Thursday, April 14, 2005

Buenos Aires First Morning

In Bariloche, the only sounds in the morning were the birds chirping and the wind blowing through the branches. Not so in BA. If I did not know better, I would swear I was in NY. The distant hum of diesel engines and of blaring horns echoing off the buildings, reminds me of Manhattan.

Our apartment is on Avineda Santa Fe in an area of BA called the Ricoleta. The part we've scene so far is much like London and New York rolled together. It's 8 AM here, 6 AM in Dallas and I am sitting at a corner café looking out onto the main street--a four lane, one-way street filled with taxi's and delivery trucks and a few private cars for good measure. On this rainy, cool Thursday morning, the sidewalks are busy with people making their way to work and with pigeons enjoying the leftover bread thrown out by the Café workers. BA, like most great cities, is a pedestrian city. People mostly walk or take cabs. Like I said, it is similar to New York or even London before the tax (on driving into the city). I assume there is a subway, or rail of some kind, but I haven't seen it yet.

Most of the buildings in this area are 10 story, no higher. In that way, BA is more like London than New York, but the streets are wide and noisy, more like New York than London. I hear that BA is much like Paris is some places, but I haven't seen those yet.

We head to a leather factory today to be fitted for coats. For Christmas, before we knew for certain we were traveling here, my mother gave us money for coats. Clint and I both lost leather jackets last year. We never purchased replacements. It turned out to be fortuitous, I hope. We'll see what the prices and quality are. I think we may be shopping a lot here.

We went to an incredible restaurant last night called Nectarine. The owner of the apartment we are renting asked to join him. He swears it is the best restaurant in BA. Every dish was complex and savory, every bite a little different than the last, and the combination of flavors was surprising.

It's good to be surprised, pleasantly of course. Allowing yourself to be surprised, is a gift. Almost by definition, being surprised requires a prior loss of control (whether voluntary or not).