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A little insight into the life of Free Spirit - a melting pot of our thoughts, beliefs, suggestions & ideas to inspire you on your path as you journey through life.

Published: 15/06/2017

Where Kindness is Contagious





We didn't get off to the best start.  

Buenos Aires & I...

I land at the airport from Salta, and as the conveyor belt hasn't started up yet for the bags, I head to the bathroom.. there's a bit of a queue so maybe it's 5 minutes (7 maximum) when I return.. to find the bags have been and gone, along with the passengers and my trusty blue ruck sack is no where to be seen.. 

I go to the baggage reclaim, they tell me I have to now go to the next terminal.. I get stopped by police half way as they've closed half the airport.. I'm getting a bit stressed..

 

My Spanish is increasing day by day and somehow as the synapsis in my brain seem to fire a whole lot quicker when I'm challenged, I find the vocabulary I need to use a whole lot faster.  

The two men at the brunt of my despair are actually very helpful.  They make a few phone calls and it turns out the airline do have my bag.  But it's locked in their office now.  And they went home.  At 12pm on a Saturday afternoon.  Of course they did...

I feel naked as I take a cab to the city with just my hand bag.  

However as I arrive in Palermo, a chic upmarket neighbourhood of Buenos Aires, and check into my hostel "Caravan" I'm greeted with the warmest welcome.  

Dani and her brother Guido, opened just one month ago, and it's quite possibly the BEST hostel I've ever stayed.  Everything so clean and brand new, and with such a warm and friendly atmosphere I immediately feel at home. 

When I tell Dani about my lost bag she runs around and finds me a towel, shampoo, conditioner, toothbrush, toothpaste, a comb, face cream.. everything!  All I need to buy is a fresh pair of knickers and I can wait until tomorrow for my bag... all my troubles and stress of the morning literally dissolve into thin air.  Wow.  So so nice.. 



I spend the day wandering around the pretty streets and in and out of chic little shops and cafes and take it all in my stride.. 

In the evening I settle into the bar in the hostel and am surrounded by a cosy group of Argentinians celebrating their long weekend amongst a few other nationalities.  We talk in Spanish when I can and A bit of English when I cannot and it's great to practice.  Everyone is so helpful when I get stuck on a word or two! 

Then out of nowhere I receive a whatsapp message from an "Agustina" - would I like to come to her place for dinner?? 

It turns out that I guy I met, Marco, up in Salta is here in Buenos Aires, staying or "couch surfing" with this girl and she's inviting me to her dinner party.. wow!  So so nice!  So I jump in a cab and head across town to this kind stranger's apartment.

There's 6 of us for dinner and I meet her other friends, again mainly chatting in Spanish with a little English in between.

The dinner is amazing!  Homemade Empanadas, Carbonara (cooked by Marco) and a dessert of Chocotorte  (Layers of chocolate biscuits with Dulce de Leche mixed with cream)...WOW.. I'm full to burst by the time we finish eating at 1am (because this is normal here).. and any plans of going out dancing now go straight out the window as I'm way too full to move!

I get back to the hostel, chat with some of the guys and then call it a night..



The next morning, eager to work off the calories, I find a gym and go for a good work out.. I feel much better afterwards, but soon start to feel weak.  A healthy breakfast and water don't help either and before I know it, I've collapsed in the bed unable to stand without spinning out and vomiting.  Ugh.  

There's no where else I want to be right now except in bed.  And despite not being able to collect my luggage for one more day, that is exactly where I stay for the next 24 hours.

I am so sick.  It's like altitude sickness all over again except I'm close to sea level and I don't think you can get it from just being on the top bunk bed...

Normally when I'm sick, I use my "get out of jail free" card and check in to a nice hotel with a private room.  I always budget for this on every trip, as inevitably it happens.

 

However this time it's different.. 

I don't feel the need to be anywhere else.  All the people in the hostel are so nice, bringing me water when I need, finding me medicine, making sure I can reach & charge my phone...

I'm so touched already with the genuine kindness of everyone here and it gets me thinking about my previous trip to South East Asia..

 

I remember meeting many kind people, especially natives, but I also remember meeting a good amount of rude and annoying people as well... and there were moments that I would feel a little isolated... but maybe it's me that's changed..

 

Am I now open to more love and kindness than 5 years ago?  Absolutely

 

Am I able to give more love and kindness than before?  Most definitely..

 

Could a place and it's people have an effect on how people react and behave..?  Yes I think it can..



ake London for example.. most of my foreign friends, based on passed experiences, think people in London are rude.. and although my capital city may not be my most favourite I do jump to its defense.  The thing is...I see it and I FEEL it.. I've lived there in the past and now put me in London for a week and this chilled out beach girl all of a sudden, with a flick of a switch can turn into a rude bitch, not saying sorry when she bumps into someone (because nobody ever does) and I really hate this.. 

The people in London themselves are really very nice, kind, gentle souls, of course.  Put them in the big smoke and collectively yes... people in London can appear to be rude...and it of course becomes infectious.  We naturally just can't help it.

 

So.. back to Buenos Aires.  If rudeness can be infectious so can generosity and kindness.  And I'm certain this is what makes this city so so beautiful.

It's why Ed, a guy I met on the road briefly, ended up staying 5 weeks here.  It's why my friend Michelle's face lights up when she talks about it.  It's why mine does too.  I knew I would fall in love with it.  I just didn't realise how hard.

 

Buenos BUENOS Aires... you got me...with your infectious spirit ...your infectious kindness... and like a snow ball effect, my love for this city just keeps on growing..

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