It feels so strange coming back home. Everything is familiar—each street I’ve strolled down hundreds of times, the park bench I would always sit in, the path I would run down every morning to the lake, the faces I would see on my way to work and then again on my way back home only a little more tired than before. When you live here it is part of your every day life, you absorb it and ignore it at the same time and the city becomes a part of you. This includes the things you love, like eating media lunas and drinking café con leche, as well as the things you grow to hate, like getting pushed in the subway or stepping in dog shit.
Coming back now, two years later is somehow different. This city is still a part of me, I feel at home but it’s almost as if I’ve been away for too long and there’s no longer a reserved spot in society for me. I fit right in, remembering every sidewalk, my favorite buildings, the perilous alleys and the best spots to people watch. But somehow I feel like Buenos Aires forgot me. I no longer have a home here, a job, a boyfriend—my friends and family are here but everyone has moved on from where they were two years ago and I’m having a hard time finding my place within the new reality that exists.
Prices are so high I have no idea how much money to take with me to buy a kilo of bread—it’s a constantly fluctuating mess that confuses and angers me. I remember when paying with a 100 peso bill was frowned upon because no merchants had change. Now 100 pesos doesn’t last past breakfast. On the bright side the bus system has finally changed to a conveniently rechargeable “Sube” card that you can use for all modes of transportation—no more hoarding coins just to be able to ride the colectivo. YAY!
I could sit here and complain about what a cunt the president is, how the economy has gone to shit yet again and how this is become more and more like a country becoming stagnant under the rule of a hungry dictatorship…
…but then you would not understand the magic of this place.
You would not understand why I keep coming back year after year and as much as it is hard as hell living in Buenos Aires, I would give up a lot just to be here another week.
Buenos Aires draws out feelings that I cannot experience anywhere else. There is an excitement about being surrounded by its buildings, people, river and ocean, art, music, food and overall the passion everyone here holds. That passion overwhelms you in every aspect of the culture and I’ve looked for it elsewhere without success.
It’s a unique passion and everyone who visits Buenos Aires will forever feel that emptiness after leaving. Yes, this is coming from a Porteña and we are known for being full of ourselves and thinking that Argentina is the best country in the world—might be a biased opinion…but I highly doubt it. If YOU doubt it, I suggest you go there yourself and give it a real chance and tell me how you feel after coming back.
Don’t worry, I’ll be here waiting to cry with you while we eat alfajores, drink mate or Fernet con Coca and talk about how you fell in love either with an Argentine, with the city or with an overwhelming both ; )