miércoles, 15 de diciembre de 2010

Too Much Too Late

I never got around to finishing my last entry... and I tell you that I won't do it now.

I have been back for 4 months and 2 weeks and a lot has changed. I live in my parent's basement, again. It's not so bad this time because now there is heat and we have air filters around the house so my allergies aren't as bad. I just finished Fall semester and it was so difficult. Being back in English classes is so trippy. I don't know how else to describe it.

 Charlie, Alyx, me, Nolan

These are some of my new best friends. I met Charlie through Alyx, and Alyx through Jessie. Nolan is my boyfriend. I met Nolan through my friend George and I was drawn to him immediately, we both love metal and folk metal and have some stuff in common but also have a lot of differences, which I have learned to appreciate over the years. He studies music, which is completely amazing to me, and he has an epic beard that he is going to butcher soon, which is a bummer, but it's just a beard. Oddly this is one of the two pictures that exist of us two... I think I should increase those numbers soon.

I worked as a Spanish Tutor this semester and I really liked it. I hear that I help the students a lot with grammar issues which makes me really happy, that is my strong point. Writing, not so much. I try to help with writing, and I do help them improve their writing skills, but I'm no native speaker. I can't be too hard on myself though, one never conquers a language.

I went out to Skateland and then dancing on my birthday. It was really fun, I'm surprised so many of my friends actually went roller skating with me and actually HAD FUN! I'm always kind of afraid on the inside that my crazy ideas for group outtings are going to fail miserably, but they always seem to turn out well. I guess it's like wearing a weird outfit of clothing: do it with confidence and everyone will be into it.

AAAAAAAAAAAnnnnddd... that's about it. Funny how I can write pages and pages per week in Argentina but over 4 months in Anchorage, Alaska I can only come up with about 2. It is winter vacation and I am unemployed... I'm looking for a job but no luck so far. I figure by the time I have a chance at getting one, the next semester will start up anyways and I won't be able to do it. However I am trying to stay optimistic and need to start living frugally again. At least here I don't have to live on rice and lemon juice everyday. Despite the crazy budget cuts I made in Buenos Aires, I loved the busy-ness there... I'd live frugally to be in the middle of the action instead of live in luxury in a dead space. Soon enough I will get out again.

And that is my goal at this point: get out.

I'm going to Germany for a month with Jessie, Alyx, maybe Charlie, and others in July. Assuming I can come up with the funds... I have half of what I need, the other half I did have but then Christmas came. I get sick every holiday season. Sick and happy, ironically. I love giving, I love finding something I know someone will love, and giving it to them to see if I was right, if they really like it. I don't want anything in return really. But all the while I have this sick feeling in the pit of my stomach because I know I am participating in the addiction to Capitalism this country has. Nothing comes from the heart in art, words, or poetry anymore. It's too dramatic, cheesy, or brushed aside if you give something from your soul anymore. We Americans need to be casual, funny, laughing off all the problems that peck at us everyday because we know we are the cause of so many people's misery outside of our patriotic dome called North America. Nevermind the fact that we throw away enough waste to eternally clog the oceans of the earth every year, I'm going to blow all my money on this big screen TV and toss the old one to the dump.

These are the thoughts that go through my head now. I don't see home when I look around anymore. I see a brainwashed society that is afraid to look around, afraid to look ahead. Afraid to know the truth about the way they live because then, and ONLY then, does it become a real problem, one that they have to fix, that they are responsible for - NO-  for which they need to take responsibility. Maybe ignorance really is bliss. I see what is happening and I take the blame and I do what I can to help, to reuse, to recycle, to reduce trash and use less water than needed. I read the news and keep up with politics and I know about the miners in Chile and the Chinese Nobel Prize winner who is locked in prison for expressing his thoughts - for giving the world a peak into his soul. But, unlike us Americans, hiding behind shallow humor and laughing the issues off, he acknowledges, expresses, and for this he is recognized and labeled as a heathen and suffers behind bars.

Which is worse? Being ignorant of the world's issues and being praised for it, or being aware of the world's issues and being punished for it?

These are the thoughts that go through my head now.

I like my life in Alaska. It is certainly different than when I left, and I know the darkness is getting to me considering the cynical tone I have in this entry. But all in all, I have a place here and I meet good people every day through my friends.

"I like my life". That is kind of pathetic. I don't want to like my life.

I want to love my life.

miércoles, 28 de julio de 2010

4 days and counting...

Well, I started this entry back at 4 days and counting.. now it's 2 days and counting... my fairwell dinner is today at 9.00pm at Acabar, so far 20 of my friends have said they're coming! Holy crap, I couldn't even get 20 friends from Alaska to say goodbye to me... Funny how a year can change your life. So here are my thoughts from 2 days ago...

As I sit here just 4 days away from my departure back to Alaska listening to the Wasteland, hosted by one of my best friends George on KRUA 88.1 FM the Edge on UAAs college radio station online from across the world... after having packed 90% of my life here in Almagro, Buenos Aires, Argentina... I am thinking about all of the adventures I have had in the past year... as well as how my family will like the gifts I have collected for them...

Up until this week I have been talking about how much I am panicking about having to leave and go back to Alaska as the new me, with my new language and life skills (do I even have to mention my new worldwide perspectives?), but at the end of the day I can say that I am ready for the jump. Going back to Anchorage, to my family and friends, the mountains, darkness and the cold, is going to be 100 times the jump I made to come to Argentina in the beginning because it's going back to what I knew, and not knowing if me-now will fit in where me-then once was. However, that is part of of the beauty of studying abroad, and I am not only panicking and nervous about the transition, but also quite excited and anxious to see how everyone else has changed while I have been changing myself...

Jessie and I in Parque Centenario

So. On another note, I would like to share a bit about Jessie's visit! We had so much fun! There was no down time, we wasted 0 hours, it was go go go! So much fun. Quite tiresome, but completely worthwhile! Here is a rather condensed version of her trip...

Passing my neighborhood, Once ("own-say"), on the way to San Telmo

We went to Gibraltar and the San Telmo Feria in San Telmo after having visited an anarchist library in Palermo. We also went to the...

Casa Rosada! all lit up and pretty for the weekend

Me, Jessie, and Sebastian (from Colombia)

On the 4th of July we went to an Independence Day celebration at Kelly and Jenny's apartment with a whole mix of people: Colombians, French people, Argentinians, Peruvians, Israelis (Yogev), and of course Americans.

Model for Prototype

Long story short, we wanted sushi. I choose probably the most expensive sushi-peruvian-fusion restaurante in the city, Osaka, where we waited an hour for a table and saw this guy. I kept staring at him thinking 'where have I seen that guy before?... he's pretty tall and thin... and attractive'. Days later while walking through the Shopping Abasto I see this ad for a mens clothing store and realized yeah, I've seen him! He's a model. Of course. I feel bad for him though cuz I kept staring at him wondering where I had seen his face before and he kept staring at me back. He must get that a lot. It must get annoying... man, I don't want to be one of those annoying people... Oh well, it's gone and hopefully he took the staring as a compliment.

