“We have everything that a country needs; good earth, lakes and rivers, forests and mountains.” Exclaimed the young woman, seemingly exasperated by listing all that her country had to offer, before her boyfriend took up the thread; “Yes, we are lucky to have both natural beauty and a city like Buenos Aires. Only a few decades ago, Argentina was one of the richest countries in the world. But the country is ran by a bunch of old, conservative people. They are scared of change and won’t let the next generation take the reins and move the country forward.”
That, I already knew was true. Our guide during a tour of Buenos Aires’ famous Palacio Barolo had nostalgically referred to Argentina’s status as a global agricultural superpower in the early 20th century, the same force that had enabled Luis Barolo to finance the construction of that dazzling tower.
I met that couple on a bus from the Uruguay to Buenos Aires. They had just returned from a trip to Germany, and like so many other Argentineans I met, loved to have a good complain about the state of things in their country.
And for the most part, I agreed. From some of the most beautiful streets in the Capital to the dilapidated villages of Northern Argentina, from the helpful people found on its local buses to its arrogant shop owners in its richer, more touristy towns, Argentina seemed to contradict itself at every turn.
“So Argentina or Brazil?” I asked the couple as we said goodbye in Buenos Aires’ central bus terminal.
They grinned wickedly and responded in unison: “Ah, of course us. We will always be better than Brazil!”
And so, despite everything, as long as that unfailing pride in their land is there, I think Argentina will do just fine.
˜ Enjoy my collection of shots titled; Argentina, A Land of Contradictions ˜