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Buenos Aires: First Impressions   1 | 2 | 3 

8 Jan 2002

BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA — Today we bid farewell to Bolivia. We shaved a few days off our time in Buenos Aires to spend more time here, and it was great, but it still wasn't enough. We'll certainly have to return, if for no other reason to visit the Salt Flats at Uyuni.

We had to get up at four in the morning to finish putting our stuff together before going to the airport. When we arrived there at the requisite two-hours-before (5am), we wound up being the only ones in the airport. It wasn't until about 5:20 that airline employees started shuffling in. Ah, Bolivian business hours — like red lights, they're merely suggestions. On the bright side, we did use the last of our money on water and gum, so we're leaving Bolivia with exactly 50 centivos of local currency (about six cents US.) Good planning there, at least.

Click to enlarge
Buenos Aires Skyline

We landed in Buenos Aires, and these were the first three things I noticed:

  1. Oracle ads are everywhere. Even in the US, I hardly see this, except for a couple spots along Route 101 in California. I know we do a lot of taxicab advertising in the UK and Australia, but it hadn't even occurred to me before now that I hadn't seen any in previous cities on our trip, even where we have big offices.

  2. A sign in the restroom read, explicitly, that we should flush our paper down the toilet. Ah, civilization again!

  3. It's an incredibly white city. I'm not referring to the buildings here, but the local population. So many people here are clearly of European descent, yet they speak Spanish, and it looks and sounds a little awkward. After the past few months, I've come to associate "Latinos" as "people that live in Latin America", and not just people of darker skin color. In fact, if our Spanish were better, we could probably pass as natives, so I suspect people are less likely to assume we're American or European, and won't automatically speak English when they see us.

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    Last updated: 25 Feb 2002 17:51:43