I found some interesting words and concepts this week. One is from Sweden (Fika) and the other one is from Denmark (Hygge). I found them very interesting because these are things that I like to do but I didn’t really have a word for them.
Hygge is a Danish word used when acknowledging a feeling or moment, whether alone or with friends, at home or out, ordinary or extraordinary as cozy, charming or special (from www.hyggehouse.com).
The art of fika on the other hand, is like having a quality coffee break, preferably with friends and with something sweet. Anyone who knows me will realize this is something I really like to do 😊. Easy to do here in Buenos Aires, pero sin amigos por ese momento.
My observation is that, scientific advancement aside, there doesn’t seem to be too much that is undiscovered in the world. It’s rare to find (rare like hen’s teeth) a concept, or a human behavior, or a habit, that is not already in existence somewhere in the world. Doesn’t mean that it isn’t new to me (or to you), but it’s just very unusual to find something that is completely new. And HYGGE and FIKA definitely fall into that category.
The weather has turned cooler in Buenos Aires over the last week, very pleasant. Today I found the courage to actually connect with somebody for an inter-Cambio. We’ll see how that goes.
I may have also, finally, found an agent that can help me find a decent apartment. He, an Argentinian, told me that it was indeed quite hard to find local agents who had any sense of urgency about trying to help with this particular market. And I can attest to that as I have emailed probably four of these inmobiliarias (as they are called here) and have yet to receive a reply from any of them.
The new guy may also have a decent apartment for me. I’m going to walk up to that area and check it out this morning. It still amazes me here in Buenos Aires, how walking just a few blocks can utterly change the neighborhood. This huge city seems to consist of innumerable small neighborhoods all clumped together. Every block seems to have its own fresh fruit and vegetable market, a few kioskos (which are like 7-Eleven’s) usually a laundry of some description (although that may not be on every block), some kind of a panadería (bread store) and probably a carnicería (meat shop) of some type. If you’re lucky there will also be a café although I have seen some neighborhoods without.
I found a very nice apartment up in what is called the Villa Crespo area, and although the apartment itself was nice, the neighborhood was really rough. Graffiti everywhere, no cafés or restaurants that I could see within a 2 to 3 block radius, which I found to be very unusual. I didn’t feel unsafe walking around the neighborhood in the daylight, but it just didn’t seem like a very welcoming place. My opinion is that if you’re looking for an apartment in Buenos Aires, you really have to research the immediate neighborhood that the apartment is in, thoroughly. Use Google Street View. A lot of the online sites don’t give you the actual street address, you have to ask for it. Yes, I have to say that searching for a place to live in Buenos Aires has been a real education. Not something I particularly wished to be educated in, I must say. I have spent many hours on this task and I don’t like it. But it is certainly part of the experience of living in a country.
I have found however that even just a few weeks in a small studio of my own, made me feel like I really didn’t want to be in a hotel room anymore. The space differential may be small, but the flexibility that one has from being in one’s own apartment is hard to beat.
This is a short blog this week. I will be traveling next week to St. Martin de los Andes and I’m very much looking forward to that.
But I have to say that for the first time in many years I am actually looking forward to getting back to my house in Asia. Another truism. You never know how much you miss something until you don’t have it.