3rd Week in Argentina

I’m starting to get really comfortable here and time has really been flying by now that I have adjusted to daily life here. I know the subway and bus now pretty well. I feel a lot more comfortable navigating the streets on foot because I know the roads near my house and could easily ask for directions in Spanish in case I got lost. As a result of this time has really been flying. I have just been going through the daily motions and nothing seems particularly odd anymore.

One thing that I really love here in Argentina that you can’t get in the US is amazing coffee. Actually, then don’t really make traditional drip coffee that we are used to in the states, but rather they like to make espresso then add hot milk. They call it Café con Leche which is half espresso and half milk. Another popular variation is the Cortadito or Cortado which is 75% espresso and 25% steamed milk. If you order coffee black they will ask you in Spanish how many tears you want in your coffee. If you haven’t lived here long you wouldn’t know that they are actually asking you how many minute drops of milk you want in your espresso.


The most interesting place I visited this week is this enormous book store that’s either called Grand Splendid or El Ateneo. It’s a giant classic theater that has been transformed into a book store. Each of its five or so levels are jam packed with books as well as music, comics, and DVDs/Blue Ray discs. One interesting note about this place is that music from the United States is placed under the international section. I obviously knew that this is where it would be put, but it was just weird actually seeing it in person. Also, 90% of the music they play in restaurants and bars here are by artists from the United States so I was kind of expecting there to be an exclusive United States section (as ethnocentric as that sounds). I also got a kick out of the translated names of American movies.



One thing that I have been observing over here is that a disproportional amount of people walking on the street are wearing medical braces around their foot that go up to their knees. I pointed this out to my friends and they have all noticed the same thing. I find out through asking a bunch of people is that the sidewalks are often uneven and have tiles missing every so often. People get into accidents just by walking down the street. I guess one just needs to be really observant while walking around the street of Buenos Aires.

3 thoughts on “3rd Week in Argentina

  1. Lucas, your post was really interesting to me because we are in very different places and yet I have noticed a lot of the same things here in Vienna. The first store I went into here had a song playing from the US and I was caught off guard and figured it just happened to be a coincidence that it was playing when I walked in, but this has been the case in about every other restaurant and store I have gone into since then as well! I have only heard a song with German lyrics playing somewhere once since I got here 4 weeks ago. And I doubt it is to the extremity that it is in Buenos Aires, but I have also been surprised here by the roads and sidewalks being uneven and having random ridges and drop offs. I am a pretty careful walker and I have tripped several times because of it. My roommate and I have talked a couple times about how we don’t think Vienna is very handicapped or elderly friendly because of the sidewalks and the dozens of staircases that have to be climbed to get a lot of places here.

    • I’ve noticed that a lot of places here aren’t wheelchair accessible as well. There is a lot of Argentine music and Spanish music played on the streets and in more traditional restaurants and cafes here. So yeah, I don’t think it is as extreme here as it is in Vienna. I’ve seen people in wheelchairs use the bus here, but they need another person to help them and the drivers aren’t that nice about waiting for them to get on and off the bus.

  2. I agree that the coffee in Argentina is amazing, and as I read your post, I so wanted a cafe con leche.

    Like Raina, who is studying in Vienna, I see that you have noticed the influence of American music. That influence is pretty much international.

    I’m delighted that you are feeling comfortable using your Spanish.


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