if I can only find out how solve this problem.  I welcome all stress relieving suggestions. 

9.                   Americans really need to enjoy their time better.  A return to the old Café and appreciation of time with friends would do wonders for Americans.  And no, Starbucks does not count

            Though we have our Starbucks and other knock-offs of the European coffee house, it really is no substitute.  It was refreshing to see people out of the house, discussing sports and debating politics with their friends.  This sort of intellectual interaction raises awareness about world events, something Americans lack greatly.  We are not participating in our society fully if we would prefer to be spoon fed our opinions rather than defend our beliefs and use others opinions to refine our thoughts.  Then our decisions about the political process will be educated and effective enough to hold people accountable. 

10.               The law requiring dog owners to pick up after their pets is extremely, extremely valid

Speaking of legislation, this would be the most important and impactful law on the Argentine books if enforced.  I saw some people carrying their poop bags, so I assume that you are supposed to do the right thing.  However, if this was policed (which would take a huge force by the way), there would be one less thing on every Argentine’s mind and sole.  So while I thought this law was stupid in the past, I emphatically recant my former opinions and put my full support behind this rule.  Throw all violators in jail and throw away the key!!  Long live clean, dung free streets!!

cygnus16 says:
Well written, well thought out, but, maybe a bit demented. IMHO
Posted on: Jun 07, 2007
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My top 5 moments from Buenos, Aires, Argentina are as follows:

 

1.                   Getting a real sports experience (full with a dictionary of Spanish vulgarity) at the Boca Jrs. Soccer game while fully clad in paraphernalia

            There is nothing like a soccer game in another country where the outcome is bigger than life or death.  These games give you faith in the beautiful game, and in sports in general.  It is able to arouse feelings like no other.  It is amazing how excited people get to watch people do something really well and remind them of how pathetic they would be on the field. 

2.                   Falling in love with life again when I saw the woman dance the Flamenco at the small Spanish restaurant.

            You have to love falling in love again and reliving that “9th grade, crush on a senior” feeling again.  It is what keeps us young.  This definitely happened to me after watching a gorgeous woman dance the Flamenco, tapping right into my heart throughout the night.  I am now on Step 8 in my 12 step program and on my way to a full recovery.

3.                   Seeing Los Madres protest injustice and honor their missing loved one's as well as several other protests, thus seeing Democracy in its purest form.

            Los Madres started protesting the governments abuses decades ago, and they still honor their family and their country by holding their government accountable, just as our founding fathers told us to do.  To see older women persevere shows you that you really have no excuse, and the response of the government to their demands shows you that sometimes political demonstrations really do work. 

4.                   Rolling down the river in El Tigre witnessing the beauty of nature and its therapeutic abilities.

            Rolling down the river was definitely one of the most memorable experiences of the trip.  The calm of the water contrasted greatly with the hustle of the city and succeeded in mellowing me out so I could focus on my next move.  I will have to find more rivers like the Mississippi and Nile and float down those too if I have time. 

5.       Seeing white tiger cubs wrestle, camels chew, a black panther ponder, hippos growl, and elephants walk it out at the Buenos Aires Zoo.

Nothing makes you miss the old days as a kid more than seeing young animals wrestle.  They are so carefree and happy you find yourself envying them (except for that whole “I live in a cage with funny looking creatures staring at me all day and taking pictures of me bathe myself” part).  If only I could employ their willingness to have fun without the inhibitions that make us all prudes, I would be a much better person.  I may have to that my New Year’s Resolution for 2008. 

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