And that's all I can write for now cuz I sold my computer cable to a friend because the electrician from back in January decided to mutilate it, and since my friend needed a Mac cable I just happened to be able to sell him mine.. win-win. Now my battery is running out. I think my roommate has a Mac, I hope I can charge my computer in his room before I leave.

Hasta luego!

viernes, 16 de julio de 2010

15 days left, and here is what I suggest:

So I've had an amazing past couple of weeks with my best friend Jessie who came to visit me! I can't believe how lucky I am to have such a great friend in my life. She is part of my soul and always will be. Even though we hadn't talked for about a year, we picked back up like no time had passed at all. I'd say those two weeks were some of the most enjoyable in my 56 weeks in Argentina.

I will add more about that series of adventures later. For now I wanted to share an email I recently wrote to one of the students studying here in Buenos Aires, Argentina. It is written in Spanish, sorry for all you monolinguist English speakers, but I hope this list of my favorite / soon to visit places helps someone out!

Te dejo las categorías: Lugares para tango/milonga, para comer, bares, para salir/boliches, y lugares públicos (los museos. etc).

para Tango/Milonga
La Catedral - Sarmiento 4006, para bailar tango/milonga los Martes (muy llena de gente) o los miércoles (menos gente, barrato y casi tenés un profesor/a privado por la noche). Lugar grande con comida y bebidas. a mi me gusta más que la Viruta porque aprendés los pasos detallados en la Catedral, La Viruta (Armenia 1366) está bueno para aprender rutas de pasos. Si vas a los 2 vas a bailer mejor que todos =)

Para comer:
*mi favorito para asado/parrilla* es Aberdeen Angus Argentina, es un restaurante en el shopping Abasto en Jean Juares y Corrientes. No sé si hay otras localidades, pero te juro que no es "mall food" en esa localidad, está buenísimo, siempre pido de la parrilla el bife de chorizo jugoso, que viene con ensalada libre, todo para 48 pesos. es muuuuy rico y económico. es raro que esté en un shopping, ¿pero a quién le importa eso?

Sarkis- Thames 1101, en Palermo. Es comida Armenia/Israeli, muy rica y económica. Te sugiero que comas allí =) . Entre $14AR y $40 por plato.

Güerrín Pizzería
- Corrientes y Uruguay, LO MEJOR DE BUENOS AIRES. Es una pizzería típica de Buenos Aires. Tienen de todo, y al dentro hay 2 o 3 pisos para sentarse. Podés pedir a la corte o una pizza entera. Muy rica es la de muzzarela, pollo, champiñones y salsa portuguesa. Otras Pizzerías que también son ricas son El Cuartito (Talcahuano 937) y Kentucky Pizzería (varias localidades, unas en Santa Fe 4602, Corrientes y Gallo o Bustamante... uno de los 2). Solo sugiero Güerrín primero porque tiene todo: pizza rica, un ambiente lindo, y cerveza que no es demasiado caro. El Cuartito tiene pizza muy rica pero parece un poco "rundown", y Kentucky es lindo pero me gusta Güerrín más por alguna razón... jaja.

Las Cabras- Fitz Roy 1795, es una parrilla rica, solo comí la parrillada completa, que viene con carne, chorizo, y entrañas... viene con un poco de todo que sacan de la vaca. $65 para la parrillada completa (pienso..)

Siga la Vaca- http://www.sigalavaca.com/ , hay varias localidades, nunca fui pero oigo que está rico su asado

Maru Botana- hay 1 en Retiro/el Centro en Suipacha 1371, y en Belgrano 11 de Setiembre 982, cerca de la facultad. Hay muchos postres en esta ciudad que parecen riquísimos pero te notas que no tienen el sabor que querés de un postre... no?!?! Maru Botana tiene las tortas más ricas de la ciudad entera, tenés que irte! Cada porción es gigante y salen 20 pesos cada una, pero vete con una amiga y compartanse una porción. ES MUY RICO!! QUIERO IR AHORAAA! jaja. Está bueno para ir y almorzar también, sus ensaladas son ricas.

Cafe Tortoni- Ave de Mayo 825, justo en frente de la estación de subte línea A: Piedras. Vale irte para una visita. En ese lugar escribieron, y a algunos les inspiró, Jorge Luis Borges, Benito Quinquela Martín (gran artista de la Boca), Alfonsina Storni (poetisa), Raúl González Tuñon y Francisco Luís Bernardez. En mi opinion lo único que vale para comer allí es el sándwich de pavo.. porque viste que no hay mucho pavo acá, solo jamón, jaja ;)

Bares: (¿dónde empezar?!?! jaja)
DeBar - Rivadavia 1125, cerca de la estación 'Ave. de Mayo' de la línea C. Cerveza Gratis los Lunes - Jueves para las Chicas desde las 18 hs hasta las 21 hs. No tricks, just free beer. También tienen Happy Hour desde las 18hs - la medianoche para todos. Es mi bar favorito porque tocan mi música favorita... Grunge, Garage Rock... por ejemplo... Tool, Smashing Pumpkins, Björk, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Nirvana, Muse, Beck... al fin de este mes tiene una noche de Maynard James Keenan, mi cantante FAVORITO DEL MUNDO! pero no sé si voy a poder irme todavía.. y bueno. Este lugar está buenísimo para irte con amigos si te gusta esa tipo de música. Tienen tragos buenos, y los precios para los tragos son normales, pero sale $20 AR por litro de Quilmes

Gibraltar Bar- Perú 895, en San Telmo. Te digo que ME ENCANTA ESTE BAR!! Van todos de todo el mundo. La gente que va es más mayor que otros lugares, por ejemplo... de 23 años y más. Me gusta porque son más maduros en ese lugar, y los precios son buenos. La comida es genial, su hamburguesa casera es muy rica, no como las hamburguesas en ninún otro lugar. Es un bar estilo inglés, y el decor recuerda de Sherlock Holmes. Lindo y Limpio. mi favorito para salir, no voy a Debar tanto como voy a Gibraltar. $10 AR por pinta de quimes/budweiser

Red Door- Chacabuco y Independencia, en San Telmo. Tecnicalmente está en Chacabuco 733 pero cuando te vayas te vas a notar dónde está: Es la puerta roja en la calle. Lindo lugar, buena gente (de argentina, estados unidos, el reino unido, australia, de todo el mundo). Normalmente los que están en Gibraltar van a la Puerta Roja después porque Gibra se cierra antes de la Puerta Roja.

