“What have you learned about the city in which you are working? Would you like to return?”
I have learned so much about Buenos Aires but also know there is so much more to learn about it. A random assortment of just some of the things I learned:
Buenos Aires is home to many many orange trees, all of which bore a lot of fruit even in the midst of one of Buenos Aires’ coldest winters – something I did not expect. The people here love their 80’s rock as well as electronic music, and of course their cumbia on the weekends. Protests are extremely common here and very much a part of Buenos Aires’ identity. Most people do not have dryers here, something I knew before coming but boy did I learn how much I miss my warm, fresh, and clean-smelling clothes living in this city. The sidewalks are interesting to say the least, whether it’s broken or missing cement due to unruly tree roots or oh-so-lovely dog crap, you have to watch your every step. Where as bars and clubs in the US are closed by 2 am, on a good night out in Buenos Aires you rarely get back before 7 am (sometimes closer to 10). Keep your SUBE (card you have to use for public transportation) charged or have a backup, it’s not very fun to walk around the bus begging someone to lend you a swipe so you can get to work on time. If you have an iPhone 6, don’t be stupid – AKA don’t use it in public places and especially don’t walk around with it out (mine was never stolen but I would say the majority of my friends weren’t so lucky). The porteños (people from Buenos Aires) have a very different culture than the rest of Argentina. PedidosYa (site where you can order food from different restaurants to be delivered) is a wonderful thing. People who rob you are often somewhat kind, whether it’s leaving you with enough pesos to get you back home or finding a way to return the journal you’ve been keeping for years that was in your bag (stories of friends). Walking around with mate (kind of like tea you drink out of a very specific container) is a much more Uruguayan than Argentine thing to do. The sizes of beverage containers here are very different, whether its your small glass bottle of Coke or your liter of beer. Soda is water, not pop. I did the majority of my grocery shopping in chinos (mom and pop stores often run by Chinese people), not big supermarkets. You almost always use cash as opposed to credit card and they hate MasterCard here. Walls are considered public property, public meaning belonging to the people and not to the government, therefore street art and graffiti is everywhere.
I 110% would like to and will return. I want to live in other countries as well (more around Central America), but if I have the opportunity to come back whether working with Visual Latina again or something else, I most definitely will. Either way, I know I am at least coming back to visit.