BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — Argentines have suffered through a tough summer. Heavy tropical rains only intensified the draining heat and humidity. People have had to throw out rotten food because of rolling power blackouts. And it comes as overheated inflation makes it ever harder for paychecks to reach the end of the month.
The strain is evident on the faces of subway riders and others making their way home in Buenos Aires, a once-proud city where signs of poverty and decay are ubiquitous just beyond the glamorous streets where tourists go.
An elderly women and police officers wait for an ambulance crew to pick up a man who has collapsed in the heat. A businessman furrows his brow after a long day at work. A chair that was once someone's treasure lies discarded on a sidewalk, only to be scooped up moments later.
Yet, there is time for play and joy. A boy plays hide-and-go-seek in the "counting circle" of his school's grim playground, while other kids get some breeze on the swings. Young lovers embrace on the street, or just cuddle sitting in the night air.