Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Watch out, Buenos Aires!

I've been here for just over two weeks so far, getting comfortable with the area, learning the lay of the land. Buenos Aires is certainly an intriguing city. It's hard to know who is porteño (the term for BsAs residents, "people of the port") and who isn't because the city is such a melting pot. Everyone's from somewhere else, it seems. Before I got here, I heard it called the Paris of South America. I don't know if I would necessarily say that, but it's definitely got character.

We live in Palermo Soho, a middle class neigbhorhood. Not the richest, but certainly a far cry from blue-collar, sometimes ghetto-ish La Boca. It's an old house, and it's deceptively spacious for its modest grey stone exterior. We share the house with Liliana, the owner; Marcela, a student; Vanesa, a pediatrician; and until this previous Monday, Cliff, the host of Wild Outdoor Adventures.

And now, a walk-through. To read brief snippets explaining the layout, click the "captions" option in the lower right-hand corner.

One of the first things I noticed upon getting settled in was that Facebook had turned into Spanish. But the upside of that is that now I know how to say words like "tagged" or "wall-to-wall." Valuable information to know. The other most glaring difference about porteño culture is the schedule. It is laaaate. I read in Lonely Planet that it's best not to show up for nighttime activities before 2 to 3 a.m., but it took a couple of 1 a.m. walks by restaurants and seeing them full of people – even the more elderly citizens – to realize that LP's advice was no joke. Things really don't get off the ground here until the wee morning hours, which has meant that most of my interaction with the city has been under cover of darkness.

For the first couple of weeks, we were in language classes four hours a day preparing ourselves to be thrust without fanfare into the workplace. Our introduction to Argentinan journalism comes this week as we start our internships and jump into classes.

1 comment:

Amy said...

More pictures, please, Mr. Putnam. I'm living vicariously through you and my vision at the moment is foggy.