June 1, 2013
“I already hate packing. That only makes our move to Cordoba worse. I am not looking forward to living in a big city…especially a crazy one like Cordoba. Too many people, too many cars, too many everything. Well, I agreed so here we go.”
After two weeks in “the countryside,” we moved into downtown Cordoba (June 1).
Cordoba is located in the geographical center of Argentina. Cordoba, with just under 1 million residents, is the second largest city after Buenos Aires.
At first, I was not too enthusiastic about living downtown. Chris has much more of a desire to live downtown than I do. Ironic, he grew up in the country and likes the hectic city life. I grew up in the city and crave solitude. Being the good wife, I gave in. We found a reasonably priced apartment, high in a nice complex with a terrace looking down on the surrounding buildings.
It was June: beginning of winter in South America. The daytime temperatures reached the 70’s and 80’s. Luckily, there were no bugs, thus no screens. We left the terrace door open for the dogs. They did not seem to mind the heights and spent hours on the porch, watching. I wonder what goes on in a doggie brain.
We liked the apartment well enough to commit to stay one month. Our room was a studio apartment. We have a lot of stuff with us and two dogs, but we found the studio to be quite comfortable.
Another necessity for us was green space close by. Our apartment building was in a triangle where the canal known as La Canada met the river, Rio Suquia. This turned out to be a perfect location for dog walks and easy access to transportation. I started out hesitant to live in a big city, but I ended up loving it.
Our room was on the 21st floor. This turned out to be a good thing since with a big city comes city noise: traffic, dogs, always one car alarm, and music. In fact, Cordoba is sometimes called the Night Life City or the “City that never sleeps.” And nothing compares to nightlife in South America. There was a “club” or “disco” across the street from us that was open almost every night from 9 pm until 5 am.
Some of the best bands were said to play here. We loved listening to the music and, since we were 21 floors up, we could still sleep at night …but you could feel the bass. Young and old came out to join in. We saw the older crowd mostly gone by 1 or 2 am, but the party really did not noticeably let up until closing time at 5 am. There would be a line of taxis waiting to take revelers home. Drunk driving is strongly discouraged here. Thus, there would also be a strong police presence. Mainly they “guided” people on their way. Encouraging people to continue their party at another location.
Across the street from us, there was a tall apartment complex being built. Interesting to watch the progress during our month. Much of the work is done with manual labor. For days, we watched a guy lower a 2 gallon bucket to the ground. There it would be filled with cement. Then he would grab the rope, and hand-over-hand reel the bucket full of cement up a few stories. He did this all day. Each bucket full was spread by hand over the bricks to make a smooth finish.
One day we heard a lot of commotion. Initially, we thought we were watching a parade (they have many festivals), but it turned out to be a strike.
In this case, the strikers blocked a city street. Other times, they used their cars to block highways: stopping all traffic. The police do not interfere much. We have seen many strikes in the past 3 years. The roads could be blocked for hours, so we would have to find an alternate route.