Sugar- Costa Rica 4619, Costa Rica y Armenia en Palermo.
Conocí a mis primeros amigos argentinos en este lugar cuando llegué. Cambiaron 1/2 para ser un restaurante pero todavía es un bar para conocer a gente. Gibraltar y Sugar son buenos para conocer a gente nueva, el ambiente es abierto y todos quieren charlar. No es decir que no hayan "creepers"... pero ojo... hay que cuidarte eh =). Sugar tiene Cerveza / vino libre para chicas los jueves con $25 entrada. Los otros días su Happy Hour (19hs - 24hs) tienen $7 la pinta de cerveza. Normalmente, muy tarde se pone tipo boliche y la gente baila, pero depende en el grupo de personas que está, porque no siempre bailan allí.. por suerte está cerca de Plaza Serrano y otros lugares para bailar más tarde.

Acabar!- sobre Honduras entre Bonpland y Carranza, en Palermo Hollywood.
Es un resto-bar lindisimo, estilo "kischy - vintage". Ofrecen juegos para jugar mientras esperas tu plato o trago, como Jenga, Pictionary, etc. Es muy lindo, es uno de mis favoritos. Los platos son ricos y los tragos tambien. Te sugiero un Caipi-gancia (una caipirinha con gancia), o el trago con "mexicano" en el nobre.. no me acuerdo como se llama ahora...Muy divertido este lugar.

Antares - Armenia 1447, en Palermo. Cerveza Artesenal, muy rica. Tiene Happy hour desde las 19hs - 20hs, entonces va temprano para aprovechar. Las pintas salen 2 x $20 durante Happy Hour porque normalmente son $20 cada pinta. Es muy rica, pero va durante Happy Hour. También tienen comida rica.

Molly Mallone's
- Perú 253, cerca de Plaza de Mayo. Un bar estilo irlandés. A mi me encanta todo que tiene que ver con irlanda... entonces me encanta este lugar. Tiene mucho madera, y la última vez que fui vi al entrenador del equipo de Rugby de Escocia, Gregor Townsend (fui con un tipo irlandés y él lo reconoció). Me gusta el ambiente de Molly Mallone's.

Van Koning -Báez 325, entre Palermo y Belgrano. Tienen mucha cerveza Alemán importada. Cuando fui compré una lata para 23 pesos, es caro pero es cerveza de alemania. Lindo lugar, me recuerda de Alaska... quizás por eso me guste, pero volvería si tuviera tiempo.

Para Salir/Boliches
La Bomba del tiempo- Sarmiento 3131
(en Ciudad CUltural Konex). Yo vivo a una cuadra de este lugar y siempre voy! Los Lunes desde las 7.00 hasta las 10.00 un grupo de bateristas toca los tambores. Es mejor que te vayas a las 7.30 o a las 8.00 de la noche porque solo practican hasta esas horas y el auditorio empieza a ponerse bailar =) . $20 para entrar, $15 si comprás tus entrades de antemano. También unos artistas argentinos famosos como Kevin Johansen y la Nada y Lisandro Aristimuño tocan ahí, fijate en el blog de La Bomba del Tiempo:

Madagascar Bar- Serrano 1640, como mencioné, está en Plaza Serrano y normalmente voy los jueves. Está buenísimo para bailar porque no es el ambiente en lo cual los chicos te quieran reunirse contigo, es divertido y tranquilo. Con música clásica de los Estados Unidos, Argentina, un poco de reggaeton, un poco de todo. Ponen temazos por un ratito y los cambian antes de que te canses de ellos. $20 o $25 la entrada con consumición.

Sudaca - Sarmiento 1752, un boliche con reggaeton muy divertido! pero dames entran $30 y los hombres $40...

Maluco Beleza- Sarmiento 1728 http://www.malucobeleza.com.ar/
Lugar brasileño! Cena/show, para bailar también.

La France - Sarmiento 1662, Boliche con reggaeton, electrónica, y música divertida. TRAGOS/CERVEZA MUY BARRATOS! Una consumición con la entrada =)

LOST - (Club Aráoz, en Aráoz 2424) LOS JUEVES, Música rap, rap, reggaeton, RAP. Muy divertido si querés una noche loca. Lata de cerveza $15, tienen un sitio para mandar listas para entrar gratis:
acá entras los nombres de los que van, y solo hay que irse antes de las 2.30 y decirles sus nombres para entrar gratis. ME ENCANTAN LUGARES GRATISES ;)

Kika - Honduras 5339 (Honduras y Juan B. Justo), Los Martes podés entrar gratis antes de la 1 de la mañana, los otros días hay que pagar $30 o $40 para entrar. Es un lugar bastante grande con 2 o 3 cuartos con música distinta. Tocan música tipo electónica, a veces temazos de las épocas pasadas... a mi me gustan los lugares del estilo más reggaeton, pero a mucha gente le gustan Kika y un otro que se llama Crobar (Av.Libertador 3886 / Paseo de la Infanta / Arco 17) un boliche de Electrónica los sábados, y de música de los años 80 los viernes. La primera vez que fui me salió $50 para entrar... la segunda vez $30. Pienso que si te vas antes de las 2.00 te cuesta $20, no sé. Es el único boliche que acepta tarjetas de crédito para entrar (de lo que sé).


lugares públicos:
el museo Carlos Gardel... está en Jean Juares 735, el nombre se explica.

Basílica de María Auxiliadora y San Carlos Borromeo: Considerada la iglesia más bonita de Buenos Aires, de estilo neorromántico- lombardo. Se encuentra en Quintino Bocayuva 144, Q. Bocayuva y H. Irigoyen - TE: 4981-7752

el Museo de Bellas Artes - fine art, con arte importado, arte precolombino, una exibición de arte del conquisto mexicano, y arte Argentino
MALBA, museo de arte latinoamericano de buenos aires
Biblioteca Nacional
Cemeterio Chacarita
(tiene la sepultura de Carlos Gardel y di Tella)
Jardín Botánico en plaza italia (bueno para estudiar si no hace demasiado frío)

San Telmo
/ Antique shops, bares
La Feria de San Telmo (desde Defensa y Plaza de Mayo hasta Defensa y Juan de Garay). Si todavía no fuiste TENÉS QUE IRTE! los Domingos tienen de todo: manualidades artesanales, comidas caseras (un tipo me vendió un pan relleno RIQUÍSIMO la semana pasada pero no sé como es su nombre...), joyería, recuerdos (souvenirs), ropa, trinkets of all sorts.

La Boca / Museo Benito Quinquela Martín

Pickup Frisbee los sábados a las 16.30 - 21 mas o menos, en Club Ciudad Universitaria (los argentinos y extranjeros juegan, es muy divertido y dan bienvenidas a todos) unos colectivos que llegan: 42, 37, 160, hay más pero no me acuerdo cuales.

Bosques de Palermo y el Parque 3 de Febrero

Plaza de Mayo-
ver las abuelas en la plaza los jueves desde las 3:30-4:30. Todavía no las vi, de todo el año nunca estuve un jueves a las 3:30 para verlas... la semana que viene voy.

