I’m finally here!! Safe and sound. Yay for not getting kidnapped by the taxi driver!
I got through customs and all that just fine, had a brief moment of panic when my suitcase didn’t appear at the baggage claim, only to realize I was at the wrong carousel. Then there was the task of finding the car service booth I was supposed to meet my driver at. As would seem logical, it was the first booth on the left of the customs exit, but of course I went to the right and had a nice little adventure around the airport until I found the place. I was escorted to a car with a pleasant enough looking driver and all seemed well even though I had failed to ask to see his identification like my instructions had explicitly instructed to do. But thankfully I was delivered in one piece to my hostel, called Giramondo, in the neighborhood of Palermo.
Palermo is the trendy-bohemian-turned-tourist-trap district of Buenos Aires, and it’s beautiful. There are trees lining all the streets and beautiful little buildings and quaint cafes. It’s lovely all around and safe as far as I can tell. My friend Desiree is also staying here, so we spent the afternoon exploring the area with some other hostelers. We had lunch at what was probably the closest thing to Berkeley I could have found in this area. It was a beautiful bookstore with high ceilings stacked to the top with shelves and shelves of books and a nice little cafe area at the back where we had some yummy vegetable enchiladas and coffee.
This evening we went out for dinner (at 9:30!) with the Expanish crowd (Expanish is the language school that’s facilitating the study abroad). Ah, what a feeling to be able to order wine at dinner! I had “crepes” which where french style crepes like you would imagine, with spinach and cheese on the inside, covered with a pasta-like tomato sauce. Sounds strange, but it was wonderful. And of course we didn’t even start eating until like 10:30 or 11, but it didn’t even feel that late. We got home around 1 and apparently most people don’t go out to the clubs until 2ish, so we’ll see how that goes.
Anyway, my first impressions of Argentina is that it’s certainly not like any other South American country I’ve been to. A far stretch from Mexico, Honduras or Costa Rica, similar to Chile but with a lot more character. I definitely love it so far, and that’s what matters.
It’s great being here in the hostel too, hearing all of the stories and future travel plans of the other people here and getting inspiration for my own adventures to come.
happy and safe,