03 December 2006

Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires echoes of Spanish with a heavy Italian influence. In fact, those not so familiar with the language could quite possibly mistake it for Italian. Faces are fascinating and body language inspires novels. Men stroll through the streets wearing button-down shirts, the top few buttons open to convey a cool detachment. Women sashay in long skirts, equally stunning and equally unconcerned. This air of nonchalance permeates the air: no one is in a hurry, and not even a hysterical baby seems to faze anyone's demeanor.

Graffiti peppers the sides of buildings, stone fences, and even statues. Often political and very bold, it speaks of the disappeared (¿Nunca Más?), both past and present, and demands answers. It condemns the Catholic Church (La Culpa es del Vaticano) and it taunts Perón's legacy (Ni Izquierda, Ni Derecha). City workers try to keep up with painting over the defacement but it is so common, and so passionate, that it seems to have claimed its own sacred place on the city's monuments.
Air conditioners drip onto pedestrians from every building as the summer sun beats down. Shrapnel wounds and bullet holes dot buildings. Magnificent churches all over the city crumble due to their adobe beginnings, but also because the state is reluctant to intervene in their upkeep due to the great negativity surrounding the Catholic Church. Thus, huge nets are strung over their ceilings to protect visitors from falling debris. Scaffolding is hammered into place not to repair, but to hold the structures together.

It's only been three days and I'm completely hooked. I could write five more posts just on Buenos Aries, and I'm going to try. But I'm working on a PC that I already greatly dislike, mostly due to its temperamental touch pad.

Next stop? Puerto Iguazú.

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