Monday, October 5, 2009

Spring Has Arrived!

Yes, two weeks ago marked the beginning of spring and it seems we will finally have some consistently warm weather. Spring also means more of my favorite thing in Buenos Aires: loros. My first day here in the city, while walking with my host mom to the subway I saw a bright green parrot fly by and exclaimed 'Oh my goodness! We only have those in zoos at home!' Ana looked at me like I was nuts and simply said, that's a loro. Since that day I've taken it upon myself to find as many beautiful loros as possible. They occasionally hang out in packs of pigeons on sidewalks, but I'd only catch one every few weeks. When I moved into my apartment, I discovered they live in packs in some of the giant palm trees in Parque de las Heras, which is across the street from me. Finally with the warm weather, the loros have been hanging out in groups on the ground, thus distracting me on the way to the bus stop and making me late for school. (I swear there is a loro hiding in that photo).

The past few weekends have been spent in the city and last week I went to my first Argentinian soccer (futbol) game. The weather was rainy and cold, but the crazy soccer fans still did not disappoint. The whole stadium was a sea of red for the River Plate fans, with only a small blue section for the La Plata fans. Everyone sang songs and chanted the whole game, and when either team scored the fans erupted with insults and rude gestures. We all laughed when the game ended and our guide told us we had to stay put for twenty minutes. The home stadium lets the opposing fans out first so that they can get far enough away from the River fans to not get hurt. Talk about some intense fans!

This Saturday I went on a graffiti tour. A guide took us through different neighborhoods and showed us some of the city's most impressive works of art. Graffiti is technically illegal here, but its not policed and several well known and talented artists have emerged. After the financial crash of 2001, street art became a way for artists to try to cheer the public up. Even though the economy has gotten better, the artists have stuck around. Some people even pay the artists to use their home or building as a canvas. Imagine that in Boston!

One of my favorites was a guy who went around the city painting pigs with medical masks all over the city in response to the swine flu panic.