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Life in Buenos Aires? Well Underway!

October 22nd, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

Dear All,

Greetings from the southern hemisphere!  (Or, as I like to think of it, Spring ’09: version 2.0!)  Now that the duration of my trip is quickly encroaching upon the 1-week mark, I feel it about time to let you all know that I DIDN’T perish in a plane wreck in the Andes, but rather instead made it here in a safe and relatively uneventful fashion.

After about 26 hours in transit in some form or another (it’s cool: several of those hours I was just sitting around eating a big sandwich or the like), I stepped out of the Buenos Aires airport where, like magic, the cold rain of Chicago had been replaced by the sunny warmth of oncoming spring.  A quick bus and a shuttle ride later and I was dropped right in front of the building of Liz and Ana, my fab hostesses with the mostesses (thanks Liz for setting up and orienting me so well, and thanks Ana for letting a complete stranger couch surf at your place for a few days!).

The social life got off to a kickin’ start: the first night (with benefit of a nap and a meal beforehand), I joined Liz and Ana to Kabuki Studio (a place which holds lessons of dance AND martial arts, a rad combination if ever I heard of one) for a little swing dance party, complete with a midnight ordering of about 20 empanadas enjoyed by the gang.  (Empanadas are these little hot pastries with things like meat & cheese in them that cost around 2 and a half pesos–$0.65 US–and are available like everywhere.  If “John in Buenos Aires” were a Nintendo game, empandas would most certainly be a power up item in it.)

The second night, after going to a street fair with some folks (complete with a little dancing to a band that played a bumpin’ rendition of some Sinatra tune whose name I forget), 5 of us threw an impromptu dinner party.  We hit a grocery store, collected items that at least one of us knew how to cook, and made a fab 4-course meal that was ready to serve around midnight.  I never thought that Argentinian tradition of doing dinner super late would ever agree with my always-hungry metabolism, but it turns out it does  The meal included butternut squash soup, pasta with marinara made from scratch, garlic bread and steak.  If it could be said that I had a 5-quetzal-a-day coconut habit in Guatemala (and it could), it could also be said that I have a 5-peso-a-day steak habit here.  Jury’s still out about which one is ultimately better for me.

I got a place 2 days ago after some relatively minimal googling about for “buenos aires furnished apartments”: it’s a little (yet fantastically sufficient!) studio and you can see pictures of it here: http://www.apartmentsbaires.com.ar/BN01in.htm.  There was something quite satisfying about getting the keys to a place to call my own in another country (even if for a meager 45 day lease), and I suspect it shown in my step as I made the rounds to the gather goodies at the nearest super market, bakery and fruit stand.  Ah, to delight in the little things!

More tales to share, but I’ll cut off now before long turns into obnoxious.  As I go through my Argentine adventure during the coming 2 months I’ll send the occasional update like this (not unlike Eurotrip ’04, see http://www.pohlman.us/john/ for complete details), but I don’t wanna spam none of y’all.  So if you’d like to be on the distribution list for such missives, you MUST shoot me a quick reply to let me know–I would love to hear from you AND it would be a delight to have some communications in English coming my way for a change of pace!


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