Mi Buenos Aires Querido

perry

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I read this on the internet and wanted to post it . Your comments always appreciated.



Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Mi Querido Buenos Aires


Walking into the airport last weekend, full of eager anticipation, I was immediately greeted by her strong porteño accent. I felt like bathing in the cool spray of her heavily-accented words, the hard break tide of ll’s and y’s, the wave-like expressions of “por allá” and “bárbaro,” the refreshing shower of Spanish spoke well and with flavour. At once I slipped back into the rhythm of the language like sliding in between the sheets of an ex-lover’s bed: a little tentatively at first, but reminded with each kiss and caress of a former familiarity, an earlier ease with lovemaking.
Upon leaving the airport, however, barely-contained excitement turned into brutal sock and bitter recoil. Skyscrapers towered above my head, traffic roared around me, and the hovering spectre of a Starbucks made its imposing presence felt. I realized that Buenos Aires had found a new lover: globalization. In my long absence, high-rises had sprung up, prices had soared, and international franchises had appeared. Taking one look at me, the natives bombarded me with English, the city’s new language of love, one that had never entered the bedroom during our relationship (Like any liberal-minded offspring of a conservative family, Buenos Aires always had trouble fully accepting the interracial nature of our relationship. I was always a little dark for her tastes and our friends often remarked with surprise at seeing us together).
I suppose that I had taken advantage of the city’s earlier naiveté, her cheap prices, global aspirations, and growing ego. I had assumed that she was young and innocent and had taken on the role of the older, more experienced partner. But instead of acting like a guide, I exploited her inexperience. I couldn’t help but inwardly sneer every time she peered up at me out of her young eyes, knowing that I’d have to pay so much more for the likes of her in Europe; fully aware that the tender caresses she eagerly showered upon me would only be obtained by diamond rings, dozens of roses, and humiliating grovelling at the feet of more sophisticated, much more experienced Europe.
In spite of this, it seemed that Buenos Aires had matured over the past few years. My darling girl had changed. She was more physically confident for one, charging for those flashes of skin and passionate kisses that she had been willing to give me for free. She had discovered her worth, how much money she could actually make by selling her body to the new, growing line of international clients, but had lost a bit of her soul in the process. Her elegant floor-length, black dresses had been replaced by gaudy, shimmery slip-ons that barely covered her thighs.
At first I didn’t recognize this ripe, full-bodied woman as my teenage sweetheart. The stench of the perfume that she’d taken to wearing and her shiny skin revolted me, and her empty promises, her meaningless flirtations left me unsatisfied. I made up my mind to keep up my distance (I had spent too long mourning our last relationship, for months I cried out for her at night. Like any first love, she was impossible to forget and I couldn’t help but compare every following lover to her), but I quickly discovered that she had learnt new tricks along the way, tricks that left me hungry for more. I gorged myself on every form of pleasure she had to offer, every succulent morsel, every tantalizing embrace. I make myself sick by my overindulgence, but I can’t slow down, I can’t control myself. She humours me for now; we both know that this tryst will only last until the end of this week.
Still, it’s not enough. I want her for the long haul, I want to take possession of her; I don’t want to share her with anyone else. I know I should cherish the little time we have together, but with every passing minute I can only cling to her more desperately. I came crawling on my knees, begging her to take me back, but she no longer has a place for me. Besides, business has been so good that I just can’t afford her (It took me a while to find out that she’s still living in that dilapidated apartment that she can barely afford, with its sky-high rent and the constantly rising prices. She’s afraid that her beauty won’t last and is trying to earn as much as possible now, even if she ruins her health in the process). So I make the most of our few days together, dreading the moment when I will have to leave her again. Despite the distance and the years separating us, she will live on in my memories and my heart. We both know that she will forever remain, Buenos Aires, mi querido.

http://poojainparaguay.blogspot.com/2009/05/mi-querido-buenos-aires.html
 

Ries

Registered
Cute piece, but-
Couldnt you say this exact same thing about every city in the world?

Change is inevitable, and we all tend to romanticize our memories.

Still- "the hovering spectre of Starbucks"?

There is ONE Starbucks in BsAs.
and after its initial opening rush, its not even that full most days.

I have been in cities where you could stand on a corner and see 4 of the damn things.

Frankly, Buenos Aires is a lot LESS globalised than virtually any city its size that has an international airport. I suppose there are cities in China that are bigger that are still somewhat isolated, but compared to any european or north american or mainline asian city in its size range, the lack of Multinational Corporate outlets is notable.
 

