Lovely Aspects of Buenos Aires

E. and I have lived here for almost eight months now. This city has a magical aspect; I told a friend tonight that I’ve never heard a person say, “Don’t move to Buenos Aires–you’ll regret it!” Most people who have visited or lived here have also succumbed to its charms.

Perhaps it is always this way when living in all cities: there are days I love it here and days I detest it. Residents often say that there is no purgatory here–it’s either heaven or hell.

Inspired by J’s lists on Water and Soul, here are some things I love:

  • Coffee usually includes a little glass of sparkling water and a cookie.
  • Water is served in wine glasses. Every meal is a special occasion.
  • Dogs are everywhere, and they all seem to get along.
  • Piropos, or compliments on the street, are commonplace for women of all ages. “Hey Beautiful!”
  • People don’t yell at you if you squeeze yourself into the last free inch of the subway.
  • The laid back response to adversity. Go with the flow. Queue up and wait your turn.
  • The waiters’ and waitresses’ no-rush attitude toward their tables. The objective is to enjoy the food and company.
  • Passion for futbol.
  • A kiss on the cheek for hello.

What are (or were) some of your favorite aspects?



Filed under New to Town

10 responses to “Lovely Aspects of Buenos Aires

  1. I’ve grown fond of the kiss on the cheek. When I went back to visit the U.S. after living here two years, I found it really odd not to see others kissing everybody!

  2. I completely agree with you about the Argentine attitude toward food and drink. Every meal and drink IS special – hence that little cookie and sparkling water plunked down with your coffee.

    One of the things that most impressed my parents on our trip to Argentina was the amount of time spent around the table talking and enjoying each other’s company. Life is slower in Argentina.

  3. You paint such a beautiful picture of your life there! How wonderful to get compliments on the street 🙂

    Thank you Maya!

  4. Oh how I miss the Argentine coffee ritual. My favourite places were the ones that would give you that little shot of orange juice as well as the sparkling water and cookie with the coffee. All served by a lovely old waiter wearing a vest and bowtie.

    As for the kisses, it seems a much warmer way to greet friends and I’m happy to say the Australians do the same thing. When I go back to the USA, the friendly hugs you give people seem lacking in comparison.

    Suz–I now prefer a kiss on the cheek and bear hug combination. 😉

  5. I love your list!
    I don’t like to compare but this is a good time to do it-
    When I was living in the States, I had to learn to shake hands and hold on to the kisses. It was sooo weird, I felt I was being rude.
    I’m glad I’m enjoying two kisses now (one in each cheek) Even when you just get introduced to somebody, is a great “rule”.
    And, I also agree with enjoying the time and company, big reason we are back: to slow down and enjoy life and the moment.

  6. I’ve never been- but it sounds lovely. What a great experience to be able to have! I have a good friend who grew up in Brazil – so between reading your blog and hearing her stories I’m getting quite the South American education! (I’ve never even left the States – poor me…)

    Will you be doing a “things you detest” list? 🙂

    Hi Laurie,

    It’s funny you mention that because I was starting to feel that my posts were sounding uncannily happy like everything is perfect here. I may start drafting a “Bad Aspects List.”

    I short-of posted one in March called Dark Recesses.

  7. Hi, I reread all of your posts, since it had been a while since the first time I saw them. You’re a good writer. Clear and honest. My wife and I have enjoyed them. Any luck yet on not looking American? Any advice about clothing etc.? I mentioned that we’re staying at Giorgio’s House but didn’t say where . It’s Avenida Rivadavia 5012. Looks like a busy area. One Subte line to our school COINED, which is two blocks off Ave 9 de Julio, near the corner of Bartolome Mitre and Suipacha (Iglesia San Miguel is there). We’re excited and nervous. Your post have helped a lot. A community service, if you will.

    Thanks for your message.

    I came to the realization that I will never look Argentine. I would have to buy a new warddrobe and go tanning as I am paler than pale. However, to blend in, I suggest wearing Converse sneakers. In the summer, girls will be wearing a lot of sun dresses and leggings with flats.

    Your location is busy; it should be great for your three weeks. Stop by and visit Confiteria Ideal and watch the tango since it’s right in your neighborhood.

  8. It’s really funny but I have this very relaxed feeling again while I’m reading your post about BA. I love all of these things … especially the first 4, especially the 4th. Keep savouring the good!

  9. 8 months already!!!
    sounds so wonderful – reminds me of Cyprus because a lot of that applies too – guess its the european influence!
    glad you are loving it!

  10. Oh I love how they give you the little cookies with coffee, its a nice surprise. The Argentines love their sweets, and I am certainly not complaining.
    Thanks for you post, it reminds me about the great things of this city

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