More of Buenos Aires, Day Trip to Tigre, and El Superclasico
Hey everyone, it's another relaxing Sunday here in Buenos Aires. This past week has been another great one, as I saw plenty of things in and around the city, as well as continued to perfect my Spanish. In reality, this weekend is one of the last weekends that I will be spending here in Buenos Aires because I am traveling throughout South America for the next 4 consecutive weekends. I am going to Chile, Ushuaia, Uruguay, and Costa del Este over the coming weekends, so I tried to make the most of this time before they kick me out of this country on November 11th.
With that in mind, I tried to "embrace" the culture of the city a little more and went to the MALBA on Wednesday (10/1). MALBA is the Museo América Latina - Buenos Aires. It's home to hundreds of pieces of artwork from all throughout Argentina and Latin America. Similar to my experience at Teatro Colon back in August, the MALBA just did not do it for me. I can say that I tried to understand the artwork and see why it is famous, but I'd be lying if I said that I enjoyed it. Regardless, I went, and that's all that matters.
This weekend is also a popular time for Argentines and foreigners alike to travel to Córdoba, Argentina for their version of Oktoberfest. Córdoba is about 10 hours from Buenos Aires by bus, so it is a lengthy trip but supposedly worth the trek for these festivities. Unfortunately for me, I did not get the chance to go, but figured I would mention that it exists. South Americans love their beer, so any chance to avoid all responsibilities for a weekend and go to Córdoba is definitely a must do for them.
However, on Saturday (10/4) the other students in my program and I went to Tigre, Argentina for the day. Tigre, founded in 1820 by European explorers, got it's name from the abundance of jaguars throughout the region. The Europeans assumed that the jaguars were actually tigers, hence the Spanish name, Tigre. The town is about a half an hour north of the city of Buenos Aires, still within the Buenos Aires Province. What is interesting about Tigre is that it is a town surrounded largely by different rivers and gulfs, so there are not many roads within the town. The Argentines get from place to place solely by boat, including going to work, school, or to see family.
Although the weather that day was not the greatest, it was very cool to see all of the beautiful houses on the rivers and and their boats docked right in front of each one. Tigre reminded me of two different places that I have been before, with the first being in Costa Rica when I went during my senior year of high school. There was a more tropical feel with the trees and landscapes in Tigre that was easily mistakable for the boat tour that I did in Costa Rica with the alligators. The second place it reminded me of was Leesburg, Florida from when I went with UDaB during Spring Break 2014.
Another interesting thing that I noticed was that they have a traveling supermarket on a boat that rides throughout all of the neighborhoods in the town for people to but things like meats, drinks, emergency necessities, etc. In general, the town was very laid back and seemed like an awesome place to live at some point in life. As the pictures below show, we did a boat tour of the area, explored the Puerto de Frutas (a local market), and had a paid-for lunch at a nice restaurant on the water. Nice day outside the city and well worth the trip there.
Last night, Saturday (10/4), Ben and I were invited to have dinner with everyone at Paola and Martin's house. Paola is our host mom's daughter and she and Martin are two of the best people that I have ever met. Those people that have the ability to make you feel welcome at all times and open their homes to you are something unlike any other. Over the past ten weeks, both Ben and I have really grown to love our host family for reasons just like that. They always have a good story, lesson, or joke to share and seem to actually care about what we have to say and do.
In general, Argentines are very open people and are not afraid to tell you their life story just after meeting you. With that, we finally found out that our host dad, Carmelo, is actually Paraguayan and came here to Buenos Aires in 1982. Adriana, our host mom, is from Italian descent, so that may also be why I feel very comfortable here. Knowing that I will not be here in Buenos Aires for the next four weekends bums me out, but at least at the end of the program I know I can hangout with my host family before heading back to the US.
And finally, today, Sunday (10/5) is a great day for sports in Argentina. The biggest rivalry in all of of the fútbol world is taking place here in Buenos Aires. Called the Superclasico, the soccer game taking place is between the Boca Juniors and River Plate, two teams with a historic rivalry within Buenos Aires. Similar to a Red Sox and Yankees rivalry, both teams have been dominant in the world of soccer throughout Argentina and South America. For the game, we're going back to Paola and Martin's to enjoy it and root for River Plate. My host family is a big fan of River, so I guess I'll have to do the same.
That's all that I have for this post, thanks again for reading and I hope you are all doing well back home. This Thursday (10/9), I am leaving to go to Santiago and Viña del Mar, Chile until next Tuesday (10/14). Similar to Columbus Day back in the US, South America celebrates Dia de las Américas for Columbus' New World successes. Hence, why I have no class next Monday and get to enjoy it in Chile. Thanks again, love y'all and talk to you soon!
"Al nacer llorabas y los demas reían. Vive de tal modo que al morir te rias y los demas lloren." — Unknown
(translation) "When you were born, you cried while the others laughed. Live in such a way that at death, you laugh while the others cry."