My first few weeks in Buenos Aires have been amazing! The most shocking thing, right away was the heat and humidity. When I left Maine it was in the teens, and here it reaches ninety most every day. I’m staying in a neighborhood called Palermo and am very near to a ton of connected parks where I can go running. They call the parks Los Bosque de Palermo- the woods of Palermo. And they are full of beautiful old generation Tipa trees, which have such lush emerald leaves. In the spring, they blossom in brilliant purple flowers. On my daily run I also pass by the former zoo, which is transitioning to an eco park. Most of the animals have been transferred to another zoo or returned home, but I can peek thru a spot in the fence and see a family of giraffes, and it’s a favorite part of my days.
The school where I’ve been teaching this month is located in the microcenter of town, which is where most of the businesses are located. It’s a very old and historic part of town. The students are adults from their mid-twenties up, and right now it’s just me and them, without any co-teachers, so that has been both fun and a challenging learning experience for me. The students come to class in the evenings after work, and are all pretty motivated to learn and to improve their English. It’s also fun getting to know them personally and to learn about their way of life! A few things I’ve learned from them are that it’s common to live with your parents well into your twenties, family is very important here and central to most people’s lives and social circles, and that their previous political election had a lot of similarities to ours. I’ve also discovered that the city is very active and many people like to do outdoor sports. Also, strangers seem very polite here, and more outwardly friendly than in New England.
There are a bunch more things and small observations accumulated already in a few weeks, so I’ll try to round up the most memorable ones here, and share more in the next post.
Yesterday and last week we had a blackout in our neighborhood block, which the students told me is quite normal here. It gets so hot and all the air conditioners are running high, and I guess it overloads the system. This weekend is a holiday weekend for Carnaval, and we are going to watch some parades in our neighborhood and enjoy the festivities! Yesterday I was behind a woman at the grocer who bought $350 worth of groceries and I imagine she must be throwing a huge party this weekend. There is also a surprising fascination with platform sandals here, and many other aspects from the nineties – belly shirts, rainbows, velcro, chokers. Honestly every other woman seems to be wearing platform sandals or sneakers. Last week we saw our first tango in a public square in San Telmo, and had a long conversation with a drunk man in the park about politics of Argentina and the US. We’ve been mostly cooking at home but we went out for asado, the very typical and very delicious grilled meat dish here, and it was wonderful.That’s all for now, hopefully the pictures help fill it all in!