89. Last days in BA (Buenos Aires, Argentina)
My last month in BA has been lazy. The weather's been crazy - lots of rain and flooding, but also plenty of sunny days, yet it's been constantly humid. I've had lots to do before going to NZ but have struggled to get much of it done.
I've noticed a few changes around BA since I was last living here almost a year ago. The inflation is what's surprised me the most. I'd noticed everything seemed more expensive when I was in Bariloche, and I assumed that it was expensive Patagonian prices, but when we got back to BA things were almost as expensive. Everything - groceries, internet, rent. The only thing that's the same price as before is the colectivos (local buses), but supposedly they're also due for a price increase.
However, although everything's now more expensive (and prices are due to keep rising), it feels like people are now more prepared (or resigned) to the price increases. When I first got here, it seemed like every week people were taking to the streets to protest price increases in meat or bread or milk. Since then many have had a salary increase, albeit a token one, so perhaps they're more prepared for price increases. Or maybe they've given up. Something's changed anyway. When I arrived in 05 the country was still feeling the effects of the economic crisis, now in 2007 many people have moved on and it feels like the economy has recovered. It feels better off now. Public spending is noticeably up, with lots of old buildings being restored. Derelict buildings are being cleaned up and converted into offices or apartments. More towers are being constructed around the place, especially Puerto Madero. Speaking of Puerto Madero, even it's rusty cranes have had a paint job. So has the Casa Rosada! Proudly pink, no longer is it a faded metaphor of the Argentine economy.