The past 48 hours have been a rapid crash course to living in Buenos Aires. If it were a college class it would be called Advanced Intro to Buenos Aires.
As soon as the group of seven American students from my flight touched foot on Argentine soil, we were faced with customs officials and taxi drivers speaking at us in rapid, heavily-accented Spanish. Then, after 18 hours of travel, I couldn't believe how comforting it felt to be welcomed into a stranger's swanky Palermo apartment and call it home.
After a home-cooked meal and a long awaited nap, two other American students and I decided we were ready to check out what Palermo (the neighborhood we live in) has to offer. We quickly learned that going to a restaurant at 9:30 in Argentina is the equivalent of going to eat dinner at 4:00 in the States. We were greeted by lots of weird looks until our broken Spanish proved that we were foreigners. But being American in Buenos Aires isn't all bad, we did get two free rounds of champagne from the bartender. Salud!
After feeling the Argentine generosity, we decided to see what the boliches (nightclubs) were like. What started out as a quick stop to check out the scene somehow turned into staying out until 6am. Well, when in Buenos Aires, do as the porteños (people from BsAs) do.
The next "morning" my home stay mom kindly woke me up at 1:00pm to make sure I didn't miss my city tour with my abroad program.
The sensory overload paired with information overload of the tour didn't make it any less beautiful. We explored around some of the biggest sights in Buenos Aires for four hours, and all I can say is that I need to go back to all of them to spend more time there. There's that much to see in the city, and the photos really don't do it justice. What really brings the sights alive are the people. Everywhere we went, we saw how the Argentines use their public spaces to host exciting and diverse events. From protests to markets to a giant party celebrating the end of winter vacation, we saw it all.
Exhausted and hungry from the tour, I decided it was time to rest in a cafe and try my first Argentine empanadas. Those delicious pieces of meat and cheese wrapped in warm, fluffy dough do not disappoint. (Sorry for the lack of photo, but there was no time to waste getting out my camera before biting into that baby).
All in all, my crash course has included learning far more about what not to do than what to do, getting stared at for speaking English, learning by failing, and falling quickly in love with Buenos Aires.
The rest of the photos are coming soon... =)