Argentina: A letter to Buenos Aires

Dear people of Buenos Aires,

I have made several observations, which I would like to share with the world.

Firstly, you are an interesting race of people. When Asians don’t age, and white people look better as they get older, you guys age TERRIBLY. It’s hard to deny that BA is about extremes. People either look damn good or terrible. For guys, the younger they are, the better they look. And I don’t know what happens, but I don’t think I have seen an old man in BA showing any signs of looking good when young. Maybe it’s the sun and the nightlife, but I don’t see any resemblance between the young and the old. It’s as if they are two different race of people. The woman is pretty much the same, except they age sightly better.

Secondly, please teach us the way of staying in shape, eating late, drinking much alcohol, not sleeping much, and yet look amazing. Please teach the rest of us, because I sure look like a mess before my finals (plenty of stress), during my finals (lack of sleep), and after my finals (hangovers).

Thirdly, please stop destroying BA. All your vandalism and littering is destroying the lovely city you live in. And please start clearing up the dog poop and those pesky small paper shreds. Maybe you think it gives BA more character. With such good music and dance, and lovely people, you really don’t need to be dirty like NYC to gain some character. Actually I take that back. BA with that mess isn’t really BA. I don’t think it’s about being dirty. It’s about being rebellious. And that is one great character of BA.

And finally, I will miss you all, despite our inability to communicate effective. (Thank god for sign language) Perhaps try to speak slower the next time I meet you, because you guys seriously speak way too fast.

One last note: Try to be more organized! The race car opening ceremony was highly disappointing, especially since it started at 3pm when it was scheduled to start at 11:30pm. And learn to stand in line. The crowd at the ferry terminal made a terrible sendoff. Although the immigration counter where the Argentinean and Uruguay immigrations sitting next to each other made me smile.

To be honest, I didn’t think I would enjoy BA that much. Titi kept telling me how much I will love it there. On the first day, I didn’t see how a city that is arguably dirtier than New York City where the dominant language is foreign to me could charm me.

But somehow it did. With the art, the music, the dance, the food, and finally the people – all coming together to give me a cultural experience I will never forget.

Give me two years. I will be back, this time more equipped with Espanol. So many missed opportunities to interact with the locals due to language barriers, which I can only blame myself for. Next time, there will be no more “No entiendo. No hablo Espanol.”

Derrick

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