If you say some months ago, that I’m going to write this article from a house in Buenos Aires, and would write about “being stuck” in Argentina because of a global pandemic. C’mon, no-one thought, that could happen!
Why are we in Argentina?
After the USA we were thinking where to go next. South America was on our list for quite a while, but did not know where to start. Then the corona virus news started to flow, and there were no or just super low amount of cases in South America. Our two main choices were Chile and Argentina, as the weather was pretty warm back then. Finally, we chose Argentina, because we found a direct flight to Buenos Aires. So it was perfect to start our journey there. We definitely did not think, that after our arrival, in a two weeks, they’ll close the borders and initiate a nationwide lockdown.
Az Egyesült Államok után azon gondolkodtunk hova tovább. Dél-Amerika unblock már jó ideje a listán volt, de nem tudtuk merre is kezdjünk. Aztán a korona vírusról szóló hírek el kezdték ellepni az internetet. Akkor Dél-Amerikában még csak egy-egy eset volt, és a két kiszemelt országban Chilében és Argentínában 28 fokos meleg volt. Úgyhogy megvolt a döntés, Buenos Airesben kezdjük majd a dél amerikai kalandot. Azt mondjuk nem gondoltuk volna, hogy az érkezésünk után két héttel már lezárják a határokat, és nagyon hamarosan kijárási korlátozásokat is bevezetnek.
Why we chose to stay in Buenos Aires?
As the pandemic hit the world, most of the countries closed their borders and restricted the entry for only citizens and their own nationalities. We have this case, that I’m Hungarian, my boyfriend is American, and not having the same address, it’s more likely that we couldn’t stay at the same place. In the meantime in Buenos Aires, our tourist visa was extended automatically, so it seemed like the right place to stay and wait till the global situation is shifting. After three months here, I can say, we made the right choice.
How the lockdown/quarantine looks like in Buenos Aires?
For some weeks we could only go to the pharmacies, and grocery stores. And just essential workers could circulate. At the bakeries, green grocers, and restaurants, you could ask for takeaways only. They’ve put a table at the entrance, so that was the closest you got.
From mid April, wearing a face mask is mandatory at the public spaces. For example, you can’t go to the supermarket without one. I still remember quite vividly of my first supermarket visit. Everyone in face mask, even many people was wearing gloves. They sanitized my shopping cart’s handle, then pour some sanitizer into my hands. Which I still was rubbing 5 minutes later. We were lining up at the cashier, behind our painted lines. Then pretty fast I got used to this ‘new normal’.
Since the beginning of June, there are more and more shops opening. At the entrance they always show how many people can be inside at the same time. Recently they permitted to do sport activities from 8pm till 8am. Lots of people were anxiously waiting for this. People in Buenos Aires are pretty active actually. Lots of bikers, runners, boot campers. There are also nice bike lanes throughout the city, which was surprising for me.
What are the positive sides of the lockdown?
I can’t say I didn’t feel anxious during the first two weeks. As you know, global pandemics don’t happen every day, and they don’t introduce nationwide lockdown every week either.
There’s not too much to control in situations like this! You can’t just go out walking in the park, there are more police out there than usual, and not last, we are in a foreign country!
But wait a minute, what else can I control? And put my focus on?
For example my work, not spending money on unnecessary things. Learning new things that could benefit my business, if I already got some extra time in hand.
We knew we need to stay for at least an extra month in the city. So definitely more time than usual at one place at a time. I started to make things like kimchi, fermented vegetables. Made my gluten free sourdough starter, and made bread. Continued to learn Japanese with a new online tutor. So let’s just say, I was and am enjoying the slow life, or as some of my friend say ‘normal life’. Whatever the hell that means…
It’s definitely great now to slow down, and have more time to spend on some different hobbies. We are lucky, because in a way we’re still traveling, as we are in a different culture. We practice our mediocre Spanish. I have the challenge to speak only in Spanish, when I’m out. That created some fun interaction between me and some people, like when I don’t know what some items are called at the green grocers. But I think, overall they love to see someone is trying at least. And that way I’m learning quite a lot.
If we can, we love to walk around our neighborhood. So many houses have cool graffitis on them. Also the tree leaves are falling down, as we already entered into winter since the beginning of January. A whole season went by since we arrived. I’m not even sure when was the last time, that we stayed for that long at one place.
How long are we staying?
Now they say, that international flights will resume on the 1st of September. But you never know. We are waiting to have more information about the different countries. When they open the tourism, and what kind of nationalities can enter? As that’s quite important.
But first we’d love to see more of Argentina. Like the Iguazu waterfall, the wine region of Mendoza and Salta. And could continue the list for a while.
I definitely feel that ‘travel bug’ already. Even more, I think a lot about Asia, especially of Thailand, Japan and Singapore. But in general, I’d love to plan a nice Asian trip again.
Anyway, in the meantime, I’ll launch a Recipe section on the blog, and will share recipes like sourdough pancake, homemade fermented ginger beer, and so much more!
Be good guys! Lots of hugs from Argentina!
If you have any questions, write a comment, or send a message!