What I really think about Rosario, Argentina
What’s my basis of visiting a not so touristy city like Rosario? Friends. When I was in Ecuador, I met this hip woman called Paula who was staying in the hostel I was volunteering in. When I told her I am coming to Argentina in a few months, she told me to get in touch and invited me to stay at her place. Do you see how Volunteering is a really big help with my travels?
Paula is in her late 40’s and still has the energy to travel the world. A mother of a 28-year old rockstar, I immediately connected to her. Maybe she was like a mother to me whom I can tell everything to. The time I met Paula was also the time that my grandmother died of cancer. As bad as it sounds, I didn’t go home and still continued my traveling despite the incident. Paula was one of the few people who told me to continue traveling because it will make my grandmother happier.
And so, I did. I stayed with Paula and her daughter Azul for a week. They live near the center and again, these people have gone beyond their means to make a space for me at their home and make me feel welcome. It was the first time I lived with girls and I love the fact that I can just go around the house with comfortable clothes or not struggle to bring all my stuff and dress in the bathroom. I’ve housed myself with men through when I was volunteering, staying with families and Couchsurfing and believe me, it’s really one of the most uncomfortable situations I have been. It’s good to have a different environment every once in a while.
Rosario is a laid back place where people ride bikes, drink mate in parks after work, drink beer in a pub every Friday and spend the entire day in the only island across the city. Growing up in a country where the best beaches in the world lay, I always get warnings from foreigners whenever I visit their country: “Trisha, we have a beach but it’s not that good, ok?” I mean, I am totally fine with this but I get it why they had to explain. So we went one weekend to that island and I had so much fun!
Below are some of the best (and most memorable photos) that I have from Rosario:
Beer nights, actually. I got the chance to meet Azul’s friends and go out almost every night to experience the night life in Rosario. Since Azul and I are in the same age group, we didn’t do the night club stuff that younger kids do nowadays. After volunteering in different bars in South America, I’ve had enough of the loud noise and the wild parties so I prefer to chill out, talk and just drink a beer.
Paula works the whole day and goes home at 18:30. Whenever she has a free time, we would always go to the nearest ice cream shop to talk and binge on my favorite dulce de leche and chocolate suizo (swiss chocolate) ice cream.
Fun Fact: Next to Italy, Argentina has the best ice cream in the world. According to internet news, the best one is in Rosario but I’ve certainly had yummier ones in Buenos Aires. Food wise, Argentina is very much like the Italians.
It was so timely that the first (and only) weekend that I was in Rosario, a big food event happened where all the expats of the city got the chance to showcase their food culture. Azul and I, together with her boyfriend went to a food tour to three different booths. By votation, we chose Siria’s shawarma, Japan’s sushi and tempura, and Peru’s cow’s heart with a very spicy sauce.
One Sunday afternoon, we decided to go to the park and drink some mate when this band emerged from nowhere. They quickly set up their band paraphernalia and started playing. Man, they are good! Paula told me that these buskers are really famous in this area of the city because of what they do. She even bought the band’s CD for herself!
This group is composed of Argentinians, Colombians, Peruvians and their lead singer is from Spain. They met on the road and started thinking that they can set up a band to keep themselves traveling. I am very happy to hear stories like this as I see myself when I started traveling. I had no idea I could make it this far. People are making their dreams happen! Why do we always have excuses to live the life we always imagined?
Finally, the usual routine: whenever I visit a local family, I see to it that they will remember something about my culture so I cook for them. The usual dishes are the easiest ones like bistek tagalog and adobo. Believe me, all the houses I visited know this dish!
It was brief but I learned so much from this experience. I know Rosario wouldn’t be on your list of places to visit in Argentina but I think you should give it a try especially when you are tired of big cities like Buenos Aires.
To all the friends I made here, thank you so much for everything! Your kindness means a lot to me and my family would like to thank you too! ? I told them how awesome you guys are!
Until next time, Rosario!