B.O.B Video Shot on Location in Buenos Aires
September 10, 2012
The Return to Buenos Aires Pt 2: Upheaval
September 17, 2012
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Note: The following posts are parts from a 45 page journal entry (in word 23 pages), I wrote while in Buenos Aires. The entries were written during my first three days in the city. I had a rough start but by the end of my trip all was ok. However, my final thoughts about my destiny with the city in part 8 still stand true.

P.S. I am including a soundtrack with each post. All the songs are from my “The Return to Buenos Aires” playlist. I hope you enjoy!

8/21/12

“What is this place you’re staying in? A hostel or a hotel?” My taxi driver asked in Spanish. My Spanish was atrocious. I was back to ground zero with Castellano: the level where I couldn’t even understand what was being said to me anymore and as before, Argentines still spoke with the ratatat speed of a machine gun.

“Es una…bed and breakfast,” I replied, knowing that he would not understand a word I said. So I tried, “Una hotel y hostel.” He shook his head like he didn’t understand. He then proceeded to tell me that the area was “muy peligroso.” He continued to repeat how “peligroso” the area was and asked if I understood what he was telling me. As if the universe wanted to prove the driver’s point, we drove past building after building covered in graffiti. My stomach twisted into knots.

I didn’t like where the convo was headed and his words of warning wasn’t the first thing I wanted to hear as soon as I arrived from the airport. Since I took the Manuel Tienda Leon shuttle bus service from the airport into the city, I used their continuing drop off service that would leave me two blocks from my residence.

The taxi driver reminded me that the drop off service was limited and that he could only take me two blocks short of my destination. When we reached that point in the journey, he jumped out of the taxi and grabbed my suitcase from the trunk. Before he handed it to me, he ripped the sticker with the big letters of my connecting and arriving city from its handle. The action frightened me. I knew he did it to protect me from being a walking target, straight off the metaphorical boat.

He passed my suit case to me in a “you’re on your own from here” gesture and told me which direction to walk the two extra blocks. If I could have seen his eyes, hidden behind his mirrored glasses, I knew they would have been shifting from side to side.

I grabbed my suitcase and walked the two blocks with a quickened pace. I got a few stares of curiosity as my suitcase scratched the pavement and bumped along behind me. When I arrived at the door to my destination, I quickly rang the door bell and glanced around to make note of any immediate threats. As I waited for my host to open the door, a man with long stringy wrestler length hair, a white t-shirt and white workman slacks, spotted me and began to stare at me like I as a piece of meat. He added to his sleaziness by including a soundtrack of kissing and sucking noises.

I ignored him with a stone cold face, half wondering if I should ring the door bell again. As I did, my host opened the door and soon I was safe inside. Once I was settled I was in awe by how beautiful the property was and my room was something out of a French fairytale! However, the neighborhood had already left its unfavorable impression on me.

I have made the decision that tomorrow will be my last day here. I’m moving back to Palermo.

(To be continued)

7 Comments

  1. Wow! I’m so glad you’re home and safe, but I can’t wait to hear the rest of this story. Isn’t it funny that when you’re a visitor to a country it seems like almost everyone can sense your newness? It’s like they have radar. I have had my moments of being stared down too while traveling and for kicks once I gave it right back to the guy. He looked at me like I was crazy! LOL!

    Thanks so much for sharing all of the beautiful photos on Instagram while you were traveling. Can’t wait for the rest!

    • Jennifer says:

      You’re welcome big sis! And thank you for your kind comments. Yeah, it was really annoying that some people knew I was from the United States. But my last few days, people thought I was from Brazil, Cuba and Colombia. Lol!

  2. A.Neblett says:

    Hi Jenn,

    This is A.Neblett from Under the Blue Sun and I, The Author. I have an important interview-query for you and am having trouble contacting you through your email on here; it’s reporting that the server won’t go through or something related. I’ve tried several times. I would like to email you to discuss a project for my college newspaper featuring you and other women of color traveling abroad, considering my long subscription to such content. Hopefully we can get in touch soon and perhaps a better way to communicate!

    Thanks,
    A.

  3. […] is part two of the epic journal entry. Don’t forget to read Pt 1 before you read any […]

  4. Yaisha says:

    It has been 4 years since someone has left a remark on this post. I was strongly considering Argentina for cinco meses (5 months)..until I read an article about how bad, a black woman’s experience was with being called punta in the street. Poor innocent girl. I was extremely looking forward to the different cultural experience, but not at the risk of having a horrible, maybe deadly experience. Any views on the subject?

    • Jennifer says:

      Hi Yaisha!
      Thanks for writing! Honestly, you’re going to meet ignorant people no matter where you travel to. I was called Punta by a bunch of homeless kindergarteners because I didn’t give them change. And I had a few other ignorant moments, but I had more good times than I did bad. And that’s because I ignored the ignorance and enjoyed my life in the end. Also, I’ve never been robbed because I used my street smarts: I never went to an ATM at night or walked around alone at strange hours. I’m from New York City, and I feel New York is way more deadlier than Buenos Aires. The choice is up to you in the end. Buenos Aires isn’t perfect, but it is a great city! I hope this helps.

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