That was my first impression of Buenos Aires (BsAs) as my flight descended upon Argentina’s capital city. Having just left a cold and snowy North American Christmas, summer in January is fantastic!
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I feel like a child. I am in a foreign land where I lack proper command of the local language and sound less coherent than a 2-year old. This shortcoming makes life in my new home very interesting, at least until I improve my Spanish.
“At least I got that one,” I thought to myself. Struggling with my two rucksacks with a combined weight of around 40kg, I replied in the most disgraceful Español, “Yo soy Californiano.”
“Suerte!” they wished me luck as we parted.
My poor Spanish makes daily life more difficult. For example, on my first day I went shopping for a prepaid mobile phone SIM card. While I returned with the right item, I couldn’t successful call customer service and activate my phone. This morning I went to the supermarket and had an entire conversation in Spanish with a very nice señora. Aside from telling her that I am American and I’m in BsAs to study Spanish, I haven’t a clue what we talked about. I just nodded, smiled a lot, and said muchas gracias whenever the lady offered another helpful suggestion.
Palermo, the neighborhood of Jorge Luis Borges, is geographically large and culturally and gastronomically diverse. From what my roommate told me, Palermo Soho (because it is trendy like Soho) offers some of Buenos Aires best boutique shopping and bars; Palermo Hollywood (because of the area’s high concentration of movie studios, actors, and directors) is geared towards the fashionistas and entertainers; while Palermo Chico, sitting prettily by the Rio de la Plata (River Plate), is one of the city’s most exclusive neighborhood.
Russel Street in Palermo Soho
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It is almost 1:30am now. As I gaze across the Jardin Botanico at the nearby highrises of the Belgrano neighborhood, it is getting increasingly challenging to keep my eyes open. Tomorrow is another big day; I will be going to a language institute to register for a beginner Spanish course to start next Monday.