Going back to Buenos Aires felt wrong. I wanted to cling to the precious memory of our arrival there, when it was still 2014, and when everything was fresh, exciting and new.
But again, I never want to leave. I never want trips to end. Actually, I think I have a mild “end” phobia. I don’t even like when books or movie end—I love beginnings best, when the scene is being set up, when the characters are new and when everything feels possible.
I have issues. I know.
We checked out at 10 a.m. on the dot in Puerto Iguazú —Hotel Lilian was fine but the owners were a bit anal… cf. breakfast!—and took a taxi to the airport. It was barely 11 a.m. when we arrived and the flight was at 13:45 a.m.
Waiting in an airport with an overactive toddler is a chore I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy, not even on la señora del desayuno who denied me coffee again that morning.
The airport was tiny and there was nothing to do.
Eventually, we all border at 13:40 a.m. and Mark started jumping around… and did so for the following two hours. We split the “lunch”—the guys ate the mini-alfajores, and I had the cheese crackers, washed down with a cup of Diet Coke. You don’t fly LAN Chile for a gastronomic experience.
We landed in Buenos Aires, clapped hands with more or less enthusiasm (Mark was very enthusiastic) and checked in at the hotel, again in the microcentro.
Sunday, 5 p.m. The San Telmo Feria was still on until 6 p.m. “It’s a bit late… we won’t make it,” Feng said. “Meh. They don’t pack up at 6 p.m. exactly,” I shrugged. “Maybe you meant 6 a.m.?” I added, jokingly, knowing that locals are night owls.
We bought Mark a Sundae at McDonald’s, both to “celebrate” our return to a big city and to keep him quiet—he had fallen asleep on me in the taxi… couldn’t he have napped in the plane for convenience??—and walked to San Telmo.
The streets were packed and the atmosphere was festive, with drum players and hundreds of vendors selling knickknacks, “antiques”, curios, souvenirs, etc. I bought a leather bracelet for $1, immediately stolen by Mark.
The next day, we had planned to take Mark to the zoo. We walked along Santa Fé and eventually made it to Plaza Italia, but we balked at the price of the entrance ticket—140 pesos, almost $20 per person. So we took Mark to his other favourite place, the subte, Buenos Aires subway. We rode to Catedral, visited it—duh…!—and then took him to a nice playground at the Plaza Vicente López in posh La Recoleta. After a while, I started to realize that all the mothers seemed to look the same: long tanned and toned legs, a flowery dress, same haircut, same gold highlights… They were clones! I guess it had something to do with their social status or maybe the fact they probably all lived in the same area. In France, les bourgeois tends to look alike as well.
It was a long day. Not because we were sick of Buenos Aires, but because we knew it was the end of the trip, because it was hot and because we were tired.
Okay, maybe we were a bit tired of Buenos Aires. We are past the honeymoon stage now, and even though I enjoy the city, I can see the overflowing garbage cans, the pollution, the traffic, the inflated prices, etc.
I will miss it, I know.
But we have to go back.