First week in Buenos Aires
Next country / city on the list was Buenos Aires – Argentina. After coming from Brazil, the culture here is quite different even it’s on the same continent. People often call Buenos Aires the Paris of South-America and there is a good reason for that. A lot of the buildings here have a strong European if not French influence. According to the guide from the tour, apparently when they were building up Buenos Aires the French culture was at its peak so they “copied” a lot of it.I can’t say I’ve been to many mountains or nature parks here in Buenos Aires. The city itself looks alot like a European city. If they dropped me in the city blindfolded, I’d swear that I was in Spain or Italy. The streets and pavements look really decent and new, at least newer than in Rio de Janeiro. My first impression was that the streets were so clean! (compared to Brazil) But the longer I stay here and the further away from the city center I go, I realised that (some of) the streets maybe clean, but there’s a lot of dogshit in some places. People love their dogs here and they even have professional dog walkers that walk around with like 8+ dogs. Interesting to see. The people here in Buenos Aires are dressed quite trendy too. A lot of the people here are walking around with their aviators, wayfarers or any other oversized sunglasses. A lot of people told me that Argentinians or just Porteños (people from Buenos Aires) are cocky and overconfident about their city and their products. At first I didn’t believe it, maybe it was just that one person, but the more people I meet the more I believe it. Not a bad thing though but it’s just part of their culture. I realise I don’t have much to say about the touristic things in Buenos Aires, but the truth is, there is plenty to do here and visit. I’ve just taken my time to visit most of the things since I’m here for 2 weeks. Traveling intensively for the past 2 weeks, going from place to place, hostel to hostel kind of tired me out. So the “extra” time here in Buenos Aires is awesome, I take my time to just sit in parks and streets and just watch the people and join the people here on their many outdoor activities. Just like in Brazil, people spend a lot of time outdoor and there is plenty to do here.
I’ve never heard of ultimate frisbee before, but there was a Couchsurfing event for it and I figured why not, so I went down there and checked it out. But before that I did what any normal guy would do…. I youtube-ed it…. and man, it looked awesome! This is the video i saw:
Ultimate frisbee is played with a frisbee of course (duh!), you have an endzone where you have to score a touchdown with the frisbee. Players with the frisbee can only pivot with the frisbee, just like in basketball. Other players have to be open for a pass. If you want to know more about it, look it up on wikipedia! Seriously, after playing it once, I want to play this again when I get back to Belgium, it’s so much fun and intense. Even girls can play it too! People can not touch eachother while defending so it’s perfectly fine… I know some of the rules so I can teach a bit now. Sadly no pictures or videos of me playing but I remember someone was taking some pictures while I was playing so I’ll try to get some. Really, if the weather is good enough, you should all try it out. It’s awesome!
There is a great skating community here in Buenos Aires, even more than in Brazil/Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo. And I’m not talking about just street skateboarding or “aggressive” inline skating. But people love to skate here. Just skating around the park and places doing tricks here and there with cones on the ground.It’s probably because of the good pavement and the good weather that a lot of people choose to go skating instead of jogging or walking. I’ll start with inline-skating: everyone does it here, young and old, man and women. I’ve seen just people skating around to stay in shape, people playing street hockey, people doing tricks AND believe it or not, I’ve seen a dude “dancing” while skating around with castanets (yeah google that stuff). Was pretty funny to see and I did “lol” in real life (laugh out loud). But it’s just to prove that people are really involved in skating around here.Oh and skateboarding, people here don’t use the traditional skateboards as much to do tricks. A large amount of people use longboards here for the boardwalk and yes I’ve seen girls on longboards doing tricks too. I’m not a great skateboarding but I’d be more than willing to learn how to skate on a longboard. Wikipedia says that longboarding is like snowboarding or surfing on wheels. Can’t deny nor confirm that since I haven’t tried it. But be sure to remind me to try it out when I get back in Belgium.
How can you talk about Buenos Aires without mentioning tango. To be honest I haven’t danced the tango yet, not even here in Buenos Aires. It’s not really a style of dance that you can “just” dance like how danced the samba. :p There is a saying: it takes 2 to tango and it is true. The man has to lead and the woman has to follow, the pair has to become one and dance to the same rhythm. I do plan to take some (free) lessons at a milonga next week or so. A milonga is a genre of dance but also a place where you can dance. But some serious guidance is needed for sure. I did go to La Catedral, a milonga which was recommended to me by a lot of people and it was totally worth it. It was in an “old” building where the main hall seemed to be from the 70’s or the 80’s. The interior was amazingly authentic and the moment you walked into the main dance hall, you feel like you’ve time traveled back in the past. For some reason I think hipsters would totally LOVE the place and atmosphere. Be sure to check it out when you get the chance. There are plenty of other milongas around though but that’s the only one I’ve visited so far.Anyway, like I said, I’ve done some of the touristic stuff, but my main activities so far in Buenos Aires has been meeting up with people, even meeting total strangers and ending up at a bar with them. I’ll probably write a post about meeting people in the future. But yeah, traveling alone gives you a great chance to meet A LOT of interesting people. I’ve actually met a real magician here in Buenos Aires and believe me, he showed me some card tricks and it was A-MA-ZING! I promise I’ll write more about the stuff to do and eat here, like trying mate and milanesa and alfajorge. Until next time! ps: about the picture of the guy and girl covered in goo. Apparently that’s how they celebrate graduation over here you get down and dirty with all kinds of stuff and pull pranks that we usually pull at the beginning of a school year or when you join a sorority/fraternity.