Arriving in Buenos Aires

I flew directly from Cape Town to Buenos Aires in April. Riding the bus from Ezeiza Airport to the Manuel Tienda Leon bus station was a good introduction to the city. Usually the trip takes about half an hour, but we were sitting in traffic for twice that amount of time because of a corte, a street closure for a protest march. Realizing that walking to their destinations would be faster than staying on the bus, many of the passengers asked the bus driver to let them off before we reached the terminal. He refused until a number of the passengers started calling friends on their phones and complaining about being kidnapped. I found this exaggeration to be typically porteƱo; later during my stay, for example, I was warned about a massive hailstorm that turned out to be a light drizzle.

Along with the Ecuadorian passenger sitting next to me, I stayed on the bus until the terminal, since I wasn’t sure exactly how to walk to my home-stay. As we sat in the traffic jam, the bus driver enthusiastically told us about the four best assets of Argentina: women, beef, wine, and tango, in that order. For a culturally complete visit to Argentina, he said, we needed to experience all four. I laughed and resolved to sample the three appropriate items.

Some of the city’s sights:

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