When your day starts off with freshly baked “media lunas” (sweet croissants) and churros (donut-like sticks which are popular in Spain) from a local bakery, you know it’s going to be a good day. And it was!
We were going to do a bus tour of Buenos Aires but decided to do it on our own when we saw the long line to purchase tickets. We walked to the Plaza de Mayo with its presidential Pink Palace and protests.
We then went to La Boca, a working class neighborhood next to an old port and walked La Caminata, streets with colorfully painted houses, tango dancers, and artists selling their works of art. Of course, we had to stop at a café for empanadas (baked pastries with a meat filling) and sandwiches de miga, which are quickly becoming a family favorite.
We then walked on to San Telmo, a gorgeous old neighborhood where Tango was born. For years, it was a poor neighborhood but thanks to recent gentrification, has become the antiques center of Buenos Aires as well as a neighborhood of many fine restaurants, cafes and tango dance venues. As a side note, Esteban’s grandfather was born in San Telmo and was always very proud of his roots. He was also a fabulous tango dancer from what I hear.
Here are some photos of our tour:
After we completed our tour, one of Esteban’s cousins picked us up and drove us back to her house in the suburbs of Buenos Aires for tea with her kids. By the way, tea time here is around 5 pm and restaurants open for dinner at 8 pm. Of course, if you arrive at 8 pm, you will pretty much be the only patron as restaurants don’t really get full until 10 pm on weeknights and midnight on the weekends. How did we handle this with our kids who normally go to bed at 8 pm?
We kept them on Bogota time. Given the 2 hour time difference, we could get them to bed by 10 or 11 pm Buenos Aires time (which would only be 8 or 9 pm Bogota time) and then would sleep in until 9 or 10 am Buenos Aires time. Very respectable! Of course it helps that Argentine homes come equipped with serious black-out blinds.
Anyway, back to the visit with Esteban’s cousins. They greeted us very warmly and it was great to see them. It amazes me how family oriented Argentine culture is and how polite and well behaved the kids are. Even teenage male cousins hung out with the family, making small talk and eye contact and playing with Saige, our 22 month old. I see it in Colombia too but it’s very hard to imagine that in an American context.
Esteban’s cousins also insisted that we take Saige to their pediatrician. She is doing a lot better overall but she still has moments of fussiness and general complaining, like she did at tea time.
The pediatrician thoroughly examined Saige and concluded that her digestive system is still rebounding from the virus she had last week. “It can take up to a month or more for babies her age to feel good again,” he said.
When we showed him the medicines that Saige has been taking, especially the one prescribed by the Peruvian doctor, he said,” Wow, we haven’t given this medicine to children under four since the time of the cowboys. It’s a relaxant that can have strong adverse affects on the nervous system. But don’t worry, if she is OK after taking it for a few days than she is not sensitive to it.” We tossed that medicine into the trash can and didn’t look back.