I know, I really know that I should not focus or waste valuable energy on the little, inane things in life, but in a way, isn’t life made up of those little, inane things?
As in the past, I reiterate that I love my new country and have a great deal of respect for the language, the people, the culture, and the community itself. In fact, I’d say even more so than most Argentines that I know. The fact of the matter is, it irks me when I see the citizens of a city show demonstrate such little regard for where they live. In this case, namely, it is the fact that countless times, I see Porteños throwing their damn garbage anywhere they please but a trashcan and desecrate, deface, and vandalize public property with their repulsive graffiti.
Yesterday I was commuting from work back to my neighborhood, when a yuppie-looking man in a three-piece suit yakking on a cell phone reached into his pocket, fished out a wad of paper, and threw it out of the moving bus. I cringed. Really? After getting off the bus a few minutes later, I was waiting at the corner of the street to cross, when a young woman emerged from a kiosk with an alfajor. After removing the food from its wrapper, she flicked it on the sidewalk with a garbage can no more than 10 feet away from her. Seriously? How I wish I had had the nerve to speak up and tell her “Se te cayó algo!” (“You dropped something!”). But alas, I did nothing in the end. After all, why fight a losing battle?
Yes, I know it sounds petty or whiny on my part, but when you see mindless and inconsiderate behavior like this several times on a daily basis, it can’t help but get to you, especially because it doesn’t have to be this way at all. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not the greenest or most environmentally conscientious person in the world, but it’s about common decency and common sense. Even a small child knows better, so WTH? Why is it that there is suck a lack of a sense of pride and responsibility in the city and the community for so many Porteños???
About a half block away from where I live, a new café and a dental clinic opened for business. Now the once fresh coat of paint on the exterior of their doors from only a few weeks ago is covered in butt-ugly graffiti. The graffiti doesn’t even look like anything, not even a gang symbol or dissing a rival soccer team, it’s just indechipherable dribble that is there simply because there was a “new canvas.” Such a shame.
You don’t need to take more than a few steps outside your door in this city to find pretty much everything unjustifiably, pointlessly vandalized – Anything from statues to garbage cans to the schools, kiosks, playgrounds for little kids. No place is spared or off-limits it seems. Every available crevice and blank space is fair game, no matter where it happens to be. And it’s just fucking depressing to have to look at.
The worst is when some genius thinks it’s funny to put a penis as part of his “obra maestra.” Yes, they really do that. Quite a bit. It’s beyond simply being crass and immature, it’s fucking obnoxious, particularly when it’s defacing a real mural that someone had created to attempt to combat the deep-rooted ugliness. God, I hope that when I die that I don’t have a tombstone in this city. They’ll surely have my name, the day I was born, the day that I died, and then a poorly scribbled penis right beneath.
Okay, rant over (for now). Mi Buenos Aires quierdo, I love you, but you need a make-over!
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