Archive for the ‘Anna in Argentina’ Category

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Anna: Growing on me…

July 28, 2009

After 2.5 weeks here, I can say that Argentina has really started to grow on me. It helps that the weather has warmed up a bit and I was able to do a little more exploring this past weekend than I had done previously. On Friday night I partied it up like a porteño, making it home at about 5 am (only 15 minutes before our host-sister came in). Saturday I went with a group to the city of Tigre, an river delta area where the majority of the town is located on islands accessible only by boat. Then Sunday I took a long bus ride out into the country to visit an Estancia (a type of ranch) where I rode horses, watched a gaucho show, and was treated to a fabulous dinner served on the lawn of the ranch.

My Spanish skills are also constantly improving and though I am a long LONG way from fluent and can’t even imagine using the language effortlessly, I understand more and am able to express more every day. I still feel like an idiot when I have to ask someone to repeat sentences multiple times, or when I use the wrong word, or completely misunderstand something, but at the same time I am proud of how far I’ve come. That is a really good feeling…

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Anna: Things I’ve learned about BsAs

July 21, 2009
  • The annual rainfall here is something like 4 inches. I think today we got at LEAST that much and this kind of rain does not make porteños or their gutter systems or roofs very happy.
  • Usually the rain is much more of a mist.
  • During a downpour, roofs in even nice building leak.
  • People eat eggs on almost everything… on sandwiches, hard-boiled on pizza, hard-boiled inside pastries, etc. but never for breakfast.
  • Breakfast here consists of coffee or tea and toast, crackers, or these sweet croissants called medialunas that are to die for.
  • There are several Jewish temples, but keeping kosher here must be quite a challenge since meat and cheese (usually together) are huge staples of the diet. Also…
  • Beef may be a strong part of the economy and the pride of Argentina, but ham is their other favorite meat. There are several different varieties of ham flavored snack crackers available at every snack stand and every restaurant has several options of ham-based meals. Bacon is also popular although it’s not crispy and resembles ham more than American bacon.
  • People do not clean up after their dogs here, and there are a lot of them, which means you really need to watch your step.
  • There are TONS of pigeons here, one of which almost pooped on me further lowering them in my opinion. I have grown to loathe pigeons.
  • There are very few controlled intersections so driving and walking is always an adventure.
  • In the intersections that are controlled, they give a yellow light warning when it changes from green to red, but also when it turns from red to green letting people know to get ready to GO and FAST.
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Anna: La Boca

July 19, 2009

Yesterday we went to the neighborhood of La Boca which is the most colorful and vibrant part of the city surrounded by the worst (and notriously most crime ridden) slums.

The 9 or so blocks that are fit to go down, however, are very interesting. The buildings are painted a variety of bright colors and the pedestrian-only streets are lined with restaurants, shops, and art galleries. In the streets themselves are Tango dancers, Gaucho dancers, and other street performers.


Wandering around the area was the most fun I’ve had exploring the city so far. Even the cold weather and our cab driver’s warnings about the dangers of La Boca didn’t prevent it from being a good day. The restaurants there were a bit on the pricier side for the city but the souvenirs were good prices and there was plenty to do and look at for free.

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Anna: ¡Estoy en Buenos Aires!

July 15, 2009

I arrived in Buenos Aires on Sunday after a very long over-night flight during which I got VERY little sleep. As a result, my first experiences of the city are sort of hazy. After meeting my roommate at the airport, we took a cab to our home away from home and started to unpack. We live in the neighborhood “San Telmo” which is one of the oldest parts of the city. Every Sunday they have a street fair with performance artists and artisans selling various items so we wandered around that for a bit before crashing for a serious 3 hour siesta. For dinner I had empanadas for the first time and started to feel a bit more human and settled in.

Yesterday was my first day of classes and so far they are going very well. Spanish is still a struggle for me, but most of what I learned last summer has come back to me and I´m holding my own. The school and the instructors here are very good and I´m really enjoying the class time. I´ve had quite a bit of homework so I haven´t had much time to explore the city yet, but I´m starting to develop familiarity with the area in which I live and where the school is located. Having a sense of normal for those things makes it then easier to try new things. The new thing for today was the Subte (subway). It´s pretty much like any other city subway so is nothing too exciting, but having a first experience of the subway under my belt makes me feel much more comfortable branching out to check out other places, or ride the subway into different areas of the city.

Pictures will follow eventually, but not today, unfortunately. I have homework to do!

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Anna: Countdown to Argentina—1 Day

July 10, 2009

Tomorrow morning, I will leave at 10 a.m. for about 20 hours of travel, flying from Minneapolis to Dallas and on to Buenos Aires arriving at 6 a.m. Minnesota time on Sunday (8 a.m. local time.) *yawn* I suspect the rest of the day Sunday will be spent recuperating from a night spent trying to overcome anxiety and being wedged up next to some stranger in order to get a little sleep. But eventually Sunday or Monday I should find my way to a computer to give some updates.

Bags are packed, MP3 player is loaded up, and everything else is either done or not getting done by me for the next 4 weeks.

Ready or not, here I go…

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