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  • Writer's pictureaymexume

5 things I discovered in Buenos Aires

I’ve already mentioned that Buenos Aires (BA), Argentina is one of my favorite cities in the world—right after PauP and NYC. I'll be forever grateful to have visited BA before Paris, because the City of Lights has nothing on her!

While there, I’ve learned quite a few things, one of them being that I am able to survive without rice for more than a week. While rice is not my favorite food, it’s one of the staples of Haitian cuisine. It’s sort of my go-to dish. So we survived without rice for about 10 days. We made up for lost time in Sao Paolo. But that’s another story for another day.

A newfound love for Malbec

Our initial plan was to visit both BA and Mendoza, one of Argentina’s most reputable wine regions. We hadn’t booked our flight and accommodations prior to our arrival. We were thinking of doing so locally. We ended up not going. And to atone for our neglect, we opted to only drink wine from that region. Red being my favorite wine, we ended up drinking lots of Malbecs. Each sip, each glass and each bottle made one thing clear: Malbec was becoming my favorite type of red.

Must-know: Wine is cheap in BA. We drank good bottles of wine which cost less than bottles of water of the same capacity.

Mafalda is Porteña

When I was a kid, Mafalda was a rather popular comic book. I knew her by name and could recognize her. To my surprise, during my stay in BA, she was everywhere: postal cards, key chains, and all other types of souvenirs. I was puzzled. I decided to phone a friend: Google. It turned out that Mafalda was a BA native. You learn something new every day. At least I try to…

Ernesto “Che” Guevara is not as revered as I thought he would be

There wasn’t even a museum in his honour. While he wasn’t a BA native, he did attend university there. Plus, he went on to be a legend in Latin America. I was expecting to at least see his face on souvenirs, and the likes. But nada. The only official portrait of him I saw was one donated by the Cuban government to be added in the Galería de los Patriotas Latinoamericanos at the Casa Rosada, the seat of the Argentinean government.

Maradona is a god, Messi is a superstar

This is not me speaking ill of Messi. This is me recounting it like I saw it. In Argentina, Maradona’s level of fame has no equivalent. For instance, in the Casa Rosada, while every athlete (including Messi and Gabriela Sabatini) gets a photo, Maradona gets an entire wall. While they recognize Messi’s talent and they clearly love him; they hold Maradona dear. Especially in BA, as they consider him a son of the city.

A newfound respect for steaks

Eating steaks was one of my main purposes during the trip. Little did I know that my fondness for steaks would take the form of my becoming a devout believer in the South Americans’ ability to serve some of the best pieces of meats I’ve ever had. I waited a good 6 months before having a steak here, in Canada. And I must confess that none of the steaks I’ve had in North America since then has met the BA standard.

I ache to go back to BA. The city where steaks are scrumptious and the red wine flows.

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