As seen on the cover of my Time Out Buenos Aires guide book, the obelisk is one of city’s most iconic sites. I like reading, walking, dancing, music in general, travelling and know about others cultures and lands. He was researching the impact of cruise ships on the Patagonian coast. Profile sample: “I’m crazy about walking, if you know my city, I’ve walked from Belgrano to San Telmo and that’s just fine for me, so, now you know one of my skills.”The pitch: “I’m a local from Buenos Aires, a Porteño.
I brought the guide book with me because both of us had relocated to Buenos Aires (he was a freelance graphic designer who had chosen Buenos Aires as his current headquarters), but the city was still very new to both of us. We went on an all-day site-seeing marathon by foot, bus, and subway. It was almost like he had read my entire blog and was making things up based on what I had written. I’d love to meet you and share a little of my culture, I also enjoy improving my English and why not teach you some Porteño useful phrases.”The first encounter: Kilkenny Irish Pub, El Retiro.
Our meet-up was his second online date and his third visit to Recoleta Cemetery.
Atmospheric and serene, the cemetery was a mix of mausoleum architecture in whites and grays.
I run a business from my laptop so I’ve got that kind of flexibility.”The first encounter: Bar Seis in Palermo Viejo for my first Coke and Fernet, the signature herbal liquor of Argentina.
Profile sample: “Diet: strictly anything.”The pitch: “I’m homeless…A few months ago I sold almost everything I accumulated during a year long stay (got ‘stuck’ here for a while) and was hanging out in Europe and the States for the last couple months.
When not armed with his i Phone, he had a nervous habit of reducing styrofoam cups into a pile of equal pieces on the table. Like colleagues, we started talking about travel, our degrees in tourism, and our strangely parallel careers.From there, we meandered over to embassy row in ritzy Recoleta, residential neighborhood of Buenos Aires’ old money. “Buenos Aires has the best ice cream in the world,” he claimed.“Even better than Italy.” By the second flavor of my towering cone, I was starting to believe him.Over the course of our three-hour walk, I did most of the talking, and he did most of the watching out. Profile sample: “I like to travel, trekking, hiking, nature.Number of times he extricated me from the city’s relentless oncoming traffic: five. In my life I’ve been in these countries: Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Spain, France, Germany, Czech Republic, Italy, England, Ireland (both), Netherlands, Austria, Hungary, Portugal, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Belgium, Poland.”The pitch: “Let me know if you want to go around Buenos Aires.”The first encounter: Recoleta Cemetery.We started walking along Tribunales, Buenos Aires’ ‘Broadway’ district on Avenida Corrientes.In the six blocks of Corrientes between my doorstep and the obelisk, I counted over a dozen theaters shuffled between just as many bookstores and a handful of music shops.Digital technology has helped create some workarounds, though."With the rise of smartphones, social media, and the Internet, young Qataris are using technology to flout these repressive rules." These twentysomethings use Snapchat to send each other dirty (or not-so dirty) pictures, and text each other to organize co-ed parties in hotel rooms as a safe, private space to hang out, away from parents and the watchful eyes of neighbors. "Start doing even the slightest research into Japan and love, and you'll quickly find sensational articles describing full-blown crisis." The marriage rate is plummeting, to the point that the Japanese government is genuinely concerned the county will run out of people.My favorite part was a perspective photo session at the giant flower landmark in Buenos Aires’ Parque de Naciones Unidas in Recoleta, which is another popular tourist spot in the city. Strike one on this date was the place–overpriced drinks served by foreigners to tourists shouting above the overbearing classic rock.Strike two was the language–he kept reverting to English.