I was in Buenos Aires for a very short time almost two weeks ago to start my South American journey. It feels like two months ago. In a good way. Like I can’t believe everything I have seen and done during that time!
Now that I am back in Buenos Aires… I have a few first impressions.
What’s with the platform shoes? All the girls/women are wearing them. Some look like boots the band KISS would wear. Watch out Canada, this could be the next big thing!
This is one busy and bustling place! Florida Street is a main area for shopping downtown with a pedestrian walkway – so busy! And, every step you take you hear “Cambio, Cambio, Cambio!!” It’s a call to exchange US dollars for Pesos. As I mentioned in a previous post, the economy is challenged now with high inflation in the past few years. It pays to get your hands on US dollars (officially at an exchange of 9 Pesos to every 1 US dollar – but you can get rate up to 15 to 1 depending on the day and who you are exchanging money with). I don’t recommend doing this transaction without the aid of someone who knows what they are doing!
As with all large cities, the subway is the quickest and cheapest way to get around.
There are some quirky and interesting things you see all around you. One being shoe shine services right on the street. The other being dog walkers. Apparently, this is a big business in Buenos Aires, as more affluent Portenos (people from Buenos Aires) who live in apartments often own dogs and need someone to walk them (up to 4-5 hours a day)!
This is a city of contrasts. Of the 13 million people who live in the city and surrounding area, 40 per cent live basically in shacks or shanty towns (they call them Villas here). And, a five minute drive away, you could be in the most affluent part of the city (Puerto Maredo), or seeing beautiful trees and sculptures. It’s a fascinating place.