Now that we’ve graduated from EBC and have our TEFL certificates, the boys and I have a lot of free time and have been doing a lot of exploring. Between interviews and on our days off, we’ve gone to different neighborhoods in the city and visited all of the places we have not seen yet. One rainy Sunday we ventured to Belgrano to find Chinatown. We got lost at first, but Belgrano is not the worst place to walk around aimlessly. It’s a more residential neighborhood with beautiful buildings and tree-lined streets. Its also very peaceful and quiet compared to where my apartment is. While looking for Chinatown we walked through a park that had a huge tree whose branches looked like an elephant’s trunk.
After asking a few locals for directions, we finally made it to Barrio Chino. Our main goal for our trip was to find peanut butter since it’s hard to find here. We spent a good amount of time in a specialty food store that literally had everything we could possibly want and cannot get anywhere else in the city. We ended up getting peanut butter, teriyaki sauce, babaganush, and dulce de leche (yum). We also got street food while in Chinatown (giant grilled pork dumplings and fried food on a stick) and it was so delicious and definitely worth a trip back.
The next day we visited the Recoleta cemetery. We went on a perfectly overcast day to match the eeriness of the burial ground. Giant mausoleums fill the cemetery, which houses the remains of Argentina’s elite. It is unexpectedly peaceful and calm rather than spooky, and I look forward to visiting the cemetery again when I have a little more time to explore the rows and rows of tombs.
Our next trip was to La Boca to see El Caminito. Since arriving here, we have been told by multiple people how La Boca isn’t the best part of town. El Caminito is a pretty touristy area about a block long with beautiful colored buildings and a lot of local character. It rained right before we arrived, so the street cleared out and we had the place entirely to ourselves, which come summer, will never happen again. La Boca was not as bad as people had warned and I hope to go back to see a Boca Juniors soccer game.
Our last stop on the poor man’s tour of Buenos Aires was Puerto Madero. The complete opposite of La Boca, Puerto Madero is a very chic part of the city with newly built high-rises and restaurants. The docks at Puerto Madero are no longer used for Argentine shipping, but are now home to two museum ships. For two pesos you can explore each of the ships. It was so cool and I felt like a little kid again as I crawled through every inch of the boats.
It was fun to explore the city and be a little touristy for the past few days, and I’m excited to do some more sightseeing in the weeks to come.