Posted by Delia Downes at 3:14 am  Argentina
Jul 062014

Here are some other observations after a few weeks in Argentina that I thought I would share. First I wonder if I am observing these subtleties because I am in a new place or because I can actually take the time to look around me.  Remember I just retired after 29 years of running all the time and now I am here with not a lot to do but pay attention.  This would make for a bit of a different experience, I think, even if I was not in Argentina.

Anyway, observations; people carry their babies and small children everywhere in their arms.  I have not seen the proliferation of strollers always evident in the US anywhere in Argentina so far.  Young women and men, older grandmas and grandpas carrying little ones everywhere through the streets, onto buses, into shops, it’s just what they do.  I remember carrying my son from time to time but not for long periods of time or very far and imagine I would have to be much stronger to have carried him all day long, like they do in Argentina.

Then there are the dogs. I have mentioned them before but it is such a distinct subculture I am continuously fascinated by their omnipresence.  I have actually been thinking about choosing one canine and following it around for a full day just to see what it does.  In my neighborhood for example, there are the dogs behind the fences and the dogs on the loose.  Almost every home is gated to some extent and if they have a dog that dog hangs out in the yard, patrolling all day long.  On the other side of the fence are the vagrants, the dogs that roam the neighborhoods usually at a steady trot.

Morea on Patrol

Morea on patrol

They do not look like they are starving, nor do they look well feed and they are usually dirty, if long haired, matted and sometimes injured, limping along with one foot held high.  I feel sorry for them and was not shocked but saddened to learn that the government has taken to poisoning street dogs in Buenos Aires as a way to control the population.  There was some public outrage and certainly there should be some options, castration for one.  I’ve never seen so many dogs with balls intact.  This is another major observation and big difference between home and here.  I often think our leash laws and registration requirements  along with spaying  are cumbersome and unnecessary but here the lack of control is an evident problem. Today while sitting with Nora in her garden, Morea went nuts when a stray wondered by, but Nora took the time to fill a trough with water for the strays to get a drink.  She has a big heart and a big smile to match.

Nora in the garden

Futbol mania.  Well yes I happen to be in South American during the World Cup and it is a national pastime like no other.  I have to say I have watched more television sports in the last couple of weeks than I’ve probably watched in years at home.  One day I went into Cordoba to take care of some business and when I got there around 12:30 the streets were jammed with people.  It’s usually crowded but on this day you could really sense the urgency, lots of traffic, lots of people.  I finished up my business at Lan Airlines around 1 and went back out to empty streets, suddenly no people, very little traffic and all shops closed except for cafes and restaurants.  Argentina was playing and their entire country was watching.  Every restaurant was crowded with folks watching TV. I watched the end of the game with a group on the street through a store window on a large flat screen.  Argentina won and the crowd was jubilant.  It reminded me of countless movies with scenes of spectators watching history unfold through a window.  Since then, Argentina has gone on to win and move into the semi or semi-semi, finals I’m not sure.  All I know is that the US was recently eliminated after losing a tough game to Belgium.  The only good thing for me about that loss was that if they had won, the US would have played Argentina and I would have been in an awkward position.  I suppose the closest thing to the World Cup in the US is the SuperBowl but it of course is not international.  With futbol, the whole country is united with one goal in mind.  Yes pun intended I couldn’t help myself.  We will see how this event works out.  It sure would be fun to be here if Argentina goes all the way.

In the crowd at Patio Olmos celebrating the winArgentina wins against Belgium 7/5/14Canine Messi fanMessi, Messi, MessiFans


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