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Mi Buenos Aires

I noticed I never really wrapped up my travel reports of Argentina. Here is a little speech I gave at my last Göteborg Toastmaster meeting. Why do you not follow me on a trip to

MI BUENOS AIRES!

It was early in the morning. I woke up after a 13 hour flight. Looking out of the window I finally saw our destination - Buenos Aires. It felt like the city never ended. I had never seen such a big city before. Imagine a place with 13 million people! After landing we took a taxi into the city driving on an elevated expressway. To the left and right one tower building next to the other. And then after a 40 minutes, leaving the expressway, we were taking our final step into the city. Buenos Aires had us in its grip. People everywhere, cars honking, buses roaring. It's was frightening, but at the same time exciting! Just an example, Avenida 9 de Julio in the city center is 12 lanes wide. Try crossing this road in one go!
But it takes only a few days until you realize that all the things you were initially so terrified about are nothing else then the pulse of this city. You live with it and learn how to flow with it. In the end it even feels strange when on a public holiday the city is just this tiny tad less noisy and frantic.

MI BUENOS AIRES la gente - the people!

What makes a place really special? It's the people you meet. One amazing thing about Buenos Aires is the friendliness of the Porteños - the inhabitants of Buenos Aires. It is so easy to meet people, having just a short conversation. Sometimes this might even end with a dinner invitation. It is hard not to fall in love with this type of openness. And once you get to know people you will also hear about their worries. For example, you will hear, how frustrated and disappointed they are with the government. Politicians as well as great parts the public sector are corrupt, making it hard for the whole country to move forward. Most people will also painfully remember the 2001 crisis when Argentina went bankrupt. There was inflation and the accounts of people were frozen. Many people lost all their savings. To the day people don't trust banks. Instead their preferred place to keep money is stashed under the mattress. Cash is King.

MI BUENOS AIRES los famosos - the celebreties!

It's time to talk about a few famous people. Remember at least one of these names and you will have a great conversation opener for YOUR trip to Argentina. Lets start with the music. Ahhh, Tango. The love, the passion! If you are only a tiny bit interested in tango you will sooner or later hear of Carlos Gardel the soul of tango and the one person who made tango fashionable. One of his most famous songs is: "Mi Buenos Aires Querido" :)
On the political side, there is of course Juan Perón and his wife Evita. Both loved and hated at the same time. Perón was a military social climber who became the most famous Argentinian president. His style of politics even has its own name - Peronism. However, his success would not have been possible without his charismatic wife Evita whom all of you probably know from the movie with the same name. But even though she was fighting for the poor and for women rights her legacy is controversial and many people will accuse her of acting in pure selfinterest.
Last but not least, the sports. El Diego, la mano de dios - the hand of god! Who hasn't heard of this famous football player with the number 10. Maradona is still treated as national hero in Argentina. He even has a honorary lounge in the famous football stadium la Bombonera, the home stadium of the Boca Juniors. And this is a football club every Swede should now, because back in 1905 when the founders of the clubs were sitting together in the harbor of La Boca, contemplating which colors their new club should have, they decided that the flag of the next ship sailing by would decide the colors for their club. Let's just say that the players' jerseys, the stadium, even some of the houses in the neighborhood are yellow and blue.

MI BUENOS AIRES la comida - the food!

Knowing me you know that I will have to talk about food. I had great hopes into the Argentinian cuisine before going to Buenos Aires. A country colonized by the Spanish with millions of Italian immigrants. That sounds like a marriage made in heaven.
Well true, you cannot tell an Argentinian how to grill his meat. Buy the best cut you can afford a little salt and straight on the parilla - the Argentinian grill. Tastes sooo good!
But wouldn't you get bored to eat meat EVERY DAY? It seems Argentinians are so obsessed with their meats that they forgot to think about anything else. Argentina has a great choice of fresh and tasty vegetables, but the Argentinians have no idea on how to prepare them.  When it comes to spices it starts and ends with salt. Pepper is already considered exotic.
But who needs food when he can drink wine? I fell in love. Argentinian wines are outstanding. A Benegas Sangiovese from Mendoza - a dream come true! Viva el vino de Argentina.

MI BUENOS AIRES!

Ahhh, I am running out of time with so much left to say. I hope you enjoyed this smörgåsbord of impressions.

BUENAS NOCHES
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