This may sound strange, but as soon as I got off the plane today when I arrived at the Ezeiza airport in Buenos Aires I noticed the smells. Plural.
Faint odors of cigarette smoke abound. Bakeries have a righteously pungent aroma. The air is damp but not tropical. The tell tale waft of asado pierces my nose and my salivary glands squeeze.
In Portland, the cleanliness of pine trees dominates the odor palate. It’s wonderful. It’s all Portland. But it’s so clean and sort of non committal. So white washed and devoid of danger and romance. Not that Portland can’t be romantic, it’s just that it’s more of a sleepy small city in the Pacific Northwest.
Buenos Aires is anything but sleepy. It wreaks of party noises, screaming and shouting, dog barking, music and traffic till the wee hours. Yeah, there’s dog shit on the streets. Yes it takes an hour to get your check.
Is one better than the other? I say no. It’s just a collection of differences. A summation of dissimilarities.