I was lucky in Buenos Aires, so lucky that I extended my stay—I was only going to be there for four nights, initially. But hey, when everything works out fine, why not enjoy it?
Some years, our stays in Buenos Aires were hell. Old, shitty hotels, prices changing daily, stressed out people and rain, for instance. But this time, I got a great, cheap apartment ($30 a day for a full studio with a kitchen!), it only rained once conveniently at night, people seemed relaxed enough and I was happy to just explore the city.
I did feel lucky.
Sure, there was construction work everywhere as usual, but it didn’t affect me much. We had power outages, probably due to the heat. As I’m typing this tonight, the Wi-Fi isn’t working anymore, which drives me crazy. Oh, and I have to climb the nine floors to the studio because I keep on hearing the alarm bell every time an innocent traveller takes one of the three elevators available—they’re being polished daily, like works of art, but tend to get stuck between floors…
I went well beyond the traditional tourist areas—old San Telmo, you’ll-never-cross-it-in-one-go Avenida 9 de Julio and the pedestrian streets of Florida and Lavalle. I discovered Nuñez, north of the city, and re-explored Once, Palermo, Belgrano and Puerto Madero. I was surprised to see how pleasant the “suburbs” were and how crowded they were. Buenos Aires is huge, much like in São Paulo, you don’t feel you’re outside the downtown core, it’s just a bunch of cities within the city. I also stopped by La Boca on a mission—buying a Messi jersey for Mark.
It was also interesting to see the various neighbourhoods at different times of the day. The microcentro, home to many banks and international companies, is completely empty after business hours but buzzing with activity until 6 p.m. or so. San Telmo is pretty quiet during the day but completely packed on weekends. La Recoleta is lively late afternoons, with many (rich) kids being taken to the parks by nannies and plenty of residents shopping for groceries.
I’m leaving Buenos Aires with a brand-new white and flowery leather belt bought in San Telmo, a couple of reusable bags (one from Dia, one from Carrefour), some soap (my own supply ran out!), as well as a Fortnite t-shirt and a Messi jersey for Mark.
I had fun. Thank you, Buenos Aires!