Well, I have been here for two weeks now, and starting to settle in to my new life here in the Southern Hemisphere. I thought I would reflect on the differences, and the similarities between here, and home, and also maybe pass comment on things I wasn’t expecting. Whislt doing so, I shall also pass comment on what I have been doing to embrace the place.
Many pass judgement on Buenos Aires being such a European city in its style and layout. In many parts of the city that is clear. Recoleta, Palermo, Nunez, certainly have a European feel to them, although the bustle and rushed feeling on the pavements/sidewalks is more London or New York, than Paris or Madrid. One cannot underestimate the claustrophobic feel at times with the numbers of people here. I don’t think I was quite ready for that.
Nor was I quite expecting the proliference of Pizza establishments. I knew that Italians had come to Argentina in their numbers, but instead of Tuscan food, they brought Pizza – and it seems to be ubiquitous in the neighbourhoods. I was warned that Argentine food is nothing to write home about, and so far that seesm the case, although I am sure that more time will open up more opportunities to sample variety. One thing they seem to lack the usage off in cooking is spice – It is seldom found, and I am glad I was advised to bring some with me on my travels – They will be well used.
Last weekend we took a trip up the coast to Entre Rios, some 350 Km north of Buenos Aires. We travelled on the Super Long Distance Buses, and I have to say, that after the experiences of the Collectivo’s around the city, they are like chalk and cheese. Very luxurious, comfortable, and efficient, not words often used to descibe public transport anywhere. Whilst on the subject, the train service here is something else…. The rolling stock is run down, delapidated, and crowded, but when you only pay 1 peso for a 30 minute journey, it is an amazing event in itself that the trains can run at all – how on earth can transport be so cheap?
Back to our trip… The journey up to Entre Rios was uneventful, and the views from the coach were green, flat, and somewhat Irish in their look, with the exception of the sun shining brightly (OK, an unfair dig at the mother country). At La Aurora where we stayed, the welcome was warm, and meeting up with many an ex-pat and Argentine for the weekend, on the Buenos Aires Hash House Harriers 500th Hash, was wonderful, and we were made very welcome. the run itself was very wet, very tough, and certainly full of shiggy, and the party afterwards was somewhat similar….
As you can see, I don’t make my living from writing, I ramble on and divert myself far too often, so I will draw this entry to a close before you fall asleep and delete any link you might have made to the blog. I shall return with more views on settling in, very soon.