Sol, our www.bafreetour.com guide, told us a lot about the culture and history of Buenos Aires and about the locals (porteños) which made us appreciate this place so much more. Most interesting lessons:
“Chamuco” – slang for “bull shitting” to make a story more appealing
Politics – Sol is very passionate about Argentinean history and politics. The country has only established a democracy in her lifetime, 29 years ago, and now 80% of all citizens vote. That’s a lot to be proud of and makes us think that what we have back home can easily be taken for granted.
Health care – many healthcare plans include routine psychology visits and plastic surgery. Sol went as far as divulging, “If you don’t see a psychologist, that’s considered strange” and
“I can’t tell you how many boobs I’ve felt because my friends say they are so natural.”
European influence – Because BsAs is a port city, they used to export various goods to europe. Since the boats needed to return with cargo, they filled them with building materials right down to the finest details.
Likewise, the people also look European. There is no one indigenous culture in BsAs. It’s nearly impossible to classify someone as looking Argentinean. Oftentimes, when we would suspect an individual is a tourist, they impress us with perfect Spanish.
Infrastructure – most of the significant sites were gifts from various countries celebrating its first century since its independence.
Plaza San Martín
Tourists from Canada, USA, Australia, and Israel
“Little Big Ben”
Guards at Malvinas War Memorial
French palace turned into $2.5 million dollar luxury apartments, each spanning the whole floor
Raymund drinking from fountain at Plaza Cataluña. Supposedly, those who drink from it will return to BsAs someday. True story. Promise.
Palacio Álzaga Unzué (aka The Four Seasons Mansion”)
Only residential palace left in existence belonging to an elderly couple
Second oldest cathedral in BsAs