Black Lung in Buenos Aires

Well twelve days in Buenos Aires and still it is so romantic. It rains today and everywhere around me there are people with hacking coughs and swine flu masks. There is so much pollution dripping from the walls of the streets that I think I have the black lung. I cough and cough and feel surprisingly upbeat.

Staying in an apartment has its charms. I always did live in an apartment in London and there is definitely something charming about being woken at 3am by two people upstairs having a blazing row, the thunderous sound of a toilet chain being pulled, the theme tune from Hawaii Five O suddenly starting up and the general sinister groans of an old building. One man´s meat is another man´s poison and I have to say I love old things. The elevator is about 150 years old and is like a little black cage. I love the high celings of the apartment, the crown molding, the parquet floors etc etc. We are staying in an apartment in Congreso which a friend told me is ´downtown.´ It is a nice enough area. And there is something of the hustle and bustle of a megacity that I have missed living in a small town like Baltimore.

There is such a process of adjustment. It just makes me laugh all those people for example in the USA who say "oh I am fat because of my metabolism or I am just going to accept that I am fat and that´s just the way I am." Being here has shown me just how abnormal being fat really is. I have seen maybe three fat people here and I am pretty sure they were American tourists. Everyone else is pretty slim, I suppose because they walk a lot.

We were looking at various apartments maybe to buy as investments or maybe to move here eventually to which most people scream but why would anyone want to move to a third world country? To which I would reply you can´t help it if you fall in love with a place. Some people fall in love with places like the USA I suppose because it is clean, featureless and as soulless as a plastic manniquin. Others fall in love with the grinding poverty, and old fashioned glamour of a place like Buenos Aires. Of course the real point is that if one has money one can afford a decent place in Buenos Aires. Would you believe that the poshest avenue, Avenue Alvear, featuring Louis Vuitton etc is posh simply because it does not have pavements swimming in dog shit?

What´s not to love about a place without a work ethic that has people eating leisurely breakfasts at 11am on a week day? Yes I appreciate the irony, if one had to live like the average Argentinian it would be hell for someone used to the first world but if one can afford the so called luxury lifestyle which would not actually be luxury it would just what we call average then one would be not so much part of the society but a glorified outsider peeking in. So would one really become a genuine Buenos Airean or just remain a foreign ponce looking to experience some kind of genuine ethnic experience?

Well the kids didn´t like it here much because they had to walk for miles but I rather liked the city, even in winter, it had that chill depressing feel in the air that I have missed from London winters but the upside was plenty of delectable cakes and icecreams. So should I move to Buenos Aires, it just sounds so glam, "I live in Buenos Aires." Yes there are some open sewers that stink and I don´t really want to think of what it smells like in summer. But I am a restless person and maybe I will end up here. I will post my pics when I get back!!