Reserva Ecologica - la costanera sur, cerca de Plaza de Mayo al fin de la calle Viamonte podés entrar
Carmen nos llevó unas veces pero las 2 perdí. Oigo que es muy lindo, un buen descanso del movimiento de la ciudad.

Puerto Madero
, ya sabes donde está. Va por la noche, camina por el puente con alguien. Si tenes la plata, oí que la mejor carne está en Las Lilas, un restaurante allá. Comí un bife de chorizo con mi papá en diciembre allí y es muy rico (aunque la carne en Aberdeen Angus Argentina me gusta más!). Sale $80 AR mas o menos para un corte de carne.

el Museo de Ciecias Naturales
- (La Plata) http://www.macn.secyt.gov.ar/cont_Gral/home.php
Pienso que hay huesos de los dinosaurios en ese museo. quiero ir, todavía no fui.

Tour/concert in Teatro Colon - Libertad y Tucumán, http://www.teatrocolon.org.ar/
Uno de los mejores teatros del mundo, cumplió 100 años en 2008. Tenés que verlo! si podés, ve un show adentro.

la feria de Mataderos - http://www.feriademataderos.com.ar/acceso.htm
podes tomar unos colectivos que te dejan en la Feria de Mataderos. Es una feria más tradicional, más ... como se llama... verdadero. menos turistica. hay de todo, cuero, joyería, los mates, unas comidas y dulce de leches artesenales, bailes folclóricos, etc. Dura una hora mas o menos en colectivo para irte, pero vale la pena. quiero volver, quizas si querés vamos juntas antes de que me vaya del país.

Plaza Serrano - Jorge Luis Borges y Serrano (donde cambia de nombre). Bares, restaurantes, unos boliches. Tiene una feria los fines de semana, y Madagascar, en el Bar (hay 2, madagascar el bar, y Madagascar el Disco). Los jueves Madagacsar Bar es un boliche genial, muy divertido! También en Plaza Serrano está Crónico, que está abierto los 24 horas los fines de semana.

Museo UNTREF - Valentín Gómez 4838 en Caseros
, afuera de la Ciudad Capital Federal, en la Provincia de Buenos Aires
obras de Picasso! gratis para verlas! solo hay que llegar en Caseros... nunca fui, pero podés averigüar cómo llegar =)

y bueno... To all future API students: enjoy your time here! Seize every moment! Because before you know it you will have 15 days left and still a list of things you want to do...

and now I'm going to have lunch with my old roommate. Chau!

lunes, 28 de junio de 2010

Vamos vamos, A GANAR!

So much is going on at the moment! Argentina beat Mexico 3-1 on Sunday so my friend Agustina and I went to Red Door/Puerta Roja and Gibraltar to celebrate. Ironically I had spent the day in Gibraltar to watch the game after my friend's hostel's receptionist was a jerk and would not let her know I had arrived when I got there. I also did not have my phone to alert her. Oh well, I went alone to a familiar place and enjoyed the game. I couldn't believe Argentina scored 3 times! However the first goal was controversial, the second was pretty well played, Mexico could have stopped it but it was  fluke, and the third goal was beautiful, kicked from almost the center of the field above everyone and into the net. I can't find a decent youtube video to share the love, but maybe later I can post one.

Plaza San Martín, for the Argentina vs. Greece game

Bus drivers would stop driving, park in the middle of the road, and watch the game from the bus...

Let me talk a bit about last week's game. Last week Kelly and I tried to go to Plaza San Martín to watch the game on a big screen with a bunch of people outside. However, once inside the barrier they had around the plaza, it was impossible to find a place to see, so we left and went to a nearby café called L'amore. There we were able to sit without being bothered and watched the match which ended in 2-0 Argentina. Poor Greece though, The whole game was spent laughing at them... This one guy got kicked in the mouth or something and had gauze hanging out from his lips and the cameraman zoomed in, the entire café bursted out laughing at the guy. Later on the Greek goalie got the ball to his balls, or his lower gut anyways... he was out of commission for a couple minutes, everyone got a kick out of that too. Probably the funniest moment of that game was when Argentina was going in to score and one of the Greek guys got in the way of the goalie and really made him mad.. They zoomed in on the greek goalie yelling at his teammate and pointing to the other end of the field, possibly yelling YOU NEED TO SCORE OVER THERE!! OVER THERE!!! and the other teammate had his hands clutching his hair and he was looking to the sky shouting something, probably along the lines of I KNOW!!! I KNOW! I'M SO SORRYYYYY!!! it was way too funny.After the game there were celebrations at the Obelisk and I managed to catch a couple shots:

A Gigantic Blow-up Diego Maradona (Argentina's Coach and Legend)

So this week, yesterday, after the game I left Gibraltar only to go home to get my phone and see what others were going to be doing to celebrate. The ride home was nuts, it was amazing! Every car was honking and had blue and white flags hanging out of the windows, people singing and chanting and cheering for Argentina, we drove past the Obelisk which had a fiesta of its own with a huge blow up soccer player of #10 Messi's jersey (Or Maradona's, they're both legends, so... yeah).  Here's a short clip I was able to take from the bus and some photos:

Obelisk, Buenos Aires, after Arg 3-1 Mex Victory

 a Parade making its way through 9 de Julio in front of the Obelisk

I got home and that's when Agustina and I decided to go out and celebrate. We weren't planning on being out til late, but we were out til at least 5:00am, like always. How am I going to adjust to a night life of the United States? I cannot see that happening.. I have always been a night person, ever since I was young and would stay up all night in the basement sewing beanie babies or squares for a quilt, or pants to salvage them from being sent in for donation. I was born to stay up all night and sleep all day. I dislike the morningtime, there is nothing to do in the morningtime... I suppose you can go for a walk, or get some early-bird shopping out of the way, make some breakfast... but other than that I am not fond of the idea of waking up before noon.

Anyways, came home and went for a walk around Plaza Miserere, the busy plaza near my house and train station Once. There were some groups of people either entertaining or rallying for protest, I'm not sure. One of them was a transvestite salsa fiesta, or at least that is what I could extract from what was going on in the center of the circle which had quite an impressive crowd of people. I can't believe I haven't walked around my neighborhood before. I love it, I discovered many things today. I found another Coto Supermercado just beyond the Plaza, and found out just how important that area is due to many bus lines that pass through there. Some lines for the busses stretched across the plaza itself. After my explorations it started getting dark, and even though I didn't have anything valuable for anyone to steal from me I decided to head home. I picked up some ñoquis primavera and salsa tuco for dinner, and maíz to make popcorn for snacking. I know how Jessie and I love popcorn...

and so I end this entry with the most exciting piece of news I have to give.... MY BEST FRIEND WILL ARRIVE IN THE AIRPORT AT 8:00am!!! I'm so excited that I don't want to sleep, but I am also very tired from my adventures last night so I will sleep after I post this entry. She will be staying with me for the next 2 weeks, and we are going to have so much fun! Might even go to Uruguay for a day, since both Kelly and I still need to renew our Visas... and it's a good excuse for Jessie to go to Uruguay (that is, if she wants to go).
Ready..... Set............


miércoles, 23 de junio de 2010

free time = emergence of feelings

Tool to save the day, once again. I love this band with my heart and soul, I don't care how much they may crash and burn in the future (knock on wood!) I will always love what they have created for the people and their auditory senses.

