Does travel make you more creative? More compassionate?Yes, if you travel with those intentions.
Do I have a travel bucket list? No, not really. I don't know if this is the most proactive way to experience travel, but sometimes opportunities come my way, and I jump on board. This is how I got to go to Argentina and Uruguay.
I wrote about how this opportunity came to be in my last blog piece. Well, off we went to Buenos Aires. On our first day there, we gently became immersed in this new environment. Our host, who my friend had rented an apartment from, greeted us and took our luggage, as we were there earlier than check-in time. He also loaned us some Argentinian pesos for the day. We had arranged for him to buy us currency at the blue market rate, which made our visit to Argentina much more reasonable than if we had taken the commercial rate. When we met him again later in the afternoon, he had our pesos, minus his very reasonable commission and the loan from the morning.
It was a rainy day in the area called Palermo, and we found a cafe' where we had our first cafe con leche and media lunas. We didn't know what we were ordering, just something to eat, we said. She seemed to know what we would like and out came this platter of six.
A word about Media Lunas, or Half Moons. They are said to be like croissants, but while croissants are croissants, and there is not much variation in its taste or texture, media lunas differ from cafe' to cafe'. Wherever we had some, we had our first ones to compare to, and these, in my opinion were the best. What set them apart? Maybe there was something psychological about the excitement of our first taste of Buenos Aires, but I also think they were moist, warm, and had a perfect, slightly sweet glaze on them.
On this, our first day, we also found a tapas bar and had our first taste of Argentinian wine, or Malbec. Not only was it so smooth and balanced, it was very reasonably priced. I mean, really. At first we thought we were buying a glass, for that price, about 85 pesos ($5). It turned out it was a whole 750 ml bottle. They also had a great tapas menu. Take a look at the menu I took a picture of.
Our dinner was not so memorable. I had this pasta dish and my friend had beef. We had dessert (sorry, can't remember what it was) and of course, our Malbec.
Not bad though, all in all, for a first day. The two most important things were discovered - media lunas and Malbec.
I have traveled quite a bit, and am using this page to record some memories. Travel is a wonderful education, expanding your view of the world, of other cultures, of the beauty of diversity.