Visit Buenos Aires!
Argentina’s beautiful win against South Korea in this morning’s World Cup match only got me thinking about my recent study abroad experience in the South American nation. Although quite famous for its dulce de leche, beef, empanadas and mate (yerba leaf tea), Argentina has a lot more to offer other than its gastronomy.
Just recently Argentina turned 200 years old, but in the city of Buenos Aires the people had more to celebrate than the nation’s birthday. The capital city has become a booming metropolis of cultural and social diversity, and although the government still faces criticism, the Argentine political realm has been in progressive path for the past 30 years.
But why visit Buenos Aires? There are countless reasons. It’s the Paris of the South. You can eat the best steak in the world. There are delicious empanadas on every street corner. Every guidebook will tell you more or less the same thing.
The real reason to visit Buenos Aires is to experience the people. Go into a café and sit there for a while, long after you have finished your café cortado and medialuna (sweet croissant). You will realize the same people who were there when you entered will still be there when you leave. The Argentines appreciate the time they have with others and lengthy conversations are a staple to daily life in Buenos Aires.
Go to a football match and experience the undying loyalty for Boca Juniors or River Plate (rival teams of the city). Fútbol for many Argentines is a way of life.
Go to a local milonga and observe the social rules of tango dancing. You won’t have the same experience at an elaborate tourist oriented tango show.
The spirit of Buenos Aires is not found in the highest rated steak restaurant or the most famous leather goods store. It is in the everyday life that provokes cross-cultural participation. No guidebook will give you the detailed instructions on how to experience that.
posted by Let’s Travel! intern: Brittany