I arrived in Buenos Aires early this morning after nearly 24 hours of travel. I haven’t slept much in the past couple of days, and it’s beginning to show. I find myself repeating sentences that I’ve already said or written; a roughly 600 word article took me the better part of the day to write. But I wouldn’t dare nap, not here. Not now.

The apartment is in Recoleta, about a 10-minute walk from where I stayed during my last visit to B.A. That one was strictly work though, and minimal pleasure. This time, I hope to get in a fair bit of both.

This afternoon we walked past an embassy that I foggily remember stumbling past on my last night in town last year, during my one moment of fun. A late night at El Alamo bar with instant expat friends led to a long night of very 20-something adventures. It was a relief at the time, a moment of excitement in the middle of a period I don’t remember too fondly.

I bought new sandals for this trip. Attempts at chicdom. The 5-inch platforms need to be broken in; after an hour in them, my feet are temporarily ruined. But they make me feel elegant, and this city deserves the effort.

Buenos Aires has a choose-your-own-adventure vibe. As my friend Lisan said, it’s a cultural gray area somewhere in between Latin America and Western Europe, or maybe both and not both at the same time, like a Venn Diagram of identities. We look like everyone else here, more or less, and it’s nice not to be pegged for a tourist until I open my mouth and the gutter rust of my mother tongue stumbles out instead of spilling.

We drink totally passable red wine that cost $4 USD, which I first thought tasted like soap but now, a mug in, am beginning to appreciate.

“I think it’s good for my heart and shit, just to feel excited. And scared.” J said that, but I agree. My brain is still in Toronto, but my body is here. And my heart, I think. Another Venn Diagram.