That got us all laughing. That Gandhi had never been the President of India felt like an irrelevant detail. He warmly asked us if his city, Buenos Aires was treating us Indians well. When we told him yes, we were indeed having a great time, he warned us to still not feel too safe. “Don’t carry your camera bag like that!” Another word of caution, of welcome, of an embrace from Buenos Aires!
Not all our exchanges on the streets of Buenos Aires were as whimsical. But in every single one of them there was warmth and friendship. Could this have been the reason for our prolonged stay here?
Holidays are for football
Since this was Argentina, only the game had changed from cricket to football. Everything else was just the same!
Family time is an outing in the park
It was a public holiday in Argentina. We had stepped out only after the sun was out. We had to cross the Las Heras park to get to our bus-stop. But the park held us up for a good couple of hours.
Fishing is an important activity in Buenos Aires
The riverfront of Rio de la Plata, (the widest river in the world!) is one of the borders of the Buenos Aires city. We had got a glimpse of this river as we had entered the city by bus. It was so huge and wild, we had mistaken it for the ocean (even thinking bewildered, Buenos Aires is a coastal city?). The airport is just next to this riverfront. Sitting by the widest riverfront watching the flights take off sounded like a perfect way to spend a cold sunny Buenos Aires afternoon.
Cafes, big part of the Buenos Aires culture
Catching up with friends? Head to a cafe. A quick business meeting? Set it up at a cafe. Need some quiet to read a book? Finish some work? Cafe it is. Or just have a nice little cup of coffee? That too can be done in a cafe.
But what really stood out for us in Buenos Aires was the free spirited attitude
Artists could freely do their thing
We saw this man on the busy commercial Florida street, in the heart of business district of Buenos Aires.
This band was cranking out some arresting tunes, which had us glued to their performance on the San Telmo sidewalk.
Be a tattoo artist
This girl, who seemed to be their manager was also a tattoo artist!
Sing, Be appreciated
She came with her companions in a restaurant in La Boca. She was delighted that there were Indians in her audience that day. What a treat it was for us to hear her belt out some Spanish classics. If only we had a Latin American Spanish translator to help us understand the words better! After her performance, she asked us if she could pass off as an Indian! With her dark hair and eyes, we told us she indeed could. With that answer, her beautiful face lit up with childlike wonder!
No one needed to conform to a stereotype. Their life was theirs to choose.
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