Friday, September 11, 2009

Alone in Buenos Aires

Now that Kristine has left, I feel like I'm back to the basics here in Buenos Aires. I started off down here alone, but I had her visit to look forward to. I also only had to wait a few days, which were mostly filled with getting to know the city, an interview, and trying to get my papers in order. And then, almost instantly, she was here, and it was great.

Together, we did a lot of things, and for two weeks life was going well here in Argentina. She's gone now, and I feel the sadness that you get when you've been left behind. As happens sometimes, I saw this coming and started to feel the pinch a couple of days ago, when we returned to Buenos Aires from our traveling. I could sense that we were at the end. Even during the last couple of days in the city, we'd pretty much done it all and were just killing time.

My job doesn't start until Monday and I still don't really know anyone. For two weeks I had a great friend with me, exploring places and having great conversations and jokes. So it's no surprise to me that I feel totally lost again with her departure. It was almost a tease to have her here, so early in my stay. Yet it was still a great boost for me, and really made the transition easier. Once in a while we would see a person sitting alone at a bar or restaurant and feel bad for them. Now I'm that guy, at least for the time being.

I've felt this way before, in Cuenca and elsewhere. The feeling that you're totally alone in the world. Even in Buenos Aires, a city of some 13 million people, I feel alone. It's actually more isolating with the more people there because you just realize how insignificant and irrelevant you are to the community. I still need to get myself through this weekend before I can start getting myself into my work, which will at least keep me busy and hopefully get me to meet some people as well. But now, having experienced a fun side of Buenos Aires with Kristine and other travelers we met, I feel a let down. Back to the reality that I'm a newcomer to this city with no connections. The problem with making friends with travelers when you live in that place is that they always leave.

She left this morning, and is still flying right now, not even arriving in Quito until late tonight. But it will feel weird for a while after that. This will be a new part of the experience in this country, and I'll just have to get used to it.

Above: Plaza de Mayo, Buenos Aires

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