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.
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.
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.
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.