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Day 2 – Buenos Aires – culture shock


As i sit here in the ‘Ninina Bakery‘ having my first coffee and proper food in Buenos Aires i finally feel a little comfortable in this HUGE city, I have been here less than 48 hours and it has been quite stressful, not speaking any Spanish in a city that doesn’t really speak English has been difficult.

Lets back track 3 days to when I left Sydney, the long flight across the South Pacific went quite smoothly, I managed to get about 6 hours sleep and tried to get my body clock on to the Argentinian timezone which is 13 hours behind Australia, that’s hard as its either lunch time in BA which is bed time in Sydney or Visa Versa, I arrived in Santiago Chile around 11am, my connecting flight to Buenos Aires wasnt for 3 hours, time went rather quickly and before I knew it I was on the flight and crossing the Andes, wow what a site, to see a mountain range so close to our altitude was something I have never experienced, I cannot wait to get to the Andes on Wednesday. (check it our here on instagram)

Touchdown, we are in BA, my trepidation about my gear that had me concerned from the time I left Sydney was nothing to worry about, they seem pretty lax at customs, asking me questions about my accommodation and my thoughts on Airbnb as the two behind the counter where planning to use the site for an upcoming trip, excellent distract them from the obvious :).

Next the taxi situation, I found a site online and booked a taxi to pick me up before I had even left Australia, they didn’t show, terrific, luckily there is a taxi service as you come out of customs, and it was the same price, great.

Coming in to this trip I had been told great things about BA, great people, great life, friendly, the taxi driver was great, however driving the outskirts I was shocked to see the shanty towns, so much lower class living, I realise this is the case in most cities, but this went on for a good 30min before we hit the dense areas of BA, first impressions, Athens, I couldn’t believe it, i honestly thought i was in Athens Greece, very surreal.

Accommodation, I booked almost all my stays with Airbnb, and what i was expecting was what I walked in to, greeted by the owner Martin’s girlfriend, she showed me the apartment and where things were, my home base for the next 9 days, clean, funky and feels a little like home, all that I need.

By the time I had settled, unpacked, had a shower and sat down it was almost 9pm, I had arrived at 5:30pm, so decided to have a quick power nap and be out the door by 10pm to get a bite to eat, I knew from my research restaurants opened late here, and by late i mean the first one i saw in Palermo (where I am staying) didnt open till 10pm, crazy, at home they are kicking you out the door at 10pm, I soon realised though my location was not quite in the central area of Palermo which is known for being trendy, funky and hip with cool cafes and designer stores, I seemed to be in the residential area so my only food option was a pizza shop, not what i wanted for my first meal but its always an easy choice, as it turned out, it wasnt the best but it had to do.

I was back in my apartment by 11pm and tried to get to sleep, even with my sleep on the flight I was wide awake at 1am, by 2am I forced myself to sleep, the next day was set to be a long one as I headed to a Boca Juniors football game at the famous Bombonera Stadium, more on that in the next BehindVM entry.

Fast forward to now in the Ninina Bakery, I read about this place on Pick Up the Fork a foodies blog in Buenos Aires, great food, great coffee, good service, but stand out is the love the main staff have for their food, I am sitting opposite watching one of the what seems to be key staff (whose name i think is Andreas) prepare the food as it goes out to customers, I have never seen so much love of food and attention to detail, I watched him take almost 10min to plate up a salad with chicken and various ingredient, very impressive, I will be back here for sure, its a great place to eat and do some work.

Anyway, its almost 2pm here, time to get back out and try and find a kiosk to recharge my newly purchased Argentinian Sim card, what a drama, more on that later.