Welcoming 2012 in Buenos Aires

Chicago, DC, Buenos Aires, Colonia–these four cities in the northern and southern hemispheres mark my travels these past two weeks.  I left Chicago Dec. 30th and arrived at my Buenos Aires destination Dec. 31st.   A long layover in DC gave me the chance to enjoy a visit and dinner with my friends Kathleen and Larra.

New Year's Eve Dinner in Boedo: Turkey, sausages, cheeses, salads, ice cream, champagne & vinto tinto

Dining with friends has been my pleasure almost every day since, as these photos show.  New Year’s Eve dinner with Leda and her family in Boedo.  Saturday night dinner in the barrio Caballito hosted by Lis on her rooftop terrace.  Dinner with friends at my favorite, Bar de Cao, where we shared a wonderful tray of cheeses, olives, ham, salamis  and vino tinto  in this family restaurant with its great old world ambience.  A surprise visit with my “amiga de cafe”, Graciela, a woman I met last year, when we each searched for a place to enjoy a light breakfast (a medialuna-croissant and tea or coffee, discussing macrobiotic stores and Argentine politics.  Lunch with Jose and Ana, beachside, along the Rio de la Plata, in Colonia, Uruguay.

On Wednesday  I sat for nearly an hour in the countryside outside of Colonia del Sacramento, in Uruguay, watching the most amazing sunset.  It was a cloudy day, for the most part, but as the sun set the sky had cleared of all but a few small cumulus clouds.  The sky appeared to be a lake, glowing red, amidst  little islands within the lake.  There I was, sitting alongside my friend Josefina, catching up on the news of our lives since our visit last February.  “This,” I thought, “this is what I do when I come to Argentina for the summer. I must tell all the people who wondered how I would spend my four months here this year!”

Puertas Abiertas (Open Door) Community Center, La Boca. Sign on the wall reads: The only valid hero is the collective hero.

There have been other experiences, of course, not as pleasant.  Much of Argentina and parts of Uruguay are experiencing a severe drought. Prices have risen dramatically since last year, and now approach those in Chicago.  At times, as I’ve begun to takedaily walks in the city, I see the effects of globalization, passing McDonald’s, Burger King, Subway, Staples and a rapidly expanding network of Starbuck Cafes.  Where am I anyway? Still these changes pale alongside life changes happening to friends here.  I learned a friend’s mother had died a few months earlier, and another, after facing cancer last year, has developed uremia and now goes for dialsysis treatments, three times weekly, for the rest of her life.  These certainly put my good fortune into human perspective.

"La Colina,"(The Hill), friends' country home outside Colonia, Uruguay

Changing cities, countries, seasons (from Chicago’s mild winter to a hot Buenos Aires summer, and, most significantly, changing languages and cultures–all within a few weeks.  I wonder what the coming days will bring.

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10 Comments

Filed under Visiting Mendoza

10 responses to “Welcoming 2012 in Buenos Aires

  1. fadwa

    Happy new year Demetria.
    I am so glad you are enjoying your summer home.
    Fadwa

    • Thanks Fadwa! Same wushes for you. How was Cuba? I am really quite interested in seeing your photos and hearing all about it when I return in mid-April. Demetria

  2. Francine Petro

    i live vicariously through your trip. seems so long since I sat and watched the sunset over Argentina with you.

  3. Wonderful post and pictures. I envy your bi-national life, Demetria!
    Maggie

  4. Cheryl aka Cherlita

    Very nice post, Demetria. We each have many blessings.

    • Donna Treslo

      Sounds and looks amazing. I am glad you are having such a wonderful time. Looking forward to hearing all about it when you return.

  5. Pingback: Turning 25 in Buenos Aires | See Buenos Aires

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