So the semester is coming to a close. One more final exam, and I'm done with this university! We'll see how it goes. I don't really know the point of this entry... I have nothing to do other than knit, study, watch movies, eat food, and wait for some form of money to arrive. New debit card and pin number are coming in the mail (hopefully) and I have enough to get me to and from my final exam on Friday, nothing more. Luckily I have a stock of rice, lentils, pasta, and soy sauce for some asian cuisine stocked on my shelf. I've done this before, during the summertime if you don't recall. I just never wanted to have to do it again. I guess the torturous part is that I have money.. thanks to my wonderful parents. I have money in my account, but I cannot access it... If I could go back in time to that night of losing my wallet I would be super paranoid about it. I was careful about it, it was zipped up in my purse and everything. My only guess is that it got caught on one of the scarves i returned to my friends and fell out... nobody could have snuck in there and taken it and then zipped my back back up, I keep it under my arm. No point in thinking about the past though. Think about now, and until I get my card.

My time is slowly dwindling... I have 5 weeks left. ONLY 5 WEEKS! Two of which will be spent with my best friend JESSIE. I can't believe she is actually coming. I didn't believe it until she gave me a date and time of arrival... and even now it seems like a dream. This whole trip is starting to feel like a dream long past, but I want to stretch it out as long as possible. Thinking about sitting back at the student union at UAA listening to English and seeing people smoke outside rather than inside and having short hairstyles and bell bottomed jeans and blonde hair is scaring me. I am going to have the worst culture shock when I go back home, and I know this going in. I hear it's the worst when you go back home from a trip like this. I am trying to prepare myself for it, but there is nothing you can really do to prepare... just like coming here, you are just thrown into it and you gotta sink or swim. I'll be treading for a long, long time.

I will cut this entry short for now. I am feeling melancholic, although contrary to the definition of the word, it will not last too long. This is just what happens when you have too much free time and you know a huge change in your life is coming... you dwell and overthink. I've spent all day reading Norse Mythology on Google Books online. I promised myself I would finish that collection before I started on Celtic myths and legends. I do have a book waiting for me at home in Alaska, 1/4 finished,  called "Australian Myths, Legends, and Fables". I need to get some books on Alaskan legends... that would be ideal, since I am from Alaska.

This entry is kind of bizarre compared to my others, but these are thoughts I wanted to share with the public, it is not meant to be a private entry. I want everyone to see the end of my study abroad, I want people to know how I feel and what is going on in my mind. There are not enough words to express fully how I am feeling, because it is a constant bubbling, changing feeling between happiness, sadness, and fear. From today I have exactly 5 weeks and 3 days left. I intend to put it to good use.


lunes, 14 de junio de 2010

Epic Outtings with Alaskans and Irishmen

These past 2 weeks have been so busy! The best times, some hard times. Here I will walk you through it all.


Alaskans Unite!
Jodie, me, Joanna, and Mike!

I just can't say Mike!'s name without the exclamation mark. This is all of us Alaskans that are in Buenos Aires (I'm sure there's more, but this is all I could collect for lasagna night). I decided I wanted to have friends over and eat Lasagna and Scottish shortbread and Sangría. Jodie, Joanna & Mike (brother and sister), Kelly and her friend Emily, Samantha, Caitlyn and her boyfriend, Yogev, and a few others came. It was fantastic! The lasagna came out meaty and tasty, and it was my first time ever making it. The night was an excuse to see Mike, Joanna, and Jodie to tell the truth. Mainly Mike, I have to admit. I've known Mike since middle school or high school, he was always the crazy guy! Loved by all, accepted anyone into his life. At junior prom he drank a beta fish, and at senior prom he dubbed Jessie with the nickname of "Boots" because of her 7-inch purple glitter platforms that she wore (which by the way completely nulled my choice of wedges to match her height). So many memories with Mike, although never really hung out outside of school... until now! on the other side of the planet! Joanna and him are currently traveling through the rest of Argentina, but when they touch base in Buenos Aires again there will be more festivities. 

Afterward dinner some went home, and the rest of us went out to a private party to celebrate the Interior. It was a fiesta de verdad, it took place in a church or some kind of employment building, with a dance floor and a bar. There was an electric bull, it was funny watching Argentines try to ride it. We were invited by Kelly's friend Juan Camilo who is from Colombia, he was working the coat check and mini bar in the back, and I could tell he was a good guy from the get-go. Very respectful. I'll write about him again later. 

Anyways, so Caitlyn bought us some drinks and we started dancing together. I met some other people there, from Santiago del Estero, and Mar del Plata. Sometimes I don't want to talk to strangers when I go out with friends, but this night was different. I had a great time, and everyone else seemed to as well.

On Tuesday, a few days after the dance party in the church Kelly and I went to Gibraltar bar in San Telmo to say goodbye to her roommate who was only in the apartment for a month, Chris. I went to Frisbee with Chris once, and he made lots of pizza... funny guy. We had a few drinks and talked about the good times, and he got super tired (or super drunk) and hopped in a taxi to go home for the night since he was leaving the next day. Kelly and I wanted to stay and talk with the new people we had met even though it was a Tuesday, and that's where it all began.  After we had enough of Gibraltar we started heading to Red Door, and there was this guy tagging along with us. I didn't remember meeting him in Gibraltar, but he seemed alright. Kelly and him talked all the way there and when we got there we didn't have a problem getting in. I met some more people, Sebastian from Barcelona who was celebrating the end of his trip as well, among others. Kelly and I got invited to this one guy's birthday party that was set for Wednesday, the next day. Eventually I ended up talking to the guy that tagged along with us and found out he was from Ireland. Immediately wanted to hear more, but I kept my distance so as not to look like an obsessive fool... If you know anything about me, it's that I love Ireland... always have, and have always wanted to go back since I went when I was 16. We talked and talked and clicked right away. His name is Eoghan (pronounced "Owen") and he pretty much changed my life.


Eoghan and I hung out for 2 days straight, I showed him what I could of the city and enjoyed his company very much. I looooove the Irish accents... I felt stupid a lot because I couldn't make out what he was saying sometimes, but that's part of the fun of being from different places even if you speak the same language, I guess. On Wednesday we went to the Abasto shopping center, near where I live, and then to Plaza de Mayo, and the Casa Rosada was lit up in bright pink lights! I have never seen that before, and I haven't seen it like that since (I've been past it a couple times since last week). 

