Dark Recesses

Subte at Bulnes

I am peering into the darkness of the Subway–the green line from “Cathedral” to “Congresso.” It’s the line I take to class in the morning. The subway is relatively safe. It’s tight in the morning, but no different from the DC Metro. Riders keep their wits about them–the norm in any city. A ride is 30 cents U.S.

I must balance the last entry’s kind sentiments about Buenos Aires with the cold realities of the city. There are dark sides to the lovely vida here. 

  • There is dog sh*t everywhere. It’s almost impossible to enjoy your surroundings when you have to survey every inch of the sidewalk. On every street. No matter where you go.
  • The people of the night are called “cartonerros.” Because of the economic hardships of the city, low income and poor people from the suburbs enter the city at night to rifle through the garbage for recyclables in order to earn their living. This is a veritable source of income; however, the feeling of despair from seeing complete families searching through garbage without gloves is palpable.
  • Drivers are crazy and pedestrians are moving targets.
  • Children are overly doted upon.  They have the stereotypical Latin angst–they scream and flail more than any other children I’ve ever encountered. Yet parents seem to have a high threshold; they don’t spank or correct the behavior until all of my nerves have frazzled beyond repair.

I’ve been keeping more positives in reserve. Please don’t think this is indicative of my entire experience.

On a happier note, I still have a few ounces of courage left after starting Spanish class today–completely in Spanish. Still trying to remember to breathe.


1 Comment

Filed under New to Town

One response to “Dark Recesses

  1. Just saw the link to this older post. So funny and such typical observations. It’s like time has stood still because these were things we were complaining about when we were there 10 years ago.

    My husband couldn’t get over the dog doo. Also you may have noticed you have to look down anyway because the footpaths are all uneven. The Lonely Planet guide to South America had a section in it when we were there–I can’t remember the exact wording “Dangers and Pitfalls” or something like that. Anyway for BsAs it mentioned the uneven sidewalks and said if you fell you could really injure yourself and “some people have died”. Honest. I’m not making this up. It became a running joke amongst our group of expat friends.

    I went for a walk last weekend after a rain, and I ended up catapulting muddy water onto my feet from the loose sidewalk tiles. “Better than crap,” I thought. 🙂

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