Buenos Aires - a city with panache
Right at the end of my trip I finally had the time to enjoy the legendary Buenos Aires. The days were packed with trips because I wanted to experience as much as I could.
I won’t talk here about the long walks around the city as this is something obvious you do when you immerse yourself in a culture that is very different to yours. So yes, I saw the Capitol and the balcony where Evita stood and fired up the nation with her speech. Yes, I suddenly felt I would love to have a fancy apartment in Puerto Madero. Yes, I sat on a bench with Mafalda. So, what else.
I went to the theatre. To my utmost surprise there was a staging of a play we all (I mean Polish people) had to read in high school: “Ferdydurke” by Gombrowicz. He actually lived for a while in Argentina and got famous there as well – so another Polish connection I could count on. The play was great, in a very small experimental theatre. Surreal watching it in Spanish as well.
I also went to the cinema. To see “Cuento Chino” with Ricardo Darín. I do like going to the cinema in other countries, it gives me a stronger feeling of reality. It’s something people that live there do, so I follow. And by the way, the movie was great.
Then I took a boat ride from Tigre down the delta of Río Parana. Although so close to the metropole, it’s a place where nature rules. Apart from the landscape you can also see the house of the first president encased in a glass cube to preserve it in this humid climate. You get to experience a very different way of life to what you saw just an hour away in Buenos Aires. Some beautiful summer villas of rich people next to run down houses of people who live there year-round and have to struggle with unpredictable weather. A supermarket that is a boat visiting few times a week.
Of course, you cannot be in Buenos Aires and not visit Caminito – Barrio de La Boca. First willing to live there were immigrants, mostly Italian (from Genoa) in the 19th century, who were trying to escape the poverty in Europe. Just to end up in poverty here. One word to describe the barrio is “colourful”. It was constructed from spare parts of anything possible, from scrap, with a sheer will to survive. Apparently still not to safe to walk around there at night but during the day it’s teaming with culture. It is officially called a street museum. People selling art, culture centers showcasing their galleries and projects, people dancing tango, some for fun some for money.
The last thing I did was to visit a street faire, I think it was San Mateo. Wonderful people selling anything possible, but mainly books, of which I bought too many. Street musicians, performers of all kinds and just great atmosphere. Feeling the spring would never end.
Como una flecha salvaje
Me verás caer
Entre vuelos fugaces
Buenos Aires se ve
Ese destino de furia es
Lo que en sus caras persiste…”