By popular demand (= one person), I will write a bit more about the place where I am supposed to spend the majority of my awake time here, namely Universidad de Buenos Aires (UBA).
To be a bit more precise, my campus is the so-called Ciudad Universitaria, which is beautifully located right by the river in one of the (in my opinion) nicest areas of Capital Federal (which is a more accurate name for the city of Buenos Aires). There are also a couple of other campuses belonging to UBA, including the Faculty of Law (Faculdad de Derecho), which is housed by a very impressive building in the Recoleta neighborhood.
Like I mentioned in the previous post, despite its incredible location, Ciudad Universitaria is really a fantastic example of how to destroy something beautiful. The university buildings (knows as Pabellon 1, 2, and 3) are among the ugliest university buildings I have ever seen – this said by a student who started his university career in the not very charming Arrhenius Laboratory at Stockholm University.
Nevertheless, the placement of the campus has a pretty interesting history. As told by my Argentinian study mates (Bullshit et al.?), Ciudad Universitaria was originally planned and placed as an isolated part of the city by the military dictatorship, to keep the students under control. Students were considered a threat to the government in power. Indeed, the universities were and still are very politicized, which becomes incredibly obvious from all the banners and flags hanging from the balconies inside the university buildings – usually with left or far left messages.
Although students are not anymore seen as a threat to the government, the campus is still rather isolated, and relatively difficult to access – especially by foot or bicycle. The highway separating the campus from the rest of the city can only be crossed by foot via one single, narrow bridge. The only other option is to make a 5-10 km detour along the riverside, which sounds nice for the visitor, but is not very convenient for the every day bike commuter. It also happens to be so that some less well-meaning people have recognized this limitation, and use this narrow bridge as a good opportunity to rob commuters and passers-by. Or as my lab mate put it: “I was stopped on my bicycle by a guy with a gun, and we agreed that it would be best if I offered him my wallet”.