Hey all! I’m exhausted right now but because I am such a good person, I decided to fill your already busy lives with all the details of my own life here in Santiago over the past few weeks!
The past two weeks were full of exams. It was quite a stressful period, especially given that I had three exams within one week. I was very excited, however, to receive the results of an exam that I took in the one class that I have with Chilean students. I received a 7.0 (the maximum grade) on my exam, and I was the only one to receive that mark. The professor told me afterwards that he had never given a 7.0 on anything, and that he kept reviewing my exam and consulting with other professors to see if there was anything to deduct (at least he was honest), but he said that he could find nothing. I found this to be very encouraging, and it definitely made me more self-confident in that class. A few people have approached me and asked to form a study group with me, so this might be a way for me to meet new friends. We shall see…
I took advantage of a long weekend to journey to Buenos Aires, the capital of neighboring Argentina. We took a 23-hour long bus ride across the Andes and the Argentine pampas to reach the city. The bus ride wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be (I was able to sleep!) and I got some great shots of the Andes as we crossed the border from Chile into Argentina. Customs was a breeze, and the Argentine customs agent told me that he recognized me from when I crossed the border to visit Mendoza about a month ago! It caught me off guard but we had a good laugh about it in the end.
When we finally got to Buenos Aires, it became apparent to me why the city is often called the “Paris of South America.” Buenos Aires is totally different from Santiago. Whereas Santiago feels like a carbon copy of a U.S. city, Buenos Aires felt more like a city in France (I’ve never visited France, but it is what I imagine Paris looks like). There are huge avenues (Avenida de Julio has 16 lanes that you have to cross in an insanely short amount of time!), green spaces, parks, bridges, and a lot of European-style architecture. The city definitely was not as clean as Buenos Aires but it definitely had better weather (I hadn’t seen the sun in a few days prior to arriving in Buenos Aires). From the start, we explored the city. We visited Puerto Madero (the port section of the city), Microcentro (where many important government buildings such as the Casa Rosada, Argentina’s version of the White House, are located), San Telmo (home to a HUGE outdoor market), La Boca (famous for its brightly colored houses), Recoleta (the famous Recoleta cemetery, where Evita is buried), and Palermo (a primarily residential neighborhood).
I really enjoyed Buenos Aires, and I just can’t help comparing it to Santiago. I felt that Buenos Aires has more culture than Santiago. Whereas the Argentine capital has theaters, museums, parks, Santiago really lacks its own culture (a feeling that was seconded by a Chilean friend of mine, who said that while northern and southern Chile). However, my experience with porteños (inhabitants of Buenos Aires) is that they were very unfriendly, whereas I felt that santiaguinos (inhabitants of Santiago) were much warmer and friendlier. While in Argentina, I missed my familiarity with Santiago, but it still felt good to see another part of South America. The food in Argentina was much better than the food in Chile, and the prices were much cheaper in Argentina as well, which was definitely a welcome change.
Posted in Take Flight