I don't like Buenos Aires!

Trip Start Jul 01, 2011
Trip End Jul 21, 2012

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Flag of Argentina  ,
Saturday, July 7, 2012

Everyone raves so much about Buenos Aires and yet I am not loving it. To be honest I even have a hard time liking it. It's hard to explain but I do not feel comfortable here. Well, not so hard to explain, actually. 

So why don't I like Buenos Aires?

Because the sheer size of this megacity -- 3 million in the 'Ciudad Autonoma' itself and 13 million in the entire urban area -- makes me feel like I am lost in an endless concrete jungle.

Because it takes a 30 to 40-minute drive in crazy traffic to go anywhere.

Because drivers are so aggressive that I feel like a target every time I walk across an intersection.
Because the sidewalks are littered with trash, even in fancy neighborhoods.

Because parks and streets alike are covered in dog shit.

Because people let their dogs bark at you aggressively without doing anything about it, without even thinking that there's anything wrong with the picture.
Because restaurants and grocery stores are so expensive that one can only wonder how local folks eat unless they have American-level salaries -- which they don't.

Because the world-renowned Argentine food is not as good here as in many other places in Argentina (like Bariloche, El Calafate or Ushuaia).

Because I got sick for 24hrs after eating steak in a fancy restaurant, and that has not happened to me since we left Mexico many months ago.
Because ATM's are commonly out of cash so getting money for daily expenses can turn into a street marathon.

Because the government is so uptight about controlling currency exchange that you cannot change Pesos into Dollars, even if you are American, unless you resort to the black market and pay 50% more than the official price.

Because all the ships that can transport our car back to the US are either cancelled or fully booked so we are stuck here without any perspective to leave.

Because Buenos Aires is not San Francisco and I miss my City by the Bay.

And then the magic happens... enjoying a glass of red wine from Mendoza, I watch the sun set above the rooftops of Iglesia San Jorge. The cupola-shaped roof evokes images of Constantinople. And then, only then, I can forget all the reasons why I don't like Buenos Aires.

Because at this moment life is beautiful.

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