11.02.2011 - 19.02.2011
A holiday doesn’t really feel like a holiday when you have to wake up at 6 every day to go to catch the bus or take the subway to go to school. Well…that’s what it has been like for the week. Getting shoved onto the bus or the train every morning, worrying if there will be enough space on the bus to even get on or getting squished so tight you feel like you are breathing directly from someone else’s breath. Yeah….im gonna miss these good times. Just when you start feeling like this is your home, you have to pack your stuff and move on.
I have yet to try all the famous foods here in Buenos Aires. I took a walk down one of the main avenues near our homestay and couldn’t help sneak a peek into the many food stalls, bakeries and restaurants I passed. The avenues here are main streets which stretch very far and most have the subway system running directly beneath it. The most famous avenue in Buenos Aires is the Avenida 9 d Julio which is the widest avenue in the world spanning a good 4 lanes on each side making a total of 8 lanes. They avenues branch off into smaller lanes that were mostly one way streets. It reminded me of abit like Melbourne’s lanes and grid system. Most lanes branch off into small cobblestoned streets with aged trees and quaint shops lining the sides, showing off some of the city’s French renaissance heritage. The rich architecture brought a lot of diversity to the city, bringing the historical background of Argentina to life, even though I don’t know much about it. I’ll have to read up more about it. The main streets were always lively. People can be seen queuing up at bus stops where the line never seems to get any shorter. On the street, petty vendors and people giving out flyers are almost everywhere.
The food I have been eating has mostly been home cooked food for dinner and simple fast easy meals for lunch as we have only a short break. We did try some very nice empanadas, which was one of the things you must try when you travel to Argentina, which were fancy curry puffs that you could choose different fillings. Another dish you have to try is their grilled beef. Thick, huge slabs of meat grilled to perfection, tender and succulent….. yeap the steaks here are a gastronomic explosion.
There is also the tango. What else can I say about this sensual and alluring art? That’s exactly what it was. The way the man presses the girl close to his chest, as both partners glide across the dance floor, feeling the passion of the music and each other…that’s tango. They are so immersed in their dance that they are closing their eyes and just feeling the music. It’s a wonder that they don’t dance right into another couple. Music and dance is truly part of the Argentinian culture. Night carnivals and dancing in the street is not uncommon. Anytime you can hear a beat, there would probably be people grooving out to it. We went for a tango ‘class’ of sorts but it turned out to be more of a night of people just bumping together and stepping on each other’s feet as there were so many people but so little room. The following night, we went for a supposed tango show which turned out to be more of a skit, which was organized by the school. Was not something I was expecting and was quite disappointed. Still, it was good to be out with everyone and meeting more new people along the way. The school does organize daily activities for the students which could be anything and everything from bicycle city tours to football matches and even clubbing events so it really is sort of like university and it allows you to broaden your network of friends whilst you study. I wouldn’t mind doing this in other countries as well.
The night life in Buenos Aires does not disappoint, with heaps of food to gorge on until the wee hours in the morning and bars and nightclubs with the party only starting at 2am. Don’t the people here ever sleep? Partying, drinking, and tango. What a way to live.
By next week, we would have left Susanna, our homestay parent and our other friends we have met at the homestay. It was quite a saddening feeling to be leaving the people there that made the place feel like home for a week.