Archive for the ‘Buenos Aires’ Category

Three years and counting

May 21, 2010

Three years ago tonight, I was heading out to a pub quiz at Sullivan’s bar, on my first night (living) in Buenos Aires. I remember being proud of myself for being out on the town right away, and for finding my way to the bar on the bus (when I called South American Explorers about the event that night, the girl said, “OK, do you have a Guia T?” Not yet wise to this incredibly handy guide to BA’s amazing bus system, I said, “What’s that?”). I probably said over and over again that night as I met new people, “I just got here this morning. I’m not sure how long I’ll be in Buenos Aires; we’ll see.”

I certainly never dreamed I’d still be here three years later, sitting in my very own apartment, waiting for a group of great friends and my awesome boyfriend to come over and help me celebrate my time here. It’s been quite a ride! Here’s to many more years of adventure, friendship, and love, wherever I am.

Christmas in July

December 23, 2009

At least that’s what it feels like down here in Buenos Aires, where I’m sweating through preparing the house for guests and crazy enough to turn on the oven to bake spiced pecans.

The usual crew is coming over tonight for game night – I’m hoping for a few rounds of cards and/or dice, and a later night than usual since most of us don’t have to work tomorrow.

Christmas is more traditionally celebrated on the night of the 24th in Argentina, and through much of Latin America, where the day is called Nochebuena. My new(ish) boyfriend, Roberto, and I are heading to the provincia for an asado with his family, and we’ll return to the city in time to meet up with my parents, who are arriving midday on the 25th. They were here for the holidays two years ago, and I’m really excited about their coming down again, especially since I know the city so much better now and they will be spending more time here on this visit. They’re also going to Mendoza and we’re spending a week together in the Lake District of Chile at the beginning of January. Will be a great couple weeks!

Sending lots of love to all my friends and family, near and far. I wish we could all be together, but more than anything I wish the best for all of you, wherever you are. Felices Fiestas!

a little tree, and my new patio furniture!

Photos and more

November 9, 2009

After a long hiatus, mostly due to laziness, I’m getting back in the groove with posting photos on Flickr, including more of my apartment and recent days and nights in Buenos Aires, plus trips recent and not-so-recent, like my trip to Salta with my friend Connie in, um, August 2008. Better late than never! These are especially worth checking out because they include our visit to one of the neatest places I’ve ever been, the Museo Pachamama in Amaicha – where all the non-landscape pictures in the group were taken.

My awesome new (used) couch is proving itself a worthy place to rest one’s head. It was first tested out by a friend who had some family problems one night and needed a place to crash, then my dear friend Mia flew down from San Francisco to try it out for a week or so. We had a great visit – it’s so much fun to share my favorite things about this city with friends so they can finally put faces and names to the things I often talk about. I’ve also recently decided to start offering a couch to travelers once again via the amazing Couchsurfing.org and have been meeting and hosting some neat people, including two American girls traveling in Central and South America for two months and a couple from France who will be enjoying my air mattress later this week.

A Pain in the Neck

June 18, 2009

So much for that writing every day thing… But here’s a slice of my life today.

I was up late last night researching things I want to buy while I’m back in the States this summer, and had trouble getting to sleep thinking about new toys and the impending arrival of a new (to me) couch! I was up early too, and headed out to a friend’s second-floor apartment to watch two guys (who arrived EARLY – shocking) lower said couch over the balcony and onto the sidewalk below. They kept telling me how complicated the job was because of this sign that was attached to the front of the building, but it all looked pretty smooth to me! Their clunky truck carried the couch and us 22 blocks to my place, where they (thankfully!) determined it would most likely make it in the front door of my apartment, and proceeded to carry it up 10 flights of stairs. The older guy, sweating on arrival, declared the stairs “mortal.” And mentioned again that they had done such a good job, and, you know, no obligation, but a tip might be nice. I was already paying a pretty penny for the move, but took pity and threw in a little extra “para los chicos.”

Then I had lunch and enjoyed a nice nap on the new couch.

