Thursday, March 21, 2013

BA and home

We spent the morning walking the streets of Palermo, winding our way through the botanic garden and then back to the hotel.  Our flight isn't until 9pm so we lounge in the hotel lobby and I walk the streets nearby one last time.  Thames Ave. is quite nice, with boutiques and cafes.  They are making an attempt to clean up the area and I see several newly painted buildings in bright colors.  Amazing how the color gives character to the neighborhood.  I hope they continue to repaint the rest of the buildings.

We leave for the airport and prepare for our journey home.  It has been an interesting adventure, learning about the culture and economy of Argentina.  We were not victims of scam nor theft and wonder if the stories have been overplayed.  When asked, the locals seemed to agree it has not gotten better, so perhaps we were lucky.  In any case, we  found the Argentinians we met - cab drivers, waiters, hotel personnel, shopkeepers etc. to be friendly and kind people.  It is amazing how well we got by on just a few words of Spanish.  Gestures work well, and the language is not too difficult to figure out.  The country is so sparsely populated and the landscape changes quickly and is very beautiful.  What we saw in scenery was spectacular.  We were told that the weather is normally not so good, so we assume we were fortunate in that respect.  I think life for Argentinians right now is difficult.  Inflation is at 34% and the cost of living is high.  We found clothing and food to be comparable in price to the US but Argentinian wages are much lower than ours.  It seems to be a land of animal lovers as dogs roam all over, and seem to be happily coexisting with people, whether owned or stray.  Infrastructure needs are great as sidewalks and roads are in need of repair.  We've enjoyed our 2 weeks and have many stories to tell, photos to share, and advice to give!

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