Tolerance and patience in the big city…

We haven’t seen it in a newsstand like this in a long time.

It’s not always sunshine and roses, although it may seem so for our occasional readers. We don’t always feel like sightseeing, traveling in taxis through all-day-long-rush-hour traffic.

Wherever we are at any given time, it is where we live. Do you feel like sightseeing in your town on hot and humid days when you know a 10-minute drive can turn into 45 minutes in near-stopped traffic?

Interesting buildings on Santa Fe St. in Palermo Soho.

The only time I recall we ever went sightseeing in our old lives in Minnesota was when visitors came to town and stayed with us, having a confident expectation of seeing the world-renowned Mall of America, the Como Zoo, or the popular Minnehaha Falls. 

Public transportation is readily available in Buenos Aires by bus and underground.

Here in Buenos Aires, we find ourselves with little interest in visiting the popular tourist attractions, waiting in long queues, or bumping into people who don’t care to cooperate in the sharing of making space on the sidewalk as we attempt to pass.

There’s a bit of pushing and shoving, which we’d rather avoid. Although most service staff in hotels, shops, and restaurants are ultra friendly and helpful, we’ve found the passing locals on the streets on a mission uninterested in idle chatter with us or certain courtesies one may find in some other parts of the world.

It took us over an hour to walk back to the neighborhood of the Prodeo Hotel.

Then again, we’ve observed only a handful of tourists in the Palermo area and certainly few in our age range. In essence, we don’t necessarily fit into this fast-paced Buenos Aires lifestyle. That’s our reality, not theirs. 

Flower vendor on the street.  The rose bouquets are ARS 120, priced at only US $6.46.

We’ve never favored big cities, primarily for these reasons. “Too much of everything” prevails; people walking while texting or talking on a phone or to a companion while bumping into passersby; horns honking; loud talking and yelling in public venues; a sense of disorder and commotion, we’d prefer to avoid.

Are we nothing but “fuddy-duddies” set in our ways?  Perhaps, yes. But, place us in the bush, waiting for an hour for a herd of elephants to clear the road, making loud noises and sharing “their lifestyle and demeanor” upon us, we’re in heaven. 

Government building.

I suppose it’s all relative. We’re all entitled to like what we like and scoff at what may not be so appealing.  Does that make us intolerant? If we’re annoyed by someone talking during the movie at a theater, make us intolerant? Are we intolerant if we’re agitated during standstill traffic on the freeway when we’re in a rush to get somewhere?

Interesting architecture.

Not necessarily. Even our dogs or cats may become impatient with us when we don’t fill their food bowl quickly enough or hand them the treat their anticipating. It’s all part of the “human and animal” condition. Impatience.  Intolerance.

No one is so “nice” they’re not impacted by the annoyances of daily life, especially in a big city. Otherwise, one might question their link to reality. Through this past over five years of world travel, we’ve found ourselves exercising a greater degree of patience and tolerance than we may have in our old lives.

Most of the historical buildings are apartments.

We never want to be the “ugly America” so much despised in certain parts of the world. There was a movie, a book, and an adult animated series with this nomenclature.  

We make a special effort to avoid complaining, whinging, or objecting negatively in situations we find uncomfortable, trying, or annoying. Even Tom, who on travel days can be “overly grumpy,” has the desire and ability to contain his frustration on such occasions.

Clown painting on the left and Statue of Liberty on the right.

Overall, we prefer to avoid situations that cause us undue stress. Isn’t that one of the reasons we left our old lives behind to find joy and contentment in the exploration and adventure of an entirely new life, in new places, befitting our objectives of nature, wildlife, and culture?

Also, there are many more modern buildings in the city.

You may say, “Isn’t culture found in big cities?” And you’d be right to a degree. But we’ve found the hustle and bustle in big cities with traffic, noise, and crowded sidewalks more about modern-day life than the essential culture of a people who, through history and generations, made their lives work without all of the modern distractions.

And so, our days and nights dwindle to our next adventure, Antarctica, where the biggest distractions will be wildlife, beauty, and nature mixed in with wild seas, inclement weather, and getting soaked on Zodiac boat rides. We can easily handle all of that!

Photo from one year ago today, January 13, 2017:

A  rainbow over the ocean in Penguin, Tasmania. Looking carefully, Tom spotted a second lighter rainbow to the far left, difficult to see in this photo. Be well. For photo photos, as we wound down our time in Penguin, please click here.

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