The Buenos Aires Subway at Rush Hour

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Buenos Aires Subway, Monsarrat It’s Friday evening and I enter the Buenos Aires subway, as always. And as always, I’ve forgotten how it feels to be in the subway. It’s like being in the mouth of a metal dinosour, which chews me, and suddenly remembering that it’s herbivorous, quickly spits me out. It’s pure magic.

I start to cross the corridor searching for the exit. Luckily this station has escalators. At the moment that I put my foot on the stairs my cell phone begins to ring. With an unsettling premonition, I answer the call. As my voice says “Hello?” my dulled brain perceives the stairs are carrying me towards an unavoidable, torrential downpour. Instinctively I begin to back down, descending a couple of steps, but the risk that people will assume (or maybe realize) that I’m stupid, makes me decide to plunge into the rain.

I arrive at my home almost totally soaked. “Almost,” thanks to the Iranian man who sold me an umbrella for a few pesos outside the station. I pass in front of a bakery and the medialunas (Argentina’s croissants) are looking right back at me, waiting for redemption. I remember that I’m on a diet and almost manage to avoid the impulse.

I continue walking along the desolate sidewalks, thinking how lucky I am. I survived. Buenos Aires is full of these magical moments, when you’re at your wits end and suddenly something appears – a small redeeming touch, and you remember why this city is so lovable.
Now at my place, I take another sip of my mate munch through my third medialuna. A bittersweet and comforting feeling spreads from my mouth to the rest of my body. There’s nothing like being at home after being attacked by a wild beast.

One Comment

Santiago on October 2, 08

Nice one. You got the feeling about it spot-on. And I can tell you that because I ride the Subte twice a day, 5 to 6 days a week.

Like pretty much everything on my Buenos Aires, the Subte’s sensations, feelings, history and mythology are plain unique. I have lived both in Brazil and the US, and I can guarantee that you won’t find something similar in any other parts of the world – including its name itself!.

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