I am back in travel fever… in springtime Argentina. I´ve spent last week exploring Buenos Aires while staying at a friend´s home.
From the first day in Buenos Aires it was clear to me this city was going to provide some positive surprises. I did not expect BA to be so green! There are plenty of parks to choose from, while all of them are crowded with joggers, bands, families, artists and plenty of fun. There are street stalls selling food, beverages, souvenirs or handicrafts everywhere. I loved strolling through town exploring a wide variety of bars, clubs, cafés, independent shops, art galleries and antique stores. Mmmmmmh, ANTIQUES!!! I did not know I love them so much. Buenos Aires has the best selection of antiques I´ve ever seen in my life. Well restored treasures from past times, often prepared to fit in “modern” vintage homes. Most of the furniture was shipped in from Spain, Portugal and England about a century ago. Now often colorful restored they are affordably sold in flea markets and the neighborhoods San Thelmo and Palermo.
The security issue:
Many people seem concerned about my safety while in Argentina. Therefore I´d like to share my personal experience with you. The city itself is not as dangerous anymore as it used to be about 10 years ago. I did not have any dangerous experiences at all which maybe was because I had citizens to tell me where to go or better where NOT to go. Citizens have applied habits in their daily life that help to prevent dangerous situations. These are for example:
- Always wait until the main door to your building is closed before heading to your apartment – this prevents strangers from entering the house. (inhabitants prefer to live in apartment buildings rather than their own house because apartment buildings often provide security staff)
- Lock your car from the inside while driving (works automatically in US cars…but was new to me!) and do not open windows too far especially when being stuck in traffic. My host mom told me about one incident where someone robbed her purse while she was stuck in traffic.
- Take your car-radio with you when leaving the car. What is not there can ´t be stolen.
- Avoid walking alone in the dark or try to walk on main roads as long as possible to be seen in public.
In general you should use your common sense and don´t worry too much.
Argentina is surprisingly expensive. Food, beverages and clothes cost the same or even more than in Germany. Living costs increased up to 100% within the last decade while wages barely rose. The economic situation results in interesting living situations in Buenos Aires. Youngsters can not afford living on their own and therefore stay at their parent´s home until they finish university, marry or a rich family member dies and they can afford their own place. Sad but true…
South America is probably place to go if you love music. To me it was one of the main reasons why choosing coming to Argentina. What is the cheap food in Asia is music in Latin America. Argentina´s heart is sending out tango vibes. The passionate dance and it´s strong music are to hear everywhere… There are small tango shows in the streets (for free… while a “official” tango show in the theater costs about 100 USD), tango vibes all over town and I even made it to a free tango concert in a public park. Besides Tango there is of course Salsa, Reggaeton, Bachata, Cumbia and many more. Citizens love the rythm and I do too!
Next: Iguazu waterfalls at the Brazilian border.