The first time I went to Buenos Aires, I didn’t really have any information about where I was going. I arrived in August, which was the dead of winter in Argentina, but I hadn’t thought of that. I didn’t have a winter coat, and I had to run out right after arriving at my hostel to buy a pair of boots (which then lasted me for 6 years and many more travels, and still live in the back of my closet somewhere - I don’t have the heart to throw them out). I knew I’d need to speak Spanish, but I didn’t realize it would be such a beautifully fluid version, the kind that would change my pronunciation of the double L for the rest of my life.
But I pretty quickly figured things out. I learned which kiosk alfajores I liked the best. I discovered which parks were best for hanging out and drinking mate, I found a coffee shop on my block that made the best cortados, and I’d meet my Porteño friends at our favorite bar at least a couple times a week. I became a Boca fan. I had a routine and a rhythm, and after I left, I found myself wondering if I’d be able to slip back into these easy and comfortable things, or if the city would live up to my memories of it.
In a few weeks I’ll find out. I’m going back for a few days, and while I’m excited to see what has been happening in the 10 years since I lived there, I’m also a little nervous. I know a lot of the things I loved about it were the result of having a real life there, but now that I’m coming to visit, will I feel differently about it?
Even if I do, I’m sure there are things that will be as I remembered, like choripán and all of the weird and wonderful pizzas the city has to offer. Eh, on second thought, just take me back. I’ll figure it out as I go. —Katherine Whittaker, associate digital editor