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April 17, 2005

No Place Like Home XII - Departure

The final day of the trip was anticlimactic. I had packed and vacated my room; though I had five hours to kill, in my mind there was little to do but go home. I had planned the final day for shopping and found that also anticlimactic.

Food and transportation are very cheap in Argentina. To my surprise and contrary to what I had been told, clothing isn’t particularly. I walked up the Avenida Santa Fe to one of the shopping galleries, Alto Palermo. I bought . . . two belts, each of which was $24 US. Nice stuff, no particular bargain. It could simply be that I didn’t know where to shop. I tried on a leather jacket at one of the boutiques on the way home, but at 590 pesos and me having to leave for the airport in less than an hour, I was not interested in making it an impulse purchase.

It had been drizzling all day; by the time I left for the airport is was raining. By the time I was at the gate it was pouring. A perfect day to leave Buenos Aires.

The flight back was almost completely full, so I had to try and sleep while sitting; a skill I don’t really have. The plane also had the pack of Chasids from Hell. Evidently, they booked late so they were a group of about ten Chasidim sprinkled throughout the plane. And they had to visit each other every ten minutes. And they had to stand in the aisles. And they had to get things out of the overhead bins. And put them back. And talk. Next time to avoid packs of roving Chasidim, I’m flying on Shabbat.

As I left Buenos Aires, as with leaving any destination, I had the odd sensation I had been away months instead of a week. After two days back in the city, it felt like the only reminder I had been gone was the immense pile of work. But I want to go back. As with my feelings towards Paris, I know that it’s love; a love affair with the pulse of the city, with its rhythms, with its elegance. But in this case I’m wondering if I’m not also in love with the sense of opportunity – a city that sophisticated yet with room for a growing arts community. We shall see what the future holds.

Posted by Leigh Witchel at April 17, 2005 11:57 AM

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