We’ve not even been in Buenos Aires – literally good airs – for twenty four hours, and already we’re prepared to declare ourselves big fans.
It’s the largest city we’ve visited on our travels and easily the most cosmopolitan and developed. There’s so many old buildings that it doesn’t matter there’s no ‘colonial old town’. There’s massive avenues evocative of Paris and other grand European cities.
One of the things that struck us immediately was how much more developed BA is than anywhere else we’ve been. This is probably intensified because it’s developed in a decidedly familiar, Western kind of way. For a while we struggled to put our finger on exactly what it was, but now we recognise that it’s in a thousand little things:
- For the first time in five months there are no stray dogs on the streets. The dogs we see are being walked by their owners (responsible!).
- There’s rubbish bins and they encourage you to split your recyclables.
- People run, for exercise.
- You can drink the water from the tap. And there’s a hot water tap in the kitchen.
- There’s bookshops with books that people read for fun.
- People walk faster in the streets like they have somewhere in particular to go and no reason to hang about.
- There are senior citizens out and about, not working but doing other things. We stopped for a slice of pizza and the table behind us were two women in their seventies having gossip and afternoon tea.
It also helps that the supermarkets are well stocked with delicious goods and, at least when we arrived, the sky was a classic Western world grey. There’s foreignness here too, of course, not least in the fact that people don’t sit down to dinner until after 10pm, but we like the air this city has about it very much and are looking forward to five fun days here.