Buenos Aires - Initial Thoughts

So I've been in Buenos Aires for three nights now. I've actually been pretty mellow, since I felt like a bag of bricks for basically two days after staying out until 4-5am in Montevideo for three nights in a row. It's hard not to want to go crazy with all of the backpackers coming in and out of the hostel, but unlike me, most of them only stopover here for a few days and have to get their partying in STAT! I, on the other hand, have decided that I would rather reserve any partying that I might have in me for the weekends, thus saving me money and miserable weekdays. I'll be able to experience more of the cultural side of the city if I make sure to be up and out at a decent hour everyday - or at least that's my idea. Honestly, I just want to go see new barrios or check out a museum and sit in the different parks and eat cheap empanadas or chicken and read a book. There are many parks to do so, and it's actually fascinating to sit and take in the dynamic architecture and watch the people pass by. As soon as my Spanish begins to come around, hopefully I can sit on a park bench and have a decent conversation with a local. Ideally, I'd befriend a local so I can get out of the tourist trap! (I've got a potential recruit - just somebody I met at Crossfit here in BA)

But, I'll just run through some of what I think of Buenos Aires thus far in a few bullets to make for easy reading:

  • They have some sweet motorcycles. Mostly Honda enduro style bikes, but some dudes look pretty rad on some older Harleys and Cafe styled bikes. They also fly past the cars.

  • There are a lot of disassembled sidewalks. Many times I'll step in broken tiles and I'll be lucky to escape this place with ankles intact.

  • They party pretty hard and stay up really late. Dinner at 22:00, drinks at 0:00, party at 2:00, sleep at 6:00. How anybody gets any work done is beyond me.

  • They really like their pizza and empanadas, as well as coffee and mate (similar to tea).

  • The public transportation is dirt cheap, and taxis only cost $3-6 for a decent trek.

  • They speak really fast, and they speak a different form of Spanish. I'm just not used to the sound.

  • The food is pretty bland for the most part. I have been on the search for something with spice.

  • The dancing is pretty sexy, as in the Tango. Mesmerizing to watch.

  • There are homeless people, but they all have mattresses. Where they come from - I don't know. I saw one homeless shelter basically in one park. It was somehow constructed with plastic bags and I guess whatever they could find, but it was like a mini house. Multiple beds, they had lounge chairs that you'd find in a house out there, and they had a wash bin as well. The homeless also have like 4 kids out with them. It's not a cool thing to see.

  • Their currency is RIDICULOUS. I'll explain more about this later because it has the finance student in me going nuts. They don't easily break big bills and sometimes results in no service.

  • The weather is pretty great. It's a temperate climate, and most days sixty degrees and sunny.

  • The streets all go one way.

  • The women dress really well and all seem to wear shoes that make them 6 inches taller.

  • The city is extremely busy. It has a feel of one of the bigger European cities, my closest feel is Paris. But my intuition tells me Madrid or Barcelona would be a good comparison, though I've never been there so I can't really say.

  • I am perplexed by the currency situation here, did I mention that.

  • Oh, and I want some spicy food.