what to do with myself?
i was told that buenos aires is very much like the 'paris of south america' yet i've never really signed up for that idea. i find the idea limiting. for those who think of this area as an extention of europe this place can seem like a satellite and perhaps one of a few south american cities they pay visits to on holiday but i want to see something more. in my travels i have always chosen a central location to serve as a base for future travels. i've made a deal with myself not to get too wrapped up in comparing this city to my previous home in istanbul but i cannot help to approach it in the same manner.
i'm here and somewhat settled. i have this amazing apartment with six other equally amazing people. i (sort of) have a job and if i'm smart about it i will be able to level off financially soon enough. it is summer time and life is making some turns for the slower which just adds to the challenges but i'll be fine, i always am.
buenos aires.. perhaps i'll look back on this entry one day and laugh at how primitive my opinions were of the city however i have much to say. the people are absolutely awesome. everybody. 'beautiful' isn't the adjective i would use to describe the asthetics of the city although it is beautiful in my opinion. the buildings almost look like they were carelessly scattered around the city. you will see two normal sized establishments with a giant seventeen floor apartment between the two. beautiful isn't right, i will find the word one day, and the city is massive. it is connected by veins of complicated bus systems and subways (called Subte) and no matter where you are going it seems to be a perfect 45 minutes away. i'm sifting through the language. i find it hard to say that i can truly speak spanish yet i have reached the point where i hear something once and remember it indefinitely. buenos aires spanish, or porteño, contains a whole lexicon of new words most of which mean dirty things and of course the accent is wildly different than anything i've ever experienced. actually i quite like it but it can be surprising on the unsuspecting ear.
argentinos are really cool people. people seem quite relaxed here and it is obvious in the streets. it seems that the more you are able to be flexible with time the better off you are here. the diet is crazy. a light breakfast of sugary jams and toast with a cup of tea or mate. a mild lunch of empanada or sandwich. a long day of sipping appetite-settling mate and an enormous feast of grilled meats for dinner - which occurs no earlier than eleven at night. people here love the night life and it really makes me wonder when anybody sleeps in this town. perhaps it is the leftover notion of ciesta which is still practiced in some places. you will notice that in the early afternoon when panning the town for a supermarket.
i live in san telmo, which by many rights is a city in and of itself. this part of town is historical and boasts many fantastically designed pieces of architecture. the downtown area beholds marvelous displays of colonial buildings that seemed to have been part of a well thoughtout plan at one point. another part of town called palermo is where i once thought that i would end up in this city. its a very artistic area (i call it the cat lady part of town) and it holds many outside street vendors selling antiques and handicrafts. san telmo does this also however on an enormous street bazaar which i have posted many photos of in the last few weeks. i no longer stand out in the way i did when i lived in turkey. people do not scrambed to find me english menus (even though i can speak turkish) however they expect you to speak spanish. i like that expectation and it has dramatically increased my ability in the last few weeks. people seem to frown upon the english language when spoken publically and i dont blame them. english is not a pretty language nor is does it have anything to do with their national history. i'm really working hard on my spanish and perhaps one day soon i will begin to keep this blog in spanish. finalmente yo puedo escribir y mis padres no van a entender que estoy hablando. ¡dale boludo!
wine and no cheese.. well there is cheese and its not bad i was just paying reference to a mustached /cheese hating friend who is currently traveling one of my favorite parts of the world. inşallah i run into him again out here, i could use another bold being in my life.
once again my life is riddled with uncertainty and chance, two things that seem to pull me and push me much like the sun and moon. i actually have no idea what i'm doing here or how long i'm going to do it but i do know that i'm doing it.. did that make sense? my city is surrounded by awesome places and it wont be long until i begin to indulge in my wanderthirst yet again.