I told him what I could remember about the Casa Colonial, Casa Rosada, the Cathedral, and the marching abuelas. I'm no tour guide, but I did what I could, if not for him, then for me to prove that I can remember something from this year to myself...  After Plaza de Mayo we walked to Puerto Madero and saw the bridge, had some coffee and alfajores in a cafe, and walked to one of the yellow cranes. He was funny, he wanted a picture with the crane instead of the Bridge. Who am I to argue? Then we walked to Molly Mallone's, this Irish Pub that I knew of in the area. The last time I went I really liked it, and this time was the same. We had some beers and he said he thought one of the burly guys next to us was a Scottish rugby player named Gregor Townsend. I thought he said Gregory, because that's the kind of name I recognize.. I've never met anyone named Gregor, Eoghan wanted me to go ask if he was Gregor Townsend. I know nothing about rugby, let alone who any famous players are so I said no, and we sat there wondering if it was him. Then finally when they stood up to leave Eoghan yelled out "Gregor!", and the guy turned around surprised and was happy to talk with Eoghan. 

 Gregor Townsend, Scotland Rugby Coach

Apparently he was happy to be recognized, I always imagine such characters to be sick and tired of being talked to, but it was great to see the smile on this muscly rugby players face. We totally blanked and forgot we had a camera on us, so we don't have any pictures with him, but that's more Eoghan's loss than mine. But how cool is that? I would never have been able to pick out a Scottish rugby legend unless I was with an Irishman. After Molly Mallone's we went to a house in San Telmo for that birthday party for that guy we had met at Red Door the night before. It was alright, Kelly and Jenny were there and they left after we got there, so Eoghan and I hung out until a Bolivian guy tried to teach us this twirly South American dance move. I have more experience with the twirly dancing than Eoghan but neither of us really got it, and even tually the Bolivian guy clapped saying we got it, and so Eoghan and I said our goodbyes and left the Bolivian Wasteland, as Kelly has dubbed this new hangout in San Telmo.

These few days were so full of events it seems endless... The next day, Thursday, I met up with Eoghan and we had lunch at Kentucky Pizza and had a bizzare pizza, it was half corn and onion and cheese, and half ham and palm hearts. I ordered ham and pineapple (because I FINALLY found someone who likes hawaiian pizza!) but the waiter messed it up anyways. We got pineapple on the side, which just isn't the same, but it was good nevertheless. We walked to the Rosedal rose garden and around Plaza Holanda, then got some Volta ice cream and walked to MALBA museum. That was interesting, there's a new exhibition that replaced the Andy Warhol one, and it is pretty S&M. It's a photography display, and there's lots of exposed male parts. I appreciate that, so often are women portrayed naked and everyone claiming it's art, not porn, and men never have to strip down and pose for anyone because it's "heinous" or "blasphemous". All in all, I prefer the Andy Warhol exhibit because the new one, in my opinion, crosses the borders that distinguish art from pornography.

Thursday isn't over! We went to Kelly's apartment to meet up with her, Samantha, Jenny and Jenny's friend Eze (pronounced "essay" or mexican "ese!"). We ate some of Kelly's amazing Rosemary focaccia bread and drank beer... then went to thisclub called La France (or GOA), where we met up with Ramón and Fede P.! I left Eoghan, Kelly & then to go look for Ramón and Fede, and at first I was losing hope, and losing happiness because I couldn't find then, then suddenly I literally bumped into Fede and we screamed and hugged each other. Then Ramón came over and screamed and hugged me and kissed my cheek. I love my friends here! How am I going to be able to leave them?!?! I hate goodbyes. Anyways... So the rest of the group came to me and Ramón's friends' spot where we stayed for the rest of the night. I had so much fun that night... dancing with Ramón is always fun, and I always get to meet more of his random friends. We all got a little too crazy, a little too much"baile sensual" (it was our sensual dancing night since Ramón and Kelly and I were joking about it about a month before). Ramón is a security guard so it's just funny to hear him say something like that, haha. I think we weirded Eoghan out. I have no idea how it is in Ireland, but someday I will go and see. Hopefully sooner than later, I have plans to live in Colorado in the USA for a couple years and then move to Ireland. With some trips to Norway and Finland in there somewhere... Life is too short! 
So the night was coming to a close, I tried to take a bus to get home but walked 10 blocks in the wrong direction, to the Obelisk, and realized that I didn't have my wallet anyways... it was just gone. I had my bag zipped shut with a coat folded over the top and everything, and somehow my wallet disappeared. I think when I was returning scarves and stuff to Sam and Kelly it got caught and fell out... just bad luck I guess. Kelly helped me get home with coins and has since been loaning me money until I can pay it back. I love Kelly, I seriously don't know how I am going to live without her...

so, needless to say, Friday I was completely dead. Dead to the world. I slept until 6 or 7 pm after my class and went to Kelly's to make dinner. We were going to have a calm night since all week had been nothing short of madness. However, there is no such thing as a calm Friday night in Buenos Aires, and I will have to continue the happenings of my week in another blog, because I have been writing for 3.5 hours already and need to go to sleep. I'm off to immigrations for the 5th time to get my Visa. Not my visa card, my student Visa for residency, to prove that I am studying here... I went in March and it is still not done... I think I am going to have to be firm tomorrow. I need to be mean or something, I need to demand they give it to me. I don't know what else to do. We'll see. Last time I went, I got so upset and offended when I left that I cried all the way home. I hate feeling so insignificant and treated like nothing just because I'm foreign. I only feel like that at immigrations though, the rest of the city treats me like a blonde goddess, so I have no right to complain.

Until next time,

jueves, 3 de junio de 2010

New Purse!

I'm starting this entry as a blank slate. I have no idea what to write about, but I'll let what comes to me put itself down. To begin with, I suppose, I could talk about my new purse. I FINALLY found a purse that I liked enough to invest a good chunk of money into!

My New Purse

Leather and suede. Normally I really dislike suede... the texture is just weird, but i love how the two shades of black make it more interesting. The pockets on the outside close with a magnetic snap, and the studs are bronze colored instead of silver. Not only will this purse last forever but some wear & tear on the studs won't show it's age as much as silver ones would.

The inside is an army green fabric reinforcement. Could this purse be anymore me??? The whole thing closes with a tassel zipper, and there is an extra zippered pocket on the inside next to my body. I hate too many pockets and this one has just enough. I like it because it's not overdone with details (like soooo many of the purses in this city are!), and it's not boring either. I spent 390 pesos on it... (about $100 usd), but I've been looking for a year, and if it means I can't take that trip to Puerto Madryn then so be it. I love this purse and I'm going to use it til it falls off of me in shreds.

