"Deep within the human psyche lies the primal need for intervals of not knowing how things are going to turn out. That's when you get a glimpse of who you are and what you're really made of." Jason Lewis
Travelling to Buenos Aires truly pushed me out of my comfort zone. A massive city and surrounding boroughs of 12 million people in a country bordering the opposite pole showcases exactly the things that make me the most uncomfortable: having no fucking clue what's going on and standing out in a crowd.
My infantile grasp of Spanish and lack of language on the fly—my knowledge of French and Italian made me wonder what a dog must feel like, a general comprehension of the dominant language but a mouth that is relatively incapable of anything but barking and drooling— and ginger hair killed my preferred modus operandi of solidarity and incognito observation.
In my comfortable communities I can voluntarily excel at impromptu connections and eye contact. But comfort and preference aren't necessarily mutually inclusive. I prefer to wander and saunter on the fringes, haunting the edges, and roaming the outmost outposts with a well honed nimbleness of a ninja. I want to see, hear, and be in the midsts but nowhere near the middle. Or so deep in the middle of the hubbub that I can wiggle through and watch what goes down from my homey hurricane's eye.
I couldn't hide in this city if I tried (I did). It was exhilarating and absolutely annoying to be out of the shadows. The mental marathon from being uncomfortable and confused as fuck is like a cerebral set of 100 burpees —you feel vulnerable and want to cry but in the end you are probably going to live longer because of it.
I let myself be seen be Buenos Aires.
Seen by the beautiful people.
Swept up by the intoxicating vibes.
Kissed by the warmest souls I have ever encountered.
Embraced in a tangible tango of movement that is fast-paced but once you succumb to it you realize how every moment is actually passing by in slow motion.
This city is an autonomously pulsating organism. Much like the pumas in the Argentine wilds it stalks your thoughts and lures you deeper into it's clutches. It's people, the smell of yerba, and continuous movement that is simultaneously stagnant. Stuck in the humidity and pushed by the good winds that with which the city was colonial coined.
Buenos Aires reminded me of the value in cities that I'd forgotten. It goes without saying that the natural world is the natural habitat. And that not all cities present the same value. But the ones that do teach you a lesson in the collective consciousness of the modern world. A neuronal opportunity to explore and navigate through unfamiliar domestic domains that at one time were fabricated by humans but now have an essence of their own. Established environments that are so seeped in history that they can no longer be wholly quantified as artificial.