Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Buenos Aires, City of the Beautiful People
City of the green spaces and the clean streets and the changing leaves. City of the pink palaces and the stately-looking cathedrals and modern high rises. Of "desachzuno" and "decime" and "chzo me chzamo." Of city buses and pedestrians and subways. Of European architecture and Italian food and Paraguayan immigrants.
Somehow, despite my country heritage, my genes, my upbringing, and my previous life experience, I am a city girl. But all cities are not created equal.
And I've always believed firmly that New York City is the city, my city. See here. Every time I set foot in it, the moment moment I enter Grand Central, I heave a huge sigh of pleasure, and often tell whomever I happen to be with that "I belong here!" The life, the fun, the pain, the heart there. I've never been sure that I would spend a lifetime there, but I've always wanted to say, at least for a time, that it was home.
I've also often said that I could not see myself settling down anywhere but the states. Sure, I could spend awhile, a few years, in a different country, but forever? Not me. I've gotten comfortable in Lima, but I don't think I could stay here. And I think I kind of projected that onto all cities outside of the states: not here, so not there either.
But I have to tell you chickadees, Buenos Aires is completely enchanting. It really swept me off my feet for four days. And though I won't say anything rash, it's thrown into question both of the above statements. New York still has a special place in my heart, but maybe it isn't the only city of my dreams. Maybe the U.S. isn't the only place I could call my permanent home. Maybe I'm more flexible than I think I am.
Minds change. Mine does frequently. But right now I feel desperate to not be done with Latin America when I leave in a month or so. To at the very least not be done getting to know different cultures.
According to the cute Uruguayan I sat next to on the plane ride in, and may have talked to for the entire four hours, Buenos Aires has nothing on Montevideo. Next stop?