Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Five Things I Miss About Buenos Aires

I am sure you feel like you need an explanation.

Where have I been? What have I been doing? More importantly, WHERE am I? Well, I am in Washington for the summer, enjoying mi bi-hemisphericality (yes, it is a lifestyle choice).

While enjoying my blazing fast internet speed recently, I read a blog post from blogger Brendan van Son about all the things he won’t miss about South America and my first thought was that I had to agree with many of them. While life in Buenos Aires is different than in many parts of South America (ie you don’t usually have to worry about the lettuce there), there are still a tons of things he mentioned that I found myself agreeing with.

But in my nearly two months back in North America, I also find myself missing a ton of things.

So here it goes... Five things I miss about Buenos Aires:

1. My Friends. Wandering expat and porte├▒os alike, I have an amazing and supportive group of friends in Buenos Aires. It’s not that I don’t love my friends in North America or the rest of the world (I love you all). Maybe it’s about me and the place I was in when I met my BsAs posse – I feel this wonderful connection, this ability to say and be myself unlike I have with many people I know in other parts of the world.

2. The loose concept of time. As one learns quickly in Latin America, time is a different concept in those parts. Latin time is a flexible, adjustable, whim driven concept. Planning? Pshaw! Por que? While at first this drove my type A self insane (getting an invite for a huge party two days before? Whhhatt?) , I have found myself frustrated with my overscheduled life (and the lives of others) since I am back in the north. Scheduling things two to three weeks in advance is the norm. "But hell, I could jet off to Paris in the morning", I think sometimes when putting something on my schedule a month ahead of time. I miss the whimsical nature of deciding today what I want today, instead of focusing on the future in the present.

3. New experiences. I am back in the city where I have lived on and off for more than a decade. Sure, there are new people, new places, new things happening everywhere. The US has changed more in the last two years than in the last two decades, but the changes are merely a raindrop in a storm compared to the rollercoaster life in Latin America. Maybe my standards have changed, maybe I am lazy, but I just feel like it is easier to walk around with my blinders on in a place that feels like an old pair of shoes.

4. Facturas. No, not my bills. Pastries. These are the most delicious, melt in your mouth snacks that induce an immediate gut reaction to run to the gym afterwards. They are sugary sweet and I love and miss them.

5. Speaking Spanish everyday. Some days I adored it as the rrrrr’s rolled from my tongue efforrrtlessly. Other days it was a nightmare – no one understood what the hell I was saying, I felt deaf, dumb and mute as people looked at me like I was a moron. But the struggle was delicious and gave me more confidence and sense of accomplishment than arguing with a Senator and winning.

Ok, now the nostalgia is killing me. Will just have to turn on some tango and read some Julio Cortazár for relief.