Don’t cry for me Argentina cause I won’t be crying for you

In The Art of Travel Spring 2017, 15. Farewells, Buenos Aires by Vanessa2 Comments

Unlike my classmates who aren’t ready to leave Buenos Aires, I can’t wait until I’m boarding my plane back home. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had a fantastic time traveling throughout Argentina and Latin America but New York is calling my name.

Since I arrived back in August, my sentiment towards Buenos Aires hasn’t changed… I’m not a huge fan. Perhaps there is something off putting in the fact that porteños strive to be as European as possible all the while negating their Latino roots. You can see it in the buildings which are an imitation of neoclassical French and Roman architecture, to the way they brew their coffee, to the way they accentuate the ch sound in lol like Italians.

During my year abroad in BA, sometimes I would forget that I was in Latin America as the city is full of europhiles. The issue is that I came to South America to feel out of my comfort zone, to be challenged with a culture unlike mine;however, opposed to being challenged, I have been caught in a net of familiarity, which I found rather disconcerting. Perhaps, my issue rests also in the fact that NYU BA did not allow me to take classes at local universities, which would have helped me make more Argentine friends, instead of hanging out with fellow American kids all the time.

Before I left I was sure that I would not miss the U.S. But all to the contrary, I have a newfound longing for the states as I miss things that I didn’t even know I could miss. I have daydreamed about Indian food, good sushi and thin crust pizza. I have waited hours in line at the post office and paid absurd fees just to pick up domestic packages and in those moments I have reminisced at how simple it is in the U.S to retrieve packages. I have missed the unique energy of New York that BA just doesn’t have and have missed the directness and even brusqness of New York cab drivers and the way you can through the east village at 4 am on a weekday and still find a halal cart advertising $5 rice platters.

However, one thing that I can say with certainty is that living in Buenos Aires has taught me two things: that God and soccer are equal and that when someone invites you to an as asado at their ranch, you always say yes. Oh, and one last thing, if it weren’t for this blog that I might not have written down my travel experiences and for that, I am beyond thankful.

Hope everyone has a safe flight back home, wherever home may be. As the Argentines would say “Ciao, che!”

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  1. Hey Vanessa,

    I completely get that you’re ready to go home. I’ve had a countdown on my phone for the last 20 days (only 6 days left!!). A lot of people think that my excitement to go home means that I didn’t enjoy my time here. But that’s an unfair assumption, I think. I can enjoy my time in another place but still know when it’s time to move on and start something new, or in our case pick back up in New York. You had commented on one of my posts before wondering why I thought Buenos Aires was a difficult site, and I think I found it difficult not in terms of logistics, getting around, or language, but rather that it wasn’t what I was looking for in a study abroad experience and I felt stifled by the constrains of our program. But I still found fulfillment in what I was doing here and in the end I’m leaving happy. Good luck to you! Safe flight home–Matthew

  2. Hey Vanessa,

    I love hearing how ready you are to go back home and to New York. There seems to be this stigma about wanting to stay abroad and never wanting to go home – kind of along this whole “the grass is always greener” thing we continue to stumble upon in life. It’s really interesting to hear about how Buenos tries to be European in different ways, because I’ve always thought about it as a pretty Latin American city – but this is through my experience being friends with kids from BA in other college programs. It is incredible how you realize the little things that you take for granted and strangely miss while you’re abroad. I can’t wait to go back to dollar pizza and places that are open late at night. Have a safe trip home and soak up the States!

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