You remember that vacation, the time you visited the place (that is pronounced theeee place, not the place). The (theee again) kind of place that you couldn’t stop yourself from dreaming about until you have actually been there. Then once you are there it’s everything you expected. You sit on the plane or the train thinking about just how spectacular it was and immediately start making plans to return. All because it is the place (you should have the pronunciation down by now) you have always wanted to visit.
Once you arrive home you gander at all your pictures only to reminisce on how fantastic it would be to return. Return once more to experience the dream again. The second time around you are anticipating a dream within a dream because you already realized what that first one feels like. Only the second time around it’s not the same feeling. That feeling that you got the first time you arrived isn’t there. The people are the same along with the gorgeous sites to go along with them. The food is just as delicious and the air still feels just right. But somehow, it’s just not the same.
Everyone has their favorite destinations and as they continue to return to those places the feelings are the same. What could possibly make this different? Sometimes people change and other times places are actually different. Our passions change as we get older and have different priorities in life. Cities get older showing their true age while others keep their charm forever.
I’m sharing this because I’ve returned to Buenos Aires and the charm that was once there has somehow changed. There is more graffiti on the walls when you see the beautiful European architecture. Buenos Aires was once the place to be in the early 20th century when Europeans wanted to flee; they built gorgeous buildings, instilled their traditions, and created an aura commonly being dubbed the Paris of the South. Currently you can see the age of the city through its walls and sidewalks. While not the top choice of immigrants, it is still a very popular destination. I alone have met over 10 people that have moved to the city and created successful business.
While still beautiful and holding parts of its European charm, things are not the same in Buenos Aires. There is more graffiti on the walls, a lot more than when I visited in May of 2010, and the true age of the city is seeping through the cracks in the sidewalks and the crumbling corners of buildings. As a finance major I can tell you that Argentina is currently living on its reserves. Once the country runs out of its reserves it’s going to have a hard time staying afloat. At the Casa Rosada (Argentina’s version of the White House) there are barriers lining the area. Not just in front of the building but also lining the sides of the popular plaza.
There are significantly more than I previously saw when I visited Buenos Aires on holiday. May I remind you that there is a medal barrier and gates protecting the beautiful Casa Rosada already. These new barriers couldn’t be to stop thieves or graffiti since they already have those gates in place. I sat down for a moment to admire the beautiful 60 degree weather to think about this. What did I come up with? Crowd Control, the government can easily seal off access to the popular plaza with the new gates.
While still not that dangerous (notice the word that), you now need to have an extra bit of caution when going to the city. When arriving at the airport they have two people, not just one, handing out pamphlets letting you know to be careful about getting into unlicensed cabs. They also have a barrier after you get out of the airport terminal keeping everyone behind the thick glass. If you are planning on going to Buenos Aires I would highly recommend that you visit soon.
I’m afraid that things are beginning to change and soon it may not be as safe to visit. These changes may not come for another 6 months or maybe even a year as they are very gradual day to day changes. But I can notice the significant difference in the short time that I have been away (3.5 months). It’s a gorgeous city that I think everyone should experience and enjoy. I was able to find a great apartment as I now will be living in Buenos Aires for a period of time. If you are planning to visit the city I would recommend do it sooner than later because I am afraid things are not going to get better in the Paris of the South.