Day 1: Landing in Argentina

After 24 hours of traveling, we finally reached Buenos Aires where we were greeted by gray skies and rain.  Today we went to lunch at a restaurant where I got ravioli-type pasta stuffed with ham and cheese, then we had our orientation, and finally we went to dinner at a steakhouse where I had delicious steak and empanadas.  Though our day started later than expected due to our delayed flight, I was able to get a general look at Buenos Aires both on our bus ride to our apartments from the airport, and on our numerous walks throughout the city today.

At first glance on the bus, the buildings look a bit run down and dirty, but the more we walked around the more the city reminded me of Paris.  I know that we are staying in one of the nicer parts of Buenos Aires, so that may be a contributing factor to the Paris-like setup I think of when walking through the streets.  One thing that I found really interesting about this city is the way the buildings are.  The buildings that look like they are apartments are all very tall and thin, and there are a ton of them.  In the US, apartment buildings seem to take up a larger space and have more apartments in each building.

The main sign of globalization that really jumped out at me today was seeing McDonald’s and Starbucks in Buenos Aires.  Both of these food places are American, so it is through globalization that they were brought down to Argentina.  I also saw advertisements for Game of Thrones and the Avengers, both of which are American.

As far as development, Buenos Aires seems to be very developed when it comes to their transportation.  They have a subway system, public buses, taxis, and a rail system.  Mariela, our program leader, explained to us that the subway system is the most common way for people to get around, and that it is relatively easy to use.  I know many cities in the US do not have complete subway systems, including Pittsburgh.

There were a few things I learned about Buenos Aires today that surprised me.  First, Mariela told us that when you buy property, you pay in US Dollars because of how the real estate markets are controlled.  I also learned how much cheaper most things are here than in the US.  You can buy a huge bottle of water, a couple yogurts, and granola all for under $5.

Tomorrow we have a full, busy day of lectures at Austral!  Check back tomorrow to hear all about it.

*Picture shows the view outside the window in my apartment!

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