Don’t cry for me Argentina…
You never appreciate what you have untill you no longer have it. That’s the thought that went through my mind on my last day in Buenos Aires. Towards the end of my stay, I kind of felt that I stayed “too long”, that I’ve seen most of the things already, things were getting a bit boring. But as I planned my last full day in Buenos Aires, I realised that I had to leave one day earlier. I’ve always thought I had to leave on a sunday morning at 6am, meaning I would still have a friday night to go out and a saturday afternoon to go sightseeing. But all this got canceled since my flight was at 6am on saturday morning. You”d think that when you check in around 4am that the airport would be empty. But not in Buenos Aires, one of the many cities that don’t sleep.Anyway, the last days in Buenos Aires I spent trying to check things off my to-do list in Argentina. First the food!
The foodAs I mentioned on my to-eat list in an old post: there is tons to eat in Buenos Aires and while I only wrote down a few of the things, a lot of people have advised me to add more things to that list. I’ll try to list all the things.
- Asado (own BBQ)
- Dulce de leche
- torta frita
The only thing that disappointed me a bit was the locro. I got it at the Feria de Mataderos and it was just beans and some meat. But other than that, most of the things on the list were DE-LI-CI-OUS! Be sure to try them all!
Yes, I took some tango classes! At first when I first visited La Cathédral, I thought by myself: “Damn, if I want to dance the tango I’ll probably need a lot of classes.” I figured I’d take some classes when I get back in Belgium and then come back. But then I realised, what better place to take classes besides in the CAPITAL of tango, Buenos Aires! So off I went to one of the classes with a fellow traveler I met back in Rio. At first I was quite nervous since I don’t know what to expect and since you have to dance in pairs. If you make an error, you’re both screwing up. Kind of. But as the classes started with some walking exercises to get the timing and posture right, I felt more at ease. And again, for some reason I had this big grin on my face, just thinking about the fact that I’m freakin’ taking tango classes in Buenos Aires! Priceless feeling if you ask me. Anyhow, after a few exercsises and tips on posture and leading, we started to dance in pairs, trying to match eachothers rhythm and steps. I’ve gotta tell you, tango is tough, you can’t just dance tango without any knowledge. It’s rather technical and difficult to dance together and for the man it’s also important that you lead. How do you lead you ask? Well with your chest! Since both dancers are close to eachother you have to let your body do the talking and most importantly, your chest, since that’s the connection point between you and your partner. Long story short, I’ve only attended 2 classes, but I learned a lot. The classes were in group, seperated in different groups according to your experience. Also the classes were both in Spanish and English and on top of it, the classes were pretty cheap if you ask me. I only paid 20 Argentinian pesos for it (around 4 euro). Much cheaper than a private teacher and with the same individual dedication. I can’t say I’m an expert tango dancer, but at least I’ve got the basics now and earned bragging rights to say that I learned to dance tango in Buenos Aires. Where did you learn it? HA!
Feria de Mataderos
When you talk about Argentina, someone will always mention the gaucho‘s and the feria de Mataderos is all about that. The gauchos are the cowboys in Argentina and they have their own culture and food and all that. To be honest the fair wasn’t all that big and impressive but it was nice to see some traditional stalls selling knives, leather, handcrafts and more. My main goal was to eat actually, they told me that I’ve got to try the humita and tamale here. Oh and the empanadas I ate here, were the best I ever ate, hands down.Besides the whole gaucho culture, they also had some special dedication to tango dances that day too. So there were a lot of shows and performances. The people were dancing on the street too, that’s the thing I like about South-America too. Everything happens on the street, the people don’t stay at home. Anyhow, I saw some amazing things and ate some awesome traditional food. As it was on a sunday, I went to another ultimate frisbee event afterwards. Didn’t go so well as the first time though, but was still a lot of fun.
All in all, Buenos Aires was “alright”. It reminded me a lot of a European city and because I live in a city, it wasn’t all that impressive to me. Mind you, there were a lot of different things that I did appreciate like the parks, the people and the mentality of the people. I wouldn’t say this is a huge tourist destination that’s different from Europe, but it is quite a nice city to explore if you happen to be in South America. I wouldn’t spend too much time here though since the city itself is quite expensive too, eventhough there are always cheaper options for eating. I know I said that I’d be returning to Brazil for sure and I kinda wanna say the same for Argentina, but maybe not Buenos Aires. I’d love to visit the other bigger cities in Argentina, like Mendoza, Salta and Patagonia. But one thing is for sure thoug, the key to fully appreciating a city and its culture is still the language. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve felt that I’ve missed out on things because I couldn’t understand Spanish (well). But I’m improving, my comprehension skills are getting better, now it’s just the vocal part that I need to improve. Just in time for when I leave South-America huh…. Well that’s it for Argentina, the next destination is Chile! And in fact as I’m writing this post for Argentina, I’ve already been in Chile for 4 days. I’m starting to travel faster than I can update… Oh and I’ll make up for the lack of pictures next time. But in the meanwhile: