I can’t believe I’ve been here for only 4 days. Feels like an eternity. Maybe because I’m used to relocate (Ireland 2007 and California 2013) or maybe because BsAs (Buenos Aires) is muy similar to my Europe. It seems I never left. Or that I never arrived.
Uno, Dos, Tres… Buenos Aires!
Despite the best pre-cooked airplane meal I’ve ever had, my Alitalia flight had super uncomfortable seats for a 14 hrs flight (luckily I had an empty seat beside me so I could stretch my long legs). Not sure why, but I was expecting more leg room and bigger seats. Maybe I’ve watched too many flight company ads recently.
The Ezeiza (EZE) International Airport, located 22 kilometers from Buenos Aires, is a typical mess. I have a feeling they’re trying to catch up with Roma Fiumicino. Anyway, once at the baggage carousels, I had no clue where my suitcase was meant to arrive. Screens advertised bus tours as opposed to telling you which carousel corresponded to which flight. Took me 30 mins to find it, and my suitcase had been taken out of the carousel and left on the floor together with some others… luckily it was still there and no one took it before I did!
And then… the traffic. Welcome to
Rome Buenos Aires at rush hour on a Tuesday morning. While on my shuttle bus to Aeroparque (the other airport in BsAs, from which I would then take a taxi to my AirBnB) I felt very much at home! Nothing wrong with traffic, but I believe “big city” doesn’t belong to my life standards anymore. I need space, I need green, I need grass and wood, I need less.
After a taxi ride, I then checked-in at my AirBnB. It’s been 4 days I’ve stayed at Susana’s so far, and if you ever had the intention of going to Buenos Aires, you should stay with her too (here’s the link to my accommodation if you’re curious, it’s €24/night with internet, tv, own bathroom, breakfast and $5 optional lunch/dinner: https://www.airbnb.ie/rooms/6384895).
Never stayed in an AirBnB before? You should definitely try it out (here’s a €30 discount for your first AirBnB booking)
FYI, AirBnB is the only website I’ve been using for accommodation since 2012 🙂
Uhm… it rained for 2 consecutive days
With my plan being skipping the Irish winter and moving to the Southern Emisphere to enjoy the upcoming summer, well, I was definitely not expecting the rain! However, this was actually good for several reasons.
First, I had time to enjoy a free (amazing) lunch with my hosts Susana and Ronald. Needless to say, Ronald is a 2nd-gen Irish, while Susana speaks fluent English and Italian on top of Spanish and who-knows-what-other-language.
Susana then showed me the house, took me to the phone shop to buy a “chip” (Sim card) for my brand new Dual Sim Honor 5X – purchased on Amazon for less than €200 including shipping from UK, then to exchange cash (she knew a place which gives you a 17.0 EURO to ARS exchange rate with very little commission, unlike at the airport where I got 13.3 and 9.9% commission…), took me on a short walk around the area (Belgrano) – then I swear I had to get a nap.
This ain’t AirBnB, instead it’s like having 2 Argentinian parents. Or maybe Irish – as Ronald’s grandparents were from Wicklow (and the house is full of Irish blessings and family crests). What were the chances?
Anyway, speaking of Ireland, it rained for 48 hours in a row. So this also allowed me to get some work done and check important emails. My first digital nomad day had just finished, so I opened the window and took this pic:
But then… the Sol came out
And it was a very different place. Swimming pools reopened. Happiness was in the air (by the way, Buenos Aires = “Good Air”). Athletes were back. And sightseeing mode was switched on. I took the whole Friday off to visit the Barrio Recoleta with Susana and Anas, a Russian girl who is also staying in the same AirBnB. Here are a few beauties (for all the other photos check my Instagram account):
And I met great people
Above all, I met Serafin Danessa (https://twitter.com/sefod), organizer of WP Argentina and the local WP meetups. He uses WooCommerce on behalf of his agency, so it was very easy to connect. And by the way, 40% of “Porteños” (people of Buenos Aires, people of the Port) speak fluent Italian – and chances are the other 60% speak fluent English. You won’t get lost in translation in BsAs!
I also connected with Dani and Jota from Marcando el Polo, who have been travelling the world for 7 years while working as content writers.
The night after I went to an “Intercambio de idiomas” Meetup to practice my beautiful Spanish. I had very good chats and one person invited me to another event scheduled for Friday night. Same story: dozens of great people wanting to exercise or learn a new language while having a few drinks (yep, 4 glasses of cerveza cost like one box of cereal… I felt that on Saturday morning!).
Overall, Porteños are great people. And I believe this makes the difference between a city and a great city.
Well, this is it for now, hasta luego 🙂