My first impression of Buenos Aires is pretty much what I read in the guidebook, clean, modern, European, vibrant, safe. It's still South America and it is still a little rough around the edges (like dog shit everywhere), but I can see why people want to stick around. Reminds me a lot like New York: everyone looks like they are going somewhere important.
So while Dave has been slaving away at his class I've been visiting the tourist traps and parks of the city- of which there are a ton. Don't think I have seen so many parks in a city of this size; sometimes you literally feel miles away from the city.
One "must see" site is the cemetary in Recoleta, where all the rich people spend their life savings to die. It is quite impressive: a full city block full of dead people tucked away in elaborate mausoleums. Evita is famously buried here, although she received a less than noble burial, thrown in another family's tomb. The upper class apparently didn't dig Evita at the time, who spent her life championing the cause of the poor people.
Despite all that BsAs has to offer, I'm big cities still drive me a little crazy and I'm itching to head out of town. Dave is pretty much settle into the apartment. He walks the one block from school, crossing La Pampas Avenue, gets home every night and studies and prepares lesson plans till 1 or 2 in the morning. The next day he's up at 7:30, crosses La Pampa and heads back to class. Weekends are full of homework. Dave has a Master's degree, and he says this CELTA class is the hardest thing he has ever done. All I know is it is really cutting into recreational time.
I have to give Dave credit. As John, one his British classmates said when were out one night, "that boy has some balls to be doing this." For those of you who don't know Dave, he has a rare condition known as retinitis pigmentosa, a genetic disease in which the light sensitive part of the retina slowly degenerates over the years. I've known Dave awhile, and have a pretty good handle on what he can (or can't) see, and needless to say it is quite a challenge when he is in a new big city where he doesn't speak the language. Dave can basically see fairly well in very well lit areas but is limited to tunnel vision, and in dim light or shadows he pretty much can't see a damn thing. It is strange to guage sometimes, we can play catch football on a sunny day on the park strip and Dave can zero in on the ball against the bright sky and make incredible catches, but once it hits the dark ground, it might as well be lost forever. Because of this Dave has some pretty damn funny stories over the years, and is surely going to publish a fascinating memoir some day.
And I'm sure there will be a chapter on Buenos Aires. Coming to a place like this and doing a graduate course while negotiating a new large city where he doesn't understand anyone takes more guts than I probably have. I try to help him out as much as I can since I don't have a damn thing to do other than go for walks in the park and research stuff on the internet. Now that he's in a pretty good routine, has a refrigerator stocked full of food and will be concentrating on nothing other than school work, I am going to venture out and see some of the country. He'll be done in another two weeks and we'll head out for a bit and see some of the country together.
Because, hey, life's short, see it while you can.