What do you in Buenos Aires if you don’t enjoy polluted big cities, don’t eat red meat, don’t partake in the ethanol, would rather crack open the Kindle to a good ‘book’ than Tango across a milonga floor, and are all museum-d and graffiti-d out? Don’t get me wrong. A part of me knows I’m being too hard on Buenos Aires. Its a huge city with neighbourhoods that I haven’t even scratched the surface off, and a history that I haven’t quite managed to connect to yet. Having said all that, BA feels elusive, somehow.
I have checked out some of the sights – I’m not a crammer – and walked about in the different neighbourhoods (antique-y San Telmo, Recoleta aka home of the Stepford clones, Bristol-like Punta Madura, Centro) but I feel like I’ve seen Buenos Aires before. Are these cities all just starting to blend together after decades of travel? I’ve know for a few years now – let’s say 10 – that big cities are not a draw for me any longer but is it possible to feel a sense of ennui in one, while on ‘the journey’. Buenos Aires – is it fair to say its you, not me? Or have I got it the other way around. Am I missing something?
In a few days, I’ll hit my 6 month anniversary of being ‘on the road’. Its been 6 months since I lived in space I can call my own, slept in my own bed (knowing for sure it’ll be a bed bug free night), cooked a meal comfortably in my own kitchen, showered to a tune in my own bathroom, and curled up on my sofa with a wall of books surrounding me. Privacy and comfort are hard to come by when travelling on a tight budget, and I’ve been making the best of the trade-off but 6 months is a good point in time for a big sigh and a few deep breaths.
Travelling like I do – hostels, couchsurfing, renting a room in an air BnB for a few short days if I need a treat, moving every so often, relying on someone else’s cooked food when I don’t have access to a kitchen, and the presence of ethics in a ranch/stable manager – necessitates a giving up of control over multiple aspects of my life, and for someone that loves having the basics nailed down (starting with a quiet banana oatmeal breakfast), I can tell you its been hard at times. It certainly brings up the question of how to travel in the future.
At this point, I’m just killing time until polo season starts in 2 days and I make my way to a polo club in Pilar, the polo capital of the world, to try my hand at volunteering with polo ponies. With the experiences I’ve had in Mexico and Maui, stepping into a new one feels a bit like sticking my hand into a legit free-for-all cookie jar and then having someone jump out of a corner in that Scream outfit (don’t ask me why) and yell – BOO! Well, we’ll just have to see how it goes, don’t we.