Un Mundo Diferente

Finalmente estoy en Buenos Aires, Argentina! After 18 hours of traveling I finally landed in Buenos Aires last Saturday. The first thing is noticed was the HEAT; however, the beautiful palm trees and the vibrant culture here make up for the almost unbearable temperatures. The city is enormous…there are close to 14 million people living here (se llaman Porteños) so the streets are always very busy and there is always a lot going on. There are almost 50 barrios here also; I live in one called Belgrano. One of the things I like most here is the beautiful Spanish and European architecture. The churches are especially beautiful and cannot be compared to anything in the US.

A beautiful church here in the city.

The architecture downtown is also gorgeous.

The Capital
La Casa Rosa: The traditional home of the president
There is very modern architecture and engineering along with the traditional.

The way of life here is very different than what we are used to in the US. You greet people you meet and talk to with a kiss on the right cheek; you never eat a large breakfast like is common in the US-most Porteños have café con leche and pan tostada; dinner is never served until after 8:30 at night and you can go almost nowhere on Sundays because everything is closed. Life is a little more relaxed than in the US.

My roommate having a very common Argentine breakfast.

Argentina is basically a cash economy which means that most business do not accept credit cards. The economy here is not very stable and has had its ups and downs over the last few decades but it is starting to recover. Still, things are cheaper here than they are in the US. The peso is worth ¼ of the US dollar so it is very strange to see such high numbers on price tags. For example a bottle of pop at a corner store would sell for 8 pesos but in US dollars that is only $2; so whenever you see a price for something you have to divide the number buy four to see if you are getting a good deal! Es un poco complicado! One more difference here is that the transportation systems are very very very efficient. The buses are very nice and always come regularly. the Subte (subway) is very fast, easy and cheap, and you can always find a taxi very quickly.

This weekend we will be having tango lessons and visiting El Tigre! ¡No puedo esperar!!!

Sara Smoter
Classmates Connecting Cultures
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Spring 2012

2 thoughts

  1. Is the subway safe? What is El Tigre? What’s your favorite part about living there? Do the men love you? The boys want to know if the girls are pretty?

  2. El Tigre is a very old and beautiful city north of Buenos Aires. We will be spending the day on the beach and shopping at outdoor markets. I will be able to talk about it more and include pictures in my next blog!
    I have never felt uneasy riding the subway, but you DO have to keep an eye on your belongings. It is by far the easiest way to travel here. I costs 2pesos (50cents in US currency) to ride anywhere in the city. After midnight it is best to take a taxi, which also only costs about $3-5 to go anywhere.
    My favorite part about being here so far is the food. They have the best steak in the world!!!! Porteños love beef and eat it for dinner almost every night. The restaurants are all excellent and have amazing Argentinian wine. It is very common to eat empanadas for lunch. They are like a pastry usuallly filled with carne y queso, jamón y queso, o tomate y queso.
    Men here are very bold compared to men in the US…they constantly make ‘cat calls’ to the women in the streets. Everyone here dress very nicely all the time(you would never walk down the street in a pair of sweatpants or gym shorts).
    The women are very beautiful but the men are even more attractive. What i find very interesting is that everyone is very in-shape, thin, and healthy here.
    The most shocking thing so far has been how people drive. THEY ARE CRAZY. There are almost no stop signs on streets and no one obeys traffic laws. The stop lights do not go from green to yellow to red like in the US. Instead they go green to yellow to red then back to yellow and then green. So if a car is sitting at a stop light the light will turn yellow before turning green and everyone will rev their engines and starting going. As a law, pedestrians DO NOT have the right-way here….so if a light turns yellow when you are crossing the street you better for for your life!!!!!!!!

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