February 22, 2017
I dance Argentine Tango and asked about dance on a Facebook group for SMA a couple weeks before I left the U.S. I learned that they have dances twice a week. I’ve been to every dance since I arrived. I’ve heard that there are also places to dance Salsa as well as other styles of dance. In fact, there’s an Arthur Murray studio down the hill from where I live.
The Tango dancers are a very friendly crowd here. I feel comfortable with them and have not exhibited any of my usual signs of introversion around them. I have already been to dinner at multiple dancers’ houses.
Some things you don’t see in the U.S.
When was the last time you saw a line at an ATM? Have you ever seen a line of 15 – 20 people? I saw this many people in line on a weekend. It was at the Santander Bank right by El Jardin. People in these Latin American countries seem to accept that they have to wait in line for many things.
More than once, I have seen military police and municipal police with machine guns. Unless you’re in the military, you just don’t see that in the U.S. No one seems to mind or pay them any attention here.
One Saturday morning, I saw a lot of people on horseback gathering for what looked like a parade. Some guys had rifles slung over their shoulders. In the U.S., if you saw someone with any type of gun other than a policeman, you would start looking for cover!
There is a house up on a hill near me that looks like a huge white swan. I was un-aware of it until I had dinner at some friends’ house. Up on their top terrace, it was pointed out to me. Apparently, most people refer to it as a white duck, but I think it’s a swan. I did find an article online that says there was a lawsuit, but the article was from 2012 and I didn’t see anything more recent. I heard that the authorities weren’t able to enforce their claim that the house was not allowed.
When I was looking on Airbnb for a place to rent, I saw two very unusual houses for rent. They were both designed by the same guy. One house is a Batman-themed house and the other is a Dr. Seuss house. I just rode past the Batman house the other day when I was going to look at another house for sale. The designer worked on some movies that inspired him to create these “whimsical” houses.
Like in other Latin American countries I’ve visited, gorgeous, million-dollar houses are right next to abandoned properties that are in complete disrepair. I think the spread between the high-value homes and the low-value homes is more extreme here than in other countries I’ve visited.
I am also astounded by the size of compounds, estates and mansions I’ve stumbled upon here. There are some amazing and elegant places here. There’s a little dirt road I walk down sometimes to go into town. It’s barely wide enough for a car to drive through in parts and there’s a tree that bends over the road, making it look impassable. The largest estate I’ve seen so far is on this road.
Within a block of where I’m staying, there are a couple horses. A couple blocks further, there is a lot with chickens, including roosters. I know there are areas of the U.S. where people keep chickens in urban areas, but not like this. Trust me, the setup is not something you would see in an urban area in the U.S.
I welcome your comments and questions in the comment section under each article.
Yours in prosperity,
Sophia Hilton (A Savvy Woman)