After walking around the capital under the pouring rain for two days, I started recognizing the city I had left 15 years ago thanks to the melancholic Argentine touch - so well conveyed through their music - that covered the city along with the grey skies.
Familiar smells started emerging such as charcoal grilled meat on the parilla, whiffs of empanadas freshly baked, the tang of floors cleaned with bleach, sprinkles of perfume emerging from the beauty stores, the typical bouquet of real leather, the distinct stinging odor of mothball with which coats had been stored for too long a time, the smell of incense sticks along the hippie-style open air markets, and scent of wet foliage and humid grass.
The Argentinean accent so soft and melodious rocked my mind into places and scenes I had forgotten and enticed me to listen to the people's everyday conversations.
The familiar sing song of a bird that searches for his mate during this time of the year made me smile and my heart soared when the Jacarada trees started blooming by the end of the week. To me these trees symbolize the good times we had in Argentina as they announced the beginning of spring. Personally the purple coloured flowers will forever be linked with the birth of my son who was born in Buenos Aires on a rainy full-moon October night sixteen years ago.
We met with family and friends and discussed politics and football. We witnessed the Presidential elections where no president was chosen and watched the Rugby World Cup where the Puma's lost against the Aussies. Had we just stayed two days longer we could have spent the day with our loved ones enjoying a typical Sunday asado and witnessed Expat boy's favourite football team Boca Juniors win the National football championship.
It has been a magnificent week. So many memories have surfaced over these past days, so many stories to tell my boy which I had forgotten about, so many places we used to visit that we have rediscovered.
Many things have changed in this nation since we left. Many have stayed the same, many for which I fell in love with this country the first time around and if I stay a little longer I am in danger of falling in love all over again!
Hasta luego Buenos Aires. We will be back!!!
Just landed and touring the city already...
Recoleta cemetery with the first jacaranda tree spotted so far
Monuments to honour the dead
The most famous Argentinean: Eva Peron, first Lady of Argentina from 1946 until her death in 1952... not loved by all!
A typical mercadillo selling local goods
Alcohol is forbidden on Election Sunday
San Telmo, the oldest barrio (neighborhood) of Buenos Aires characterized by its colonial buildings.
Mate is a traditional Argentinean caffeine-rich infused drink. It is prepared by steeping dried leaves of yerba mate in hot water and is served with a metal straw from a shared hollow calabash gourd.
Colourful Buenos Aires
If football is a religion, La Bombonera is its shrine!
No rush in this part of the world!
The 29th of every month is Gnocchi day in Argentina! This tradition was brought over by the Italian immigrants who were on a meager salary. The day before pay day, ñoquis became the best option because not only they can be made cheaply, but also they are nutritional and very belly-filling.
Plaza San Martin
The most spectacular centenary trees...
... as well as National flags are to be spotted thoughout the city.
This is what the English left behind: Lemon Meringue Pie
What intriguing history is hidden behind these gates?
Some fascist architecture knitted into everyday life
The new kid on the block: Palermo Soho...
... posh around the outside but still Buenos Aires on the inside. ;)
A very typical sight.. the dog walkers!
Tempting and colourful
La Boca, neighborhood famed for its colorful houses, its tango and its soccer team where new immigrants first established themselves when they arrived in Buenos Aires in the 1830s.