Having spent my first week in the city, it’s time for some first impressions. And although I haven’t really done all that much, my impressions are many and varied.
The city is indeed gigantic. Walking around it in one day is unthinkable. It is therefore not surprising that they have a very decent public transportation system, with both buses (driving with open doors in genuine Latin American style) and a subway network. But what surprised me more is the city’s attempts to make it a greener and less polluted city by promoting biking. For example through a free bicycle service with around 20 pick-up stations around the city, called ecobici. This has also led to a collaboration project called I bike ABC (Amsterdam, Buenos Aires, Copenhagen).
On the negative side comes the safety. I generally try to take horror stories with a big grain of salt, but I have so far been told too many stories of break-ins and robberies with gun threats to not be affected by them. Some parts of the city just seem very dangerous, especially by night, and it’s the first time since I was in the US where I’m genuinely worried about which neighborhood I’m in. It seems like getting robbed is not a question of if, but rather when.
But with that said, my initial impressions are still definitely on the plus side. And my flatmates and Franzi have all been so nice and helpful, that I feel like my “traveler’s kharma” savings account is slowly turning into a credit bill.
More impressions will follow, but now I’m off to explore the city by bicycle.