Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Bus 86.

On our last day in Buenos Aires, Eric and I said goodbye with a bus ride to the airport. There are many ways to get there, the bus being the longest route - which, strangely enough, was exactly what we were looking for. We wanted a long road, twisting and turning through the city, allowing us to properly say goodbye.

We wound through the city streets of Buenos Aires and watched the neighborhoods change. From the grand city center with business bustling to city neighborhoods of apartment patios overlooking busy streets. To the high-rise buildings, hundreds of people piled into small spaces – each family on top of the next. To small single-family homes, brick and connected. To large houses with fences and yards. And then, in an instant, to the countryside – with horses and cows and fields and water.

The city structure is so familiar, with its pattern reflected in cities all around the world. We have learned to organize, to classify ourselves – to understand ourselves (and the people around us) – according to where we live. With invisible walls between the concentric circles that clearly divide, clearly define the people of a city from one another.

But, invisible or not, the walls are not necessary.
We do not need the division.
Because wherever we are, if we are willing to defy the circles – to cross the street – we will discover other people, just like us. People trying to live their lives, the best way they know how. People who love their families, work to provide for them, desire joy in their lives. People who call the same city home.

Thank you, Buenos Aires, for welcoming us as visitors in your city. We have been honored to live and work and walk among you. And thank you, Bus 86, for the beautiful goodbye ride. I will remember the circles – and from now on, no matter where I am, I will cross the street.

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