Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Around the town

Dear Sherif,
You have a black tongue like my grandfather and I hate you for it.

It´s freakin´ cold here. There´s no way for me to romanticize it and make this sound like a charming travel log. I had to buy a wool hat and polartec gloves, which I think I will be sleeping in if the nice buzz I got from wine at dinner tonight wears off.

But, despite that, I got to see most of the city today. BA has a city greeter program much like NYC, and my guide, Mauricio, took me all around the city in his warm car to show me the touristy and not-so-touristy places. Granted, some of the places you had to imagine in the summer, like the park planted with at least 100 different types of rose bushes. Before any of you start getting ideas, Mauricio is about 70 with grandkids. But, he is also a practicing psychologist (Argentina has the highest number of psychoanalysts per capita) who set me up with tango lessons this weekend with his friend´s son. And incredibly kind and eager to show anyone BA for free.

For some reason, Buenos Aires seems to remind me of Florence. That may be because that was the last time I was traveling alone for an extended period of time, or because it looks like Italy with its green "farmacia" signs every 2 blocks, cobblestone streets, and 1970s pre-fab structures rudely interrupting a row of stone facades. It smells like Florence, too- a mixture of wood burning stoves and exhaust fumes, I think.

Fortunately or unfortunately, globalization makes an authentic Argentine experience hard to come by. The Simpsons movie is being heavily promoted here, as is Harry Potter and Ocean´s 13. McDonald´s is not as ubiquitous as it is in India and France, but present nonetheless. I think I saw a "Big and Tall" store on the way home tonight, and know I saw HSBC, Citibank, and ads for Yoga classes. I guess America is America, even if it´s South America.


Emily said...

"I think I saw a 'Big and Tall' store on the way home tonight, and know I saw HSBC, Citibank, and..."

Oh yeah? How tall?

Sherif said...

it's not my tongue. it's my soul. have fun with Mauricio's son!