Expectations vs. Reality
Buenos Aires…a cultural shock!
From the very first day Buenos Aires was a cultural shock for me; it did not meet my expectations. My initial thought of the city was a simply, “Ehhh it feels like a new york atmosphere where the light skinned people learned spanish”. I will admit I was completely wrong and I am overjoyed that I was wrong. I judged Buenos Aires a bit too quickly before I even knew all it had to offer and yes at first I was ready to go home, but now not so much. I am not ready to leave in less than a month because I really wished I could stay longer.
I knew Buenos Aires was unique in comparison to other Latin American countries, but experiencing the differences and reading about them are two completely different things. Ok, so before arriving I thought from the very beginning I would love Buenos Aires. I expected to arrive to a busy city with spanish music, especially tango, delicious food, and to easily make Argentine friends. I also knew it was winter once arriving and expected the cold to only last about a month…wrong. I failed to understand the American influence on other countries and that was one of my biggest disappointments. When my friends and I would go out to clubs, bars, or even restaurants, various of the venues would be playing english music, which would have been great music selection if I was in the U.S. In regards to the nightlife selection, the music selection made it a bit difficult for me because on one hand I wanted to be social and go out with people but on the other the really popular venues would mainly focus on english electronic music and let’s simply say that is not my favorite genre. As far as their food, it’s delicious, except for only one complaint…it lacks any type of spiciness! Meeting Argentines is not difficult at all, because they are everywhere. The difficult part is making a friendship with them, because due to the communities structure many of them have been friends for years and well I am only in Argentina for a semester.
Although Buenos Aires turned out to be different than my expectations, the reality is even better. I would say Buenos Aires is about always having an open mind. Living in a densely populated region forces one to be ready for anything. When I speak to some friends whom are ready to return home I don’t understand why. I love it here and want to extend my trip. I love it here because I understand the city’s schedule now. It is literally always busy! I have been so accustomed to the American lifestyle of Monday through Thursday was a work mentality and Friday through Sunday was the time to plan events, but not here. In Buenos Aires, you have the week to fully enjoy it and once I grasped that concept I have been making the best of my time. I enjoy the fact that I can walk anywhere and continue to be surprised by shops, architecture, streets, etc, even if I have walked down that street before. The people are great as well, yes there are the perverts, pit-pocketers, and the ones who simply have a bad day, but overall everyone is really easy to talk to.
The pros of Buenos Aires definitely outweighs the cons and although at first it didn’t appear that way it was simply because I hadn’t even tried my best to get to know the city. Even though I knew before hand to come with an open mind, it took some reflecting to put it to practice.