2017ArgentinaCitiesSouth America

Oliver is indeed not a dancing bear

In the last few weeks we did not miss out any opportunity to spent most of our time with friends. We went to Georgia for mountain biking and a cultural trip (for the ladies). As good as it is, to prepare, to plan, to explain the friends everything and to communicate … sometime comes the time when you just want to go and start off to be with oneself. And now we start to Buenos Aires.

And with us it was overdue on 11th of October 2017. The decision to spend the last days on our finca in Mallorca was absolutely right. We managed to come down from our busy lives, could still enjoy very warm weather and then we flew in the evening with the shortest possible flight connection from Palma de Mallorca via Madrid to Buenos Aires (BA) … with a little kick at the beginning: we almost missed the connection flight from Madrid, the gate was closed already.

On the morning of the 12th of October we landed in pouring rain in BA. Our luggage was there, too, despite the very short transfer time we had in Madrid. The trip to BA to our hotel took almost 1.5 hours in our first South American traffic jam. After check-in at the hotel, we went to Pablo – our customs agent who should help us to bring Shujaa as smoothly as possible through the whole customs procedure. A lot of documents were exchanged so that we could hopefully get Shujaa easily in Zarate (90 km north-west of BA) 5 days later.

Then we went on a sightseeing trip through this huge city with various diverse districts: Recoleta, Palermo, San Telmo (where our hotel was), Puerto Madero and the Tigre Delta (where the Rio de la Plata flows into the sea) were on the agenda. With a population of 13 million in BA, one-third of Argentina’s inhabitants live in BA, the city is simply huge. We also took a short Tango course (Karin realized that I was contrary to her expectations not a “dancing bear” at all) and visited a Tango show, although it was quite touristy, but it was still worth it.

Conclusion of the first five days of our world trip, without Shujaa:

  • On the one hand – Karin and I both cannot believe it – I am deeply relaxed … ..; I receive only a few mails, the ToDos are largely finished and the open points refer to such complex topics like organizing transfer to Zarate, finding restaurants etc. We both feel very free and grounded.
  • On the other hand, BA is a fascinating city – but not at first sight. The diversity, the splendor of long-gone times (many decades of the previous century BA was the richest city in the world), the relaxation and liveliness of the inhabitants … however BA is not a typical South American City: more than 90% of the habitants are originally European.
  • It is obvious that the people are very backwardness, even the cityscape looks like that. In restaurants the Bee Gees and Lionel Richie run – and that was not a single case. People are dressed extremely old-fashioned, even younger ones. Facilities are often completely shabby. Clearly, there is a lack of a future orientation, often found in modern cities. On the other hand, you can feel a kind of heaviness, which culminates in the tango with its drama and deep romance and shows itself in black / red costumes. Perhaps this is why BA has the greatest psychological density. We will continue to investigate it, so we have not fully explored it yet.
  • Spanish is not equal to Spanish. Even though we started learning Spanish one year ago, and of course we are still far from optimal, we thought we could manage our communication on a basic level. The laughter was then, when a guide spoke in Portuguese and we were totally frustrated that we did not understand a word, assuming it was Spanish. Overall. But then, when the misunderstanding was resolved, we were happy and we understood the Spanish part. It will be better soon, we are sure.
  • Even if our world trip has now officially begun, we now want to go to Shujaa and our own home on wheels, eat healthy and simply make 100% our thing and not being dependent on others. So far, the trip was a classic city tour with hotel, food in restaurants and simply too much fast food. The food here is generally very fat, with lots of bread, which you can also see at the people. But tomorrow it will be off to Zarate and to Shujaa.

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