in buenos aires. i have no been here for 12 days, and just as i tell everyone who asks me how long i will be here, i have no idea. about anything.
susie and leana were here for a while. they both arrived on friday night, and leana left early on saturday. susie stayed with me for a few days, which was so fun. we didn't do much other than shopping, walking around parks, and going out to cafes for medialunas. but it was great.
one night, we met up with our dutch friend robin (who stayed in our hostel in mendoza). we went out to dinner at an old restaurant. another night we went to cafe tortoni for a tango show. wow, there is something so porteño about wandering up and down avenida de nueve de julio, smiling at the illuminated obelisco, walking to a tango show. it is late, dinner will be later, drinks will be the latest of all. take your time, this is buenos aires.
it is hot again. yesterday was jonas' birthday, and we got to wander las calles with his sister lara and baby lola. lola was awake and mischievious, making these big funny faces at me. i thought about it. what would it be like to be born into this big half latin, half european city, post-2001 crisis, in a neighborhood like palermo, full of tourists that help support the rehabilitating economy? what will it be like for lola to grow up in a culture that is attempting to remain its own thing but is being influenced by so many people from all over the world? i wonder what the future holds for buenos aires, and for the next generation. will these children really know the stories or juan peron, of the dirty war, of the malvinas, of the economic collapse of 2001? or will all these events be a faded memory of the past. many porteños say, it is time to move on. i can't imagine how forgetting the past will help the future.
words / concepts of the day:
porteño: a resident of buenos aires. porteña, if its a girl. or la alma porteña, which people here say is the soul of the city.
avenida de nueve de julio: one of the widest (and porteños say it is the widest) streets in the world. at 19 lanes wide, it is impossible to cross in one light! the whole area around this is congresso, or downtown. tons of theatres, tango shows, hotels and fancy restaurants that all vie for a view of the obelisk (el obelisco).
history of buenos aires: shortest history of the last 50 years, ever. juan peron, president in the 40s/50s. held very radical beliefs. his wife, eva (evita), was raised to near sainthood when she died at age 33, after spending most of the budget on aid for the lower class. the dirty war, happened in the 70s. the military took over the government and began eliminating anyone who stood in its way. thousands of people who disagreed with the politics simply disappeared. the malvinas, are a set of islands off the very southern coast of argentina. in the 80s, to divert the public's attention on events of the 70s, the military declared war on england, who had a controversial claim on the islands. argentina lost, the subject is still touchy. 2001. the economy finally collapsed, in a way that rivals the american economic collapse of the 30s. literally, almost ever person was moved down a whole class level. an entire population of the lower class has been reduced to garbage collectors.