Buenos Aires holds the largest international airport in Argentina (Eziza), so anyone traveling to Argentina from the North America, Europe, and most other distant countries will most surely have the opportunity to pass through one of the world’s most famous cities. There are many cultural sites and activities to imbibe in; however, the city itself holds a personal charm. Simply walking around the pleasant tree lined neighborhoods, stopping at a park or cafe to take a mate or mid-afternoon coffee, can be a joy.
The few days that I spent in Buenos Aires before heading off to La Pampa were spent in this way, walking around, listening to the distinctive porteño accent of the city people, going out to eat at asados (places or parties with Argentine grilled meat), drinking the excellent wine from the interior provinces of Argentina (Malbec being possibly the most famous of their wines), and enjoying the company of good Argentinian friends on the rooftop of their apartment building. During the day people bustle about with work, shopping, errands and other daily tasks, but at night the pace slows down and everyone enjoys the smell of a warm summer night.
Though Buenos Aires can be a great city to visit, in recent years, crime and theft have increased (a response to the ever fluctuating economic situation), so a person traveling around must keep an eye open. This is not to say that it is the most dangerous city in the world, but any city with a multitude of tourists unfamiliar with the area is bound to have it’s keep in thieves. Buenos Aires is no exception to this rule.
A friend of mine had come to Argentina for two weeks to help with the project I am involved with in La Pampa. After her work was finished she took a night bus back to Buenos Aires and expected to spend the day seeing a few sights before her 10pm flight back to the United States. From the bus station she headed over to a cafe and pulled out her ipod to email friends and check her flight. She set her backpack down at the side of her leg. One minute after checking the internet she looked down and the bag that had been touching her leg was gone, along with it’s contents including her passport, gifts, personal care products, a credit card and various other small item contents. Not one of the three other people in the cafe saw a thing and she spent the day in the embassy only to find that there had been 36 similar cases that week alone. She was able to get a temporary passport in time to make her flight, but missed the opportunity to see the city. I mention this story, not to scare people, but simply to remind everyone that even experienced travelers can be victim of such situations and it is always good to keep an open eye to new surroundings.