|the argentinian flag, buenos aires.|
it's autumn in south america but the sun is shining in buenos aires. yesterday it reached 80 degrees. that's some autumn.
first impressions: this city is HUGE! there's a ton of people, a lot of cars, a lot of meat, a whole lot of red wine, lots of statues, very long streets and the spanish spoken here is fast, quirky and almost italian sounding. we like a lot of those things.
luckily, we have an apartment ten floors above the traffic and the streets with big windows and lots of light.
|recoleta cemetary, buenos aires.|
here's our biggest shock. buenos aires is EXPENSIVE for food. things like coffee, vegetables, drinks... stuff you need to survive, really, are twice what they would cost in the u.s. right now. don't even get me started on the beer situation, that's a whole other post!
back to breakfast... after stumbling through spanish with our waiter and actually receiving what we ordered, yogurt with fruit and cereal and that blessed cup of coffee, we tried to interpret the bill. holy freaking cow, it's $20!
|can you tell we're in buenos aires? an academy? seriously?|
perhaps arrogance said "come on, it's south america, how expensive could it be?" well, buenos aires is suffering from an inflation spike. a little research, now that our wallet actually has a say in the matter, shows that buenos aires has seen nearly a 30% rate of inflation over the last three years. however, the government's "official" number is 9% but no one's buying it. we found this little geeky gem of an article about it all.
we've only been in town for four days but we've seen how strangely these increases affect daily life. the most expensive stuff we pay for is food. you know, the stuff you need every day? yet government subsidized things such as transportation are ridiculously low. it cost us .50 to take the metro all the way across town where, when we got hungry, it cost us $15 to share a tarta (quiche) and a mixed salad.
we did, however, find some grilled sausage goodness called "choripan" at the market. here's a tour around the grill.
|two constants of buenos aires, evita and |
a bronze dude on a horse.
we immediately took advantage of a free tour around town organized by "bafreetour" which gave us a two and a half hour insight in to the history and governmental workings of buenos aires. a highly recommended tour for anyone interested in coming here. we were joined by people from england, australia, the u.s., switzerland, south africa, brazil and uruguay. sure, the cultural and history information was fascinating but most useful was probably the moment the guide pointed across the busy boulevard and said "go there, el rey, for very good, and very cheap empenadas." having suffered from the breakfast cost we made a beeline.
|bestest and cheapest meal yet. empanadas! buenos aires.|
|mothers of plaza de mayo, the protest group during the|
military regime of the 70s and 80s fighting
for recognition of their "disappeared" sons.
now a powerful political group.
and that's travel, right there in a nutshell. you meet some amazing people who do amazing things who break down your notion of the world all while you're devouring cheap empanadas in a european-influenced city in the southern hemisphere.
we're still a little dizzy but we're gearing up for a day in the san telmo area of the city, home of one of the oldest public markets with food and dance and music. we'll report back.
|line "a" of the buenos aires subway system. the first subway in the southern hemisphere with the original stations and cars. we didn't know it when we got on, either. we thought "did we just enter a time warp?"|