The title, yes, is another literary reference. The subject, surprisingly, is not.
Usually, when I feel overwhelmed, I take refuge between printed pages. The Song of Ice and Fire series is my current escape (I’m on book three, A Storm of Swords, and going strong). But Thursday morning I awoke knowing words weren’t going to cut it.
If you’ve never spent an extended amount of time in a city, let me summarize: “Beep. BEEP. Honk. Mmmmmmmm ZOOM!” “Screeeeech!” No less noisy are the people. They wander around at all hours telling so-hilarious-I’ll-laugh-like-a-bullhorn-for-ten-straight-minutes stories and shrieking across lanes.
I cracked GOT but still heard Buenos Aires in the background. To the Google! Desperate, I scrolled through the names of more green spaces in Buenos Aires. “Jardín Botánico Carlos Thays” caught my eye — a 9-minute bus ride. The book was tossed unceremoniously into a tote and I was gone.
It was a good choice. Walking through the gate of Carlos Thays, the city melted into oblivion behind me. Traffic and voices faded and I was left with green. And cats. Lots of cats.
I sat on a bench in the sun and the nearest one climbed into my lap, purring. He made himself at home while I scratched his ears. We are friends to this day.
In all seriousness, this Jardín Botánico was a gorgeous and much-needed escape. It opened its leafy, green arms to me as it does, I’m sure, for so many city-sick porteños.