Thank You, Buenos Aires

In Buenos Aires, Bliss, The Art of Travel Spring 2015 by Daniel Yeom2 Comments

Sunday evening. After an intense hour of soccer with friends from Buenos Aires Football Amigos, I start to walk back home as refreshing autumn breeze cools me down. My arms are sore, and my legs weigh a hundred pounds each from frantically sprinting around in a shoddy indoor field that resembles a cage. Home isn’t too far away; just a 10-minute walk down the road.

On the way home, I start planning out the rest of the evening: I will shower, run off to a near by empanada shop to sit down for a quick dinner with a glass of jug wine. When I return home, I will sit down with my chatty homestay parents in our living room to watch television while nourishing a warm cup of tea.

I feel like I belong here.

It doesn’t really take much to keep me happy. Aside from intense existential crises that occasionally haunts me, I am a relatively simple human being. I like to eat, I like to take pictures of things, and I like chatting with strangers.

Here in Buenos Aires, I can full-heartedly say that I am indeed absolutely happy. I live with wonderful homestay parents who genuinely care about my wellbeing. Thanks to favorable exchange rate and relatively lower cost of living, I can afford to indulge in most of what my heart desire. I have lots of free time in hand to work on different writing projects and laze around in beautiful parks that surround me.

The experience of studying abroad in Argentina has been nothing short of fantastic. Sure, I may be separated from my adoring friends back in New York, but I needed this time alone at the end of the world to regain focus, both in pursuit of my academic goals and personal happiness. New York drained me. Buenos Aires has replenished me.

I have a strange habit; when I drink too much, I start to scribble down short blurbs of words on my phone, mini essays on my feelings. I know, I know, it’s really weird and corny, but it’s something I trained myself to do, Pavlovian-style. It not only prevents me from sending drunken text messages to estranged friends or ex-girlfriends, but also provides me with an occasional funny read.

While I was going through my phone few days ago, I found a note I must have written during one of my first days in Buenos Aires. I sound tipsy, but blissful. Perhaps you’d be interested in taking a peak.

Argentina is an ice-cold pint of watered down Quilmes on a humid summer day under the blistering sun. Argentina is a game of pool at a nearby cafe in midnight, accompanied by a mug (a mug!) of espresso.

Argentina is a Hip Hop club at five in the morning. Argentina is a medicinal highball of Fernet Y Coca Cola, lukewarm since ice cubes immediately melt from the heat of dancing bodies.

Argentina is an incoherent conversation with a taxi driver at 6AM, as you drunkenly try to explain how the rush hour traffic in New York City is much worse than it is in Buenos Aires. He doesn’t understand. Or he is pretending that he doesn’t.

I like Argentina. I should live here forever.

Due to my propensity for a nomadic lifestyle, I am now ready to say my goodbyes to Argentina in pursuit of exploring other parts of South America. However, I refuse to acknowledge that I only have one more month left in this beautiful city that has provided me with such precious memories. I will miss you, Buenos Aires.

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  1. Daniel,

    This post- and especially the excerpt of what you wrote in a drunken haze- was a beautiful scene to leave yourself and the readers at the end of your time in Argentina. I think I will adopt your method of writing notes in my phone when they come to me, under any state. I hope that in some way you do live in Argentina forever, in essence and meaning of life it seems to have given you. I fully relate to your statement that NYC has drained you, and your time abroad has replenished me, I couldn’t describe the last few months anymore honest nor perfectly than that. Safe travels through Latin America !

  2. Daniel,

    You are a great writer. Your first paragraph is very captivating. Your immense detail give me a sense of your life in Buenos Aires in addition to your casual adjustments to living there. Your sentence, “It really doesn’t take up much to keep me happy, “ sums up your experience as well as my own. We become so enamored by a new place and a new culture that even the worse experiences excite us as much as the greatest ones, and the everyday ones as much as the most foreign to us. I hope you had an amazing semester abroad.


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