That siesta, it’ll getcha. I’ve always wondered what it would be like if we had the siesta in the United States. Of course, it would be next to impossible in big cities….as life in Buenos Aires really doesn’t take part. In Washington, DC for instance, where most of those who work in the city commute over 90 minutes a day (and that’s being conservative) to and from their safe suburban abodes, what would they do from the hours of 12 to 4? It obviously wouldn’t make sense to go home and most would rather, as Stanley from The Office puts it, “run out the clock” so they could get home to their families. [side bar: I get tired of people at my work bitching about traffic, really tired. The traffic didn't choose you, you chose the traffic.]
American (or norteamericano as my Span-Eng dictionary puts it – I really don’t liked being grouped with Canadians) culture just couldn’t take the seista, anywhere. Regardless of having to work until 8 pm (which is what most people, including myself, would like to avoid), Americans are unproductive enough with water cooler/kitchen sink chats and coffee breaks, a siesta would only double that….one at 8 am and one at 4 on the second wind. But to be honest, I couldn’t take the late nights. The dinners past 10 pm, the socializing past midnight. I’m a night owl whose average bedtime is usually past 1 am….but being at home is one thing, being out and about at that time, which seems to be the standard in Argentina, can be much more taxing on the system.
Back to Argentina. On the road, on the road, on the road. I empathize with my friend Carrie who did the ‘travel around the world’ thing not too long ago. She did one of those deals where she brought a ticket and got to pick from several destinations….all heading east. She blogged about her journeys and found it tough to keep up with entries. The internet is readily available here and there in Argentina, but when you are going so much, driving a lot, and staying up really really late, it’s just hard to find time.
Salta, Argentina. It’s in the northwestern part of the country, near the Andes. Salta la Linda they call it. (Salta the Beautiful). And it lives up to its namesake. A bustling town with the population of close to half a million, Salta thrives in a lush valley. The people, the architecture, the whole town has a comfortable feel. From the warm 85 degree February days, to the comfortably cool nights, to the fresh mountain air, I would definitely recommend a visit to the area should you ever spend an extended amount of time in northern Argentina. One caveat to that fresh mountain air: emissions standards haven’t exactly made it to the country. No, there is no foggy haze or code red days as there are in LA, but between the public buses and the old cars (hence, one of my photography projects, Los Carros Viejos de Argentina), you’re lungs are not always going to appreciate hanging out in the more heavily trafficked areas.
Since my passion is basketball and I have a blog about the Washington Wizards, among other NBA paraphernalia, one of my side missions was to investigate the sport of basketball in Argentina, the country which won the last Olympic Gold Medal and has produced NBA players such as Manu Ginóbili, Andrés “The Dirty” Nocioni, and NBA Champ, Fabricio Oberto (here’s a map of where those players are from in Argentina). Well Salta, despite it’s size (the 8th largest city in Argentina), does not have a team in the LNB (Liga Nacional de Básquetbol)…..but I was able to stumble upon Club 9 de Julio, the main basketball club in the city. That will be the subject of my next, or one of my next, blog entries. Until then, enjoy some of my favorite photos that I took of Salta.
and I must admit, a lot of them are fairly attractive
….in a Michelle Rodriguez kinda way.