This Friday I'm having some friends over for Lasagna Night! Mike and Joanna (friends from Alaska) are here and I'm going to get to see Mike!! I love seeing friends from home in foreign places. Seeing Chase in January was so cool, and hanging out with Joanna during the semester was a relief from all the Argentine-ness. We spoke in Spanish most of the time, so we didn't skimp on the learning. For Friday I also invited all my roommates, and Jodie, another girl from Anchorage that I've never met in person but she knows a lot of my friends back home. And, of course, Kelly and one of her friends. This is going to be a great night =)

Until next time,

jueves, 27 de mayo de 2010

Bicentenario de Argentina

For the past week Capital Federal has been filled with Argentine flags and colors (sky blue and white) to celebrate the country's 200th birthday. I have never seen so many flags in my life! I had no idea that I would be here for such a big event, but here I am. We had a long weekend so I took advantage of it and went out with my friends every night of the weekend, which in turn left me with another head cold (which has turned into a cough now, but I'm taking care of myself this weekend...).

The two above pictures were taken by Carmen (the lovely Resident Director of API in Buenos Aires), and I took them from her facebook... but they are excellent photos of the flags hanging from every balcony in Plaza de Mayo.

For the second time in the weekend, I made my way to Ave. 9 de Julio for the festivities. This night, Monday May 24, however, the celebrations were for the Bicentenario AND the re-opening of the Teatro Colón! This theatre is world famous for it's operas and orchestra performances. It's been closed for renovation for god-knows-how-long, but it is finally open and good to go =)

As you can see, there are ridiculous amounts of people that attended the event (I'm standing on a patch of mud that everyone except me and Kelly refused to stand on)

They showed videos projected onto the wall of the Teatro Colón, like performances from the past and good memories. But, and maybe it's just because I was stuck behind a tree that blocked my view the whole time, I was rather disappointed with the event. I heard there was going to be a live performance, and I don't believe there was any such performance. The projections lasted for about an hour, maybe an hour and a half, and then the people dispersed. Nevertheless, it was worth going, to witness such a big event. And to take this awesome picture of me in front of the fresh face of Teatro Colón with thousands of Argentines behind me!

I didn't even attempt to go back to the Obelisk on May 25, the actual day of the Anniversary, it would have been way too crazy. Instead, I stayed at home and made some delicious rice, pasta, and pancakes for dessert and watched some movies. Obviously I must have been the only person in Capital Federal that stayed home.

I have never heard such silence in this city.

martes, 25 de mayo de 2010

Birthdays, Birthdays, Birthdays!

Susana (my "cousin", from Colombia), me, and Kelly at Gecko

This entire weekend has been one birthday celebration after another. Last Friday, a couple days ago, Kelly and I baked a tarta de acelga, and head out for the night of birthday celebrations for Schiller and Martin. First we went to Palermo Hollywood to meet up with Schiller and some of the Colombians for his birthday bash at Gecko Hostel. Like I mentioned in my reemergence entry, Schiller was the first guy at the hostel to say hello to me, and that always meant a lot to me. We danced a little salsa and shared some beer, but since Kelly and I had already said we'd be at another birthday, we headed out early. Any other night I would have stayed with him and all of them for some more Colombian fun, but we went over to Polite to celebrate Martin's birthday.

Fede (a new one), Martin (straightened his hair!), Kelly, Santiago, and me in front

I met Martin through Fede M., pictured below. I met Fede last June when I first got here, he was the first Argentine boy I met, and I'm actually quite surprised that we still talk. We went on a couple "dates", and left the friendship at messaging online. Through him I met Santiago, Martin, and others that are not mentioned in this entry. For months and months I wanted to add Martin and Santiago to facebook or something, because they are some really cool guys, and finally I had the guts to just do it... I added Santiago, 7 months later (and through Santiago I met his sister Agustina who is a complete angel and let me live with her for a couple days when I got kicked out of my house).

After not seeing him for months, i finally saw Fede again!

We tried to take a decent picture with smiles buuuuut I guess we're just not photogenic when in the same frame. Taking some goofy pictures seemed to work, however, and this is what I have to share. He is so tall, oh man. I don't know if I shrank or if he grew, but I don't remember him being so tall! Also this picture does no justice, this picture makes him look old, and he's not at all, he's younger than me actually... he's 21, and I'm 22. We drank and danced until really late, and Kelly and I decided to leave. Fede seemed like he was leaving too, but ended up staying. I said goodbye to Martin and Fede and went home with Kelly.

The New Kids, on the opposite side of the table (the ones facing the camera)

I stayed at Kelly's and when I woke up I had to go to the API office to meet the new students! Besides Carmen's first group of summer students last year, I have met every single group of API Buenos Aires students since the program opened. I feel so old.. it's only been one year, but with people coming and going constantly I can't help it.

Later, I spent all Saturday night with Agustina, Santiago's sister. She's my buddy man... I love her. We went to Gibraltar bar in San Telmo and I was reunited with Patricio, Lucas, and some others that I had met a couple months ago. I was afraid it might be weird and maybe we wouldn't have anything to talk about but it was great. I always have a great time talking with Patricio. After a few hours at Gibraltar we went to Red Door until it closed, I think that was at 6:00am, and then we went to Julio Bar. I didn't like Julio Bar that much, but being super tired didn't help much. I laid my head down on the table until they decided to go. Agustina invited me to sleep at her place and have some leftover food when we woke up. I took up that offer and we took a cab to her place and crashed until 5:30 in the afternoon the next day, Sunday.

This whole weekend has been exactly what I needed. It is one gigantic party. This isn't because I'm irresponsible or anything, but May 25, today, is Argentina's 200th birthday!

Google Argentina has this cute celebratory image for the Bicentenario

How lucky have I been this year? Celebrating the Bicentenario de Argentina... and I got to see all these amazing bands in concert, one of which is Metallica, who canceled shows in Buenos Aires for 10 years and this year FINALLY came back. after 10 years! and I was here for it. I was here when  Juan Martín del Potro won the US Tennis Championship, and ranked 4th best tennis player in the entire world. Also, I wouldn't call it luck, exactly, but I experienced the freak floods of summer 2010 that never usually happen. I went with my host mom last spring to vote for the next Argentine President...

So much happens in a year.

I will go into further detail about the Bientenario in my next post.
Chau chau!


PS - you can click on the images and look at the full size version, I recently discovered this!


sábado, 22 de mayo de 2010

Bariloche! part 3

Last day of our Bariloche vacation. We had free time until 1pm, so we went through the civic center plaza and over to Mamuschka again.

On the way I finally got a picture with the Bambi alfajor shop =)

After chocolate shopping and rushing to get our belongings into the van for the last tours and drop off at the airport. We drove over towards Hotel Llao Llao and learned why it's called Llao Llao: it's named after a type of sweet forest mushroom, the llao llao, that the native mapuche people used to collect and eat. Before we got to the hotel though, we spontaneously decided to take the chair lift up this mountain for a view that was declared one of the top 5 or 10 most beautiful views in the world in the 1989 National Geographic magazine.

It is pretty beautiful. So much nature all at once, it's lakes and trees weaving in and out of each other. It was really amazing, and on such a perfect sunny day too!

