Archive for the ‘local adventure’ 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!

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!

Inmigraciones

April 28, 2009

Yesterday I went to renew my visa at the immigration office, giving me a first-hand look at how it all unfolds. These processes make me appreciate so much more the struggles that people from other countries go through to be able to come to/stay/live in the U.S., and the relative ease of my experience with it here thus far is not something I take for granted. The 2 1/2 hours I spent waiting for various pieces to fall into place made for great people-watching (something I would have missed out on if I’d remembered to bring a book with me!). It is quite humbling to be one of just a handful of European-looking folks in a massive crowd of people filing various papers, paying fees, and trying to handle a foreign bureaucracy. For many of them, though, at least they have the added benefit of speaking the language – I don’t have any hard facts but suspect that the majority of immigrants are coming from Paraguay and Bolivia, and others from further afield in Latin America. I also saw some Brazilians, but the next biggest group after Spanish-speakers seemed to be Asians. The only real problem I encountered personally was discovering that the last stamp in my passport was placed on top of a strip of clear tape (apparently used when I had pages added to my passport), and some of the ink was rubbing off – making it hard to tell how long a stay I was granted and what date I entered. I had to go to another area where they verify and repair stamps, to get a printout and have someone notarize my entry stamp, basically, before I could get the renewal. No big deal, it just added about 30 minutes to the process. And, unfortunately, just a week ago the price to renew TRIPLED, so this was no longer a cheap endeavor (well, it’s all relative – still less than US$100). It would have been cheaper to go to Uruguay, if only I’d thought I had the time to do that this week.

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.

Civilized

April 24, 2009

For a lot of reasons that aren’t worth getting into at the moment, most people here (including me) pay their bills by going to an outlet that’s equipped for bill-paying (could be a pharmacy, grocery store, post office, random kiosco) and paying them in cash. After finally getting hold of the phone company to explain an extra charge on my bill, I ran out to pay that and my gas bill this morning, thinking I’d get a jump on things by arriving just when the post office was opening at 10, but I wasn’t the only one with that idea! I was 11th in line outside the front door, but managed to get through the line and back home in half an hour (though while I was waiting in line I realized I had left one other unpaid bill at home; luckily it’s not due for a few weeks). On the way back, I passed my neighborhood police officer, who usually hangs out in front of the grocery store on my block, walking down the street towards his post (and not really from a direction where there’s a café nearby) carrying a little ceramic cup of coffee.

Observations

April 23, 2009

I know a few people who upload a photo to their site every day (or try to), and it’s a cool glimpse of their world/lives. But I almost never carry my camera around, and it always seems like a hassle to hook it up to download pictures – I am definitely not interested in doing that daily! But, there’s no reason I can’t do the same thing in words, and try to give you all a little slice of life down here. I can’t promise to do it every day, but I’ll do my best!

This idea came to me this morning when I was walking around the big park by my house. It’s the best place in these parts to exercise outside and there are lots of people out and about, making for some great people-watching. This morning I saw lots of interesting characters, including a woman in her sixties wearing a T-shirt that said, “Yo! Juicy Girl.” When I was there the other day (I’m trying to exercise more often!) I saw a woman with a shirt that said, “You don’t even have a chance.” It’s pretty funny to see people in other countries wearing shirts with English sayings, especially because they often don’t know what they say (I can’t imagine wearing something without knowing what it says!). One day at salsa class my friend told a guy that she liked his shirt, and he asked her what it said. The answer? “This is my party shirt.”