The Return to Buenos Aires Pt 1: The Morocha Returns
September 13, 2012
The Return to Buenos Aires Pt 3: Onwards and Upwards
September 19, 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!

Here is part two of the epic journal entry. Don’t forget to read Pt 1 before you read any further.

8/24/12

I sense an upheaval rising in this city. The evidence is written on the beautiful architecture now defaced with graffiti. Recoleta seems to be the only neighborhood untouched. To me, the graffiti does not feel like an expression of art, but a display of anger and defiance. I don’t remember the graffiti being this wide spread.

I’ve been getting around by way of the Subte for the pass few days; the system operates in the exact same way I remember. The fare has gone up, but that is to be expected. The one change I noticed immediately was in the appearance of the Subte train cars; they are completely covered in bright bubbled letter graffiti, from the window to the bottom of the car’s body, recalling from my memory the New York City subway trains in the 80’s. When I was in Buenos Aires last, the trains were graffiti free.

It is a combination of Buenos Aires’ new mischievous robes and the unfavorable neighborhood I’m staying in that has caused this disconnect with the city within me and my emotions to stir. The constant warnings of danger I am receiving do not help either. I don’t remember this many warnings to be cautious. Or maybe five years ago I was just too naive and oblivious to heed them.

I remind myself it’s winter and winter causes everything to slow down and become more solemn and gray, but today it feels like 70 degrees and my feelings have not warmed with the weather. This city no longer feels like it belongs to me and this despondency towards it scares me. It makes me wonder if I can find the strength and inspiration to finish the job and bring “Hola, Morocha!” to full term. I question if my story is still relevant and needs to be heard— if black women traveling to Buenos Aires still need my advice since some things here have changed: rising prices, rising crime, all things that I have no control over.

When I arrived in Buenos Aires five years ago, the influx of black people was almost non-existent. While you still will be able to count the number of black people you spot in Buenos Aires, there seems to be a new normalcy. It doesn’t feel as odd to be black in Buenos Aires anymore. This makes everything I write about on my blog obsolete I think in despair, ready to throw in the towel and give up on everything I worked so hard on for the past five years.

But before the day was done, I learned I couldn’t be more wrong. God sent me the clearest message he has ever sent me in my life. And this is how it all started…

(To be continued)

5 Comments

  1. Terri says:

    Having just been in B.A. in early April, I read a lot about safety issues before I went. We were definitely cautious, but we didn’t feel uncomfortable in any way except for a few moments (and even then it wasn’t that bad). I don’t think your blog is obsolete at all. I think I counted less than 5 Black people the entire 5.5 days we were there. I did feel like a novelty, but not to the point that I felt uncomfortable. I think the covering the Black experience in B.A. would be totally helpful and needed for Black travelers. B.A. and Argentina (from the other parts I saw) need a little infusion of color. 🙂

    • Jennifer says:

      Thanks, Terri!!!!!! You will see, by the 8th part, that I came to the same conclusion as you. I appreciate your words of support!!!! And I am glad you enjoyed BA! :0)

  2. Reading this made me melancholy. It makes me think of my hometown of Detroit and all that is going on there now. I hate when people betray the beauty of a city, town or country. It is a shame. I am looking forward to the rest of your revelations and hope that the magic you once felt in Buenos Aires is still there. I still would like to visit so I can experience it for myself.

    • Jennifer says:

      Hi Tameka,
      In the end I found the magic again. I was extremely angry about the graffiti, especially in the subte and on the train cars. There is a difference between street art and malicious graffiti and I really think a lot of it needs to be cleaned up and immediately. Buenos Aires is one of the most beautiful cities in South America and they should work very hard to keep it that way.

  3. […] is part three of the epic journal entry. Don’t forget to read Pt 2 before you read any […]

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