After the chair lift experience, we hopped on over to a view of Hotel Llao Llao and the white mountain on the right. I do believe that is part of the Andes, and it is so tall and so far away, that's why it has snow on it. I imagine this is how Switzerland is... a German friend of mine that my dad and I ran into in San Junín de los Andes back in December even said that the 7 Lakes region reminded him a lot of Switzerland. I'd like to go to Switzerland someday, but first I gotta finish up with Argentina ;)

This is the last of the pictures for Bariloche. We went to the airport after seeing Hotel Llao Llao, and slept all the way there. I have to say that this was my favorite trip by far. I loved the Arrayán tree forest, the Chair Lift view (that I probably never would have chosen to do on my own), and the heavy dose of nature and break from the city. This city is starting to drive me a little bit crazy... I am getting quite homesick, and struggling in keeping myself in the present, living in the moment rather than thinking about the future and returning home to Alaska.

In other news, this Tuesday, May 25th, 2010 is the 200th Anniversary of Argentina's Countryhood!! How lucky am I to be here for this kind of celebration?? Tuesday is also the re-opening of the Teatro Colón! It's been closed for a year or more for remodeling and it is finally opening back up. On Monday there will be a free open-air festival outside of it, and they're going to project pictures and stuff on the entire wall of the Teatro Colón. Or so I hear. We'll see, and I'll let you all know how it was... ;)

So... last night I went to a friend's birthday bash at a bar. I'll tell that story next.

jueves, 20 de mayo de 2010

Bariloche! part 2

Moving on to day 2 of API's trip to Bariloche. We had steak and fries for dinner the night before, and had a good rest. We piled into the tour van (private tour, by the way), and we started driving out of Bariloche to get to San Martín de los Andes. On the way we stopped at Villa la Angostura, and various pitstops that are good viewpoints for the 7 Lakes of the region (that's why this region is famous, it's the drive through los 7 Lagos).

These are some fall trees in Villa la Angostura. All the leaves were changing, it was beautiful. I also bought a new mate. As a reminder, a mate is a round cup you drink yerba mate from. A cat in my old house broke my mini mug from Uruguay, so I was looking for the perfect replacement. It is ceramic glazed green, and has a small piece of driftwood from one of the lakes incorporated on the side. I love it!

The drive was peaceful, until we got a flat tire. While Hernán (our tour guide) was changing the tire we all had mini photo shoots in the road. My favorite shot was the mist shot..

The frost was evaporating with the morning sun, hence the mist. Of course I'm in a dorky poncho and rasta tam... also I don't know how to pose like a badass in the mist. My bad, but I still love the foto =)

We got to San Martín de los Andes, and headed out to eat some lunch. We ate at this really good place, recommended by a local, and then to Plaza Centenario for some down time. It had this fountain in the center, and I took some goofy pictures with the rose garden...

aaaahahhahha I can't take myself seriously.

The drive back was just as beautiful as the drive there, the moon was hovering over the mountains and after trying to get a good shot of it through the bare spots of trees on the side of the road, I got the perfect one...

We got back to Bariloche and went shopping. FOR CHOCOLATE! 

 Mamuschka Chocolate is one of the best chocolate producers in Argentina. Like I mentioned earlier, Bariloche was founded by Swiss immigrants, so that's where all the chocolate, fondue, waffles, and swiss architecture come from.  I got some chocolate for myself and for the colombians, and by the time we walked back to the hotel it was already time for dinner. We opted for Fondue. I had never had fondue before and was really excited to finally try it.

So we accidentily ordered non-cheese fondue. Well, it was basically a hot soup with the fire underneath and you cook the raw chicken and steak in it, then eat it with the sauces that are on the left in the picture. It was delicious, don't get me wrong, but we were expecting some cheese. We ordered the cheese fondue and had both of them between the 5 of us. It was surprisingly filling. 

Later that night we went to this pub to have some drinks and watch this band that was going to play live at midnight. They're called Rola Gitana and they were amazing! I bought their CD (splitting the price with Tarah, I loaded the songs to my computer and gave the CD to her). Their music is described as Rumba Flamenco. It was a great time. Afterwards we went to another pub which was okay for a while, but I wanted to head to bed so I left and everyone else continued the night out. I watched El Mariachi in the hotel room, in Spanish, and went to sleep. I find it kind of ironic that a movie called El Mariachi had to be dubbed in Spanish, kind of funny.

End of day two. I have to go write some papers and have dinner with Kelly. We're going to a parrilla for some asado (basically going to a steakhouse for some meat meat meat!). Man I'm gonna miss this delicious Argentine meat...

miércoles, 19 de mayo de 2010

Bariloche! part 1

So I'm in a blog-writing kick. Only because I don't want to write 2 one page summaries of the in-depth grammar chapters for Friday... but I will get them done. I took a midterm this morning and I feel like I rocked it. I also found out I got an 8 (out of 10) on my History midterm, go me! That's an A in North American terms.

So here it goes.. BARILOCHE, Argentina! part 1 of 3.  I went there in December with my dad and had a great time, not to mention that we spent over 200 pesos on chocolate (that's about 45 USD), we got a lot of it too.

The night before I left I had packed for Bariloche and went to Kelly's place for a good time with good people. After everyone else left Kelly, Lentejas and I were left. We danced salsa and shared music all night. Then in the morning they made me pancakes and sent me on my way to Bariloche =)

The first thing we did was drop our stuff off at the Hotel and headed to the dock for a tour of Victoria Island!!!! I really wanted to go when my dad and I were here but we didn't have time, we also didn't know how to get to Victoria Island...

fantastic collage made at BigHugeLabs.com

Where we saw the Bambi Trees! These trees are called the Arrayanes, and they only grow South America, and the only place in the world where there is a group of them that can be called a forest is here on Victoria Island. They are this rich orange cinnamon color, really pretty. Of course the pictures do not bring out the full effect of their color. I touched one and it was unusually cold... The lack of rough bark leaving a smooth surface must make it susceptible to being really freakishly cold for a tree. I call them the Bambi trees because it's said that Walt Disney and his crew visited the island and got so inspired by the trees that they used them for the scenery in the movie Bambi. I watched it to see for myself... and I believe it.

After this side of la Isla Victoria we went to another part where they had artificial tree forests, with sequoias and other very tall trees.

 They were all so tall and straight, fighting for sunlight. The few that were leaning sideways and about to fall had numbers on them (there's one on the left). Death sentence numbers. The birds don't like these trees because they're foreign, and they know it. Therefore it is totally silent, not a sound can be heard there. It's rather creepy, but cool. 

On a lighter note, the entrance to the forest has a beautiful cut log tiling going on. I couldn't help but take a picture of it... We then went back to the hotel and decided on what to do for dinner. We went to a parrilla (grill house) down the road and stuffed ourselves with tender Argentine steak and french fries. It was delicious after such a long touristic day.

Fin Part 1.