Then I went to a personal training session with my yoga teacher to work on some things to improve my yoga practice. Afterwards I stopped at a store, and while the guy was wrapping up my purchases I was rolling my starting-to-be-sore neck and shoulders. He asked me if I’d been here long (“here” meaning BA, of course), and when I told him I’d been here two years he said, “That’s why your neck hurts. Buenos Aires is a nice place to be for just a little while.” This sums up the sentiments of a lot of people I’ve talked to here, who can’t really understand why so many foreigners would want to come live in Buenos Aires, when they’d all just love to get out. Argentine-American singer Kevin Johansen has a song about that, actually; this is the chorus: “And all the people that aren’t from here would like to come and stay / And all the people that are from here just want to get away.”

A Good Sign

May 17, 2009

On the subway there are ads for the lottery that say something to the effect of, “You could win a new life today.” And every time I see one of these ads I think, “But I don’t want a new life! The one I’ve got is pretty great.”

Searching

May 6, 2009

One of the adventures of living abroad is trying to figure out where to get something I need. Back in the States, whatever random item might occur to me, I usually have a pretty good idea what store – or what type of store, at least – would sell it. During my time here searches have been launched for envelopes, birthday cards, plain yogurt, meditation cushions, tortilla chips, and plenty of other things I can’t remember right now – and those searches have ended with varying degrees of success. A new search is about to be launched, as the long-handled lighter I use to light the stove (since the automatic “spark” button doesn’t work – I don’t think I’ve seen a single one in this country that does work) is running low on lighter fluid. At the supermarket today I bought matches, to avoid getting stuck without any way to light the stove, but I have no idea where to get lighter fluid. Supermarkets here often aren’t quite as all-encompassing in their stock as grocery stores back home; similarly, drugstores tend to be much more specific in what they carry. I also don’t know if they call lighter fluid by some other wacky name and not the rather literal liquido de encendedor that would be my first guess. My initial idea was to go back to the store where I bought the lighter (an independently owned grocery store near my old apartment – this type of store is called a chino here, because they’re pretty much exclusively run by Asians) and ask them. But first, I’ll take the Ask An Expert (Local) lifeline, when a bunch of Argentines come over for game night tonight.

Tierra Santa

May 1, 2009

I’ve been meaning to write about this since my friend Cate and I went there a few months ago – I was photography assistant while she took pix of the director for the cover of an amusement-park magazine in the States. I first heard about Tierra Santa soon after I arrived in Buenos Aires in 2007, as a lot of my traveler friends had been to check it out. I believe it’s the only religious theme park in the world, and pretty kitschy to boot (how could it not be?).

I’ll let the pictures on the site (click link above) speak for themselves… I’ll just add that where else in the world could I see The Resurrection three times in one day – and where said resurrection is accompanied by that famous song from Carmina Burana, and it’s canceled if it’s too windy? The concessions workers (and even the janitors) dress in period garb, and there are some cool sections devoted to different religious leaders, including Gandhi. All in all, a crazy unique place (with a director who wears tons of make-up and fishnets and high-heel sandals!).

Here’s my reward for being photography assistant:
AmyTierraSanta

El Día del Trabajador

May 1, 2009

How did I celebrate May Day (Worker’s Day)? I slept in, then headed out into the super-quiet city for lunch and happened upon a neighborhood restaurant serving up big bowls of locro (it’s that time of year again). Not the best I’ve ever had – no chorizo, lots of fat, no beans – and served with a salsa picante that hardly pica (“bites”), but enjoyable nonetheless. Sat in the warm fall sun and soaked up some rays… then it was time to get to work, which will carry me late into the night – no holiday for me!

Today…

April 30, 2009

I saw:
a guy wearing a shirt that said “F*** Milk – Drink Beer” (in English)
a horsedrawn cart
too many other things to name!

Hot Spot

April 27, 2009

Today I went with two friends to a fancy Scandinavian restaurant that is supposed to serve a good brunch (a real rarity in this city). It did turn out to be quite tasty, with bagel-shaped bread even (they were good, but I’m not quite sure I can call them real bagels!), and yummy cocktails – I had a dill martini, particularly special in a city that doesn’t seem too big on martinis, and where it’s difficult to find fresh dill as well. On top of all that, I spotted Argentine-American musician Kevin Johansen there while we were waiting. I’ve seen him play a number of times and was sure it was him right away, even before I noticed the Argentines murmuring about him. He’s shorter and not as cute up close (isn’t that always the way?) and my friend noted how poorly behaved his daughter was, running around the tables and such – in general Argentines don’t seem to keep as tight a leash on their kids in restaurants and the like.