HDM

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Actually, there are four, about to be five, Starbucks in BAires, including the one at Palermo Alto where I buy bags of Italian roast for drinking at home. I don't know about the others, but I always, always have to stand in a line to buy coffee by the bag there, and if it's close to Noon, the line goes all the way out the door and to the sidewalk.

Notable lack of multinational corporations and their outlets? Um. We must be hanging around in different parts of the city.
 

HDM

Registered
Oh, and about the piece. Yes, cute is a good word, kind of purple, too. I may not be literary enough to figure this out, but is this about the city or about some particular girl? If it is about a girl, it is even more interesting since it seems to have been written by a girl ... at least based on the photos on the original webpage.

Another thing ... I have wondered about this before ... where are you hearing all this English spoken? I find English speakers here to be as rare as snow. I thought I was living in a rather upscale and somewhat touristy area, but apparently not upscale or touristy enough to attract speakers of English. If I ever encounter an English speakers, it is 99 times out of 100 not a Porteno, but someone from the States or GB or Australia.

Finally, speaking again of multinationals, within a 20 minute walk in any direction from my apartment there are at least 5 McDonalds, 3 Burgerkings, and two Starbucks.

I am becoming convinced reading posts here that I am not living in the same BAires the rest of you are in.
 

perry

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HDM is right on the money here about Starbucks and Burger King etc etc. Actual fact Burger King is more popular here than dare I say Estados Unidos . The truth of the matter is that American culture is huge in Buenos Aires and has always been . Any USA bands that were out of fashion many years ago are still huge hits here and pull in monster crowds .
 
pericles said:
HDM is right on the money here about Starbucks and Burger King etc etc. Actual fact Burger King is more popular here than dare I say Estados Unidos . The truth of the matter is that American culture is huge in Buenos Aires and has always been . Any USA bands that were out of fashion many years ago are still huge hits here and pull in monster crowds .
I have seen so many of the elegant cafes go out of business in the last few years. The ones that remain are half empty with the older portenos who are the ones keeping these establishments in business. After the next generation passes on it is really a 'wild card' as to what will happen to the confiterias that give Buenos Aires its allure. In the meantime, places such as McDonalds and Starbucks are packed and mostly with argentinians ... not tourists. They can't get enough! There is an awful lot of anti americanism in Buenos Aires but it is ironic because, at the same time, the people can't get enough of all things american.

This is slightly off topic but I have no doubt that the rise in obesity is directly related to eating all of this junk food. It is so unhealthy and so fattening. I would never touch it.

It usually takes around 25 years before people really realize what they have lost. And, then, of course, it is too late. As for me, well, I will stay with my favorite confiterias. My friends who were in Buenos Aires in the 80's tell me that there are much fewer cafes today than 20 years ago.
 
HDM said:
Oh, and about the piece. Yes, cute is a good word, kind of purple, too. I may not be literary enough to figure this out, but is this about the city or about some particular girl? If it is about a girl, it is even more interesting since it seems to have been written by a girl ... at least based on the photos on the original webpage.

Another thing ... I have wondered about this before ... where are you hearing all this English spoken? I find English speakers here to be as rare as snow. I thought I was living in a rather upscale and somewhat touristy area, but apparently not upscale or touristy enough to attract speakers of English. If I ever encounter an English speakers, it is 99 times out of 100 not a Porteno, but someone from the States or GB or Australia.

Finally, speaking again of multinationals, within a 20 minute walk in any direction from my apartment there are at least 5 McDonalds, 3 Burgerkings, and two Starbucks.

I am becoming convinced reading posts here that I am not living in the same BAires the rest of you are in.
My barrio would be close to the Alvear Hotel. There are days when I have heard more american english spoken than any other language. This doesn't happen all of the time but it has and does happen. Also, most of the portenos speak excellent english.
 
Pericles,

You really are such a deep soul................ The article reminded me of my own love/hate relationship with Buenos Aires.

"She had discovered her worth, how much money she could actually make by selling her body to the new, growing line of international clients, but had lost a bit of her soul in the process."

I think that Buenos Aires brings out the best and the worst of all things human. For foreigners I think that the love/hate relationship is truly addicting. It is the insanity that keeps people going back or staying over and over again. Because Buenos Aires is not to be controlled. She is like the mistress that a man can never really possess. He might enjoy her body but he will never possess her heart!
 

cavemanugh

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There's another starbucks that just opened about a month ago on Florida around the 100's. It's right by the Catedral (Line D) Subway stop.
 
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