Boning up…err, research.
As we’ve learned, the sights in South America have been some of the most insightful wonders of the world. The historic Christo Redentor statue which oversees all of Rio—including the favela slums to the posh layout of Ipanema.
But for my final South America recap, I’m going to take my head out of the gratuitous amount of ass and titties, instead to shed light on the real beauty of Argentina’s atmosphere. Might I advise, whether you’re a purveyor of the finer things South America has to offer: albeit the women, or the weather, to gain access to any of them it’ll cost $130 for an American tourist visa. With the high-priced tariff paid by me and my lady, customs still scrutinized our passports the day we left the Iguazu waterfalls. At the crack of dawn, the sun had barely shown it’s face. Our nerves were tested for 20 minutes in the back of a compact car, driven by a teenager who seemed indifferent during our subdued panic. Would this hold-up become fodder for an episode of Locked Up Abroad? The fear of being fed cock-meat sandwich became very real in a Harold and Kumar: Escape From Guantanamo Bay sort of way. Reciting an argument in spanish, in my head sounded convincing enough to regurgitate to an armed customs agent. Then our tour guide returned. Luckily, because of the time difference between Brazil and New York [Ed. Note: the Iguazu waterfalls, which are monstrously larger than the Niagara falls in the U.S., borders Brazil and Argentina. It’s rain forest is also home to over 400 species of wildlife, including birds and butterflies.], there was no one to cross-reference our sketchy credentials, so we got a pass.
Anywhere between 90-minutes, and two-hours later, I land in Buenos Aires. The city moves fast, almost like New York, yet even I had to catch up. It’s not that people in say Recoleta (also known as Barrio Norte) move that fast, they just know where they’re going— again, like New York City. It’s famous six-lane intersection is a marvel to transportation the way tourists gawk at the MTA’s grid. I smile at the efficiency of Recoleta though, thanks to it’s scenery, and the opportunity to take it all in at the halfway point of crossing the avenue. Even at night, crossing the same intersection, there isn’t a rodent in sight, even on the side of the road where the occasional pile of garbage might gather. Cat callers, take their place though.
That said, in regards to navigating the city, I had the faint feeling of being displaced somewhere between New York, and Spain. Even better, a New Yorker, in Spain, again. By train, bus, or on foot, there was always something to see. Day trips didn’t seem as laborious because historical landmarks, or religious effigies weren’t obstructed by commercial businesses. Maybe this is why as a New Yorker, it’s harder to appreciate the local atmosphere, unless maybe you’re in certain parts of Brooklyn. But that’s a biased opinion on my part. But also in between these short travels, to the Malba museum, a Japanese park, or the Recoleta cemetery is where I savored the sweet parts of my trip. The infinite amount of dulce de leche, and panaderías, or even the light caramel complexion of my lady’s sun-tan are reasons to revel in scenery only a movie could capture. Until then, the photos below will have to do.